6 Tips to Choose the Perfect Kitchen Tile

6 Tips to Choose the Perfect Kitchen Tile

The kitchen is the one room in the house that can have several different types of tiles, in different applications, and they all will enhance your kitchen beautifully.  When choosing kitchen tile for your home consider where it is going to go first.  Glossy tile that goes on a wall will not be the same as flooring tile. Flooring tile has to be safe to walk on, and a glossy floor kitchen tile could be unsafe under foot.  Here are tips for choosing the right application and type of tile for your kitchen.

1.) Determine where the tile will be installed:

Before you select a material you will need to decide what surface the tile will be applied.  Tile can be placed as a backsplash behind a stove, or on the wall to the underside of the upper cabinets. Tile is a popular countertop material, and can also be used on the kitchen floor.

2.) Decipher the difference between ‘tiles’:

The word ‘tile’ refers to a resilient material that can be laid in rows over a surface.  For kitchens, this could include: quarry, stone, cork, vinyl, bamboo, ceramic, porcelain and glass.  Applications like vinyl, cork and bamboo tiles are most commonly used in flooring. While quarry, ceramic, and porcelain can be used for counters and floors. Glass tile is commonly reserved for walls and backsplashes.

3.) Determine your budget before getting sold on the look:

Kitchen tile can be inexpensive, such as vinyl and linoleum tiles or they can be expensive, such as custom designed ceramic tiles.  Do your homework before getting married to an envisioned look in your head! Tile and home improvement stores can help you estimate the amount of product that will be required for your kitchen.

4.) Consider your household’s lifestyle:

Although kitchen tile is resilient, it still requires up-keep and the longevity of each material differs.  For countertops, ceramic tile is durable and will hold up to heat from hot pans, and is easy to clean and maintain. Unfortunately a ceramic tile surface can be uneven and it can easily crack or chip.  Determine if your family’s lifestyle will match the tile finish you choose.

5.) Choose a floor tile that can withstand your family’s habits:

When choosing floor tile it has to be durable enough to withstand heavy traffic, pets, spilled foods and cleaning supplies.  Ensure that you purchase floor tile that is called ‘floor tile’.  If you choose a wall tile for a floor the coefficient of friction (COF) will be too low, which in turn means it’s too slippery for walking. Instead choose floor tile that has a slight raised pattern, or texture to it to allow for a safer kitchen floor. For a more refined and elegant look consider using quarry tile. The clay and limestone based tile is fired to look like natural stone. Quarry tile is more expensive than the traditional ceramic tile, but is gorgeous in the right application.

6.) The sky is the limit for your tile backsplash:

Well, to a certain point the sky is the limit. Since your backsplash doesn’t take direct heavy traffic, glossy, and painted tiles are a perfect fit for your backsplash.  Although they still have to withstand, hot oil splatters, grease and daily cleaning.  Choose from porcelain, ceramic, glass, metal or stone materials for a backsplash that can subtly or boldly bring a decorative flair to your kitchen.

Your kitchen floors, counters and backsplash have a variety of tile styles to fit your budget, and taste.  Consider these tips when choosing tile for your kitchen.  Research your tile options and then make your kitchen the one you’ve always dreamed of!

Freshome reader’s do you have tips for planning, purchasing or selecting kitchen tile? Let us know, we would love to add to the list.


  • Jedineka August 20, 2010 at 09:01 AMLogin to Reply →

    I really like those models. Maybe i’ll “steal” some ideas for my home.

  • Lena August 20, 2010 at 13:09 PMLogin to Reply →

    One piece of advice I have is it’s easier to choose your counter first and find tiles for your backsplash to match rather than the other way around! Take a sample of your counter material with you when choosing tiles.

  • Krypton Kitchens August 21, 2010 at 11:32 AMLogin to Reply →

    Pictures posted are new and stylish looking . If i would have designed my house , I could have go for this type of kitchen furniture. Great post to gothrough.

  • Arif Shaik August 21, 2010 at 11:46 AMLogin to Reply →

    Tips given are pretty. I love to visit the site again for your fine pictures. Thank you for your post.

  • Kitchens August 21, 2010 at 17:02 PMLogin to Reply →

    People in general find it difficult to choose a tile. I also think the client in general is tired of tiles and looking for something different for there kitchen. A 4 or 5″ splashback still looks great to me with a larger one around cooking areas obviously. Some of the mosaics above do look good though.

  • kitchen February 28, 2011 at 00:54 AMLogin to Reply →

    nice photos (:

  • Scott September 4, 2013 at 16:46 PMLogin to Reply →

    Having a tile that matches the rest of the kitchen is very important. Thanks for the great article.

  • Marcus Fillion January 22, 2015 at 19:57 PMLogin to Reply →

    There are a lot of gorgeous pictures on this site. I thought I was decided on the type of tile I wanted, but now I’m starting to second-guess my decision again. There are pros and cons to every option, but some work better in my situation than others. I don’t have any kids to spill or damage the floor, so I could go with something a little more expensive.

  • Dave Thompson February 26, 2015 at 00:24 AMLogin to Reply →

    My wife and I are looking to remodel the entire kitchen. We want to get a nice looking tile instead of the old ones we currently have in our home. Your tip on determining a budget before you decide on the look you want will be very helpful. We don’t want to fall in love with a look only to find out it is out of our set budget. Thank you for the great tile remodeling tips.

  • Kristen Dockery March 13, 2015 at 13:34 PMLogin to Reply →

    I have been wanting to replace my kitchen flooring, but I wasn’t sure what to replace it with. After seeing this post about tile and seeing how versatile it can be, I am thinking about getting tile. I hope that I can figure this out soon and get it replaced because I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Do you have any tips about what kind of tile to get or does it matter at all?

  • Rose Henderson April 30, 2015 at 14:13 PMLogin to Reply →

    These are all excellent points to consider when choosing tile for your home. I feel as though a lot of people rush into getting tile flooring when it isn’t the most practical for them. I know people who have gotten new white tile floors just for them to be ruined by kids spilling bright red Koolaid on them not even a week later. If you have little ones and pets, consider darker colors.