Glazed vs. Unglazed Tiles: Which Should I Choose?

Tile is one of the most popular flooring options due to its durability and variety of options. Having a wide selection of options when choosing a tile can be overwhelming. We’ve broken it down to the most common forms: glazed and unglazed tiles.

The Difference Between Glazed and Unglazed Tiles

The difference between glazed and unglazed tiles really comes down to whether or not an enamel liquid is added to the clay tile before it is heated in a kiln. This small action actually creates many differences in the look, feel, and maintenance of tiles.

Glazed Tiles

Glazed, in this case, does not mean that the tiles are always shiny or glossy. Glazed isn’t the appearance of the tile, rather, it’s the process the tile underwent. Glazed tiles have liquid glass applied to the tile right before it goes into a kiln. Glazed tiles can come in matte or gloss finishes.


Glazed tiles have many benefits that make them the most popular option for tile flooring. One of the biggest reasons homeowners choose glazed over unglazed is the fact that glazed tiles are non-absorbent their entire life. They are easier to maintain and won’t fade over time because of their protective sealant.


While glazed tiles have many attractive benefits, they do come with some drawbacks compared to their unglazed counterparts. Glazed tiles are not as thick as unglazed tiles, meaning they are more prone to cracking and showing wear over time, especially in high foot traffic areas. Additionally, glazed tiles tend to be more slippery.

Unglazed Tiles

Unglazed tiles are still fired in a kiln, but do not receive the liquid glass enamel before being fired. This is why they are referred to as “unglazed.” Though it’s only one difference in the tile-making process, unglazed tiles have just as many benefits and drawbacks as glazed tiles.


Unglazed tiles are tough, due to their thicker and denser structure. This makes them ideal for heavy traffic areas and commercial spaces. Unglazed tiles also have an earthy appearance because minerals and pigments in the tile show through. Plus, unglazed tiles are slip-resistant, making them perfect for your pool deck!


There are more attributes to consider about unglazed tiles. Because they are not sealed, they absorb liquids and are more prone to staining compared to glazed tiles. And unless you want a natural look, the pigments on unglazed tiles may actually be a negative.

Floor Removal with Speedy Floor Removal

If you are planning on installing new tile flooring, you’ll need to remove your old flooring. Don’t get bogged down with the dust, stress, or mess. Trust your floor removal project with the Speedy Floor Removal team. With convenient locations around North and Central Florida, we can handle your floor removal project!

Fill out our online form to receive a free project estimate.