| March 23, 2023

Tile Finishes: Everything You Need to Know

Tile finishes can create different looks, textures, and effects in your home or commercial space. From glossy to matte, honed to polished, there are endless ways to transform the aesthetics of any room and provide an extra layer of sophistication and durability. 

Types of Tile Finishes

In this guide, we’ll discuss a few popular tile finishes, so you can decide which options can help you to achieve the style you’re after and complement your room’s overall design.

Polished Finish

Polished tile finishes are among the most widely used to help spruce up any living area. In fact, incorporating polished marble or porcelain into your design allows you to pair beauty and durability with a smooth, shiny reflective surface that’s easy to clean and adds a subtle hint of glamor.

Similar to polished finishes, glossy finishes are shiny and reflective, making them great for creating a vivid, stylish look. They also make your space appear larger due to their reflective properties and can bring more light to a room. 

Choosing a glossy finish can also make cleaning easier since dirt and moisture won’t get trapped in any rough surfaces. However, this finish can be slippery, especially when wet, and can show fingerprints or smudges. Therefore, choosing a glossy finish will require more attention and maintenance. 

Polished vs. Glossy

At this point, you might wonder about the difference between a polished and glossy finish. A glaze is applied to the top layer of a tile’s surface to create a glossy finish (thus giving it a glass-like appearance). In contrast, polished tile finish undergoes the same polishing process as stone, passing under polishing wheels until perfectly smoothed.

Now that you’re an expert on polished and glossy tile finishes, let’s review a few other options. 

Satin or Matte Finish

Satin finishes have a softer, medium-glossy surface that reflects light and won’t smudge, creating a more relaxed atmosphere while still providing an elegant touch. 

Matte finish tile offers a more muted look, making it less showy than glossy surfaces and more non-slip. As a result, matte is often an excellent choice for many high traffic applications, such as kitchens, entryways, mudrooms, or patios.

Both satin and matte offer excellent scratch protection to avoid ruining the look of your tile surface, too. 

Flamed or Brushed Finish

Textured, non-slip surfaces are great for bathrooms and walkways with extra grip. Both brushed and flamed finishes involve heat treatment that causes the surface to become semi-rough, providing extra traction on the tile’s surface. 

Brushed tiles are slightly less textured than flamed tiles, with a rougher and more distinctive surface. Ultimately, both options work as your best solution if you want an extra grip on an outdoor space or wet bathroom environment.

Sandblasted or Honed Finish

People often ask us, “what does honed mean?” Honed tiles produce a highly polished, smooth look—similar to stone— but with little texture or shine. 

Sandblasted and honed finishes are two great solutions for a more natural stone look. Sandblasting blasts away any dents, imperfections, or traces of glaze while leaving the original tile surface intact. This results in a matte-like finish with some roughness, yet it is much smoother than a flamed finish. 

Both finishes are ideal for low-traffic areas such as walls and backsplashes where you want a naturally textured look without compromising grip or slip resistance.

Fusion by Nemo collection, matte, mix finish.Need Help Choosing the Right Tile Finishes?

Depending on the style you’re trying to create (e.g., modern, rustic, contemporary, or retro), the finish you choose is often just as important as the tile itself. Therefore, if you’re having trouble deciding on which tile finish will best complement your project, we can help!

We invite you to browse our floor tile options online or at our showroom. You can schedule an appointment or stop by during regular business hours.  Our team will meet with you to discuss your goals for the renovation or remodel and help you create a plan that fits your project’s aesthetics, schedule, and budget. 

Whether you’re looking for tile options for the floor, wall, backsplash, or shower area, our team has the expertise and experience to ensure you love the final tile design for years. 

Want more tile finish ideas for an upcoming renovation? Browse our gallery for inspiration, and follow us on Instagram for tips and trending designs.

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