Your Ultimate Guide to Tile Finishes & Textures: Enhance Your Space with Long-Lasting Style

Nov 07, 2023

Whether you're looking for a sleek and modern look or a warm and rustic ambiance, there is a tile finish that can perfectly complement your design vision. Today, we discuss all things tile textures and finishes. By the end, you’ll be a pro like us!

Enhancing Your Space with Tile Finishes

The choice of tile finish can significantly impact a room's overall look and feel. By selecting the right finish, you can create a space that reflects your personal style and enhances the existing decor.

Let's dive deeper into the characteristics and benefits of each tile finish, helping you make an informed decision for your project.

Polished Finish: Add Elegance and Sophistication

A polished tile finish epitomizes elegance and sophistication.

These smooth finish tiles create a luxurious atmosphere in formal and traditional spaces. The surface of polished tiles reflects light, making the room feel brighter and more spacious. They can also be a great choice for small spaces, as the reflective surface creates an illusion of depth.

Typically, the bodies are ceramic, glass or porcelain – they can mimic the look of natural stone, such as marble or granite. This flexibility allows you to achieve the gorgeous appearance of traditional stone at a more affordable price point.

Polished finish tiles

Glossy Finish: Create Visual Interest and Variation

A glossy tile finish is another excellent option for adding visual interest and variation to your space. Unlike polished tiles, which achieve their shine through polishing, glossy tiles feature a glossy glaze that creates a sleek and reflective surface. The glaze can pool in certain areas, resulting in variations in color and thickness, adding depth and character to the tiles.

Apollo Pro Tip: One thing to remember when using glossy tiles is that they may show smudges, fingerprints, and water spots more easily than other finishes. Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to keep the tiles looking their best.

Matte Finish tiles

Matte Finish: Embrace a Contemporary and Understated Look

If you prefer a more understated and contemporary look, matte tiles may be the perfect choice. Matte finishes offer a non-shiny glaze that creates a flat surface, reflecting minimal light. This makes the tiles muted and sophisticated, making them ideal for modern and minimalist designs.

Also, don’t think you have to just go with bland subway tile in matte colors; no way! You can find textured tiles, like the one shown above, that have exciting multidimensional designs to wow guests.

Satin Finish: Timeless Beauty

Satin finishes on tiles offer a versatile and elegant design option for both residential and commercial spaces. It is characterized by a smooth and lustrous appearance, with a subtle sheen that adds depth and sophistication to any room.

Satin finishes are incredibly versatile and can be used in various ways to enhance the overall aesthetic of a space. They are particularly popular for creating a contemporary and modern look, adding a touch of luxury to bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas. While it can be found on ceramic or porcelain tiles, it’s a favorite among natural stone tile enthusiasts.

Satin finish tiles
Anti slip finish tiles

Honed Finish: Best of Both Worlds

Rather than polished tiles which have a glossy and reflective surface, honed tiles offer a more subdued, satin-like sheen. The honing process involves grinding and smoothing the tile surface to achieve a flat and uniform texture, similar to that of natural stone.

Why we love it? Well, practicality meets beauty as honed tiles excel in high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways, thanks to their slip-resistant finish. Plus, they prove ideal for enhancing shower stalls, bathroom floors, and kitchen countertops, providing a smooth and easy-to-maintain surface.

Whether you desire an atmosphere of refined allure or a touch of understated opulence in your home, honed tiles seamlessly combine aesthetic charm with functional versatility.

Anti-Slip Finish: Prioritize Safety and Durability

Safety is paramount when choosing tile finishes, especially for areas prone to moisture and spills. Tiles with an anti-slip finish offer enhanced traction and grip, ideal for wet areas like bathrooms, entryways, or mudrooms. This finish is also a great choice if you have young children or elderly family members, as it reduces the risk of slips and falls.

These tiles are usually made from a porcelain or ceramic body, but have been undergone a specific process to ensure a higher slip coefficient, resulting in safer surfaces.

Consult a pro if you need help navigating the right level of resistance for your space.

