What Are the Different Types of Bathroom Tiles and Their Characteristics?

types of bathroom tiles

Table of Contents


When it comes time to redo your bathroom or design a new one, one of the big choices you’ll need to make is what kind of floor and wall tiles to go with. Tiles are an important part of any bathroom since they have to look nice but also hold up to all the moisture, soap scum, and traffic the room gets on a daily basis.

With so many tile options out there nowadays, figuring out which material is best for you can feel overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll break down 16 popular types of bathroom tiles. For each one, we’ll give you a quick breakdown of their key features, pros, and cons to help you pick the perfect tiles for your bathroom.

Checklist for the right bathroom tiles

✔️Water resistant
✔️Easy to clean

16 different types of bathroom tiles

Here are the 16 different types of bathroom tiles to consider for your next renovation project.

1.Ceramic tiles

ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are made from clay and other natural materials. They are available in various colours, shapes, sizes, textures and finishes. They are durable, water-resistant and easy to clean. They are stain-resistant when properly sealed. Ceramic tiles are also an economical option.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Variety of styles to complement any décor
  • Easy installation
  • Withstands humidity well
  • Affordable even for large spaces
  • Easy maintenance
  • Porous if not sealed properly
  • Not as durable as porcelain or natural stone
  • Can stain or discolor over time

2. Terracotta tiles

Terracotta tiles

Terracotta tiles are made from natural clay. They have an earthy reddish-orange colour and a textured surface with visible pores. Terracotta tiles come in matte or glossy glazed finishes. Glazed tiles are suitable for bathrooms. 

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Natural, rustic appearance
  • Allows surfaces to breathe
  • Stain-resistant sealants available
  • Affordable
  • Heavy and prone to cracks
  • Requires extensive sealing
  • Challenging to maintain over time

3.Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles are made from refined clay, feldspar, and quartz. They are denser and less porous than ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles are available in myriad colours, shapes, and textures and can have a matte, polished or textured finish. Porcelain tiles can mimic the look of natural stone.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Highly water-resistant
  • Extremely durable for high-traffic
  • Stain, scratch, and fade-resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Withstands freezing temperatures
  • Heavy, hence difficult installation
  • No breathability
  • Chipping or cracking if the floor moves

4. Limestone tiles

Limestone tiles

Limestone tiles are made from natural sedimentary rock. They have a light cream or beige colouration with subtle grainy fossilised patterns. Limestone tiles come in matte, honed or textured finishes.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Adds old-world rustic charm
  • Available in large formats
  • Matches a variety of color schemes
  • Gets better with age as the patina develops
  • Porous and chips, scratches easily
  • Needs reapplication of sealers
  • Discolors with acidic cleaners

Did you know?
Ceramic tiles were first made in China around 20,000 BC!

5. Mosaic tiles

Mosaic tiles

Mosaic tiles are made of small pieces of glass, stone or ceramic mounted on mesh sheets for easy installation. Mosaic tiles combine to form pictures or patterns and come in various colours, shapes and materials.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Create focal points and accents
  • Allow creativity and self-expression
  • Easy to install, even for DIYers
  • Pre-spaced uniform designs
  • Grout requires extensive maintenance
  • It is not ideal for entire floors or walls
  • Difficult to match repairs

6.Marble tiles

marble tiles

Marble tiles are made from metamorphic limestone rock. They have an elegant appearance with veining and swirls. Marble tiles are polished smooth or have a tumbled matte finish. They come in stunning white, grey or black colours.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Luxurious old-world character
  • Withstands heat well
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Matches any style from modern to traditional
  • Expensive, especially for large areas
  • Etches with acid cleaners
  • Needs repolishing over time

7. Glass tiles

glass tiles

Glass tiles are made from recycled glass. They are available in many colours and can have a glossy, matte or textured finish. Glass tiles range from translucent to opaque.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Reflective surface for an open look
  • Resilient and withstands humidity
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Creates a modern vibe
  • Chipping if hit or dropped, visible scratches, scuffs
  • Needs re-grouting periodically
  • Higher cost than ceramics

8. Slate tiles

Slate tiles

Slate tiles are made from metamorphic rock that has layered foliation. Slate tiles come in shades of black, grey, purple or green. They have natural cleft and textural variations. Slate tiles are finished honed smooth or with a texture.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Reflective surface for an open look
  • Resilient and withstands humidity
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Creates a modern vibe
  • Chipping if hit or dropped, visible scratches, scuffs
  • Needs re-grouting periodically
  • Higher cost than ceramics

Did you know?
Ancient Egyptians used tiles in the Pyramids!

9. Quarry tiles

Quarry tiles

Quarry tiles can be made from natural stone or clay. Their colours are derived from mineral compounds. Quarry tiles have a glazed or unglazed matte finish. They come in square, rectangular or hexagonal shapes.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Highly durable and scratch-proof
  • Stain and water-resistant
  • Easy to sanitize for germ resistance
  • Cost-effective for large spaces
  • Heavy and can crack or chip if the floor shifts
  • Requires sealing for stain protection
  • Limited style and color options

10. Zellige tiles

Zellige tiles

Zellige tiles are handmade terracotta clay tiles that feature geometric mosaic patterns. They are available in multicoloured or single-hue options with distressed, crazed glazing.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • One-of-a-kind artisanal aesthetic
  • Allows for creative freedom in design
  • Adds depth, texture, and visual interest
  • Withstands moderate traffic
  • Very expensive, especially with shipping
  • Chips, discolor without sealing
  • Impossible to find exact replacement pieces

