Practically speaking, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds while talking about floor surfaces is tile flooring. That’s how incessantly popular and widely renowned it is.
So, what exactly is a flooring tile? Well, ‘tile’ is a general terminology used to describe a category of flooring products which are usually square-shaped thin, and flat pieces of construction material made of various solid or composite constituents, such as ceramic, porcelain, other sorts of baked clay, glass, stones, plastics, etc.
With this much diversity and technicality involved with the connotation of flooring tiles, choosing the right product from myriads of available options is generally not an easy task. But for you, it will be a lot easier because this article is going to provide you with a well-sorted, categorically researched, comprehensive list of the best flooring tile types and designs that exist in the market.
So, let’s get started.
8 Tile Floor Design That Will Take Your Decor To The Next Level:
Tiles have been in use for a long time as a prominent building material, and have evolved through various phases of the architectural revolution. From sun-dried pieces of clay in ancient times to modern-day technology-based majestic glass and highly resistant synthetic plastic pieces, this journey has been full of surprises and satisfaction.
1. Wood-Look Tiles:
These tiles replicate the appearance and texture of real wood, as the name suggests. In this era of modern technology, it has become convenient and prolific to fuse the timeless and luxurious look of solid real wood and the high functionality and supreme durability of engineered multi-composite tiles together into one single product. Wood-look tiles come in various designs and generally derive from various key materials such as porcelain, ceramic, luxury vinyl (PVC) square tiles, etc.
Truth be told, wood-look composite tiles have gained immense popularity primarily because they perform even better as compared to real hardwood in terms of some crucial factors, such as water and moisture resistance, easier installation and maintenance, durability, flexibility, and affordability. Also, these tiles have a wide range of shades and themes to choose from – dark or light shades, complementary or contrasting hues, etc.
Some of the popular wood-look tile floor designs are – Beige Ceramic wood-look tiles, Burned Wood porcelain tiles, vintage wood-look ceramic tiles, Oak Tobacco porcelain tiles, Lanier Hickory vinyl tiles, Shady Pine vinyl tiles, etc.
This category of ceramic tile gets its name from Latin words ‘terra’ and ‘cotta’, which altogether translate to ‘baked earth’ in English. This ceramic tile is made of one kind of porous and comfortably shaped clay that has a significant amount of iron content which gives the product its signature reddish or brown color. Terracotta tile is fired in a kiln at a temperature of 600 to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and then processed with or without glazing.
An unglazed terracotta tile is quite porous, and glazed ones have their porosity fairly concealed, are harder, and are more resistant. There are low-density and high-density terracotta tiles which correspond to high and low porosity respectively.
A glazed, high-density terracotta can perform well in surface areas with heavy and abrasive traffic and frequency to get wet both in the interior including bathroom and kitchen, and the exterior such as garage, patios, porch, etc.
On the contrary, unglazed or low-density terracotta tiles are considered to be a soft flooring material that is appropriate for indoor areas with mild traffic and less moisture like the living room or study.
All the available types of terracotta tiles are pretty inexpensive as compared to a lot of other flooring products. Terracotta’s natural color, design variations, and inherent warmth will certainly add unique aesthetics to your decor scheme.
3. Soft-Tone Geometric Mosaic:
Light color shades, such as white and pastel gray with hints of ivory, cream, eggshell, vanilla, beige, brown, etc. altogether create a softer effect that these tiles feature. These particularly soothing color schemes for mosaic tiles in various geometric designs – hexagonal, octagonal, rectangular, brick-shaped, etc are currently in fashion.
Mosaic tiles have long been one of the most reliable, abundantly used, and continuously evolving flooring materials for different styles of architecture like classic, modern, contemporary, and fusion. No matter what style and theme you choose – lighter or darker, these tiles are sophisticated and extremely versatile in every possible setting.
Mosaic is a specialized composite product made either from natural stone pieces, such as marble chips and powder, limestone, etc. or from regular ceramic, porcelain, glass, etc. The key ingredient is then put into a mixture along with other required components like – gray cement, sand, coloring oxides, etc. This wholesome mixture later goes on to be processed through mesh backing, and afterward, painted by hand or by an automated system.
Even though good-quality mosaic tiles are a little expensive as compared to some other flooring materials, their timeless elegance and high performance are definitely and unquestionably worth it. Mosaic is very durable, stain and moist resistant, low maintenance, and wholesomely beautiful. So, feel free to embrace this choice.
4. Unbound Horizon Of Authentic Glass:
Thin uniform pieces of glass are fused in a kiln and combined with other required materials such as dolomite, limestone, boric acid, soda ash, feldspar, barium, etc. to manufacture this overwhelmingly awesome type of tiles.
The most unique thing about glass tile is that all its myriads of designs and styles are unceasingly trendy. They simply never seem to go out of fashion.
You can choose from solid-colored plain surface tiles, monochromatic with intricate design-shaped surfaces like subway-style glass tiles, stain-glass tiles in multicolor art-deco or abstract mural styles, and many more!
