unglazed tile set against a white background

Unglazed Tile-Glazed Tile

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 2/18/2021

Whether you’re renovating your walls or your floors, choosing to complete the project with tiles can be both rewarding and confusing. Before you can celebrate a job well done, you’re going to need to make some important decisions, one of which is whether to use glazed tile or unglazed tile.

Definition

A finished tile, in its base form, is often referred to as unglazed. Typically, the properties and materials of an unglazed tile, including color and composition, are consistent from surface to surface. Some tiles are designed to stay in their unglazed form and do not undergo a finishing process. Whereas, other unglazed tiles are designed to be glazed through a process whereby a liquid glass coating is applied, allowing for more color and style options.

Glazed vs Unglazed Tiles: What’s Better?

Both glazed and unglazed tiles have their pros and cons when it comes to projects around the home. Knowing which tile works best for which projects before you start can save you a lot of trouble down the road:

  • Chances are, if your project is on a wall, especially in the kitchen or bathroom, you’re probably going to want glazed tiles. They may not be as strong and durable as an unglazed tile but they stand up to water and stains better.
  • However, if you’re tiling a highly trafficked surface  a tougher unglazed tile may be your best choice. Unglazed tiles also tend to be more slip resistant and work well for flooring in slippery areas with high moisture, like kitchens and laundry rooms.
beta