Is there such thing as choosing the wrong tiles?

Yes! Of course.

As common and seemingly universal as tiles are, most aren’t appropriate for every surface type. With this quick tile guide, you’ll learn which tiles are suitable for which household surfaces and environments.

Why are tiles so common in the home?

Tiles are found in many homes because they are versatile in terms of materials, are economical, and incredibly durable.

In addition, using the right kind of tiles in any given area of the home can lend that area a unique appearance.

4 Most Common Types of Tiles


Porcelain tiles are known for their water absorption capabilities; they have a water absorption rate of 0.5%, which makes them nearly waterproof.

They are made of finer materials than most other tile types, which is where they get their hardness and density. Both of these factors make them ideal for use on walls and floors in the home and in commercial settings.

They generally come in two categories: unglazed and glazed.


Cement tiles were extremely popular at the turn of the twentieth century, losing popularity only to gain it again in recent years. Today, though, they actually made of ceramic or porcelain but still maintain the authentic appearance of the traditional cement tiles.

Thanks to this change, they are now more versatile, allowing different areas of the house to enjoy the unique patterns and imperfections that come with cement tiles


Terracotta tiles are famous for their warm, rustic appearance. Traditionally, they are hard to work with and prone to cracking as they are generally sun dried instead of kiln dried or hardened.

Today, most terracotta tile manufacturers use a man-made terracotta mix so that the tiles are more durable. They still sport the same rustic charm, though.


Ceramic tiles have been used for thousands of years and even today, the process of manufacturing them remains much the same. They are made of red or white clay, covered in decorative glaze, and then baked in a kiln.

They are durable and easy to clean, making them ideal for bathrooms and kitchens. They also tend to be smaller than most other tile types. Some claim that ceramic tiles can’t be used on floors, but this isn’t true.

Ceramic tiles, although losing the race against porcelain tiles for flooring, absolutely can be used in floors.

Tile FAQ

Do tiles need to be sealed?

Most tiles do benefit from sealing. Incredibly phorus tiles such as those made from natural stone or limestones do need to be sealed indefinitely.

What determines tile prices?

The price of a tile is dependent on what kind of tile it is, how big or small it is, how many are needed, and what company sells the tile in question.

How long does tile last?

Tile longevity depends on what kind of tile it is and where it is placed. Moist areas tend to see more tile turnover than drier areas.