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Paint vs Tiles – What’s Best for You?

Graham’s & Son Interiors is all about interior design, so in this blog we are going to compare paint vs tiles in different contexts. We’ve also included some examples of paint colours and tile style options. Plus, we’ve got some cleaning tips for you. 

Click on each link to jump ahead to that section. 

1. Walls

2. Wood or Metal

3. Kitchens & Bathrooms

4. Floors

5. Colours & Styles

6. Cleaning Tips

Continue reading to learn more or contact Graham’s for interior design advice


In this blog we will consider paint vs tiles, what works and what doesn’t, and some of the current trends! 

(Image Sources: Blue Bird and Karolina Grabowska)

Paint vs Tiles

1. Walls

While we will touch on how to deal with the walls in specific rooms of your home, the best option for finishing the majority of your walls is PAINT. This is because paint is extremely versatile and customizable.


Paint is definitely a better choice for finishing the walls in your home. Why? Because paint is so versatile. It is much easier to change the paint colour in your home than it is to change the tiles in your home. Also, paint is much more forgiving when it comes to making mistakes. 


One of the benefits of using paint is that you get a wide variety of colour options! (Image Source: Maria Ovchinnikova)


Endless Options

There are so many choices when it comes to paint. You can choose from a wide variety of colours and shades which you can customize to fit your style. You can also choose the type of finish like:

  • Eggshell
  • Flat 
  • Glossy
  • Matte
  • Satin
  • Semi-Gloss

By choosing different paint colours and finishes you can create different styles. You can go for a rustic look or a modern and minimalist look. Learn more from The Spruce on How to Choose the Right Interior Paint Finish for your walls.


Mix and match hot new trendy colours with classic neutrals. (Image Source: Miguel Marmolejos Fernández

2. Wood or Metal

Let’s face it, if you have wood or metal finishings in your home, you probably don’t want to cover it up with tiles. Naturally, paint is a better option for preserving the look of certain materials and for protecting wood or metal. 

Paint can actually act as a protective layer for wood which, when left exposed to sunlight, will naturally fade and wear. You can choose to go with clear finishes or stains for wood as well so that you protect the wood but don’t lose it’s natural look.

While we are focusing mostly on interior design, paint works well on wood or metal outdoors as well, though you may need to do regular touch ups because of weathering.


Tiles are great for backsplashes, anywhere prone to spills and steam! (Image Source: Anete Lusina)  

3. Kitchens & Bathrooms

Next we are going to look at paint vs tiles in the context of kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles are great for rooms that are more exposed to moisture because they are more water resistant. Rooms such as:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Entryways

Moisture can effect painted surfaces causing them to peel and wood surfaces causing them to  warp through expansion and contraction.

While you don’t need to rely completely on tile, here are some great ways to include it in the above mentioned rooms:

  • Backsplashes behind sinks & kitchen/bathroom counters
  • Shower/Bathtub walls

Tiles are fairly water-resistant and can stand up well to moisture, steam, and other spills and splashes that occur when cooking and cleaning. 

If you are renovating your Kitchen or thinking about it, have a peak at this article from Good Housekeeping for inspiration: 30 Stylish Kitchen Backsplash Ideas for Every Style and Budget.


Vary up the look of your home with have fun with patterned tiles. (Image Source: Vung Nguyen)

4. Floors

As mentioned earlier, tiles are great for rooms that see a lot of moisture, like entryways or foyers. We come inside after trekking through rain or snow and often drop shoes and bags that leave moisture. Given this, floors in our entryways have to withstand both a lot of traffic and moisture. Tiles are strong and durable and a much better option than paint which could peel, crack or bubble under all that pressure!

Besides being a practical option for floors, tiles also a great for decorating floors. You can choose colourful or patterned tiles to change the look and design style of a room. There is little question when it comes to paint vs tiles for flooring. Learn more about flooring services from Graham’s.


Spanish Moss is a colour you can use on metal or wood which contrasts well with other neutral colours. (Image Source: Krylon)

5. Colours & Styles

Are you looking for the latest colour trends and styles? We still see the classic neutrals (beige, taupe, gray, cream, brown, black, and white) but we also see varied pink and green shades, too. 

