If you have never had to get down and dirty with floor tiling, you would be surprised to know the different types of tiles available in the market. Sure, you know about the two most popular ones – ceramic and porcelain tiles, but did you know that they also have sub-types?

In addition to the various types of ceramic and porcelain tiles, you have several other different kinds of tiles ranging from natural stone-based tiles to man-made synthetic tiles.

Moreover, each type of tile serves a specific set of functions and has distinct characteristics. And, of course, all these different types of tiles come at different costs. As such, picking the right type of tiles can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Different Types of Tiles

To assist you in this quest, here’s a collection of 10 unique and different types of tiles with pictures. We’ve also compiled a list of their features and which tile flooring suits your particular needs. So, let’s get started.

1. Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are made using red, brown, and white clay kiln-fired at low temperatures. They are available in multiple colours, patterns, and textures. There are three main types of ceramic tiles, namely, glazed, unglazed, and porcelain (more on this later).

This versatility is why ceramic tiles are so insanely popular as flooring materials. Not to mention that they are also quite cost-effective and easy to maintain.

Key Features

  • Has a cooling effect, which makes it perfect for homes in hot climatic conditions.
  • Scratch-resistant but not super durable as they might crack if you drop heavy items on ceramic tile flooring.
  • Stain-resistant and easy to clean with just soap and water. In fact, harsh cleaners and acids might damage them.
  • The grouting requires frequent cleaning and touch-ups.

Suitable For

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Wall cladding
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Bathroom backsplash

2. Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tiles available in glazed and unglazed variants. The major difference between the two is that porcelain tiles also contain sand and feldspar added to the clay before being fed into the kiln.

Also, these tiles are baked at higher temperatures. As a result, these types of tiles are far more durable and strong than ceramic ones. And for this reason, you could use ceramic tiles for kitchen backsplashes and porcelain tiles for the flooring for your modular kitchen design.

Key Features

  • Non-porous, scratch-resistant tiles with better strength and durability than ceramic tiles.
  • Resistant to elements like fire, water, frost, snow, etc.
  • Stain resistant and easy to clean with soap and water. Avoid using acid, ammonia, or similar harsh cleaners.
  • The grouting requires maintenance in the form of cleaning and refilling.

Suitable For

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Wall cladding
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Bathroom flooring and backsplash

We’ve also done a detailed ceramic vs porcelain comparison if you wish to read more on the topic. Now, moving on to the other types of tiles for flooring.

3. Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles

Next in our list of different kinds of tiles, we have mosaic tiles. These are mostly a combination of different types of tiles – natural or synthetic – bound together using grout or cement.

The constituent tiles could be set in defined shapes or be a collection of random shapes and sizes. It lends a sense of variety and gives off an abstract vibe that can add personality to your flooring. After all, no two mosaic tiles are alike!

Key Features

  • Highly customisable as you get to choose the designs, patterns, and settings.
  • Eco-friendly and sustainable as it repurposes unused pieces of tiles.
  • Non-porous, which makes it less likely to absorb moisture, odour, or stains.
  • Susceptible to damage as the small chips can get dislodged if not cared for.
  • Requires careful cleaning with a mild detergent and with a gentle hand.

Suitable For

  • Outdoor (balcony, patio, garden, lawn, etc.) flooring
  • Bathroom walls
  • Decorative or accent walls
  • Kitchen backsplash

4. Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo tiles are more refined types of tiles when compared to their mosaic counterparts. These tiles are made from composite materials with a concrete binder to incorporate small chips of other materials, such as glass, marble, granite, etc., for a stunning kaleidoscopic effect.

The finishing on terrazzo tiles is smoother, and these tiles possess visual texture without posing any risks. As such, they are the best tiles for home flooring.

Key Features

  • Available in different colours and patterns to complement your home decor.
  • Highly customisable as you get to pick the colours, designs, and settings of the terrazzo tiles.
  • Eco-friendly and sustainable as they also repurpose unused chips of tiles.
  • More seamless than mosaic tiles and with a polished finishing.
  • Highly durable as they are made using composite material and concrete.
  • Non-porous and easier to clean and maintain.

Suitable For

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Bathroom walls and flooring
  • Kitchen countertop and backsplash
  • Decorative walls

5. Vitrified Tiles

Vitrified Tiles

Ever since they hit the tile market, vitrified tiles have been heavily in demand. These promise the best of different types of tiles. For instance, they are available in different colours and patterns. At the same time, they are quite pocket-friendly as well. Most importantly, they offer long-term value.

It is possible due to the silica coating atop the ceramic tiles, which, when baked and vitrified, forms a transparent, protective layer that keeps the tiles looking fresh and timeless. For this reason, they feature prominently in bathroom interior design – flooring, walls, backsplash and all!

Key Features

  • While they are naturally slippery, you can get vitrified tiles with an anti-skid coating, making them perfect for bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Highly stain resistant with low porosity makes them easy to clean and maintain.
  • Can withstand heavy traffic and are mostly scratch-proof.
  • Easy and inexpensive to install.
  • Resistant to water, fire, frost, etc.

Suitable For

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Kitchen flooring, walls, and backsplash
  • Bathroom flooring, walls, and backsplash

6. Marble Tiles

Marble Tiles

No list of flooring tiles can ever be complete without the mention of marble tiles. After all, they are a sign of affluence and refinement. Marble flooring can effortlessly turn up the beauty and elegance of any room – from your living room to the bathroom!

