Interior Design Tile Style Guide

Bath Design, Home Design, Kitchen Design

From the floor that you walk on to the unique accents in your shower, tile offers a customized look to your home’s design. With options including glass, porcelain, ceramic, natural stone, and exotic tile, there are tile options for every budget, every area, and every desired aesthetic.

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Made by melting a combination of sand and other minerals at very high temperatures, glass is easy for a homeowner to clean and maintain and is ideal for walls, backsplashes, and flourishes or trims. While it has a medium durability, glass should be installed on a floor unless as a design accent, because it could break and be a safety hazard. You can achieve a unique look with colored glass tiles; such tiles can be colored either entirely throughout or just on the surface, and the color will stay moisture-proof and resistant to fading. Glass tile costs fall in the medium to high range.


With a high durability thanks to its dense clay material, porcelain is a lower-maintenance alternative to wood or stone floors, with more patterns available than ever before. Porcelain is most commonly found in walls, showers, backsplashes, countertops, ceilings, and flooring, and lower moisture levels make it high in durability yet still easy to clean and maintain. Porcelain tile is usually white, gray, or left unglazed, and you can even screen-print an image on it for a natural stone or fabric look. However, take note that screen-printed porcelain isn’t colored all the way through, so if it breaks or chips, you’ll see the original color. You can opt for through-body porcelain, which has color throughout the tile and can easily hide cracks or chips- making it perfectly suited for an outdoor patio!


An overall low maintenance tile, ceramic tile is easy to clean and install. It can be used in oddly-shaped areas that require special cuts and is low in cost; however, it’s more delicate than other tiles, and it’s not ideal for outdoor use because of high moisture content. Instead, consider using ceramic tile in walls, ceilings, backsplashes, countertops, showers, and as floor tile. Thanks to its combination of natural clay, sand, and water, ceramic tile may have a natural red terra-cotta finish and may feature a glazed finish.

Natural Stone

The earthy and authentic look of natural stone gives it great versatility when deciding where to feature it in your home redesign; walls, ceilings, outdoors, backsplashes, tub decks, flooring, showers, baseboards, and grill or outdoor appliance facing are all tempting options. Made from natural material and with costs ranging from medium to high, natural stone ranks medium for durability; its porous surface requires a little more maintenance than other tile types, and it should be sealed with either regular sealer (to protect from stains, spills, or etching) or enhanced sealer (to enhance color).

Exotic Tile

For a truly customized look, consider installing exotic tiles, which can be made from a variety of materials, ranging from animal hide to seashells to mirrored glass. Cost will vary depending on the intricacy of your chosen design and the availability of materials- for example, natural semi-precious stones like agate tiles can be very expensive, while other tiles like mirrored or metal are cheaper- but in general, exotic tile costs are very high. Cleaning and maintenance also varies depending on material. Exotic tile can be used for walls, outdoors, backsplashes, flooring, showers, and flourishes and trims.

With endless options, looks, and materials to choose from, using tile in your home design is a great way to add unusual touches to your space. Whether you’re planning your dream patio or designing a backsplash for your wet bar, tile can provide a unique look that’s sure to catch the eyes of everyone who passes by. To learn more about our tile services or get more inspiration and ideas for your home redesign, contact us today to speak with one of our creative designers.

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