7 Inspiring Ideas for Ceramic Tile Floors

Dog lying on red Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles
bradleyhebdon / Getty Images

The term "ceramic tile" refers to the broad group of manufactured hard tiles made from pressed and fired clay. Within the overall label of "ceramic tile" there are several subcategories, ranging from relatively soft and porous terra cotta to very hard porcelain tiles made from fine clays fired under very high temperatures. Its hardness and imperviousness to water make ceramic tile an ideal flooring material, from kitchen to bedroom.

Across the various categories, ceramic floor tiles can be fabricated with almost any color, design, pattern, or texture that is imaginable. Today's porcelain floor tiles, for example, can look convincingly like marble, hardwood, stone, metal, or even leather and cork.

Here are seven examples of how various types of ceramic tile can be used effectively on floors.

  • 01 of 07

    Faux Hardwood Tile

    faux hardwood ceramic tile flooring
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    One of the most popular options for ceramic flooring is to choose a design that mimics a natural material. This allows you to get the beauty of that natural substance while still maintaining the low maintenance, durability, and functionality of ceramic tile.

    In this lovely cottage style dining room, the floor is made of 2 x 12 ceramic tiles printed to look like a deep brown birch hardwood. The rustic reclaimed wood dining table acts as the centerpiece of the room, with a matched cottage style bench and two cream dining chairs complementing the look.


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  • 02 of 07

    Terracotta Tile With Accent Tile

    terra cotta tile picture
    ©2012,HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

    Terracotta is a form of ceramic tile made from a relatively soft red clay fired at moderate temperatures (about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit). Unlike most ceramics, terracotta tiles do not receive a glazed surface treatment. That means that they cannot be printed and are not protected against stains and water damage. Terracotta can be sealed to protect the material against these hazards, but overall, terracotta tiles will be less durable, more prone to damage, and harder to maintain than other types of ceramic tile.

    Despite the drawbacks, the appeal of terra cotta is the rich beauty and the natural feel of the material. The colors which are achieved in these tiles have a unique appeal that is complemented by the gently graded texture of their untreated surfaces. For this reason, terracotta flooring is still in high demand, especially in homes striving for an authentic southwestern feel. In this example, decorative accent tiles with a Spanish/Moorish flavor are inset at various locations to give the floor more interest.

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  • 03 of 07

    Stone-Look Tile Complementing Quartz Countertops

    ceramic kitchen flooring tile pictures
    © 2012, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

    In this kitchen we see large 16 x 16-inch ceramic tiles printed to look like natural stone in multi-colors. Joined by the rich polished hues of the natural quartz countertop, as well as the sleek modern feel of the stainless steel appliances, this creates a kitchen that is rich with visual dynamic tension.

    Stone-look tiles, whether traditional ceramics or porcelain, are often nearly indistinguishable from genuine stone. However, the veining pattern for tiles mimicking marble or granite usually repeats from tile to tile. Careful layout can sometimes disguise the artificial nature of the material.

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  • 04 of 07

    Zen-Style Bathroom

    ceramic bathroom floors
    © 2012, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    This entire bathroom has been covered with gorgeous polished porcelain ceramic tiles printed with a multi-colored beige travertine pattern. The result is an oasis of comfort and simplicity. The clear glass shower surround allows the look of the stone print to dominate from wall to wall, creating a space of that is tranquil but simultaneously dancing with visual beauty. Even the framed wall decoration is made from ceramic tile.

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  • 05 of 07

    Pure White Tile Bathroom

    white ceramic flooring tile pictures
    © 2012, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Here, we see the more controlled side of ceramic tile in a bathroom decked out in pure pristine white 12 x 12-inch ceramic floor tiles. The floor is matched with white walls and white painted architectural features to give the environment a distinct clarity. This effect is beautiful in a soft and sophisticated way. Small decorative accessories finish the look, creating a room that has a delightfully tidy “shabby chic” look.

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  • 06 of 07

    Slate-Look Kitchen Floor

    multicolored ceramic tiles
    ©2013,HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

    Here we see the ability of ceramic flooring to mimic the seemingly random patterns of natural stone. These tiles have been manufactured to look like multicolored slate, with a mix of golden bursts and cloudy charcoal hues vying for dominance in the surface of each piece. This is offset by bold smoky grout lines that both encase the chaos and frame the beauty of the printed design.

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  • 07 of 07

    Multi-Colored Porcelain Bathroom Floor

    ceramic floors
    © FloorMall

    In this lovely bathroom, large porcelain floor tiles with natural-stone colors anchor a setting that includes many different tile patterns and shapes. The effect is powerful and invigorating, yet not quite out of control. Decorative accessories and wall hangings accent the room in unique and eye-catching ways.