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Difference between tile types

8th Apr '15 • By Kelly Milburn

There are various tile options to choose from when deciding on different parts of the house. Tiles provide an aesthetic ambiance unlike most other surfaces as well provide environmental benefits of keeping the house cool. Tiles are endothermic in nature and naturally absorb heat from its surface.

Tiles provide an aesthetic ambiance unlike most other surfaces as well provide environmental benefits of keeping the house cool. 

Placing tiles

There are various tile options out there and when renovating your home chosing the right tile can be daunting. In general, tiles provide an aesthetic ambience unlike most other surfaces, as well as provide environmental benefits of keeping your home cool.

Tiles are endothermic in nature, which means they naturally absorb heat. This is why tiles are usually cool to touch. For warm climates in particualr, tiles can be a cost efficient way to keep your home cool and keep the bills in check. There are two basic categories for tiles and each has various options to choose from; natural stone tiles and ceramic tiles. Each type offers different aesthetic properties and feel.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are the most commonly chosen tile and have been around for quite some time. They are primarily used in the tropics because of their superior heat dissipating properties. Meaning, ceramic tiles absorb heat from a room and transfer it outside. They are cool to touch and are very easy to keep clean. Ceramic tiles are made from clay and as such referred to as earthenware.

Clay is mined from the ground and this clay is sliced and fired to result in ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles can be coloured or left as white. It can also be glazed to give it a highly polished and shiny finish.

Ceramic tiles are low maintenance and when used for flooring do not require heavy cleaning and polishing.

Ceramic tiles

Stone Tiles

Another option for your renovation or new home design are stone tiles. Stone tiles differ from ceramic tiles in that they are more durable and have more aesthetic variations. Stone tiles are categorized by the stones they are derived from.

For example, marble, which is a highly sought after stone that is usually used in high end construction. Marble is classified as a metamorphic rock. The term metamorphic rock is applied to rock that has been naturally formed by intense heat and the application of this heat changes the chemical and physical properties of the rock.

Stone tiles.jpg


Granite is another stone tile that occurs naturally. It is an igneous rock that consists mainly of quartz. It has a very recognisable greyish tint and tiles used in interior decoration can be customized to darken the tones to match the total design theme. Granite is usually an outdoor option as it has superior anti-slip properties as well as it ability to endure harsh weather. It is also a good indoor option and is sometimes chosen for the kitchen, the bathroom or the pool area.



Slate is readily available stone and is therefore a cheaper stone tile option compared to its counterparts. Its properties are similar to marble except that it's cheaper and it is easy to work with. Slate, like marble, is a metamorphic rock and isusually found in sedimentary layers. It is composed of clay and volcanic ash and as such is easily found in areas surrounding heavy plate tectonics.

Slate is often used in roofing and depending on the type of slate it can be also used in walls and flooring. As roof tiles, it is purely used as a shingle and not just merely as decorative covering. As for walls and floors, it is used in combination of other materials and only laid on top as decorative and weatherproof. Slate handles out door weather very well as well as ground traffic but it is not strong enough to handle heave loads.


Ceramic or Stone Tiles?

Between stone and ceramic tiles there is not a great deal of functional difference. What differentiates them is their aesthetic appearance styles as well as availability. Because stone tiles are heavy and not readily avaliable, they tend to be more expensive, so if you're on budget, we'd reccommend sticking to ceramic tiles. 

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