First, a brief rundown on the types of tile that all fall under the “ceramic” umbrella. Basically a fired clay tile, ceramic tile started as simple earthenware, such as terracotta tiles that are fired at a low temperature and not impervious to moisture. Next came an earthenware tile that’s been glazed to make the surface impervious. An early form of this type of low-fire glazed ceramic tile is called “zellige;” today’s subway tile is a more modern version. Stoneware, the next level, is fired at a higher temperature and thus harder. Last comes porcelain, the most sophisticated type of ceramic tile, fired at the hottest kiln temperatures.

1. Terracotta Tile

Good for: Floors.

Pros: Aesthetically pleasing and soft underfoot. Dark colors hide dirt.

Cons: Since the tiles are handmade from low-fired clay, shapes can be uneven; an experienced installer is needed. Stains aren’t easy to remove.

Price: $8 per square foot for Mexican tiles, $35 for reclaimed French.

2. Subway Tile

Good for: Backsplashes, showers

Pros: Affordable, durable, and easily cleaned. Easily installed.

Con: Not suitable for floors.

Price: As low as $4 per square foot for a decent product.

3. Stoneware Tile

Good for: Mostly floors, but also used on walls.

Pros: Affordable, durable, and easily cleaned. Easily installed.

Con: Note that stoneware that looks like faux stone or wood doesn’t wear as well as the real thing.

Price: As low as $5 per square foot, but good quality tiles can run from $7.50 to $15.

4. Porcelain Tile

Good for: Walls, backsplash, shower stalls.

Pros: Durable and easily cleaned. Easily installed.

Con: Higher priced than other ceramic tiles.

Price: As low as $10 per square foot, but $25 to $30 for more sophisticated tiles.

Other Types of Tile

5. Glass Tile

Good for: Walls, backsplash, shower stalls.

Pros: Durable and impervious to staining. Brilliant colors and finishes.

Cons: Requires special materials and techniques to install. Can be expensive. Not always suitable for floors (it can help if the tile surface is textured).

Price: From $16 per square foot (steer clear of anything less) to as high as $100. Standard good-quality glass tiles are around $25 to $35.

6. Natural Stone Tile

Marble tile is somewhat harder, but not maintenance-free, while granite is the hardest and the easiest to maintain. And then there’s quartzite, which is also very hard—and not to be confused with quartz, an engineered stone that’s hard and stain-resistant. (Many of these stones are more often used as a slab for countertops and shower stall walls.) Slate tile is well suited for flooring since its natural texture makes it slip-resistant.

Good for: Walls, backsplash, shower stalls, floors.

Pros: Natural patterns are aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes, there’s no grout needed for installation.

Cons: Some stone tiles must be regularly sealed or treated to prevent staining. Those left unsealed can stain.

Price: Depending on the type of stone, anywhere from $8 to $150 per square foot.

7. Cement Tile

Good for: Walls, backsplash, floors.

Pros: Attractive, durable, and affordable. “There’s nothing more beautiful in that price range,” Osburn says. Grout is not always needed for installation, depending on the function and area where it’s used. Can be refinished.

Cons: Depending on wear and tear, needs to be sealed and maintained.

Price: From $8.75 per square foot; median is around $15, can go to $25 for intricate shapes.

*Vanderbilt Rd. Naples