Exploring Tile Textures: Embrace the Beauty of Nature

If you're looking to bring the beauty of nature into your space, textured tiles can be a perfect choice. These tiles are created by pressing materials into a mold that gives them a textured effect, resembling natural stone, patterns, or wood. They are then glazed and fired to achieve the desired look.

Textured tiles offer a unique and tactile experience, adding depth and visual interest to any room. They can create a rustic, organic, or contemporary aesthetic depending on the chosen texture and color. You’ll often see them used as feature walls, backsplashes, or in areas where a dramatic effect is desired.

Different Tile textures

The best part? There are so many dimensional, textural tiles on the market!

  • Do you like patterns? You can get etched marble or porcelain tiles with a textured feeling perfect for accent walls.
  • More of a fan of florals? Great! Take a look at 3-Dimensional floral print tiles.

Pro Tip from Apollo Experts: When using textured tiles, it's essential to consider the overall design and balance of the space. The texture can be visually striking, so using textured tiles as accent pieces or on a single wall is best to create a focal point. Pairing textured tiles with more neutral or smooth finishes can create a visually appealing contrast.

Making the Right Choice for Your Space

Now that you better understand the different tile finishes available, it's time to review how they can enhance your space.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Remember the overall style and ambiance you want to create in your space. Do you prefer a sleek and modern look or lean towards a more rustic and natural feel? The tile finish you choose should align with your design vision and complement the existing decor.
  • Practicality: Consider the specific requirements of the room where the tiles will be installed. An anti-slip finish or a durable and easy-to-clean surface may be a priority for high-traffic areas or spaces prone to spills. In areas where safety is a concern, such as bathrooms or entryways, slip-resistant finishes are essential.
  • Maintenance: Take into consideration the level of maintenance required for each tile finish. Some finishes, such as polished or glossy, may require more regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking their best. Matte and textured finishes are generally easier to maintain, as they are less prone to showing smudges or water spots.
  • Budget: Tile finishes vary in price, with natural stone finishes generally being more expensive than ceramic or porcelain finishes. Consult your budget and choose a finish that best balances aesthetics, durability, and affordability.

Bringing Your Vision to Life: Tips for Using Tile Finishes

Once you have the tile finish or texture pretty much chosen, here are some tips to embrace the beauty!:

  • Mix and Match: Feel free to mix and match different tile finishes to create a unique and visually appealing design. For example, you can combine polished and matte tiles to create contrast and add depth to your space.
  • Create Focal Points: Use tile finishes to create focal points or feature walls in your space. For example, a wall with textured tiles can serve as a stunning backdrop for a fireplace or a bathtub. Highlighting specific areas with unique finishes can create visual interest and draw attention to architectural elements.
  • Consider Scale: When using tile finishes, consider the scale and proportion of your space. Large-format tiles with a polished finish can make a small room feel more spacious and open. On the other hand, using textured tiles on a large wall can create a dramatic and eye-catching effect.
  • Experiment with Patterns: Many tile finishes, such as multi-fired, offer standout patterns and designs. Don't be afraid to experiment with different patterns, such as herringbone or chevron, to add a touch of personality to your space. Ensure that the pattern complements the overall design and doesn't overwhelm the room.
  • Balance with Other Elements: When using tile finishes, consider how they will interact with other design elements in your space. For example, if you have bold and colorful furniture, opting for a more neutral tile finish can create a harmonious and balanced look. The key is to create a cohesive design where each element complements and enhances the others.

Wrapping Up Tile Textures and Finishes

Tile finishes offering a world of possibilities when it comes to enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your space. Whether you prefer the elegance of polished tiles, the understated charm of matte finishes, or the timeless beauty of natural stone, there is a tile finish to suit every style and preference.

Remember, our tile experts are always here to provide guidance and support throughout your tile selection process. Whether you need advice on choosing the right finish or help with design ideas, we're just a phone call or a visit away. Let us be your trusted partner in transforming your space with style and elegance.

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