Bathroom Tiles 101 | The Different Types & Choosing The Best

Close up of new rain shower head in the bathroom against a background of black tiles

Bathroom tiles come in various combinations of size and colour, as well as in texture depending on the design style and taste that you want to achieve. You also want your tiles to serve you for a long time and be easy to maintain irrespective of whether you are using them on the bathroom walls, floors, or ceilings. Numerous elements will play a part when choosing your bathroom tiles. While those may be essential structural factors, it is imperative that you consider the types of tiles that you need for your specific application.

Bathroom Tiles

With a focus on bathroom tiles, a common determinant when finding the right types of bathroom tiles to use is checking the bathroom tile material. This will tell you how resilient they are to water. Some tiles will give you the best experience and extended service life when you use them in wet areas. Others though are just not for use in such areas. Therefore, the big question remains how you will know how to choose the tiles for you.

The following is a concise guide on the different types of bathroom tiles and choosing the best from them. On that, you will require understanding two fundamental terms:


Non-Vitreous Tiles

These absorb water. They are best for use in accent areas. Examples here include:

  • Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles

Since these tiles are from hard-pressed and kiln-hardened clay, they are sturdy but non-vitreous. These tiles can however be glazed to make them suitable for bathroom tiling. These are an excellent option if you are looking for tiles that can come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, and patterns, as well as colours.

  • Natural stone

These tiles are best for contemporary bathrooms. Since they are non-vitreous, you will need to make sure you look out for waterproof versions before using them in a bathroom.

Other examples in this category include limestone, terra-cotta, travertine, cement-bodied and Saltillo bathroom tiles. 


Vitreous Tiles

These hardly absorb water. They are preferable for bathroom floors as they are resistant to water splashing. Examples include:

  • Glass Tiles

Builders recommend using glass tiles to highlight focal points in bathrooms. You, however, can use them on bathroom walls and floor areas with low traffic.

  • Marble Tiles

These fit almost every application in bathroom tiling. Well-polished marble tiles also resist staining, thus are quick and easy to clean.

Other examples here include quarry, slate, metal and granite bathroom tiles.

Before you complete that order, conduct due diligence in checking that the bathroom tiles that you are ordering meet bathroom tiling codes and best practices. Confirm whether first the types of tiles are marked for bathroom tiling. Also, verify the bathroom tile material’s grade, frost and tone, and the rate of water absorption. Only by doing so can you determine which of the above types of bathroom tiles will best meet your bathroom tiling needs satisfactorily depending on your project. If you’re unsure, our team of experts are happy to advise on which types of bathroom tiles will be suitable for you, feel free to get in touch.


Bathroom interior. Bright bathroom with new tiles. New washbasin, white sink and large mirror