Why do certain tiles cost more than others?

A question we are asked almost daily, and one which I almost made the title of this post: “What makes some tiles more expensive than others?” The truth (and the reason I didn’t) is that you get what you pay for. There are many reasons why some tiles cost more than others, including:
  • Quality
  • Design
  • Technical Capability
  • Raw materials
  • Size


“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” This famous quote is around a long time but has never  been more true than it is today, with such a vast array of competing products  to consider. The quality ones will and should always cost more.


I have no idea how to design something but I can appreciate good design when I see it. Good design comes from the heart, not from the brain. Around 100 Italian tile producers work with extremely good designers who are retained to capture the essence of good design in their materials. The other 1,000s of tile manufactures copy the work of these 100. Some do it very well but as with a photocopy something is always lost between the original and the copy.

Technical Capability:

How long do tiles last? A good quality tile will last a lifetime. How do we know? Because they are subjected to a litany of tests by professional standards authorities which tell us such things as their hardness, stain resistance, slip resistance etc . These standards allow us to recommend tiles that are suitable for a variety of different uses from homes to shopping centers.

Raw Materials & Machinary

Most tiles are made from a combination of clay and various minerals. Producers who want to make tiles with a bit more sparkle or which can reflect light better will chose specific more costly raw materials  and use better, moe modern to achieve these effects.


Size does matter! The last number of years has seen a huge increase in the the number of different sizes on offer. In general larger sizes and very small sizes such as mosaic will attract a price premium to standard sizes Good Quality Need Not Mean Expensive Few of us are fortunate enough to have bottomless pockets and even those who do are working to some budget. It is the role of a good tile retailer to consider all the above together with a clients budget to achieve the best possible end result. Quality is remembered long after price has been forgotten!