Your Guide to Choosing Floor Tiles for your Home

August 19, 2016

Your Guide to Choosing Floor Tiles for your Home

When renovating your home or kitchen the floor is a very important part.

You want you floor to both look good, be durable and be safe. The last thing you want to select is a floor that is slippery or that requires alot of maintenance. 

Your time is valuable and after spending time and money to renovate your home or kitchen the last thing you want is to be spending time maintaining everything. After all wasn't the renovation supposed to free up your time and make things a little easier in your home. 

Guide to Choosing Home Floor Tiles

If you are uncertain about the differet types of flooring read our previous article of flooring types.

If you have decided you want tiles as your flooring then we explain the different types of tiles you can choose from for both the inside and outside.

Different tiles are more suitable for different rooms then other tiles.

Your budget will influence the type of tile you can choose. 

We have included a video from which highlight the different tiles. 


Stone Tiles

Home Floor Tiles


 1. Marble

Home Floor Tiles

Marble is formed from Limestone, by additional heat and the earths crust forces. This process is called re-crystallization. The variety, textures and makeup of the marble is the result of the differences in the original carbonate minerals, the impurities, and the heat forces during this process.

Marble that comes from the purest calcite is usually white. Marble containing limestone is yellow or cream, if it contains serpentine then its green, if it contains hematite it is red. 

It has been used for thousands of years for its beauty, strength and resistance to fire and erosion. The ancient Persians, Romans and Greeks used marble in many buildings and statues. To date, even with the advancements in technology, no one has been able to imitate the natural beauty of marble while maintaining characteristics of the real thing.

Most Common Uses: Interior and exterior wall cladding, interior and exterior flooring and paving, fireplaces, vanity tops, counter tops, table tops, staircases.

  • Soft & Resistant to shattering. Since classical times, white marble like Carrara, has been the prized use for sculpture with its softness and resistance to shattering. With its low index of refraction of calcite, light can penetrate several millimetres into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic "waxy" look which gives "life" to marble sculptures of the human body. Michelangelo created all his Renaissance sculptures in marble; it was also the favourite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects. 

  • Natural, pure, durable & beautiful. The trend toward a less processed, less synthetic environment has never been stronger. Marble is truly a beautiful, natural product with a reputation for durability that has been built up over hundreds of years. 

  • An excellent Insulator. Even in direct sunlight, marble stays relatively cool which lowers air conditioning costs. In winter, once warmed marble will retain its warmth and stay soft underfoot.

  • Adds value to your home. Marble is excellent investment – it may increase the asset value of your home, it look wonderful and oozes luxury and class. With judicious use and good design, marble is an inexpensive way to enhance the value of a building.

  • Offers design versatility. Marble tiles are frequently used in bathrooms on floors walls, shower recesses and vanity tops. In kitchens marble is used on floors, benchtops and splashbacks. Marble is commonly used for table tops for both indoors and outdoors and has also been used fire hearths and mantle pieces.

2. Travertine

Home Floor Tiles - Travertine

Travertine has been used as a building stone since ancient times. The word 'Travertine' comes from an old Roman name (meaning across the Tibur) from the town of Tivoli in Italy where large deposits of Travertine exist.

Travertine is a dense closely compacted form of Limestone found mostly in areas where circulating ground water contains Calcium carbonate. It often forms around the mouths of hot spring waters. Travertine crystallization occurs when calcium carbonate separates from water through evaporation.

Travertine is often used as decorative building stone. Travertine works for both indoor and outdoor applications; it can be used in all rooms of the house: especially living, bathroom and kitchens. It can also be used for decorative purposes such as splash backs and wall tiles.

Travertine has been used on paths, stairs, walls and floors in Europe for hundreds of years - it's part of the stone's charm. It has been used on more significant buildings as well. The Colloseum in Rome was constructed with travertine quarried from Tivoli on the outskirts of the city. The Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris and the Getty Centre, Los Angeles are also made from travertine. It's all about the durability of the stone - it lasts & lasts!

Most Common Uses: Interior and exterior wall cladding, interior and exterior paving and flooring, vanity tops, washbasins, shower trays, staircases, residential and commercial counter tops, table tops.


3. Sandstone

Home Floor Tiles - Sandstone

Sandstone is a type of sedimentary rock. It is made up of particles of pre-existing rocks and minerals. These particles are usually igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks or even other sedimentary rocks.

Sandstone is generally found under the seabed, riverbed, or under desert areas. With the influence of some type of current (wind, waves, flowing water, or glacier) the layer of particles starts depositing one above another. They are composed of fragments or particles of older rocks or previously existing solid matter.

It is a common building and paving material. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours include tan, brown, red, yellow, pink, grey and white. Since sandstone is very unique, it's beds often form highly visible cliffs and other topographic features, certain colours of sandstone have been strongly identified with certain regions.

Sandstone is a premium quality natural stone. It is incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, both indoor and outdoors. This includes floors, walls, paving, coping, cladding pillars and landscaping features. there is nothing more natural than sandstone. 

4. Bluestone

Home Floor Tiles - Bluestone

 Bluestone's toughness gives it excellent wear and tear resistance.

It is often used for structural work because of its high compressive strength and durability. It's toughness is legendary.

It is a dense and incredibly durable building and landscaping material that has an unmistakable decorative quality and beauty.

It is also highly versatile. It's dark colour and range of surface treatments (sawn, honed, sandblasted etc) provide options for different uses.

5. Slate

Home Floor Tiles Slate

Slate has been used for centuries to create appealing and functional tiles.

