The Buyers Guide to Kitchen Floor Tiles

Your kitchen is one of your most-used rooms in the house, so you'll need to choose a durable kitchen flooring that fits your style. There are many different options to choose from, and once you've selected the type, the job has only just begun.

You'll still need to consider the style, floor rating, porosity, dimensions, cost, etc. Whether you're looking to install the tiles yourself or hire a professional, here's everything you need to know about buying kitchen floor tiles.

Best Types of Kitchen Tiles

Not all kitchen tiles are created equally, so here's our pick for the best tiles to use in your kitchen. These are the most durable, stain-resistant, and water-resistant tiles on the market, helping you get the most for your money.

Ceramic

A common sight in kitchens and bathrooms.

Ceramic tiles are highly water and stain-resistant, making cleaning a breeze in the kitchen. They're also very durable, so you won't have to worry about cracking a tile when you accidentally drop something on the floor.

Suppose you do manage the impossible and crack a tile. In that case, it's straightforward to fix the single tile vs. replacing an entire section of the floor.

Ceramic tiles are very hard, making them uncomfortable to stand on over long periods. They're also heavy, so you'll want to use these on lower-story kitchens to prevent long-term structural damage. You can get additional features, including a glaze that makes it more resistant to humidity.

This highly popular flooring choice is priced in the mid-range, though certain features can increase the cost.

Floating Floors

Easy and convenient to install.

Floating floor tiles are typically wood, and you're able to install these over existing kitchen floors rather than tearing anything out. They expand with humidity, making them moisture resistant, though they are easier to damage than tiles. Easy to install and relatively cost-efficient, check these out if you don't want traditional tiles in your kitchen.

Glass

Glass tiling is an excellent alternative to some of the other natural stone flooring options on the market. It will add brightness to any kitchen, with many different colors and patterns to choose from.

Glass tiling is very easy to clean and will prevent stains. However, they can also appear dirtier than other types of tile and won't hide blemishes like other flooring options might.

Glass tiles will scratch, no matter how well you seal them, though the damaged sections are easy to replace. While not a luxury tile, they are expensive to buy and install.

Granite

For a luxurious touch.

Granite tiles are a luxury flooring choice. You can even match them to your countertops for an upscale, sophisticated design choice. They are highly durable, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant, even in the highest traffic areas.

Granite tends to be slippery, even when dry, so those who are fall risks should take extra caution when choosing granite floors. It is one of the more affordable luxury tile options on the market today. However, it's still more expensive than other choices.

Pebble

A fit for modern interiors.

Pebble tiling is most commonly used for bathrooms, but don't gloss over it for your kitchen! It's made of small pebbles encased in resin or concrete, and no two floors will look the same.

You'll have some texture to your floor when you use pebble tiles, and it requires routine maintenance, including replacing grout to maintain the look and feel over time. It is highly trendy and priced as such, making it a more expensive kitchen tiling option.

Porcelain

Porcelain tile is one of the most durable kitchen floor choices, even stronger and more water-resistant than ceramic. It's often used in commercial kitchens because it can withstand heavy impacts with little to no maintenance outside routine cleaning. This long-lasting tile is expected to have a lifespan of several decades if cared for properly.

Because they are so durable, they are very heavy, so you cannot use them upstairs. Additionally, the weight makes porcelain tiles more expensive and trickier to install without the help of a professional, so you'll be paying more for them.

Quartz

Quartz looks like a luxury tile, but it's much more durable, making it both a fun and practical choice to tile your kitchen. It's shiny with a non-porous texture, making it highly water-resistant. It prevents bacteria from developing, making it a hygienic choice as well.

Even with heavy impacts, it's highly uncommon for your quartz tiles to scratch or chip. It is a cost-effective choice to tile your floor if you're looking to elevate your kitchen's look and feel.

Rubber

Rubber tiles are growing in popularity thanks to their water resistance. They're highly durable and require very little maintenance to keep them looking and feeling good. Rubber tiles are easy to replace when damaged, though they are still one of the most expensive options for kitchen tiling.

Sandstone

The texture may make this flooring harder to clean.

Sandstone tile is less water-resistant than other tiles on the market, but it makes up for it with its classic, rustic, yet somehow modern vibe. They are more rugged than other tiles, so you'll feel some texture when barefoot.

Sandstone tiles are highly durable, so it's hard to crack, scratch, or chip these tiles when you drop something. It's an eco-friendly choice because most tiles are both recyclable and biodegradable.

