There are many great reasons to choose tiles when decorating your home, and the variety of options available means everyone can find a tile design and style they love.  With the massive range on offer, direct from the supplier you are guaranteed to find the perfect tile regardless of your budget, the size of your home, or the look you wish to achieve.

While it is easy to refer to tiles as simply that, there are many different finishes available for tiles, all very different in appearance and style, the three main types being:

  • Gloss tiles
  • Polished tiles
  • Matt tiles

These three finishes provide you with a wealth of opportunities to style your home, and you can choose from a fantastic selection of colours, patterns and designs for each.

At The Online Tile Shop, we know you want options, so we’re delighted to provide all three tile finishes. However, we also know having so many choices can be overwhelming. If you want a guide that details the three main tile finishes while offering tips and advice for styling your home with the perfect tile, then you are reading the right article!

Gloss Tiles

These tiles feature a striking glossy finish, achieved by applying a glaze to the tile during production. Gloss tiles are available in various colours and styles, and people can use them to create a sleek and modern look in any room. One of the benefits of gloss tiles is that they are easy to clean and maintain. However, they can also show fingerprints and smudges more readily than other tiles, in a similar way a reflective mirror or shiny surface can.

Gloss tiles are best suited for areas that do not get a lot of traffic, such as backsplashes or accent walls, making them ideal in the kitchen or bathroom. Using them in patterns on a wall can create striking patterns that are bold and impactful, perfect for making a statement with your tile design.

Polished Tiles

A polished tile features a finish created with a polished wheel, which is achieved by buffing the tile with a special polishing compound. The result is a high gloss tile that is highly reflective. Polished tiles are typically used in high-end applications, such as in luxury bathrooms or kitchens. 

They are also commonly used in public spaces like shopping centres or office buildings. While polished tiles are more expensive than non-polished tiles, they can add a touch of elegance to any room with a beautiful shimmering, reflective finish.

Is there a difference between gloss and polished tiles?

While gloss and polished tiles look similar, there is a significant difference in how they are produced. There are more steps to the polished process, double-firing tiles with the final colour or pattern, and then tiles are buffed and sealed.

As the production process with gloss tiles is more straightforward, these tiles are often more affordable than polished tiles.

Matt Tiles

These tiles feature a flat, non-reflective finish. Matt tiles are often used in areas where a gloss finish is too slippery, such as bathrooms and kitchens. They are also popular in more rustic and traditional designs. Matt tiles are more durable than gloss or polished tiles, making them an excellent choice for areas with significant footfall and ideal for floor tiles.

Another feature of matt tiles is they don’t reflect light, which helps create a softer feel in a room. This is why matt tiles are more prevalent on the living room or bedroom walls than gloss or polished tiles, but this, of course, is a matter of taste.

What maintenance is required for tiles?

Knowing how to clean tiles effectively will ensure they remain in excellent condition, so take note of these tile maintenance tips:

Sweep or vacuum regularly - To prevent dirt and debris from accumulating on your tiles, sweep or vacuum them regularly. This will also help to prevent scratches from occurring.

Clean tiles and remove stains with a particular solution - A reliable way to clean matt tiles is to use a combination of warm water, dishwater liquid and white vinegar. This mix helps lift stains and preserve the finish, and of course, after the mixture has worked its magic, rinse your tiles off and allow them to dry before standing on them.

Avoid harsh chemicals - Harsh chemicals can damage your tiles, so it is essential to avoid using them when cleaning them. If you must use a chemical cleaner, dilute it properly and rinse the area afterwards with clean water.

Protect against stains - To help protect your tiles against stains, apply a sealant to them. There are many different types of sealers available, so be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for use on your choice of tile.

Clean up spills immediately - If you spill something on your tiles, clean it up immediately to prevent staining, so keep a damp cloth or sponge handy.

Of course, you know there are differences between matt, gloss and polished tiles, and the same goes for how you should maintain these tiles. For example, mops and vacuum cleaners with soft bristles can be used on matt tiles without damaging the surface, whereas you should avoid this style of cleaning equipment on polished or gloss tiles.

Due to their finish, gloss and polished tiles require additional care and maintenance to ensure they continue to look great. You should take the time to buff these tiles with soft cloths, and never use bleach or acidic cleaning products with these tiles. At The Online Tile Shop, we want you to enjoy your tiles for many years to come, so we are keen to ensure all our customers know the best way to care for and clean their home tiles.

What tiles are best for specific rooms or areas?

If you are looking for flooring tiles, matt tiles are invariably the smarter option. Gloss and polished tiles are smooth and often slippery, especially when wet. For kitchen tiles where there are likely to be spillages, matt tiles provide greater reliability. The same can be said for bathroom tiles, where you expect water to land on tiles.

Regarding safety measures, matt tiles are ideal for the floor. Of course, buyers have different criteria when it comes to wall tiles in the kitchen or bathroom. A wipe-clean surface is often helpful when there are splashes, and the styles available with polished and glass tiles make them an ideal choice for space.

Gloss tiles are reflective, and are fantastic at brightening up a space. If you have a room that you want to have a light and airy feel to, opting for gloss tiles makes sense.

There is no denying polished tiles have an air of gravitas and class that help you make a positive impression. Businesses and corporations invariably choose polished tile surfaces in and around their entrance or reception areas because this helps them positively welcome guests.

Finding your style of tile

We are pleased to say we offer an extensive selection of colours for matt, gloss and polished tiles. Recently we find customers gravitate towards the core offering of grey, beige, white and natural. There is also considerable diversity when it comes to the appearance of your tiles. We offer marble, herringbone, modern, patterned, Victorian style, Morrocan style, stone effect and tiles which are ideally suited to a rustic or country setting.

Whatever impression you wish to create, The Online Tile Shop has tiles for you. We are sure you’ll love the look and feel, but if you need any assistance finding your ideal choice of tile for the kitchen, bathroom, hallway or other space, we can help. The Online Tile Shop has an extensive selection of tiles in all styles and finishes, and we’ll ensure you get what you need, so get in touch today.

30 Reviews


4.6 Rating 30 Reviews


Verified Customer

|Excellent Service, tiles arrived very quickly and were well packed. Would highly recomemend this company.

1 months ago

Olena Golovtchouk

Verified Customer

Great tiles, very expensive delivery

1 months ago

Robin Temple

Verified Customer

Excellent service and I am thrilled with the tile you sent. I will be placing an order for more of these tiles to use as a splash back in a small kitchen .

1 months ago

Claire Martin

Verified Customer

Superb service and product

1 months ago


Verified Customer

Very happy with these tiles. Arrived quickly and very well packaged.

2 months ago

Sian Pugh

Verified Customer

Great price and fantastic service

2 months ago


Verified Customer

The tiles were a great price compared to other online retailers selling the same tiles. However, £30 for a DHL delivery seemed a bit expensive for a small order (approx 220 15x10cm tiles for a splashback).

2 months ago

Linda O'Keeffe

Verified Customer

Easy to use, fast service recommended

2 months ago

James Hindle

Verified Customer

Fab tiles and great service - we couldn’t be happier with the results !

4 months ago

trina hedges

Verified Customer

had two broken tiles - contacted themby email and sent pics but still no reply!! tried to upload pics but seems is not poss

4 months ago