Slate is a type of metamorphic rock derived from clay or volcanic ash. While it’s quite beautiful to look at, slate is also a very effective tile choice for a number of reasons.

There’s no denying the fact that slate is an extremely versatile type of rock. It’s most commonly use as tiles, but it’s also used for tombstones, roof shingles, benches and outdoor memorial structures. 

One of the greatest things about slate tiles is that it tolerates heat very well. In fact, out of all the tiles on the market, slate is arguably the type that has the best heat resistance. Because of this, slate tile is an excellent choice for kitchen counter-tops where piping hot pots and pans can be left without fear of damage.

You shouldn’t limit yourself to using slate tiles in just the kitchen, though. It’s also ideal for bathrooms because of the non-slip surface it offers. Chances are you’ve walked on slate tile outside at a park or memorial before. The reason it’s used in these areas is because it provides a non-slippery surface, even after it’s rained on. If you’re thinking of tiling your bathroom, consider using slate tile for this reason.

Another benefit to using slate tile is the variety of choices and styles available. You can find them in everything ranging from vibrant colors to your typical gray in great tile outlets. 

6. Granite

Home Floor Tiles - Granite

Granite is commonly believed to have been formed from volcanic emissions or solidified molten rocks under the earths crust pressure.

Granite is a hard, course grained crystalline rock composed primarily of quartz, feldspar, mica and other accessory minerals. The minerals are interlocked like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Granite is a strong and durable stone which makes it valuable for construction.

Most common Uses: Interior and exterior wall cladding, interior and exterior paving, residential and commercial counter tops, monuments, statuary, kitchen and bathroom bench tops.



7. Ceramic

Home Floor Tiles - Ceramic

People will tell you ceramics have been around for hundreds of years and they would be right. Ceramics are known for their beauty and colours. 

Ceramic tiles are more absorbent as they are made from porous clay, usually red, brown or white clay with a glaze on top. They are typically less expensive, easy to cut and easy to clean and maintain.

Sizes are limited as they are made in pre-determined size molds. Ceramic tiles normally have a rounded edge which some tilers prefer if the slab is not level.


8. Porcelain

Home Floor Tiles - Porcelain

Porcelain tiles are made from selected refined clay and are pressed before baking at a much higher temperature than ceramic tiles.

Porcelain tiles are less absorbent, stain resistant, frost resistant, the colour often runs through the whole tile and they are easy to clean. However they are harder to cut and are more expensive.

Porcelain tiles are a better choice for new home renovations and larger commercial projects where a better performing product is needed.

Porcelain tiles are manufactured with more advanced technology producing an incredible range of colours, sizes and styles such as stone-look, marble-look, cement-look and the very new and popular timber-look.

Porcelain tiles come in polished, semi-polished, matt, honed, brushed, rockface and glazed.

9. Terracotta

Home Floor Tiles - Terracotta

Terracotta Tiles are the relatively durability, versatile, looks better with age, warm and inviting underfoot, water, allergen and bacteria resistant, inexpensive low maintenance. 

10. Terrazzo

Home Floor Tiles - Terrazzo

There is nothing quite like the timeless beauty of Terrazzo. 

A mixture of cement, marble aggregates and pigments, terrazzo can either be made into precast elements or poured on site insitu. Polished, honed or brushed terrazzo can be tailored to suit a wide range of tastes and interiors.

The uses of terrazzo are limited only by your imagination. Precast elements such as terrazzo tiles, toilet and shower partitions, steps and risers and public furniture can be manufactured in the factory to exacting standards and beautiful finishes.

11. Quarry

Home Floor Tiles - Quarry

Quarry tiles are a natural, durable type of unglazed tile.

Quarry tiles are manufactured using a blending clays with other materials like shale to create a coarse mixture to create very dense tiles. After the tiles are cut, they are fired at high temperatures, changing the chemical composition of the clay and creating a heavy, hard tile which is extremely strong.

The bottom side of a quarry tile is generally ridged to improve adhesion to grout. The top of the tile has a coarse surface because it is not glazed.

The surface of a quarry tile is very useful in environments like pathways and kitchens and has great traction, in other words, it is great for non-slip.

The durability of a quarry tile makes it less prone to chips and scratches hence great for high traffic areas. The main disadvantage of quarry tiles is that they are somewhat porous because they have not been glazed. Due to this porous nature, this makes the quarry tile susceptible to water damage as water can seep through the tile which provides an hospitable environment for moulds and fungus.

For this reason, many people seal quarry tile and its grout after it is installed. Waxing quarry tiles is another process that assists to ensure that the sealer remains in place.

12. Glass

Home Floor Tiles - Glass

Since the 1990s a variety of modern glass tile technologies, including methods to take used glass and recreate it as ‘green’ tiles, has resulted in a resurgence of interest in glass tile as a floor and wall cladding.

It is now most commonly used in pools, kitchens, spas, and bathrooms. And while smalti tiles are still popular, small and large format glass products are now commonly formed using cast and fused glass methods. The plasticity of these last two methods has resulted in a wide variety of looks and applications, including floor tiles.[2]

In the late 1990s, special glass tiles have been coated on the back side with a receptive white coating. This has allowed impregnation of heat-transfer dyes by a printing process reproducing high resolution pictures and designs.

Custom printed glass tile and glass tile murals exhibit the toughness of glass on the wearing surface with photo-like pictures. These are especially practical in kitchens and showers, where cleanser and moisture resistance are important.




As they say the only thing limiting you is your imagination. The choice of tiles, like most things, will comne down to your personal preference, your budget and suitability for the room in your home.


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