10 types of tiles: features and how to choose

tile types

One of the main elements of a building, be it a house, a business or a service, is the roof. She is responsible for the main characteristic of a building: shelter and protection from the elements. Therefore, choosing the right type of tile is very important when you are preparing a project or carrying out work.

Today there is a huge variety of types of tiles: some better for hot climates, others for cold places, indoors or outdoors.

To help you choose, we’ve listed 10 types of tiles:

1. Ceramic tile

House with ceramic tile roof. GS Residence, Jacobsen Architecture.

The most traditional tile, which we have all seen in countless homes across Brazil, is ceramic tile. It is one of the oldest forms of roofing used around the world, so it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Ceramic tiles are easy to clean, inexpensive to maintain, and waterproof. Because they are heavy, they require a strong support structure.

2. Enameled tile

House with enameled tile roof. Casa Bahia, architect Marcio Kogan.

Enameled tiles are a type of ceramic tile that, on the upper surface, receives an enamel paint finish. Its characteristics are very similar to those of conventional ceramic tiles, with the difference that, by giving this finish, the enameled ones are more durable and resistant.

In addition, there is a wide variety of colors on the market, allowing for modifications using the same material.

3. Concrete tile

Construction with concrete tile.

Roofing construction with concrete tiles.

For those who like the construction method of ceramic tiles, but are looking for something with a more neutral color, concrete tiles can be a great option. They are more waterproof and heavier than ceramic ones. As they are porous, they require cleaning at least once a year to prevent the proliferation of fungi.

4. Metal tile

House with metal roof. Balcony house, architect Carla Juaçaba.

Widely used in commercial and industrial places, metallic tiles are light and require fewer  support points for their structure, so they are capable of covering large spans. They can be metal, steel and galvanized steel, for example. They are durable and resistant.

5. Glass tile

Glass tile.

Glass tile.

Translucent tiles, such as glass, are commonly used to cover open spaces, such as patios, or to provide lighting for interior environments. They are usually combined with ceramic or concrete tiles, as they are made in the same models as these. It is necessary to be careful and careful with this type of tile, as it has a certain fragility.

6. Polycarbonate tile

Building with polycarbonate roof. FRAC, Lacaton & Vassal architects.

A great option for transparent roofing, cheaper and more practical than glass tiles, are polycarbonate tiles. They are flexible, light, resistant and UV protection.

7. Fiber cement tile

Construction with fiber cement roofing tile.

Fiber cement tile covering.

Very popular on the market, fiber-cement tiles are cheap, light, durable and resistant. They have the advantage of not requiring a reinforced structure to support them.

8. PET tile

House with PET tile roof. House with PET tile roof.

Made from recycled PET bottles, they are considered a type of ecological tile and are resistant and light. It is possible to find them in the same models as the ceramic and cement ones, with the advantage of having less weight and a smoother surface, which facilitates cleaning.

9. Vegetable fiber tile

House with vegetable fiber tile roof.

House in Campos do Jordão, architect André Eisenlohr.

Also known as a type of ecological tile, vegetable fiber tile is made from cellulose fiber, which comes from recycled paper, and covered with a resin that guarantees impermeability. They are lightweight and easy to install.

10. Thermoacoustic tile

Children's housing building. Children’s Houses, Rosenbaum + Aleph Zero. Source: Archdaily

Known as sandwich tiles, they are composed of two steel tiles filled with a thermal insulator, such as polyurethane. They guarantee unequaled thermal and acoustic comfort compared to other types of tile. They are light, resistant, and durable. They are available on the market in different colors, both on the outside and on the inside.

How to choose the right type of tile for your home?

After knowing the variety of types of tiles on the market, it is common to be in doubt about which one to use. Therefore, it is good to take into account some information, such as the structure of the building, how resistant it is, to know the amount of weight it supports, and the climate of the place.

The climate is very important when choosing the type of coverage, as this will directly receive the weather and play the role of protecting the interior. In addition to temperatures, the wind is something to be considered, and it is essential to know its direction.

In case you are wondering if it is possible to combine types of tile in the same roof, the answer is: yes! For the roof of a house, for example, it is possible to compose 2 types of tile, the polycarbonate tile is great together with the glass tile, for example. Architect Carla Juaçaba uses this resource in her works in a precise and innovative way.

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