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Tile Styles

The ceramic tile you select will impact your home’s interior beauty, design, comfort, livability and upkeep. It’s a fact; floor coverings can make or break a home.

Due to the number of tile choices, patterns, colors, textures and price points shopping for tile can intimidate even the most experienced shopper.

3 types of ceramic tile

Click on a swatch below for more information


  • Coated with glass-forming minerals and ceramic stains
  • Typically have a matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish
  • Offer better stain and moisture resistance than unglazed
  • High gloss finishes- more slippery and show scratches
  • Matte or textured finishes- help with traction and scratches, dirt is less visible


  • Hard and dense
  • Various surface treatments and textures
  • Typically installed outside
  • Good slip resistance
  • Do require sealing to help prevent staining


  • Falls in the ceramic tile category
  • Hardest and densest tiles available
  • Color goes all the way through
  • Non-porous
  • Resist scratching
  • Can withstand temperature extremes


  • Manufactured in sizes ranging from 1” to 24” square
  • Normally boxed and priced by the square foot
  • Tile size is relative
  • Referred to by nominal size, not its actual size
  • During firing, ceramic tile will shrink by about 10% in size
  • Most popular are larger sized tiles (13” by 13”, 16” by 16” and 18” by 18”)
  • Determining tile size starts with the size of the room
  • Small rooms don’t necessarily call for small tile
  • Incorporating a larger size tile in a smaller room will visually increase the size of the space
  • Fewer grout lines will help create a cleaner surface appearance
  • Using a tile size that’s too small creates more grout joints that may make the floor look too busy

Cost-effective alternative

  • Consumers prefer ceramic tile over stone due to price and maintenance
  • Tile can also be made to feature heavy textures, chiseled and hammered edges, and resemble tumbled stone
  • Tile texture is related to its style
  • Feel of a tumbled stone or slate looking ceramic tile will be irregular and somewhat rough
  • Tile simulating marble or granite will have a very smooth, polished feel
  • Textures also vary in degree of shine, ranging from dull to semi-gloss to glass-like


  • Tile is a versatile product
  • Outdoor tile features non-skid finishes designed for safety
  • Outdoor tile is resistant to frost
  • Tile manufactured for outdoor use has very low water absorption, minimizing the cracking, chipping and other effects of expansion when the temperature falls below freezing


  • Manufacturers also offer decorative inserts, medallions, and mosaics
  • Tile size 2”x2” and smaller are usually referred to as mosaics
  • Often used with different colors to create a pattern or decorative inset
  • Smaller tiles also come in different shapes, such as a hexagon
  • Patterned borders can be made up of different size tiles
  • Variations in color, shape or size can be patterned within a room, or across adjoining rooms
  • “Field tile” -the more prominent tile that is throughout the largest areas
  • Floor and wall tiles may be designed to look similar
  • Floor tiles are generally thicker and are textured to be safer to walk on


  • Impacts the overall look
  • Type of cement that is used to fill the space and provide support in tile joints
  • Two types of grout; Portland cement based, and epoxy based
  • Both may have sand added for additional strength
  • Sanded grout is for tile joints 1/8th of an inch and larger
  • Unsanded grout is an option used in joints that are smaller than 1/8th of an inch
  • Can be pigmented to many colors, shades, and hues
  • Pigment is added to the cement at the job site when the grout is mixed
  • Color and thickness will change the appearance of the floor
  • White or a light-colored grout highlights the color in tile
  • Dark grout with a light tile, or light grout with a dark tile, will emphasize the geometric pattern of your layout