Tile styles

What’s important to know about tile types, sizes, styles and grout.


The world of tile is wide and spectacular, with a seemingly endless family of product choices and style options.

Tile flooring and wall products are offered in a broad range of textures, patterns and sizes.

When combined with a spectrum of grout and glaze options, they offer significant design options for any room in virtually any home style.

The goal is to know what is the best combination of aesthetics, style and performance that fits your floor covering budget.

To help you know, shop and decide, we offer this section.

Here we explain types, sizes and styles and offer you all the information you need to make smart choices.

We invite you to join us as we describe the beautiful and vast world of tile styles.

A universe so large there’s bound to be a tile perfect for your home and lifestyle.

The basic 3: transforming, timeless and tasteful.

There are 3 types of tile: glazed, unglazed and porcelain. Understand them and you’re home free.


Glazed tiles...

are coated with glass-forming minerals and tile stains.

Typically, they have a matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish.

They can offer better stain and moisture resistance than unglazed tile.

Glazed tiles can also have different finishes and you should be aware of them for future considerations.

High gloss finishes can be more slippery and scratches can become more visible, while matte or textured finishes help with traction and scratches, and dirt is less visible.


Unglazed tiles....

are very hard and dense. They come in various surface treatments and textures.

Typically, these are installed outside your home as they do not offer much protection against stains compared to glazed tile.

Unglazed tiles do have good slip resistance, however please note that they do require sealing to help prevent staining.


Porcelain tiles....

usually fall in the tile category and are the hardest and densest tiles available.

Because the color in porcelain tile goes all the way through, they are non-porous, resist scratching and can withstand temperature extremes.

Sizes, and selection, abound.


Tile size takes its cue from the room size.

When considering what size tile would be appropriate for your given space, start by determining the size of the room.

Often times, people think that small rooms call for small tile. That is not necessarily true. In fact, incorporating a larger size tile in a smaller room will visually increase the size of the space. And fewer grout lines will help create a cleaner surface appearance.

Conversely, using a tile size that’s too small creates more grout joints that may make the floor look too busy, again depending on the size of the space.

The bottom line here is that, as with all design elements, scale plays an important role in creating a room’s overall balance. So, please consider it carefully to achieve your desired look.

Tile can take on many disguises.

The look of natural stone is very popular but some consumers prefer tile over stone due to price and maintenance considerations.

In answer to consumers’ demands, tile and porcelain manufacturers have created tiles that offer textures, colors and patterns resembling natural stone products.

Of the sought after looks in tile and porcelain tile, slate, travertine and marble are just a few.

To further enhance the natural look, tile can also be made to feature heavy textures, chiseled and hammered edges, and even resemble tumbled stone.

Tile texture is related to its style. So feel free to feel! The feel of a tumbled stone or slate looking tile will be irregular and somewhat rough.

A tile simulating marble or granite on the other hand, will have a very smooth, polished feel. In addition to the feel, textures also vary in degree of shine, ranging from dull to semi-gloss to glass-like.

Tile is right at home, outdoors.

Tile is a versatile product, with many styles designed for today’s popular outdoor living areas.

Outdoor tile typically features non-skid finishes designed for safety when wet, sometimes installed on patios, walkways, or around pools.

Another important characteristic of tile designed for outdoor applications is its resistance to frost.

It’s a cold, hard fact. 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.

Know this about tile customization.

In addition to tile styles, manufacturers also offer decorative inserts, medallions and mosaics that are used to create intricate patterns and beautiful borders.

Tile size 2”x2” and smaller are usually referred to as mosaics and are often used with different colors to create a pattern or decorative inset.

Some of these smaller tiles also come in different shapes, such as hexagon, so feel free to let your imagination run free.

Patterned borders made up of different size tiles or different colors can create beautiful looks.

Simple variations in color, shape or size can be patterned within a room, or across several adjoining rooms.

When creating a pattern with different tiles, you should know that the more prominent tile that is throughout the largest areas is called the “field tile”.

Let your imagination run free, tile will keep up to it. Combining styles and patterns of tile flooring with countertop and wall products can also create beautiful designs, and give your room an aesthetic balance.

Floor and wall tiles may be designed to look similar, but floor tiles are generally thicker and are textured to make them safer to walk on.

Wall tile styles are typically designed to have higher gloss, and are manufactured in smaller sizes. The large floor tiles are not designed to adhere to walls.