They also offer texture and depth as marble tiles are often veined or patterned such that all types of tiles are distinct and truly unique. The only major drawback is that maintaining marble flooring requires a lot of effort. And not to forget, they sure do cost a bomb!

Key Features

  • Heavily prone to scratching, making it unsuitable for high-traffic applications. It needs to be sealed.
  • Highly porous, making it susceptible to staining and moisture absorption.
  • Difficult to maintain and cannot stand harsh and abrasive cleaners.
  • Conducts heat and cold.
  • Impressive durability and lustre add to its charm and appearance.

Suitable For

  • Indoor flooring
  • Kitchen flooring
  • Bathroom flooring
  • Countertops

7. Granite Tiles

Granite Tiles

Amongst the different kinds of tiles discussed so far, granite is one of the most popular natural stone tiles known – perhaps second to marble. It comes in different shades of grey, black, pink, green, and white and can complement virtually any colour palette. This quality grants it a clear advantage over the somewhat monochrome marble. And yet, it sports the same flecks and grains as the much sought-after marble tiles.

At the same time, they are far more cost-effective as well, whether it is purchasing these flooring tiles or the cost of handling and installing them. In short, a great alternative to marble tiles.

Key Features

  • Available in different colours and patterns.
  • Granite is virtually indestructible and can last a good long while – provided that you have invested in quality.
  • Non-porous, which makes it resistant to water and staining. However, it is slippery when wet.
  • Easy to maintain and care for. The variable sizing of granite tile ensures paper-thin joints, which makes the flooring nearly impermeable.
  • Hard flooring with a cold underfoot, thereby taking away the cosiness of your home.

Suitable For

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Bathroom flooring
  • Kitchen flooring
  • Countertops and claddings
  • Indoor and outdoor pathways

8. Onyx Tiles

Onyx TilesIf you are looking for something as stylish as marble without the hefty price tag, then you might want to consider onyx tiles for flooring. These types of tiles are made from quartz and fortified with engineering additives to offer a brilliant sheen and veiny texture like marble.

Plus, the translucent nature of onyx tiles makes them more vibrant than marble. So, if you are looking to pull off that perfect dreamy and whimsical flooring, then onyx is the way to go. In addition to the flawless finish, they come in a variety of colours and pair well with different types of tiles.

Key Features

  • Soft underfoot with a smooth and glossy finish. It can get slippery when wet.
  • Non-porous and more resistant to stains and scratches than marble.
  • Sports unique and exotic patterns and colour combinations that are similar to yet distinct from marble.
  • Since its mineral composition is similar to marble, onyx tiles require similar vigilance during cleaning and maintenance.
  • Available in a variety of sizes.

Suitable For

  • Indoor walls and flooring
  • Bathroom walls and flooring
  • Kitchen floor and backsplash
  • Countertops and vanities
  • Accent or decorative walls

9. Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl tiles are the latest tiles types that are gaining increasing popularity among the different kinds of tiles. These tiles are prepared from synthetic materials that make them look like wood but feel like stone.

They are aesthetically pleasing and offer a soft underfoot, which makes them ideal for a living room design. You can consider this option if you want the look and feel of wooden flooring minus the hassle of cleaning and maintaining it.

Key Features

  • Pet-friendly and extremely easy to clean and maintain.
  • Cost-effective as it can be installed on top of the existing flooring without rampant renovation.
  • Not very durable as they can dent easily with heavy furniture or fade when exposed to sunlight. Also cannot stand heavy traffic.
  • Semi-porous, and while it is water-resistant, it can stain easily.
  • Non-biodegradable but can be recycled.

Suitable For

  • Indoor flooring
  • Kitchen backsplash

10. Composite Polymer Tiles

Composite Polymer Tiles

Last on this list of best tiles for home, we have composite polymer tiles. These types of tiles mimic natural stone tiles but are synthetically manufactured. Typically, they are made of limestone powder, polyvinyl chloride polymer, and stabilisers. Since they are manmade, they effectively mitigate all the shortcomings of natural stone tiles.

As such, they are more durable, resistant to impact, scratches, dents, etc., and unaffected by heat or cold. Thanks to such durability, they can be easily used outdoors.

Key Features

  • Highly durable and resistant to water, heat, cold, and fire.
  • Can withstand rough and tough use.
  • More eco-friendly than vinyl flooring.

Suitable For

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Backsplashes

Closing ThoughtsDifferent Kinds of Tiles

With the above information, you are fully armed and equipped to choose the right types of tiles for your home flooring. To summarise everything discussed so far:

  • If you are looking for cost-effective options, then choose ceramic or porcelain tiles – the latter being more durable.
  • Mosaic and terrazzo tiles add a touch of colour, pattern, and texture to your floors.
  • If you are looking for natural stone, you have granite as the most affordable option, while onyx is a pocket-friendly alternative to marble. Marble is an all-time classic.
  • Synthetic tiles like vinyl and composite materials offer the same appearance as natural tiles, minus their disadvantages.

For custom advice on the best tiles for your home, contact a HomeLane design expert.


Q. How many different types of tiles are there?

There are innumerable types of natural and synthetic tiles available. We have discussed ten of the most popular types of tiles for flooring.

Q. What type of floor tile is best?

What counts as “best” floor tiling entirely depends on your home, preferences, and budget. If we were to round up some of our favourites, they would be ceramic, porcelain, vitrified, terrazzo, and granite.

Q. How do I choose a good tile?

Use the above analysis to choose the best tiles for your home. For a personalised recommendation, contact a HomeLane design expert.

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