11. Travertine tiles

Travertine tiles

Travertine tiles are made from porous limestone that is formed near mineral springs. They have beige, brown or rust colours with pits and holes. Travertine tiles can have a matte, honed or polished finish and can be filled or unfilled.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • The natural old-world, rustic beauty
  • Available in large format tiles
  • Matches a variety of interiors
  • Develops patina over time
  • Requires extensive sealing
  • Stains easily without treatment
  • Needs periodic professional honing
  • Pits can fill with grime if unfilled

12. Reformed stone tiles

Reformed stone tiles

Reconstituted stone tiles are made by crushing stone and binding it with pigment and resin. They resemble quarried stone for beauty. These tiles have consistent colours and patterns and can have a polished, matte or textured finish.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • More durable and stain-resistant than natural stone
  • Seamless designs from large format tiles
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Customizable to any preferred size
  • Not breathable like natural stone
  • Lacks depth and dimension
  • Resin can turn yellow over time

Did you know?
Ancient Greece is where the first art form of tile mosaic was developed. 

13. Encaustic/cement tiles

cement tiles

Encaustic cement tiles are made by pouring pigment into cement to create graphic decorative patterns and designs. The colour remains throughout the tile, which has a matte finish.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Great for making design statements
  • Durable and slip-resistant
  • Works with vintage or modern schemes
  • Indoor/outdoor versatility
  • Pattern irregularities from the handmade process
  • Prone to staining and etching
  • Limited color options

14. Granite tiles

Granite tiles

Granite tiles are cut from natural granite slabs. They have a hard, sparkly speckled pattern and are available polished or honed. Granite tiles are resilient to heat and scratching.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Elegant high-end luxury aesthetic
  • Matches any style from modern to traditional
  • Extremely durable for high-traffic
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Challenging installation and sealing is needed to prevent staining
  • Expensive compared to ceramic or porcelain
  • Limited size options

15. Metal tiles

metal tiles

Metal tiles are made from recycled metals like stainless steel, copper or bronze. They mimic the look of metal panels or penny rounds. Metal tiles range from matte to mirrored shine finishes.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Innovative modern industrial look
  • Highly durable and water-resistant
  • Creates a bold, dramatic statement
  • Easy to sanitize and clean
  • Shows water spots, fingerprints
  • Needs resealing grout periodically
  • Makes the space feel sterile

16. Resin tiles

Resin tiles

Resin tiles blend stone particles and tinted resin to imitate pricier materials like natural stone, wood or cement. Resin tiles are customisable in shape, size and finish. They mimic the appearance of other materials.

Pros and Cons Table
Pros Cons
  • Cost-effective substitute for pricier tiles
  • Highly customizable options
  • Waterproof for wet areas
  • DIY-friendly lightweight installation
  • Not as durable as real wood or stone
  • Limited color accuracy
  • Develops scratches and scuffs over time

Purchase your bathroom tiles at East India Company!

Are you looking to revamp your bathroom with stylish new tiles? Look no further than East India Company, Chennai’s premier sanitaryware store. 

With over 20 years in the industry, we offer the city’s largest selection of bathroom tiles. Browse high-quality ceramic, vitrified or stone elevated tiles from top brands. Our expert team can help guide you to the perfect tiles for your budget and style. We also offer installation services for your convenience. 

From commodes to faucets, we have everything you require. Visit our showroom today or inquire online about inspiring tile displays and personalised service.


With so many types of bathroom tiles now available, you can customise your space to match your unique personality and lifestyle needs. 

Consider each material’s pros, cons and best uses before deciding what works for your bathroom, aesthetics and budget. And don’t refrain from mixing different tiles for a showstopping effect. Look into slip-resistance needs for floor spaces that get wet.

The right tile choice can make all the difference in creating your dream bathroom you’ll enjoy using for decades to come. Take your time and explore all the options before settling on the perfect one!


1). Which type of tile is best for a bathroom?

Porcelain tiles are often the best choice for bathrooms. They are water-resistant and durable, standing up to the daily wear and tear from showers and baths. Porcelain tiles also come in various styles, from sleek and modern to traditional looks, allowing homeowners to find a design that matches their bathroom’s aesthetic.

2). Which size of tiles is best for a bathroom?

For most bathrooms, 12×12 inch or 12×24 inch tiles are the best size. Larger tiles are easier to keep clean and make the bathroom appear more spacious. However, too large tiles can sometimes look out of place and be challenging to work with for intricate cuts around fixtures and corners. 

3). How do I choose tiles for a small bathroom?

Opt for lighter, brighter tile colours to make the space more open and airy. Consider large-format tiles to minimise grout lines and maximise the sense of space. Look for multi-purpose tile that can be used on both the floor and walls for a cohesive look. Choosing clean, simple tiles will also help keep the focus on opening up the space instead of cluttering it.

4). Which is the best non-slip tiles?

Ceramic tiles are often considered one of the best non-slip flooring options as they are very durable and provide a safe, slip-resistant surface. Porcelain tiles also offer great slip resistance due to their low water absorption quality, preventing slippery conditions.

5). Are big tiles better in small bathrooms?

While larger tiles can make a small space feel more open, they also mean fewer tiles are needed, which can help keep costs down. However, big tiles can be more difficult to work with and cut around fixtures.  12-16 inches may be a better choice for a small bathroom as they provide clean lines without overwhelming the space. 

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