We can’t imagine a building finishes without tiles. Due to sustainability, aesthetic look and a wide variety of ranges, tiles have become popular in the construction industry. There are various types of tiles used in building construction nowadays.
When I first started my career in building construction industry, I was confused about the types of tiles. Because, somebody is called a specific type of tile as a floor tile and some other specified the same tiles as a ceramic, even worse, some others called the same tiles as glazed tiles. That was really confusing to me.
I’m writing this post to specify the different types of tiles used in building construction.
Let’s know a little about tiles first.
What is a Tile?
Tile is a manufactured piece of fired clay, stone or concrete. It is mainly used for covering walls, floor, roof, and ornamental or architectural design purpose. Mostly, it has square and rectangular shape.
Types of Tiles Used in Building Construction
There are various types of tiles used in building construction. They can be classified in various ways based on various criteria.
So, the types of tile depend on which criteria you use to classify them.
Normally tiles are classified based on the following criteria –
- Based on their usage
- Based on the materials and manufacturing process
Types of Tiles Based on Usages
Based on where tiles will be used in a building, tiles can be classified into following types –
- Wall Tiles
- Floors Tiles
- Roof Tiles
Wall tiles: Whichever tiles are laid on walls is called wall tiles.
Wall tiles can be used both inside and outside of a building.
In inside, wall tiles are normally be laid in bathroom and kitchen wall. Other than bathroom and kitchen, wall tiles are also laid in dining wall and other walls inside a flat. Ceramic tiles are most commonly used as wall tiles in bathroom and kitchen. There is also some other types of tile used in the inner wall of a building. Such as Granite, Rustic tiles, and Marble, etc.
In the outside of a building, wall tiles are mainly used for decorating or architectural design purpose.
Floor Tiles: In modern buildings, all the floor area are covered with tiles. Tiles which are used to cover floors of a building are called floor tiles.
Commonly used floor tiles are ceramic tiles. But some other types of tile are also used for this purpose.
Roof Tiles: Roof tiles are mainly used to make a roof of a single story house.
In buildings, roof tiles are rarely used. But sometimes, we made small rooms on a roof of a building for the various purpose. Such as a community hall. Sometimes, roof tiles are used to cover those small rooms.
The main purpose of using roof tiles is to protect the floor from rainwater or other weathering impacts.
Roof tiles are mainly made by locally available materials. Such as clay, terracotta, slate, etc.
Paver: paver tiles, in buildings, are mostly used for covering parking area, driveway, roof and surrounding area of a building. Paver tiles are also called pavement tiles.
Mostly used tiles for paver are concrete, brick, travertine, flagstone, bluestone, rubber, etc.
Types of Tile Based on Materials And Manufacturing process
Tiles can also be classified based on materials used to make the tiles and their manufacturing process.
These types of tiles can be classified as –
- Ceramic Tiles
- Porcelain Tiles
- Mosaic Tiles
- Natural Stone Tiles
The ingredients of the ceramic tiles are clay, sand, and other natural substances.
Ceramic tiles are commonly used tiles in residential building projects. These are mainly used in interior walls and floors.
Ceramic tiles can be two types – Glazed and Unglazed.
Glazed Ceramic Tiles: Glazed ceramic tiles are often referred to as ceramic tiles. When we say ceramic tiles, we normally mean glazed ceramic tiles.
After firing the ceramic tiles, a thin layer of liquefied glass is coated over the top of ceramic tiles which makes it a glazed ceramic tiles.
It can be used anywhere in floor and wall inside the building.
Glazed tiles are slippery. So it should not be used in outdoor and where water contact can happen.
Unglazed Ceramic Tiles: It doesn’t have a thin glass layer on its surface like glazed ceramic tiles. Not having the glass layer on it makes it non-slippery and unglazed. Unglazed ceramic tiles are also referred to as quarry tiles.
Unglazed tiles can be used anywhere where other tiles are used.
Porcelain tiles are actually the ceramic tiles. The material used to make ceramic tiles also used for making porcelain tiles.
But the clay grain used to make porcelain tiles is finer than the ceramic tiles. It is also fired in higher temperature than the ceramic tiles.
As porcelain tiles are fired in higher temperature and finer grain is used, this type of tiles is denser, less porous and more resistant to moisture and stains than ceramic tiles.
These characteristics made this tiles suitable to use both indoor and outdoor tiling work.
Mosaic tiles are made of porcelain and clay composition.
This type of tiles are decorative pieces and commonly used in bathrooms, kitchen backsplash, and small counter space area.
Natural Stone Tiles
There are many types of natural stone used in building construction for tiling purpose. This type of tiles can be used in floor and wall. Some of the common types of natural stone used in building construction are –
Marble: To give a luxurious and unique look to a home space marble is used.
Marble is highly Durable and available in a variety of colors in the market.
these are porous which makes them prone to stains. So, it is not acceptable to use them in exterior tiling work.
Granite: Granite is a type of a igneous rock. It is very dense and hard.
granite is normally used in kitchen countertop.
Slate: Slate is a metamorphic rock. It is found in almost all over the world. Slate is found in a wide variety of color. Such as red, black, blue, green, etc.
It is normally used as floor tiles. Due to its non-slippery nature, it can be used in bathroom, kitchen and swimming pool area.
Travertine: Travertine tile is a type of limestone.
This type of tiles can be used in both outdoors and indoors. Due to its non-slippery nature, it can be used in bathrooms, pool deck, and walkways.
Onyx: To make a beautiful and bold design onyx tiles are used. Onyx tiles aren’t commonly used as floor tiles. But sometimes used on a light-traffic floor.
It can be a good choice for countertops.
Sandstone: This type of tiles have a grainy look and feel. Sandstone tiles is strongly durable and come with a variety of color.
It is a good choice for kitchen flooring.
There are many varieties of tiles available in the market. There may have different types of tiles in different countries. I don’t know much about those tiles.
If there are any other types of tiles you know about please let me know in the comments below…