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16 Different Types of Floor Tiles (With Pictures)

white ceramic tiles

Although it depends on the exact type and the material that you choose, tiles can be durable, attractive, and if one does get damaged, you may be lucky enough that you only need to replace a small section of the floor rather than ripping the whole thing and relaying the whole room. For these reasons, and because you can choose tiles that are resistant to moisture and temperature while also being easy to wipe and clean, tiles are commonly used in areas like the hallway, where they have to withstand muddy and wet feet; kitchens, which can be very damp and humid; and bathrooms, which can end up swimming in water and need regular cleaning.

But, if you’ve never shopped for floor tiles, you may be surprised at the sheer range of them that are available, from vinyl tiles to glass tiles. Below are 16 of the most common types of tile available for virtually any room of the house.

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The 16 Different Types of Floor Tiles

1. Ceramic

assorted ceramic tiles
Image Credit: Natali Glado, Shutterstock
Cost: Low/Medium
Ease of Installation: Easy

Ceramic tiles have virtually everything you need in a floor tile. Simple examples are inexpensive to buy, they are relatively easy to install, and their availability and popularity means that there is a huge selection of colors and styles to choose from. What’s more, they’re easy to clean and are considered suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways.

Buy glazed tiles for greater protection and a longer life, or unglazed for a traditional, rustic charm.


2. Porcelain

porcelain tiles
Image Credit: RYosha, Shutterstock
Cost: Low/Medium
Ease of Installation: Difficult to DIY

Porcelain is another very popular material choice. Unlike ceramic, it looks like natural stone, which makes it a great addition to the kitchen or bathroom floor. It is durable enough and weather resistant enough that it can be installed outside, so you could install it around the doorway both inside and outside of your kitchen door.

Porcelain tiles are more difficult to install than ceramic, however, and you may want to consider getting a professional in to ensure that the tiles don’t break and that they are installed properly.


3. Cement

cement tile flooring
Image Credit: deselect, Pixabay
Cost: Medium/Expensive
Ease of Installation: Very difficult

Cement is a well-known construction material. It is durable and it weathers well, although it is also porous unless treated and it is prone to moss and other growths. Cement tiles are also incredible difficult to lay, but they can be sanded and retreated if they become damaged, which separates them from porcelain and ceramic tiles which need replacement.

They do come in a surprising range of colors and styles, and because they weather with age, they can look even better several years after installation than when they were first installed.


4. Marble

colorful marble floors
Image Credit: Souvik025, Pixabay
Cost: Expensive
Ease of Installation: Difficult

Marble has been used as a flooring surface for millennia and still retains a look and feeling of luxury and opulence. There are many different patinas and patterns, and tiles come in a variety of sizes and shapes. However, marble is expensive, and it does not withstand chips or scratches well, but does require regular maintenance. Marble worktops have fallen out of favor because of how easily they stain, and this is a problem for floor tiles, too.

Marble looks great but it is expensive, difficult to lay, and requires regular maintenance.


5. Mosaic

mosaic and wood floor tiles
Image Credit: shannonrphillips, Pixabay
Cost: Moderate
Ease of Installation: Moderate

Mosaic tiles are more a style than a material. They tend to be ceramic or porcelain, but they vary greatly in their color and design. Some have a very basic, repetitive pattern, while others are used to create non-uniformity in their placement. Although the actual physical laying of such tiles can be easy, depending on the type you opt for, you do have to take care to lay the tiles accurately and appropriately or the pattern will look haphazard and uncoordinated.

Costs vary according to material and style, too, but mosaic tiles can make a real impression and are popular in hallways to mark an entrance.


6. Granite

Bathroom with granite tile floor
Image Credit: Artazum, Shutterstock
Cost: Moderate
Ease of Installation: Difficult

Granite is a natural stone material, and it was once a very popular alternative to marble because it is less expensive and it is not as easy to stain so is easier to look after. However, it has fallen out of favor somewhat because it was found in houses and buildings everywhere.

Laying requires a lot of preparation and precision, and it does require sealing and regular resealing, which means that these tiles are not the most convenient option.


7. Limestone

limestone tiles
Image Credit: Calon Walker, Unsplash
Cost: Inexpensive
Ease of Installation: Difficult

Limestone is another natural stone that can be used to make floor tiles. It is too heavy for wall tile use. Its natural appearance, especially when cut into tiles, can give it the appearance of a Victorian cobbled or paved floor, and there are different shades and colors of limestone available for use in the home.

However, laying the limestone takes patience, ensuring that the flooring is not a trip hazard, and because it is a porous surface, it will need treating and retreating, especially if it is to be used in a kitchen or bathroom where it could become very slippery.


8. Travertine

travertine floor tiles
Image Credit: Kirill, Unsplash
Cost: Moderate
Ease of Installation: Difficult

Travertine is yet another natural stone. But whereas limestone tends to have a gray color, travertine leans towards beige and orange colors, although there are many different shades available. It is quite a soft stone and is porous, which means that it can suffer from scratches, stains, and other blemishes. It will need sealing if being used in a damp room like the bathroom, but it can be used to make very attractive looking, almost Mediterranean flooring. If you don’t want to treat and install it in a kitchen, consider using it as a wall tile or installing it near the patio.


