Common types of tiles used for renovation in Singapore

Today, I am going to write about type of commonly used tiles and their characteristics.  I will only be writing in simple and non technical english so that most readers can understanding.

Homogeneous Tile

  • Most commonly used tiles in the renovation industry.  Most renovation quotations or packages will also state homogeneous tiles for flooring.
  • The whole tile is made of the same material.  If you accidentally break or chip the edge of your tile, you will still see the same color and material.
  • Tough material. Suitable for floor or wall.
  • Very wide surface range and color to choose from.  Able to create different look and feel.
  • Reasonable and affordable price for its material quality and range.

Homogeneous Tile

My parents’ kitchen uses homogeneous tiles. The surface of the tiles is rough (purpose is to prevent the floor from being slippery). I would like to say that it DOESN’T prevent the floor from being slippery (it is as slippery as smooth surface when wet) and the rough surface is trapping dirt (you can see some black dirty stain) which is almost impossible to clean.

A clearer look at my parents’ homogeneous tiles after 6 years of usage.

Ceramic Tile

  • Use to be the most commonly used before homogeneous tiles.  Older houses or HDB usually use ceramic tiles.
  • Made of clay with a glazed surface.  Meaning if you break the surface of the tile, you will see the clay base.
  • More suitable for wall.  Usage as floor tile is less preferred nowadays.
  • Beautiful designer surfaces possible as compared to homogeneous.
  • Cheap for the normal ceramic tile but can be expensive for those designer ones.
  • Advised not to use unless the design is what you wanted.

Ceramic Tile

My parents’ HDB living room ceramic tiles (original condition from HDB).

The edge of the ceramic tile is chipped off when a heavy object (e.g. pad lock) dropped onto the tile. You can see the clay base of the ceramic tile.

Marble Tile

  • A piece of marble tile is cut directly from a limestone.
  • Highly valued for its beautiful look, strength, resistance to fire and erosion.
  • Mostly used for floor in home.  Widely used as wall tiles in Shopping Centers.
  • Expensive (can be 5 to 6 times more expensive than homogeneous tiles)

Marble Tile

Porcelain Tile

  • Another type of clay tile.
  • Design selection not as wide as ceramic
  • Stronger and tougher than ceramic tile
  • Suitable as wall or floor tiles
  • Affordable price range

Granite Tile

  • Its a type of rock (including quartz) that is form from cooling and solidification of lava.
  • Super tough
  • Mainly used as floor tiles.  Also used for kitchen top.
  • Expensive
  • Good to have if you have the budget to spare.

Granite Tile

Mosaic Tile

  • It is made up of small pieces of material, e.g. ceramic, glass or porcelain, into patterns tile.
  • Usually very colorful with beautiful patterns.
  • Mainly used as wall tiles.  Use as feature wall.
  • Expensive.

Mosaic Tile

My master room toilet which I used mosaic tiles as the feature wall. It costed me an additional SGD$500 just to use these tiles on 2 sides of the walls.

Beware of cracks after installation.

Hope this post can help you to understand more about the tiles being used for renovation in Singapore.  If you have any feedback, please drop me a comment.

Blog about Interior Design, renovation and home improvement.


7 Responses to “Common types of tiles used for renovation in Singapore”

  1. Henson

    Jul 25. 2013

    Your blog on tiles is very informative. Do you know of any tile cutting service in Singapore? I only have a few pieces to cut (straight lines).

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      Jul 25. 2013

      Hi Henson, I have a few suggestions for you: 1) if your neighbourhood have any house on renovation, you can ask the tiler for help by tipping them. 2) engage a handyman which can cost about $150 per hour. You can search in google for handyman services. 3) go to hardware store and buy your own tile cutting equipment. Ask the seller how to use the equipment. It should be quite simple to do it. Hope my suggestions help.


      Reply to this comment
  2. Eric Tan

    Jun 25. 2014

    Hi I am looking for the renovation only 1 room common types of ceramic tiles replacement flooring sizes 356 X 363 mm but colour must be some with my 2 other room . Price between $300 – $500 may I know can I get this type of priceing. Thanks you

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      Jul 22. 2014

      I think its difficult. There are also hacking cost involved. Permit is also needed for hacking. Together with tiling and clearing of debris, you are looking at $1000 and above. You might want to consider overlaying with laminate or engineered wood flooring. Less work, faster and cheaper.

      Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      Oct 13. 2014

      Hi Eric, you can try Soon Bee Huat or Hafary.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Fukumei

    Nov 15. 2016

    Hi Vincent,
    is it expensive to be quoted a price of $16-$18K for renovation of wall tiles of kitchen and 2 toilets (full height), floor tiles for 2 toilets and change of kitchen cabinet? These are average renovations in a typical HDB 5-room flat (total floor area of 1240 sq. ft).


    Reply to this comment


  1. Making your HDB look bigger | Home Design - December 2, 2014

    […] the eye. This makes your area bigger instantly. Similarly, using big say 600mm x 600mm homogeneous tiles make your living room more grand, than small pieces of little planks. Bigger tiles make things more […]

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