One of the biggest decisions you have to make about your new home is choosing the right home tiles.
The right home tiles will be able to support all your furniture and your daily activities.
They should be strong, durable, practical, and visually pleasing. When selected carefully, tiles can also serve as a creative expression that showcases your style and wows your guests.
Some renowned tile brands in Malaysia are Feruni, Guocera, White Horse, Niro Ceramic, Kimgres, Alpha, Venus, and more.
Before choosing tiles for your home, here are a few criteria that you need to take note of:
The price of the tiles
Strength and durability
Porous or non-porous (porous means it absorbs moisture)
The cost of maintaining the tiles
Once you’re familiar with these criteria, the process of choosing the right tiles for your home becomes much easier.
Let’s dive right in and look at the different types of tiles in Malaysia that you can pick for your new home.
Types Of Home Tiles In Malaysia
Ceramic tiles: back to basics
Ceramic tiles are made from red or white clay, sand, and water. It is then moulded into shape and fired in a kiln.
Ceramic tiles are a popular option for home tiles, alongside porcelain tiles. This is mainly because ceramic tiles are easy to source, available in many designs and inexpensive.
If you are on a tighter budget your home renovation, ceramic tiles may be something that you might consider.
The downside to ceramic tiles is that while they are affordable, they are not quite resistant to moisture and are not slip-resistant. That is why you’d want to avoid installing ceramic tiles at areas in your home with high traffic.
To add on that, generally avoid choosing ceramic tiles for bathrooms floors. It’s recommended to install ceramic tiles in places which are less-prone to human accidents, such as kitchen countertops or backsplashes.
Recommendations for ceramic tiles in Malaysia:
Porcelain tiles: the popular kid
Like ceramic, porcelain tiles are also made from clay and fired in a kiln. The only difference is that porcelain tiles are made from more refined clay and fired in a kiln at a higher temperature. That makes porcelain tiles stronger, more durable, and more expensive than ceramic.
Porcelain has many amazing properties that make it popular in Malaysia.
First of all, porcelain has a reputation for being super tough and durable. It is also moisture resistant, slip-resistant, and stain-resistant.
It can take the weight of your furniture and doesn’t give in to high traffic. That means it’s perfect for hallways, kitchen floors, and the bathroom.
Porcelain’s tough nature makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Like ceramic, it is also easy to clean and is low maintenance.
Recommendations for porcelain tiles in Malaysia:
Glass tiles: beautiful and versatile
Glass tiles are made from pieces of glass that are heated in a furnace. The molten glass is then poured into a tile press or rolled out into a sheet. Once the glass has cooled down, it is cut into different shapes and designs.
Most people choose glass tiles because of its beauty and versatility. Glass tiles can make your home look contemporary, bright and beautiful.
The light-reflecting properties in glass tiles that can give the illusion that your home is bigger than it actually is. Aside from that, glass tiles are also easy to clean and they are water-resistant.
If you’re someone who is conscious about making environment-friendly choices, glass tiles fit the bill as they are made of recycled materials. To produce glass tiles, it takes about half the energy that is required to produce ceramic tiles.
Glass tiles are best used for pools and bathroom walls. Do not ever use them on floors - they are not slip resistant!
In terms of design, there are many options for you to choose from like clear, opaque, mosaic, or mixed material, stained, or bubble. You can choose frosted options, which gives a more textured feel or the polished options, which gives a nice shine.
Keep in mind that glass tiles are a pricier option compared to other tiles - so only pick this if you have money to spare.
Recommendations for glass tiles in Malaysia:
Homogeneous: durable and reliable
Homogeneous tiles are a type of unglazed porcelain tile. When a tile is glazed, it means a layer of liquid glass is added to it. Unglazed gives it a more rough feel - which makes it more slip-resistant.
Homogeneous tiles are harder and more durable than porcelain tiles. It is a very common choice in high traffic buildings like hospitals, malls, and airports. It is considered one the strongest floor material and it also works for your home.
Consider homogeneous tiles for your living room, kitchen, and bedroom. It’s cheaper than natural stones like granite and marble and yet they can deliver the same polished look. Another plus point is that they are also very easy to clean.
As it is strong and durable, many Malaysians opt for homogenous tiles for their car porch too.
Pro Tip: Opt for tile designs with minimal and thin grout lines to keep mould from setting in.
Homogenous tiles are the most popular choice for homes in Malaysia right now because it's the cheapest solution. They last past the average warranty period.
Keep in mind that you can also opt for textured homogeneous tiles which gives a more stone-like finish. Textured tiles also feel warmer and will not shock you when you step on it in the morning.
If you have older adults at home, it’s advisable to go for smaller, mosaic patterns because of the extra friction which makes it anti-slip.