9. Quarry

red quarry tiles
Image Credit: Longklong, Shutterstock
Cost: Inexpensive
Ease of Installation: Moderate

Although the name quarry tile conjures up images of slate or another naturally mined stone, they are actually made using ground minerals including clay and feldspar. The mixture is then baked at very high temperatures. The baking process makes the material strong and nonporous, which means that the tiles do not need to be sealed when used as floor tiles.

However, quarry tiles do stain easily, so these inexpensive flooring options are best used in hallways. They are slip resistant and look good in the right setting.


10. Wood

3D parquet flooring
Image Credit: Praneat, Shutterstock
Cost: Moderate/Expensive
Ease of Installation: Moderate/Difficult

Wood tiles, especially parquet style, were once very popular. They were decorative, looked warm, and wood was readily available and easily worked. Over time, however, they have been replaced by other materials and wood tiles are now considered a luxury because of the amount of care and maintenance they require. The wood needs to be treated, the tiles sealed, and they will need regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure they continue to look good.

A parquet floor can still look great in an entrance hallway, however, so don’t be put off if you’re willing to put the work in.


11. Glass

variety of glass tiles
Image Credit: Sergei Sarychev, Shutterstock
Cost: Moderate
Ease of Installation: Difficult

Glass tiles look pretty, reflect light, and are easy to clean. Even red wine won’t leave a stain if cleaned up quickly, which makes glass sound like the ideal material for use in a kitchen. However, glass is also very easy to chip, and it can get scuffed and damaged in other ways. As such, glass tiles are rarely used on floors and are more often found on walls and as splashbacks.

Installation can also be tricky because you can see what is behind the glass, so accurate and clean laying is vital.


12. Metal

metal tile
Image Credit: gisoft, Pixabay
Cost: Moderate/Expensive
Ease of Installation: Easy/Moderate

Metal tiles are rarely used on floors but are commonly found on worktops and walls. They are very easily damaged, getting scratched as soon as they are installed, but this can enhance the natural appearance of the metal. Different metals are available and the tiles. Although the tiles, which vary in price according to the metal and the size of the tile, are easy to install, you need to take a lot of care to avoid doing any damage before they’re even up on the wall.

Metal tiles make an attractive addition to a wall but are rarely used as floor tiles, because they are so easily scratched.


13. Resin

resin tiles
Image Credit: Patrick Hendry, Unsplash
Cost: Inexpensive/Moderate
Ease of Installation: Moderate

Inexpensive and available in a variety of styles, including those that look like metal or other materials, resin tiles are another popular choice, and they can be used as floor tiles, on walls, or for splashbacks. However, the resin can discolor over time and especially when exposed to UV light. They can also chip quite easily, so while installation is a relatively simple process with little to no treatment required, it is made more perilous by how easily they chip.

They are a good alternative to metal tiles, though, because they are less expensive, and the home designer can create almost any look.


14. Cork

variety of cork tiles flooring
Image Credit: Baloncici, Shutterstock
Cost: Inexpensive/Moderate
Ease of Installation: Easy

Cork tiles are somewhat rare, but they are available. They vary in price according to the thickness of the tile, and how porous they are. All cork is porous, however, so the tiles will need to be sealed on installation. Even if you buy cork tiles that are already sealed, it will be necessary to reseal the flooring every five years or so.

However, cork is soft underfoot so is suitable for most floors, and it retains warmth well so is especially well suited for those like to walk barefoot on the ground. Because heels can cause damage, especially to cheaper cork tiles, this surface may not be best in a hallway. Some cork tiles come with a floating floor style fixing system, which makes them very easy to install.


15. Vinyl

luxury vinyl flooring
Image Credit: Jorge Vega, Unsplash
Cost: Inexpensive
Ease of Installation: Easy

Vinyl tiles have something of a bad reputation, but they come in a great many shapes, sizes, and styles. They can mimic anything from stone to metal, although you will have to pay more for tiles that look especially convincing. They are easy to install, though, because they typically have an adhesive back so you can remove the cover and stick them in place. Vinyl does not need sealing, is resistant to scratching and chipping, and it can be cleaned.

However, they are very thin, which means that you can feel the hardness of the flooring underneath when walking on the tiles, and cheap vinyl tiles age and wear quickly.


16. Lino (Linoleum)

assorted designs of linoleum tiles
Image Credit: Alex Verrone, Shutterstock
Cost: Inexpensive
Ease of Installation: Easy

Like vinyl tiles, linoleum has a bad reputation and makes most people think of kitchen floors in the 1980s, with torn lino and stained floor surfaces. However, pay a little more than the very lowest price and you can enjoy lino tiles that are made from decent quality materials and that mimic the appearance of other flooring types. Lino tiles are as easy to install as vinyl, but because they are thin, they will undulate with the floor underneath, so they are best laid on perfectly flat and smooth surfaces.

Tile size varies, and some of the large 12” tiles can look especially effective in the kitchen while being easy to clean and maintain.

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Conclusion

Tiles are convenient and easier to fit than, for example, real wooden floors. They come in an array of designs, sizes, and colors, and they are even available to mimic the appearance of natural materials like stone and marble. Above, we have listed 16 of the most common types of floor tiles but you may be able to find some alternative and even more unique options if you look around.


Featured Image Credit: Boris Rabtsevich, Shutterstock

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