Floor and wall tiles are durable and beautiful design elements that are essential to kitchens and bathrooms. They can give a room a rustic, earthy, and elegant ambiance, and can help tie together an overall color scheme.
Each material has its pros and cons, but the size and shape of the tiles also matter. Some rooms may also require slip resistance and durability. Here are the key questions to keep in mind when buying floor and wall tile.
What materials are floor tiles and wall tiles made from?
- Glass tiles reflect light beautifully, adding rich visual interest to any room. However, they can be damaged easily and have little slip resistance, so they can typically only be used on walls.
- Ceramic tiles are affordable, easy to install and maintain, and available in a variety of beautiful colors and designs. They are often glossy and don't offer as much slip resistance as some other materials. Terracotta is a subtype of ceramic that has beautiful reddish-brown hues and can be very durable if it is sealed.
- Porcelain is a lot like ceramic but is heavier and more expensive. It has superior slip resistance and does not stain easily. However, it can be fragile and needs to be thick to survive on floors.
- Stone tiles are excellent for floors, as they are hard-wearing and last for decades. They also have good slip resistance, and sealed stone tiles resist stains. Some types of stone require occasional resealing.
- Vinyl tiles are inexpensive and easy for DIY installation if they have peel-and-stick backing. They are typically used for flooring and are available in a variety of faux stone and ceramic designs. However, they can stain easily.
- Linoleum interlocking tiles are also inexpensive but can be a little more difficult to install, especially on slightly uneven floors. They are not very moisture-resistant and are better suited to kitchens than bathrooms.