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How to Choose Tile Flooring

Whether you’re considering choosing tile that’s ceramic, porcelain or natural stone, The Home Depot has everything you’ll need to start your reno off on the right foot. There are a number of floor tile options to fit any design, all while staying on budget. We’ll help you navigate the different types of tile, patterns and more.

Choosing the Right Tile

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is recommended for indoor use only on surfaces like countertops, walls and floors and is available in multiple sizes, designs and colours. It’s one of the more cost-effective types of tile. While it’s stain and water-resistant, it should only be installed above grade (ground level).

Porcelain Tile

Tiles made from porcelain are durable and hard, which makes them stain, water and moisture resistant. They are similar to ceramic tile, though more dense and available in multiple sizes, designs and colours. Porcelain tile can be installed in high-traffic making them the best type of tile for your kitchen floor and bathrooms. They also resist freezing, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tile refers to any tile quarried from the ground and includes granite, marble, slate, travertine and limestone. They’re known for their luxurious look and can add value to any home, as they’re typically more expensive than other types of tile. Natural stone tiles are porous, however, and absorb liquid more easily than other tiles, so they require more upkeep to maintain their beauty.

Mosaic Tile

Mosaic tile can be made from porcelain, tumbled marble, glass or metal. They are small tiles and are usually mounted on paper, mesh or dot-mounted sheets. This makes them easy to apply to a flat surface while keeping them organized in a specific pattern. Ensure that your tile is floor-grade before using it in high-traffic areas.

Shop Tile by Popular Size

Popular Tile Patterns and Styles

Tile can be arranged in various patterns, giving you many options to create the look that perfectly fits your space. Decorative tile is an easy way for you to create a great look with minimal effort.

Subway/Brick Lay Tile Pattern.

Subway/Brick Lay Tile Pattern

Laid out horizontally side-by-side with clean lines. Great for use anywhere as it is one of the most versatile layouts for tile.

Diagonal Lay Pattern.

Diagonal Lay Pattern

Tiles are laid in a 45-degree angle creating a diamond grid. This pattern works great as a whole wall/floor or as a border.

Stacked/Straight Lay Tile Pattern.

Stacked/Straight Lay Tile Pattern

This is one of the most common patterns. Similar to the diagonal pattern, but straight - the tiles are laid side-by-side in a grid, stacking flush on top of each other to create perfect symmetry.

Basket Weave Tile Pattern.

Hexagon Tiles

This classic pattern takes one of the most traditional shapes and transforms it into a pattern that is both eye-catching and beautiful. Good for flooring, backsplashes and more.

Basket Weave Tile Pattern.

Basket Weave Style

To create the illusion that the tiles are ‘woven underneath’ one another like a basket, rectangular tiles are placed two-at-a-time in alternating directions.

Herringbone Tile Pattern.

Herringbone Tile Pattern

Rectangular tiles are laid in a zigzag pattern, creating the look of arrows or angles pointing in the same direction. Herringbone tile floors are best suited for entryways or high-traffic areas.

Tile Helpful Hints

Ensure that all the tiles you purchase are from the same dye lot. Dye lots determine the colour and size in ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tiles and the colour and pattern in vinyl tiles.

The average allowable size difference for ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tiles within the same dye lot is 1/16th of an inch; the size difference between dye lots may be greater.

Coefficient of Friction (COF)

Coefficient of friction (COF) refers to the smoothness of the tile. It is rated on a scale of 0 to 1 with higher numbers, 0.6 and up, representing surfaces that are more slip resistant.

Glazed floor tiles should not be used where there is a consistent presence of water, oil, or grease unless the COF exceeds 0.60.

Ramped surfaces, irrespective of the slant of the incline, require a more slip resistant surface. It is recommended that a tile with a minimum of 0.80 COF be installed on these surfaces.

Proper maintenance is critical. Improper maintenance can result in a contaminant build-up on the surface of the tile causing the tile to be slippery.

PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) Wear Rating

PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) Wear Rating is the tile's resistance to abrasion:

I and II - not suitable for floors (walls only)

III - all residential

IV - residential and light commercial

IV+ - commercial and heavy traffic    

Water Absorption

Water absorption is measured in proportion by weight:

Non-vitreous - more than 7 percent

Semi-vitreous - 3 to 7 percent

Vitreous - 0.5 - 3 percent

Only vitreous and impervious tiles should be used outdoors or in wet locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

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