On the face of it, choosing the right tile surface for your next project should be simple. Most designers know roughly how they want their tiles to look and feel. The hard part is deciphering many of the bewildering terms used to describe different kinds of tile finishes – Lappato? Bush hammered?! – to make the most informed decision.
Interior designers must consider how different tile finishes feel, reflect light, as well as their suitability for a given application. This helps to narrow down tiles that are best suited to a specific space, rather than those that merely looks good. Porcelain tiles alone come in dozens of different finishes – so which finish is right for you?
This article gives a run-down of some popular tile surface finishes we offer for our range of tiles. We’ll explore the difference between polished and semi-polished tiles, the best finishes for safety and slip-resistance, and how manufacturers like Porcel-Thin create such varied textures and looks.
Polished vs. semi-polished (Lappato)
Polished and semi-polished finishes are widely available for porcelain and natural stone tiles. The difference between the two lies in the amount of high gloss applied to the surface. Polished tiles are fully glossed with a smooth high shine finish, whereas semi-polished tiles preserve some of the original texture.
A large number of our stunning ultra-thin porcelain tiles are available in a polished finish, including dozens of marble effect tiles as well as our show-stopping book match, 3D Shadow and Leviathan collections. We also offer five semi-polished 1800x900mm tiles in a choice of five simple colours.
Marvellous Matt finishes
Sometimes spelt “matte”, matt surface finishes are smooth and non-reflective. Indeed, they are crafted to absorb natural and atmospheric light, leaving no reflection – the exact opposite of a polished finish. This lack of reflectiveness creates a softer, luxurious look and is ideal for concealing smudges and dirt. Matt tiles will generally provide more slip resistance than polished tiles and for this reason they are a popular choice for floors, particularly bathrooms and kitchens.
Certain finishes lend an extra-grippy quality to tiles. Such tile finishes are usually categorised as structured or textured. These characteristics make them particularly suitable for wet areas such as spas and swimming pools. Structured tiles are created by adding texture to a previously flat tile surface, resulting in a high slip-resistance rating.
All our ultra-thin porcelain tiles go through slip-resistance testing. But we also offer tiles with a specific structured or textured finish, such as our Jerusalem aged limestone range and concrete effect tiles.
Some popular alternatives
For a rough and weathered texture, many designers opt for a hammered or “bush hammered” finish. This distinctive feel is applied to natural stone and concrete by uniformly pitting the surface with an impact machine or by hand.
Metallic finishes are another bold design choice. This finish is created by spraying a high-quality metallic glaze to the tile surface, such as with our bronze and steel effect tiles.
If you have any specific questions about tile surface finishes – or indeed anything to do with ultra-thin porcelain tiles – please get in touch today. Porcel-Thin’s tile experts will guide you through the many options available and help to steer your design project to its best possible conclusion.