Tile Finish: Making the Right Choice for Your Floors and Walls

Tile Finish: Making the Right Choice for Your Floors and Walls

Starting a home remodeling project, and find it hard to determine the best finish of tile for your space? It’s a crucial decision because tile finish influences style and durability. Referring to the surface texture and sheen level of a tile, there are many different finishes available on the market. Here we’ll discuss some of the most popular ones and their applications.

Shiny Tiles

Shiny tiles or high gloss tiles are trendy because they look beautiful. They reflect light and can give your space a clean, modern look. They are easy to clean and are ideal for bathroom walls and kitchen backsplashes. You can also install shiny tiles around fireplaces. But a shiny surface tends to be slippery, especially when wet. So it’s never a good idea to use a gloss tile for flooring, and particularly for bathroom flooring or in high traffic areas, for example, entrance halls.

Polished tiles feature high-gloss, mirror-like surface. They are a perfect way to add light to an otherwise dark room because they allow light to reflect and travel through space and help to keep an area feeling spacious. Polish finish brings out the brilliance of color and breadth of stone veining. This type of finish is suitable for almost all kinds of stones, including granite, limestone, and travertine. It’s the most traditional finish for marble, creating shiny tiles that are perfect for adding a touch of luxury and glamour to formal and traditional spaces.

Semi polished tiles are medium-level sheen tiles. They can be a great option if you are looking for an eye-catching, hard-wearing, and easy to clean choice for your floors. They are called semi-polished because they have a smooth profile with an attractive gleam without the overpowering shine of fully polished tiles. These tiles are not-totally shiny, so they preserve much of the natural beauty of stone and porcelain. Semi-polished tiles can be successfully used for floors anywhere in the home, and they are a good choice for outdoor applications.

Matte Tiles

Matte tiles are smooth and sleek. They offer a soft, rustic element in designs and are a good option for contemporary home styles. Matte tiles feature a non-reflective surface and hide dirt and dust better than shiny. Some matte tiles have excellent slip resistance.

A honed finish is valued for its more muted, less formal look. It is a popular finish for marble, granite, limestone, sandstone.  Honed tiles feature a smooth, satin surface that shows a minimal reflection of light. This finish highlights the variations in natural colors. It creates a surface that is less likely to scratch and works better in wet environments than a traditional polished finish.

Comparing honed vs. polished marble, we notice that honed tile gives a softer and more delicate look in any space, adding a touch of elegance to any casual environment. And speaking about honed vs. polished granite, polished granite can be your best choice if you are looking for a classy, sophisticated appearance. At the same time, honed granite tiles evoke a relaxed and casual vibe and can give your home a unique, cozy look.

Brushed tiles have a smooth finish with a worn look, so they have a natural worn or rustic appearance. A brushed surface is uniquely crafted using specialized brushes and techniques. The benefits of a brushed tile are that its texture provides softness, handles wear and tear, and has a relaxed character. Comparing polished vs. brushed tile, we should admit that brushed tile is more resilient to scratches and marks.

Textured tiles

Textured tiles have an uneven surface finish that provides rustic charm in any design. They also have excellent slip resistance and grip and are a good choice for wet areas of the home, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry. Textured tiles are excellent at hiding messes, but due to their rough texture, they are harder to clean.

A flamed finish is produced by applying a high-temperature flame to the surface of the stone that results in a slight melting of the crystals. It is mainly used on granite and is one of the most popular finishes for external use where slip resistance is a concern. Flamed tiles have a deeply textured surface, are non-slippery but quite porous. Granite, slate, and sandstone typically have this type of finish that gives them a natural appearance and elegant texture. Flamed finished tile is also a popular choice for commercial buildings because of its non-slip properties and resistance to atmospheric conditions.

Tumbled tiles feature a smoother finish that often has slightly chipped and rounded corners and edges. To get the tumbled effect, the tiles are placed in a tumbler where they are physically tumbled with small stones to produce an aged, antiqued appearance. Tumbled finish travertine and limestone tiles are an extremely popular choice as the appearance of each tile piece are often unique. Installing them, you can create a natural-looking effect for a wall or floor. Their rough surfaces hide imperfections and flawlessly coordinate with rustic décor.

A natural cleft finish tile has an uneven textured surface and is created by splitting the stone instead of mechanically cutting it. You can find natural clef finish mainly at slate and quartzite tiles because they are layered and can split easily. This finish gives the stone a natural look by revealing its grains and clefts. Natural cleft face & back tiles have a totally unrefined surface on both sides, which means there can be a slight variation in thickness between the tiles. At the same time, natural cleft face gauged back tiles have been carefully shaped and leveled at the back, so they have a similar thickness and can be easily installed in high traffic areas.

There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with different types of finishes. It all depends on the atmosphere you want to create, the context, size, and lighting of the space. But ultimately, the choice of tile finish comes to your personal preferences.
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