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Comparing the Different Types of Tile Finishes

Types of Tile
Posted By: admin
Posted Date: October 13, 2022

Tiles are ideal for homes and businesses because they look amazing and are easy to maintain. There are so many types available, and each has its benefits – but you probably know what they are already.

However, knowing your porcelains from your natural stones and ceramics is only one part of the puzzle; what about finishes?

With so many tile finishes to choose between, it’s difficult to know where to start – but we’re here to clear everything up.

Read on to find out which tile finishes are best for your needs.

Honed Tiles

Honed tiles are perfect for those who want a matte finish with contemporary appeal. A honed tile’s characteristics are a smooth finish, which is highly water resistant but not overly glossy.

Manufacturers achieve the look by gently polishing the surface until it wears down to create a smooth, subtly shiny aesthetic.

The most popular tiles with honed finishes include travertine, limestone and slate. Better still, they’re perfect for bathrooms and kitchens as honed tiles are easier to clean and can withstand water damage.

Polished Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are made from a denser clay, fired at a higher temperature, giving them a harder surface and enhancing durability. These tiles are highly popular, as they’re cost-effective and durable, as long as you take care of them.

While porcelain is available in a matte finish, many people love the polished finish because of its premium aesthetic. Manufacturers gradually polish each tile until it creates a permanent sheen, which will catch the eye and look impressive as a flooring option.

Tumbled Finish Tiles

Tumbled tiles are ideal for creating an aged look in any home. The process involves tumbling the tiles in a drum with small pieces of stone or ceramic, which gives it a weathered appearance.

The most popular types of tile with a tumbled finish include marble, limestone and travertine – but be aware that this type of tile needs a sealant to protect it from water damage.

If you want to bring some rustic charm to your interior design, a tumbled finish tile won’t let you down. Another bonus of these tiles is that each has its look, so they’re one of the more unique options.

Brushed Finish Tiles

A brushed finish is perfect if you’re looking for something with more texture. In many ways, it’s similar to the tumbled finish, but brushed tiles are more uniform and somewhere between rustic and contemporary.

Manufacturers achieve a brushed finish by sweeping diamond-tipped brushes over the tile. Limestone, slate and sandstone are popular options as they create an authentic look that is perfect for a business or restaurant.

Satin Finish Tiles

A satin finish is a happy medium between polished and matte. With this type of tile, you’ll get a smooth surface with a gentle shine that doesn’t show smudges or fingerprints.

A satin finish might be right for you if you’re looking for the perfect balance between contemporary and classic. You can find this type of finish on tiles made from limestone, marble, granite and porcelain – so there are plenty of choices.

Minimalists love satin tiles because they’re not as overbearing as polished varieties but still look beautiful.

Matte Finish

Matte tiles have a smooth surface but don’t reflect light the same way as other types of tiles. They’re perfect for those who want something understated and timeless for their property.

Ceramic and porcelain are the most common types of tile with a matte finish, but you can also find this type of finish on natural stone tiles. The best thing about matte tiles is that they’re easy to maintain; just use a damp cloth and gently wipe them when they’re dirty.

Riven Tiles

Riven tiles have a natural split surface, which creates a rustic look in any home. The finish reflects the look of natural stone, but it’s also suitable for individuals who want to buy cheaper tiles but still get the characteristic look.

Manufacturers dry tiles and split them along the natural fissures to create a riven finish. Natural stone tiles can also go through the process to bring out – and add depth to – their unique textures and patterns.

Choosing The Right Tile Finish For Your Needs

When choosing which tile finish is best for your needs, there’s no right or wrong answer. Instead, each has pros and cons, and it’s a matter of personal choice.

Here are some factors to consider:

Difficulty When Laying The Tiles

Some finishes, such as riven tiles, can be difficult to lay. If you’re not experienced in laying tiles, you can choose the simple option or train in tiling. There are plenty of flexible NVQ tiling courses, and you could develop a successful career.

The Look You Want To Achieve

As we’ve seen, each tile finish creates a different look, so consider the overall aesthetic you want for your property before making a decision. Polished and satin tiles are great for high-end interior designs, while matte and honed tiles are more rustic.

How Much Maintenance The Tiles Need

Some finishes require more upkeep than others; for example, tumbled tiles need sealing regularly. Consider how much time you’re willing to spend on maintenance before choosing a particular finish.


Riven and brushed tiles are usually the cheapest options on the market, while polished tiles tend to be the most expensive. However, they’re worth the investment if you want a high-end finish that oozes aesthetic appeal.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all about the different types of tile finishes, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. Whatever kind of tile you choose, be sure to do your research to find a finish that works with the rest of your home.

With so much choice on the market, it’s essential to take your time to weigh up all options. When you lay them correctly, tiles can last for years and look beautiful in any building, so why not invest in a tiling course and enjoy a new career?

Professional tilers are highly sought after and have excellent career prospects for the future. Enquire about our courses today, and we’ll get back to you.

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