Recommendations for homogeneous tiles in Malaysia:
Granite: solid and sophisticated
Granite tiles are natural stone tiles made from granite rocks. Granites are known to be one of the hardest and strongest materials. Solid and durable, they don’t break or scratch easily. They can withstand harsh conditions and can last for a very, very long time.
Granite tiles come in various colours and designs which makes it a versatile piece that you can use anywhere in your home. They can give your home a very sophisticated feel.
You can use granite in the living room, kitchen backsplash, bathroom, and even outdoors. The most common use for granite - as you’re probably already aware - is countertops.
If you’re looking for an option that can withstand heat, is low maintenance and doesn’t give in to wear-and-tear, then granite is the perfect option for you. It does need some occasional polishing to maintain its shine but that’s extremely easy to do.
Granite can also be used outdoors. However, tiles can be slippery when it comes into contact with water, so that’s a hazard that you need to keep in mind.
Another thing to note about granite is that it does not conduct heat well so it can be cold when touched.
Recommendations for granite tiles in Malaysia:
Marble: the socialite
Marble tiles are natural stone tiles, formed as the result of limestone mixed with high heat and pressure. These stones are cut into tiles and then used for homes and commercial buildings.
Its unique, veiny texture makes marbles a popular choice among homeowners and designers. It has a gloss finish that adds class and style to your home. To put it simply, they are gorgeous!
Marble is a popular choice in Malaysia for countertops, floors, wall tiles, stairs, and columns. They can be used in living rooms, kitchen, and bathroom.
The main element in marble is calcium carbonate. When there is presence of other elements like aluminum and magnesium, it gives it different colours. Pure marble is white.
While marble tiles look sophisticated and expensive, the downside is that marble requires lots of maintenance and needs to be polished frequently to maintain its shine. A high-grade sealant is needed to protect its surface and maintain the gloss.
It is not stain-proof and you need to immediately clean if there are any spills from food and drinks. It may also darken over time.
Another thing to note is that marble can be sensitive to acidic liquids and you may have to use a special, non-abrasive soap.
The cost of marble is also relatively high compared to other tiles. Opt for marble only if you are prepared to put in the time, effort, and money.
Recommendations for marble tiles in Malaysia:
Quartz: Elegant and economical
Quartz tiles are made from a combination of resin, quartz, sand, colour pigment. Some also include crushed mirror pieces. The crushed mirrors give a natural sparkle to the tiles.
Since quartz is manufactured (it’s not a natural stone), it is available in a wide range of colours.
You can choose from many different colours and designs. However, black and white quartz tiles are the most popular ones.
Quartz makes a great choice if you’re going for that sleek, elegant, and modern feel. Its durability makes it suitable to be used in high traffic areas, including kitchen and bathrooms.
Many Malaysian homes use quartz as a cheaper alternative to marble or granite.
Not only does quartz look great, it’s also extremely practical. It's super easy to clean and maintain - you don’t need any special soap or sealant for it.
Aside from that, is it also stain resistant, so it’s perfect for your countertop and other kitchen areas. The maintenance effort is low and it makes your home look modern and contemporary.
Pro Tip: Some companies might try to sell you a special quartz cleaning product, but you really don’t need it.
If you want unique, modern, and durable tiling but you’re not willing to let it take a huge chunk out of your budget, go for quartz.
Recommendations for quartz tiles in Malaysia:
Terracotta: down to earth
Albeit its fancy name, most Malaysians are actually very familiar with terracotta tiles. The name translates to “baked earth” in Italian.
Terracotta is a type of ceramic tile, made of fired clay. It is easily recognised by its distinct brownish or red colour and is usually available in earthy tones.
One key feature about terracotta tiles is that it gives a rustic, natural charm to your home. It is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor settings.
Terracotta is also strong and durable - which means they can last long. It is resistant to mold and bacteria. You can use terracotta tiles in your living room, kitchen, and even the front porch area.
It is important to note that terracotta is porous and, therefore not naturally waterproof, but it can be glazed to be moisture resistant. You should avoid using terracotta in high moisture areas. If you neglect this, the tiles might start cracking!
Cleaning terracotta isn’t that tricky. Just use warm water and a soft brush to avoid scratching the surface.
Recommendations for terracotta tiles in Malaysia:
You have selected the right tiles. What’s next?
Once you have selected the right tiles for your new home, reach out to your architect or contractor to guide you through the process of tiling your home.
These experts will be able to advise you further and tell you if you’ve chosen the right tiles for the right rooms according to factors like durability and light and moisture exposure.
If you do not have a contractor yet, speak to a few people and get a few different opinions and quotations before you get started!