Ceramic or Porcelain Floor Tile
Use For: The workhorse of kitchen and bathroom floor surfaces, ceramic tile is called both ceramic and porcelain. The difference of names hinges on water absorption rates. Tile that absorbs water at a slower rate is officially called porcelain, and is best for high-moisture spaces like bathrooms. The kitchen–a place where moisture is definitely present but not in the quantities found in bathrooms–can have tile rated as porcelain or not.
Glazed Wall Tile
Use For: As the name implies, it’s used for walls only. If rated for walls, it cannot be used for floors; however, flooring tile can be used on walls.
Use For: Backsplashes and walls. Mosaic tile certainly can be used for floors, but this application isn’t popular because its many grout lines make clean-up harder and it tends to have a “busy” look.
Natural Stone Tile
Use For: Granite, marble, slate, and travertine tile work well for walls or for flooring where moisture is not of a concern.
Use For: This unglazed tile is used for flooring, inside or outside. With a COF of .8 and greater, quarry tile provides excellent slip resistance.
Use For: Pressed clay or concrete tiles suitable for exterior walkways, floors, pool decking, pool linings, and patios. Interior residential use not recommended unless for high-traffic areas where aesthetics are not of great concern, such as mudrooms, furnace rooms, work areas, etc.