Here is what we found out about trending paint colours from Better Homes & Gardens:

Trending Paint Colours

  • Aged Barrel by Minwax
  • Blank Canvas by Behr
  • Canyon Ridge by Better Homes & Gardens 
  • Raspberry Blush by Benjamin Moore
  • Redend Point by Sherwin-Williams
  • Rustic Greige by Dutch Boy
  • Spanish Moss by Krylon
  • Terra Rosa by Dunn-Edwards
  • Vining Ivy by Glidden
  • Viva Magenta by Pantone
While you may not want to do your whole home in viva magenta, one of the trending colours, you may choose to do an accent wall in one of these fun colours.

Trending Tile Styles

According to Homes & Gardens, you’ll see the following tile trends:

  • Artistic (Bold Colours & Patterns, Art Deco)
  • Checkerboard
  • Earthy Terracotta
  • Large Tiles
  • Moroccan
  • Natural Stone (Marble and Onyx) 
  • Natural Colours (Moss Green, Clay Red)
  • Textured Tiles

Other tips to know about tiles is that people are starting to blend indoor and outdoor tiles so the transition between spaces is not as obvious. Also, subway tiles are still trending!


Use a damp sponge to maintain your painted walls. (Image Source: cottonbro studio

6. Cleaning Tips

Lastly, we’ll cover some paint vs tile cleaning tips to help maintain your home.


You don’t want to use any product that is harsh on your painted walls. Generally, a damp non-abrasive cloth will be all you need to clean painted walls, but it does depend on the finish of the paint used. The more durable the paint finish, the more aggressive the cleaning product can be. 

Below are some general maintenance tips we found. Overall, remember not to saturate your walls, use a damp cloth and dry your walls off quickly. Also, don’t forget to dust off your surfaces before you begin!

  • Flat, Satin or Eggshell Paint Finish

If the paint has this type of finish, just dip a soft sponge or cloth into water and wipe it down. Dry with a microfiber cloth. 

  • Glossy or Semigloss Paint Finish

In this case, you can add a tiny bit of dish soap into your warm water and then do the same thing as above.

  • Latex Paint

If your wall has been painted with latex paint, you’ll want to use an all-purpose cleaner and water and then follow the same steps as above.

  • Oil-Based Paint

In this case, you can add some dish soap (1 tsp) and white vinegar (1/4 tsp) to your  warm water (approx. 1 liter). Let the mix rest for  10 minutes and then continue following the steps as above.

  • Stains

For stains, try a mixture of baking soda and warm water. Form a paste with a couple of tablespoons of the baking soda and a dash of water and then gently apply it to the stain, wiping it off with a damp cloth.  If you have walls painted with oil-based paint, you can try leaving the cleaning solution on the stain for a few minutes and then blot it out. If that doesn’t work and you need help, you can reach out to Graham’s.


When cleaning tiles, you should also remember not to oversaturate your tiles with water or liquid as the tiles are porous. All you need to clean tiles is a mop dampened with a gentle all-purpose cleaner or products suggested by the manufacturer. When finished, you can buff your floors with a clean buffing cloth.

Here is what you should NOT use on your tiles:

Lastly, remember to clean up spills quickly so you don’t end up with stains on your tile. 


Don’t complete your renovations without contacting Graham’s for interior design advice! (Image Source:  Andrea Piacquadio)

Graham's & Son Interiors

Still considering paint vs tiles for your home? Contact Graham’s & Son Interiors for a FREE In-Home consultation to discuss the options and pricing involved with your home interior project! Graham’s specializes in the following interior design services:

  • Flooring & Carpet
  • Backsplashes & Countertops
  • Painting
  • Window Treatments
  • Upholstery & Refinishing
  • Kitchen & Bathroom Renovations

With decades of experience and expertise, this local, family-owned business can give you advice on what would work best for you and your budget. Find us in Cambridge, Ontario, or call us at (519) 658-9025. We would love to meet you!


"We contacted Graham and Son Interiors for interior design advice and ideas when we purchased our new home in the Deer Ridge area. The entire team at Graham and Son Interiors were amazing. Polite, professional, and details were perfection! They listened to our initial ideas and responded with designs that not only matched but exceeded our expectations. Their timelines are expedient yet not rushed. Our home looks so much more elegant and polished due to their involvement. We still have a few projects to go and will upload photos at the completion of the designs and install. If you are looking for high quality, professional seamless service I highly recommend Graham and Son Interiors and Team."
– Sherry P.
"We really loved the variety of flooring they had for us to choose from. Also Mr. Graham very knowledgeable and professional. The installer was absolutely fabulous. He went above and beyond."
– Ashley & Janette.