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Should Kitchen Tiles Be Matte or Glossy?

Should Kitchen Tiles Be Matte or Glossy?

Your plan to renovate your kitchen is finally happening. In just a matter of weeks, you will wake up in the morning and walk to your beautiful new kitchen.

But in your mind’s eye, what do the tiles look like? Are they beautiful and glossy or are they muted and matte? Which tile style should you choose?

Whether you have matte or glossy kitchen tiles depends on your needs and tastes. The most important factors to consider are if you have disabled or elderly people in your home, how much time you have a week to clean your kitchen, and the decorations around the rest of the room.


Matte Tiles vs. Glossy Tiles

Choosing between matte and glossy tiles is more than just an aesthetic preference. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of tile.

Choose matte tile if you have a large kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, then matte tiles will not do your kitchen any favors.

Matte tiles do not reflect light and will make a small or medium kitchen look smaller than it really is.

Putting glossy tiles in a large kitchen will make the kitchen feel extremely roomy and too spacious.

On the other hand, glossy tiles reflect light. Because of the way light interacts with our eye, glossy tiles will trick the human eye into thinking the kitchen is larger than it is.

Most people choose glossy tiles if they have a small kitchen.

Matte tiles are a better choice if you fear slipping and falling, as the gloss on the tiles makes the tiles slippery.

This can be dangerous if you are living with elderly or disabled people.

It is easier to see spills, streaks, and fingerprints on glossy tiles. If the people in your home are prone to bringing in dirt, leaving smudges on the countertops, floors and walls, then glossy tiles may not be the best type of tile for your home.

But if you are dead set on the glossy look, it is time to tighten up the reins and train the people in your home to not be so messy!

Because it is easier to see stains and smudges, you will clean the backsplash and walls more often.

You could say the glossy tiles make the kitchen look dirtier than it really is.

Glossy tiles are also easier to clean than matte tiles. It is a good thing that glossy tiles are so easy to clean, because you’ll be cleaning them more often.

Matte tiles do not reflect light, so you will barely notice stains and fingerprints on the floors and walls unless you were actively looking for them. But once you find it, just wipe it away with a damp paper towel.

Matte tiles are harder to clean. You won’t be able to wipe away stains and slips like you can with glossy tiles. If you choose matte tiles, buy a special cleaning solution to make cleaning easier.

Glossy tiles are cold in the winter. Your feet will feel great if you live in an area with frequent heat waves.

Matte tiles will not freeze your feet, but the tiles will not feel cool and clean after you mop the floor.

Pros and Cons List

Here is a simple list of pros and cons of both matte and glossy tiles.


Does not scratch easilyHarder to clean
Great if you have elderly or disabled people in the house, as matte tiles are non-slipWill not feel clean or smooth because of matte finish
Makes kitchen look older, quaint and good for rustic or cottage designWill look muted and will make a small kitchen look smaller


Looks more visually appealing and makes small kitchens look biggerDevelops scratches easily
Easy to cleanFingerprints and smudges are more noticeable
Great for backsplashes and floorMight be slippery and cause injury
Make the kitchen look new or more modern 
Smooth feel, especially on the floor 

What About Semi-Gloss Tiles?

So, you want the beautiful shine of glossy tiles, but you don’t want to end up on your back if you accidentally step on spilled water.

There is a middle type of tile that you should look into. These tiles are called semi-gloss tiles.

Semi-gloss tiles are not as shiny and reflective as glossy tiles, but they ‌have a bit of shine.

They will still reflect light when a light bulb or the sun hits their surface.

They will make a small kitchen look slightly bigger. It is safer for people to walk on water and other liquids on semi-gloss tile because they’re not slippery.

Semi-gloss tiles are also easier to clean than matte tiles, and` purchasing a porcelain cleaning solution will speed up the cleaning process.

Can You Mix Matte and Semi-Gloss Tiles?

Anything is possible as long as you do it correctly. If you want a mix matte and glossy tiles in your kitchen, then many decorators recommend using matte tiles on the floor and glossy tiles on the backsplash and walls.

The matte tiles on the floor will prevent you from slipping if there are spills and the tiles will not highlight dirt or stains whenever you walk into the room.

The glossy tiles on the walls and backsplash will open up the room and make it look larger.

Plus, it is easier to clean oil and food stains from glossy tiles. We also recommend glossy tiles around the walls of your stove.

Glossy tiles make it easy to wipe off gunk, dirt, or buildup that lands on the walls.

Conclusion to Matte vs. Glossy Kitchen Tiles

You can’t just walk into a hardware store and select the first tile that you like. It is important to consider all the benefits and drawbacks of each type of kitchen tile.

Semi-gloss, glossy, and matte tiles are relatively the same price, so cost should not be an issue.

Glossy tiles will make your kitchen look a bit bigger and are easy to clean, but develop scratches and wear easily. Matte tiles do not scratch easily and are a bit safer, but are much harder to clean and might make your kitchen look smaller.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.