Sandstone is priced competitively with other tiles at a mid-range price level.

Slate

Muted and minimalistic.

Slate tiles have a very natural, contemporary look with a grey finish. They are strong and durable, so you shouldn't have to worry about chips, scratches, cracks, and other damage that can happen over time. In addition, they are stain and water-resistant, making them easy to clean up after a mess.

Slate is one of the more expensive tiles available on the market today. While it will increase your home's resale value, the cost to purchase and have a professional install may negate the benefits of getting the tile.

Travertine

Light antique vibes.

Travertine tile is a type of limestone, so you get a lot of rustic, natural charm when you use these to tile your kitchen. Each tile is unique, so while they'll look uniform, you will have a kitchen unlike anyone else with travertine tiles. They are eco-friendly, recyclable, and 100% biodegradable.

Travertine tiles require routine care, but they are likely to last your lifetime with proper care. If your tiles are routinely exposed to moisture, you'll want to keep the tiles sealed to prevent damage. While they use luxury materials, travertine tiles are moderately priced between ceramic and porcelain tiles.

Worst Tiles for Kitchens

While these tiles are popular because of their luxury look and feel, they also tend to be easier to damage. Consider using these tiles in a lower traffic area to prolong their lifespan.

Cement

This isn't the only way to achieve a modern look, and definitely not the best.

Cement tile can lend an industrial look to any kitchen. Still, it's not water-resistant, is easy to scratch, and even easier to stain. It's also costly to install, thanks to the inconsistent sizing of the tiles, and you'll get the best results with a professional. Proper care can prolong cement tile's lifespans, but it may be easier to skip than worry about the hassle.

Cork

Best kept in other rooms, if at all.

Cork tiles aren't often used in kitchens, but they are soft, comfortable tiles that you can easily install in any room. They come with natural insulation, so your kitchen will feel cooler and warmer based on the season, though they are easily damaged. Even with proper sealing, you will find water damage, scratches, dents, and more. It's a mid-range tile choice, and if you're looking for a more durable, water-resistant tile, cork tile is not it.

Onyx

Onyx may bring an exotic look to any kitchen, but it's soft, making it easy to break, scratch, and damage with daily use. It's rarer than other luxury flooring and should be used sparingly.

You can prolong the lifespan of your onyx tiles with proper care. Still, it's an expensive, inefficient choice for kitchen tiles.

Marble

Potentially hazardous.

Marble tile gives a polished and elegant feel to any kitchen. It is beautiful and comes in many different colors and finishes. However, it's less functional than other tiles on the market. Marble is water-resistant but can be extremely slippery when wet or dry. It is easy to scratch and stain, so you'll want to reseal your tiles routinely to prevent damage.

Even normal wear and tear can cause your marble tiles to deteriorate over time. It is expensive to purchase and install, so if you're looking for a more cost-efficient tile, you may want to choose another option.

Style

Picking the style is the fun part! You can choose your tile's color, texture, and finish, among other features. Keep in mind that textured tiles tend to be more slip-resistant, which is important when the potential for mess is high!

Floor Rating

The durability of your kitchen tile is critical to ensure it can stand up to daily use, and there are different tile ratings that show the best tiles for your floor type. Check it out before you get your heart set on something that will crack with use.

Inevitably, you'll occasionally drop a heavy item or two.

Porosity

Your tile's porosity will impact how resistant it is to water. In the kitchen, you want to have tiles that are water and stain-resistant for the longest time span.

Dimensions

You want to consider the size of your room and the dimensions of the tiles. Tiles will typically range between ½ inch and 1 inch thick (1.25cm to 2.5cm). In addition to squares, you can choose rectangles, octagons, and hexagon shapes.

Cost

Set your budget and look for tiles that fit in your range. Most are in the mid-price range, though the more luxurious the material or trendy the tile, the higher the price.

Should You Install Your Tiles Yourself?

Tiles can be easy to install for the average DIYer – just make sure that you select one that's easy to use with easy-to-match patterns. You can keep the price more manageable without paying for labor, but professionals are best to install some tiles.

Tiles can be easily purchased at home improvement stores and online retailers if you choose to try your hand, so assess your comfort level and get to work!

Posted by Melissa Jackson

Melissa is passionate about all things home and garden, helping others to fashion their dream home one space at a time. An avid reader, when she’s not writing, you can find her nose deep in a book, cuddling with her two dogs.