What Is the Best Tile for a Kitchen Floor?

Stacey Marcus
Written by Stacey Marcus
Updated September 23, 2021
Mom chases baby across tile floor in kitchen
Photo: Catherine Delahaye/DigitalVision/Getty Images

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The kitchen is the heart of your home where you’re probably spending a great deal of time. Before you shop for tiles for your kitchen floor you should take a few moments to consider your lifestyle, the vibe of your kitchen, how much time you want to spend maintaining the tile floor, and your budget. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your kitchen a high-traffic area bustling with family footsteps or a peaceful place where you and your partner share quiet meals?

  • How much time do you want to spend maintaining your tiles?

  • Is your goal to elevate the design of your kitchen, minimize the maintenance of your kitchen floor, or both?

The Best Tile to Use in a Kitchen

Thinking about your lifestyle when looking for the best tile for your kitchen is a smart way to navigate the process. Once you have those questions answered, the following materials are the best for kitchen flooring.


Ceramic is a popular tile that is a good fit for many kitchen floors. It’s easy to maintain and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. Ceramic tiles are excellent conductors and can heat up and cool down making for a comfortable and durable all-season floor. Glazed ceramic tiles are a smart choice for kitchen tiles as they provide added protection in the kitchen.

Key benefits of using ceramic tile:

  • Water and stain-resistant

  • Durable

  • Low maintenance

  • Comes in a variety of styles and colors

Drawbacks of using ceramic tile:

  • Installation can be tricky

  • Time-consuming installation


Porcelain tiles are similar to ceramic tiles in that they come in a wide variety of colors and styles, are excellent conductors, easy to maintain, and can heat up and cool down making for a comfortable and durable all-season floor. The thick tiles are fired longer than ceramic tiles and can also mimic natural stones, hardwood planks, wood, or brick. You will need to hire a flooring professional to install porcelain tiles.

Key benefits of using porcelain tile:

Drawbacks of using porcelain tile:

  • Expensive

  • Tricky installation

  • Grout needs to be sealed


Porcelain tile floor in kitchen
Photo: Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

Slate offers a more affordable alternative to more costly tiles like marble and granite. Its smooth texture, natural beauty, and low maintenance make it a great choice for your kitchen floor. A bonus is that it is slip-resistant.

Key benefits of using slate tile:

  • Extremely durable

  • Can be used indoors and outdoors

  • Water-and fire-resistant

  • Natural material

  • Low maintenance

  • Affordable

Drawbacks to using slate tile:

  • Can be brittle

  • Hard to stand on for long periods of time

  • Rough and cold surface


Marble is a fine stone that can add elegance and an elevated design element to your kitchen. Each tile is an individual piece of art that can be patterned or veined. Available in a medley of finishes, it can be tumbled, honed, polished, or brushed. Marble is an expensive option that requires a great deal of maintenance, compared to other tiles like porcelain.

Key benefits of using marble tile:

  • Unique elegant style

  • Natural material

  • Easy to polish

  • Adds to home value

Drawbacks to using marble tile:

  • Can be tricky to install

  • Expensive

  • Scratches and stains easily

"Anything unearthed from the ground and cut to use inside our homes reacts to its new environment by slightly changing over time,” says Joe Renda of Tile by Design.


Natural stones are also excellent with some upkeep required to maintain their original appearance. Granite is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. Its signature veining and speckling create design interest as no two tiles are the same. Available in a wide range of colors, granite is scratch-resistant and creates a luxurious feel for your kitchen.

Key benefits of using granite tile:

  • Durable

  • Heat, scratch, moisture, and fade resistant

  • Available in a wide range of colors

  • Low maintenance

  • Hypoallergenic

Drawbacks to using granite tile:

  • Can be tricky to install

  • Expensive

  • Can be slippery


Travertine tiles are made from a type of limestone whose origins can be found in springs and caves around the world. Used in ancient Roman structures, the natural stone is available today in many colors. Travertine tiles add a natural element to your kitchen. 

Key benefits of using travertine tile:

  • Durable

  • Unique

  • Adds value to your home

  • Natural stone

Drawbacks to using granite tile:

  • Expensive

  • Can be slippery and cold

  • Needs to be sealed periodically

Final Considerations When Choosing Tile

In addition to price and style, Joe Renda of Tile by Design says to make sure to check for the following when picking out your new kitchen tile:

  • Product is available in the quantity you need when you need it

  • The style flows with the rest of your kitchen decor (order a sample if you’re unsure)

  • Tile is rated for the intended use (such as high traffic or high moisture areas)

  • Your current subfloor can have tile installed on top (or needs a cement backer)

  • Care and maintenance needs align with your expectations

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