Color-Bodied Vs. Color-Glazed: Tile Basics with Ryan Powell

Color-Bodied vs. Color-Glazed

Color-Bodied tile is made of clay, sand and other materials and then kiln-fired, which results in the tile being colored all the way through. They may either be polished or they can be left unpolished. The color of the tile can be seen through the entire tile. If there is a chip or scratch in this type of tile, the color with closely match the exterior design of tile.

Color-Glazed tile, on the other hand, is made of uninteresting-looking clay, and then a thin glass or ceramic layer is applied to the top. These colors are often vibrant, or can even be patterned. Unlike color-bodied porcelain, which looks roughly the same if it chips, a chip in glazed tiles will show the white or neutral-looking clay beneath. Glaze tiles can be treated for slip resistance.



Porcelain tile is typically made with a color-bodied design, although color-glazed options are available. Ceramic tiles are usually color-glazed, so we would advise using a porcelain tile in high traffic areas, such as floors. Porcelain tile, due to being kiln-fired at high temperatures, work well in areas where moisture is expected, such as showers, entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, and even by swimming pools.


Here is a chart I have found helpful when trying to understand the different types of tile:

Ceramic vs. Porcelain

Type of Tile Color-Bodied or Color-Glazed Durability Best Use
Ceramic Color-Glazed only Durable Indoors

Low Traffic Areas

Dry areas

Porcelain Both    Extremely Durable Indoors&Outdoors

High traffic area

Wet areas

Moisture resistant