Apart from glass tile’s unparalleled grace and charm, some of its highly functional qualities include – zero water absorbance, easy maintenance, high durability, resistance, eco-friendly, and recyclability. If you are skeptical about whether this fairly expensive flooring product is worth the extra bit of monetary investment as opposed to a lot of other available options, then let me assure you that glass tile delivers you ‘values’ much higher than its ‘price’.
5. Rustic Natural Slate Tiles:
Slate tiles are 100% natural flooring products made primarily from various hard metamorphic rocks such as quartz, muscovites, etc. with some amount of other minerals in them, such as iron oxide, iron sulfide, chlorite, carbonate minerals, etc. This organic, beautiful, and greatly functional tile has long been in use as a roofing material, and with the growth of modern flooring technologies, it has become equally widespread and popular as a multipurpose flooring choice.
It’s apparent that slate is one of the most suitable natural stone options to make tiles from. Generally, most of the other stone floorings come in slabs of various customized lengths and much thicker widths, and can’t be transformed into conventional tiles due to the difficulties to split them consistently and control the level of porosity. But this is not at all the case for slate tiles. These stones are quite easy to split, which is a necessary process of tile-making and still maintain their good qualities through the process to the final product.
Slate tiles are non-porous after sealer application, inherently very durable, resistant to scratches, cracks, or breaks, and aesthetically natural looking – all these qualities justify its comparatively higher expenses. You can choose any of slate’s organic color palettes – black, gray, dark green, etc. with hues and speckles of red, blue, purple, gold, etc to create your desired rustic-look decor.
6. Vintage Ceramic And Retro Porcelain Tiles:
If you want to bring back the Victorian era’s aristocratic, classic fashion and incorporate it in your decor style, then black and white checkered tiles, small to medium-sized pentagonal, floral, or other classic decorative patterns of tan, aqua, green, gray, etc. various types of vintage design ceramic tiles are the go-to options.
If you opt for a mid-century themed flooring style and join in the hype of revived fashion of the 1950s and 1960s, porcelain tiles provide you with this creative freedom by making quite a lot of retro themes and color palettes available for you, such as shades of pink, light blue, warm gray, orchid, speckled gold dust, yellow, salt and pepper, seafoam and so on.
These utterly durable, resistant, low maintenance, and supremely functional porcelain tiles will blend high performance with vogue styles in your decor scheme.
7. Organic Travertine Tiles:
This is another of very few natural stones that come in the tile format. Travertine tiles are widely popular for flooring due to their arrangement of various beautiful earth tone colors – brown, rust, tan, beige hues, etc.
Travertine is organically a type of limestone formed by natural springs and rich in various kinds of mineral deposits. After splitting the stone into different tile-like shapes and sizes, a matching color filler made of epoxy or grout is applied on the surface to fill small holes to give the surface a uniformly smooth and glossy finish, help stabilize the stone, make it easier to keep clean, and increase resistance – this tile product is called ‘Filled Travertine’.
This sedimentary rock is born through running water streams, this is exactly why it performs extremely well even in the exterior. Its natural reinforcement characteristics make it suitable for kitchen and bathroom flooring, as well as other interior areas with the same amount of efficacy.
Travertine tiles are very cost-effective, durable, flexible like regular tiles, and extremely attractive in terms of beauty. With proper maintenance and usage of the right cleaning products, travertine can glorify your floors for many many years.
8. Artistically Decorative Terrazzo:
Terrazzo tile is a composite flooring material and it consists of a mixture of marble/onyx/ granite/quartz/glass chips, refined sand, natural mineral color pigments, and modified white portland cement. Terrazzo tile’s mesmerizing and versatile designs and fashion themes have made it one of the trendiest flooring choices across the world.
Terrazzo is strong, sustainable, eco-friendly, easy to clean, and has endless design possibilities. Initially, you might feel a certain kind of inhibition finding that it costs more than a lot of cheaper flooring products, but the fact is that terrazzo is so long-lasting, durable, and low maintenance that it eventually comes out to be one of the most cost-effective tiling options in the market.
Some of the most popular terrazzo styles include – hexagonal terrazzo, minimalist, bold and bright, inspired contemporary, etc. Terrazzo is truly a game-changer in all respects when it comes to flooring. Pick one and your decor will be boundless.
Comparison Table Amongst Tiles To Help You Choose Better:
A table of comparisons based on various relevant key factors pertinent to all these tile flooring choices has been given below.
|Tile Type||Strength||Durability||Maintenance||Exterior Use|
|Wood Like PVC Tiles||Medium||High||Easy||Yes|
Frequently Asked Questions Related To Tile Floor Designs:
Which Tiles Are Best For Flooring?
A few key factors should be kept in mind while concluding as to what kind of tile is the best for flooring – the type of surface area such as – interior vs exterior, propensity, and frequency to experience water, wet, spills, stains, etc, for example – bathroom/kitchen vs regular areas like the living room or bedroom, overall maintenance convenience, durability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility.
