Tile flooring beyond ceramic: choices for the abode

Everyone is aware of the most obvious choices in flooring: Tile, Laminate, Wood, and Carpet. It takes time and effort to explore all your flooring options.

Tile choices go well beyond ceramic, and tile floors are not just for the kitchen and bath.

Ceramic Tile; when thinking about tile the first type you think of is probably ceramic which is commonly used in Bathrooms and Kitchens.

ceramic tile comes in a variety of styles, patterns and colors
  • Ceramic tiles are available in different grades specified for durability and practicality, residential vs. commercial.
  • Glazed tiles are smooth, and therefore, slippery. Glazed tile should not be used on wet floors such as bathrooms.
  • Unglazed tiles are rough and porous. These are not slippery and would be better for the Bath Floor.

Porcelain Tile; another type of tile commonly used.

porcelain tile is clean looking with the color running through
  • It is similar to ceramic but much harder. It has a tough finish and is very dense.
  • The color runs through the tile and is not just baked on the top.
  • Porcelain is very durable and versatile so it works well in all spaces including Bathrooms and high traffic areas.
  • The Kitchen floor can be expanded onto the terrace since porcelain tile can be used outdoors as well.

Saltillo Tile and Terra-Cotta Tile; both natural tiles and are very porous.

terra cotta provides a natural rustic comfort
  • They are usually unglazed so they will need to be sealed and polished to keep them durable.
  • These tiles will need upkeep. It is recommended that they be resealed once a year. If not sealed they will start to crumble.
  • These tiles only come in their natural color, orange or coral.

Natural Stone is another tile option. These can be costly. One advantage is if they chip or crack they can be repaired by sanding and buffing.


granite comes in many colors, very hard and durable
  • Hardest stone.
  • Mined from the inner earth’s core.


marble is beautiful but can stain easily
  • comes from the seabed and is softer than granite.
  • There are different grades of marble, depending on the veining, thickness, and color of the stone. Price will depend on the grade.
  • Marble stains easily so should not be used in areas like Kitchens.

Granite and marble both need to be installed with grout.

Travertine and Limestone; similar to marble.

  • They come in natural, muted colors and usually in a matte finish.
  • Can be installed with or without grout lines.
  • Like marble these will stain easily. Any acidy food will cause surface damage.

Most people think that vinyl and linoleum tiles are the same. These tiles are very different.

Vinyl Tiles

  • Man made product with the color and patterns printed on the surface.
  • Made from petroleum and sealed with a urethane coating and work well in all areas.
  • Good for budget projects because of their low cost and easy installation (they can be cut with a utility knife). These do not need to be installed with grout and they can even be purchased with adhesive backing for a peel and stick installation.
  • Vinyl tiles are very durable.


  • Similar to vinyl and is also very durable.
  • Unlike vinyl tile, linoleum is a natural product.
  • The colors and patterns are embedded into the tile and there is no sealant.
  • These tiles tend to fade more quickly.
  • Linoleum will not work as well as vinyl is areas where moisture is a problem.

In addition there are tiles for the environmentally minded. Glass, wood, and grass tiles are good options.

Glass Tiles

glass tiles are Eco-friendly and come in a varitey of colors
  • Made from recycled glass.
  • Eco-friendly meaning that it is made from items that previously always ended up as landfill.
  • Available in many different colors.
  • They are often used as accents tiles for borders, patterns, and mosaic designs.

    a glass tile insert

Cork and Bamboo Tiles; Eco-friendly because they are considered sustainable.

  • Cork wood and bamboo grass can be harvested without exploitation because of their rapid regeneration abilities. Their ecological area will retain balance without destruction.
  • Cork wood comes from the outer bark of the cork oak tree and is harvested once every 9 years so new bark will grow. Trees are never damaged or killed. It is recycled with adhesives mixed in with the wood to give it a harder surface.
  • Bamboo is naturally hard and extremely durable.

Cork and bamboo can be installed as interlocking tiles or by using adhesive.

You can now make a well informed decision on what floor tile is best for your abode. There are many options beyond floor tile. Relax and stay tuned for more helpful info on choosing wood and laminate flooring and carpeting.

Slide across the sleek tile and never be afraid to dance!

Next blog post will explore Laminate and Wood

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One thought on “Tile flooring beyond ceramic: choices for the abode

  1. You are so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve truly read anything like this before.

    So nice to find somebody with a few original thoughts on this issue.

    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one
    thing that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

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