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Different Tile Flooring Options: The Best Uses and Costs of Tile Flooring

Granite, Marble, Travertine... Huh!? As you begin the selection process of your new custom home, one of the more important aspects that you will need to choose is the type of flooring throughout your home. How hard can that be? You'll just select a nice earthy toned tile and be done with it, right? It really isn't as simple as that. There is a variety of different flooring that you can choose and there is a huge difference between them all.

The good news is, once you know the difference between the floor’s material, color, use and availability, the decision will pop right out at you. Dreamstar Custom Homes is here to help that happen.


There are two types of ceramic tile; simply put porcelain and non-porcelain. The most common type of ceramic tile is non-porcelain. It is also the least expensive. Ceramic tile is a more durable option as well. Non-porcelain ceramic tile is made up of a variety of brown and red clays along with other minerals. Porcelain tile is made in the same fashion but also includes feldspar, which is a white dust that acts as a bonding agent that melts during the process of fabrication and molds all the ingredients within the tile. This makes the porcelain ceramic tile more durable than non-porcelain, although it is more expensive and a little more difficult to work with.  Porcelain is also naturally stain resistant, has less water absorption, and allows for deeper color.

  • Best use for ceramic tile: Flooring and walls.
  • How much does ceramic tile cost? Non-porcelain is $2 - $4 per square foot and porcelain is $2 - $7 per square foot.

Natural Stone

Natural stone tile is exactly that. They are finished and cut to the size needed. There are a variety of natural stone to choose from and it will most likely depend on which area of the home you are choosing flooring for. Please keep in mind that since all these stone tiles are made of natural material, colors and patterns will vary. What you see on the display may not necessarily be what ends up on your floor.

Granite is a very hard and solid rock. Because of this, once the material is finished, it is the most impact and scratch resistant of  the natural stone tiles and requires less maintenance. Granite appears to have large crystals which gives the stone a more sparkly and coarse feel. There are a variety of colors and patterns of granite to choose from.

  • Best use for granite: Kitchen flooring, kitchen countertops and backsplashes, and any other area in the home that sees the most activity.
  • How much does granite cost? $12 - $80 per square foot. Price depends on level of granite. There are 5 levels of granite; the higher the level, the rarer the granite is.


Marble is a compacted and crystallized form of calcium carbonate, which is like a chalk. This makes marble more susceptible to scratches and cracks. It also involves more maintenance as it is a much more porous material than granite and will require cleaning and sealing every so often. There are not a lot of different colors of marble to choose from. The majority of marble is light colored and therefore allows for more staining. However, due to its delicacy and simplicity in color and texture, it does give the room a more sophisticated and elegant look.

  • Best use for marble: Flooring, walls, shower walls, bathroom vanity tops. Not recommended for the kitchen, outdoors, or other high traffic areas.
  • How much does marble cost?  $5 - $10 per square foot.


Travertine is a soft and porous material that comes from the limestone family. This type of flooring is therefore also susceptible to scratches, cracks and stains. Maintenance of this material is required more often than marble. The appearance of travertine is normally earth tone in color and will never quite keep a shine. Travertine will give your home a warm and cozy feel.

  • Best use for travertine: Flooring, walls, shower walls, bathroom vanity tops. Not recommended for the kitchen, outdoors, or other high traffic areas.
  • How much does it cost? $3 - $5 per square foot. This material is more readably available than marble.


Slate is a very dense and hard tile material. Naturally, the texture of slate is very noticeable unless a smooth finish has been applied. This material splits easily so that it can be made into tile, or even used as a roof tile, quickly and effortlessly. Slate tends to be available in dark earthy tones.

  • Best use for slate: Kitchen flooring and any other area in the home that sees the most activity. Slate could be used as roof tile material.
  • How much does it cost? $5 - $20 per square foot.


Limestone is a similar stone to travertine as it is porous, thus making it water absorbent. However, limestone has been hardened over time and will be a better option for flooring material. Limestone appears similar to travertine; however can also look like wood in some cases.

  • Best use for limestone: Living area flooring. Not recommended for the kitchen and outdoors.
  • How much does it cost? $4 - $40 per square foot.

Looking to build a custom home or renovate your existing home? You’re already off to a great start by doing the homework that landed you here. The easiest and most convenient next step is to click our “Schedule Your Idea Session" button on the side of this page. We are looking forward to talking with you so we can learn more about your hopes, priorities, and vision for your custom home build.    

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