Even though most of the flooring products have multiple great and satisfying qualities, they have a few weaker characteristics as well. For a user, it’s always better to use a customized framework inputting relevant info regarding the aforementioned factors and prioritizing the quintessential requirements specific to the nature and purpose of a particular flooring before choosing a product.
Some of the highest performing flooring tiles comprehensively based on all the key factors are – Porcelain, Slate, Travertine, Mosaic, Ceramic, Luxury Vinyl Square Tiles, Terrazzo, etc.
Which Color Floor Tile Is Best For Home?
The perfect color-scheme specification for your floor tile depends on the architectural style of your home as well as the kind of flooring material you are using. Classic and traditional decor styles have the characteristic of vibrant, playful, and multitudinal color schemes, on the other hand, contemporary and modern styles incorporate subtle, subdued, and softer shades.
For traditional decors such as Victorian era or mid-century inspired styles, different shades of colors like black, white, brown, chocolate, yellow, pink, dark green, tan, warm gray, light blue, aqua, orchid, deep blue hues, etc are pretty nice in tile flooring of your home.
If you opt for the contemporary or modern style of home flooring, then tiles of softer, lighter, earth-toned, and neutral shades and hues are the way to go, such as beige, silver, light oak, cool gray and taupe, cream, vanilla, rustic light brown, gold or rose gold hues, etc.
Which Property Is The Most Important In Ceramic Floor Tiles?
Ceramic has quite a broad range as compared to a lot of other flooring options. There are several technical and material-based categories, product-pertinent sub-categories, finishes, functionalities, grades, style modules, etc when it comes to choosing a ceramic floor tile.
Some of the comprehensive and quintessential properties of various types of ceramic floor tiles include – durability, water absorption level, resistance to dirt, scratch, slip, heat and frost, flexibility and convenience regarding installation and maintenance, etc. You can check for all these properties individually regarding a particular ceramic flooring product of a particular style or finish to get the most suitable option according to your requirements.
Can Porcelain Tiles Get Stained?
Porcelain is fired at a high temperature to make it tougher and contains raw materials which have great resistance properties. These tiles are uniform, consistent, and have close to zero open porosity – these are the factors that make porcelain highly stain, dirt, scratch, frost, and moist resistant.
Regardless of all these extremely impressive qualities of porcelain tiles, a little bit of care and systematic, appropriate maintenance is somewhat necessary to help the product perform to its fullest potential.
Always avoid using cleaning products with components of chlorine bleach or ammonia on a porcelain surface because it will generate very bad rust stains as this type of chemical agent will highly oxidize the iron deposit of porcelain’s thick enamel coating.
Do Floor Tiles Need To Be Sealed?
There are a plethora of floor tile types that have distinctive inherent properties different from one other. While some products don’t require sealing, some others do need to be sealed properly and you must get this right.
Generally, porcelain and ceramic tiles don’t need to be sealed if they have a glazed finish; otherwise, unglazed tiles of these materials must be sealed. Additionally, glass tiles never require sealing.
On the other hand, tiles made from natural stones such as slate and travertine, and other kinds of composite tiles like terracotta, PVC tiles, terrazzo, etc almost always require to be sealed no matter what kind of finishes they have.
Can Large Tiles Be Used In Tiny Bathroom Floor?
Yes, of course, large tiles can be used for flooring a small bathroom.
In fact, it’s actually a great, technically-conceived, and proven idea to use larger tiles in smaller surface areas because large tiles help create a visual illusion and make a small space appear larger.
Large tiles generally display very fewer grout lines when multiple pieces are put together as compared to that of small tiles, and the reduction of these lines creates the perception of a small bathroom floor being more open, airy, and spacious.
5 Major Differences Between Ceramic And Porcelain Tiles:
Even though both have a few similarly common key ingredients and partially similar manufacturing processes, ceramic and porcelain aren’t exactly the same thing! The key differences between these two are as follows:
- Ceramic is the generic name of a product type that has multiple categories and variations, whereas porcelain is technically one kind of ceramic and is represented by a very specific name.
- By the name ceramic tiles, the regular, general, and unspecified modes of ceramic-pottery produce are meant. On the other hand, porcelain means the specified mode of pottery and variation of materials adopted to convert regular ceramic to porcelain.
- Porcelain tiles are kiln-fired at a higher temperature than regular ceramic – 2,200-2,650 degrees Fahrenheit and 1450-1900 degrees Fahrenheit respectively.
- Porcelain is very less porous than ceramic, thus, much less absorbent and more water and moist resistant as compared to ceramic.
- Regular ceramic tiles are less expensive than porcelain tiles.
Tiles are undoubtedly the most diverse, multitudinous, and widely used and experimented, frequently improvised and innovative flooring type ever. With a sorted, comprehensive compilation of the best performing tile flooring choices and access to associated essential information regarding the products, creating the most suitable and desired flooring style on your terms becomes very much plausible.
Tiles are historically reliable, trendy, functional, flexible, and affordable. It’s an architectural choice that generally doesn’t go wrong, and this is why you should be confident enough to opt for a good tile flooring choice.