5 Unexpected Places to Use Tile in Your Home to Increase Its Value

published Apr 23, 2023
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Tile wainscoting in bedroom
Credit: WOW Design/Tile of Spain
Tile wainscoting pairs well with tile floors throughout a home.

If an interior designer suggested that you replace your dated kitchen countertops with tile, you might picture your grandparents’ home, with its chipped white squares and wide, stained grout lines, and want to seek a second opinion. But think again! Tile countertops are making a strong comeback in new, phenomenally improved ways. 

In fact, porcelain tile in particular is showing up in more ways and spaces than ever before. And as a bonus, tile can also add to your home’s resale value, according to real estate professionals across the country. Here are five ways to use this versatile, durable, and safe material in your home.

Credit: ABK Group/Ceramics of Italy
New porcelain countertop offerings include induction hobs.


Porcelain tile is heat- and frost-resistant, so it can be used indoors and outdoors, whether you live in Alaska or Arizona. That’s great for creating a cohesive look for both spaces that open onto each other. While you can also do this with natural stone, porcelain slabs can give you the same look while never needing to be sealed or polished. 

Fadi Matti owns a real estate brokerage in San Diego County and says his clients are enthusiastic about these new tile tops. “Porcelain counters are very popular and can really enhance the value of a home,” he notes. “When people hear ‘granite’ these days, it’s starting to sound outdated and really worn-out. Porcelain has a much fresher ring to it and adds that special hint of modernity to a listing.”

There’s a new tech benefit to consider, too: Some of the porcelain slab counters allow for built-in induction cooktops, making your kitchen’s air quality healthier, getting meals to the table faster, providing easier cleanup, and expanding your usable counter space when you’re not cooking. 

Credit: Atlas Concorde USA
Tile flooring can extend from indoor to outdoor spaces for seamless transitions.

Coordinated Indoor/Outdoor Flooring 

You probably already have ceramic tile somewhere in your home; perhaps in the kitchen, laundry room, mudroom, entry, or bathrooms. It’s a time-tested material for these hardworking wet spaces. With new styles and enhanced slip resistance, new porcelain tile offerings can enhance your patio or deck, too. There are series that include matching indoor- and outdoor-rated tiles that can flank a doorway for a seamless transition. If the door has a zero-barrier threshold, this surface also becomes wheelchair-friendly. And like outdoor countertops, it is heat- and frost-resistant, durable, and low-maintenance.

Maybe you never thought about using it in bedrooms or living areas before. Now you might. 

“Carpet is dead — plain and simple. Almost no one wants to buy a home with carpet in any room these days,” declares Matti, highlighting some of its health issues, like hiding dust mites and other allergens. If you live in a colder climate, you might find the prospect of cold tile against your bare feet unpleasant — especially after getting out of a toasty bed or shower. Porcelain works well with radiant flooring, which is a comfort upgrade to your primary bedroom suite — or anywhere in your home where you might want to relax. “A listing with porcelain tile flooring throughout the entire living area is a buyer’s dream these days,” Matti adds. “And we see these homes get a lot of offers and sell more quickly, for more money.”

Credit: Micah Merlin

Real estate broker Sharon McLennon is seeing the same trend in Broward County, Florida. “With the plethora of options available regarding shapes, materials, colors, and textures, tile can go a long way in defining style and, when done properly, can add thousands of dollars to resale,” she says.

Home Siding 

This application is more common outside of the U.S., but has tremendous potential to increase the resilience of your home here, too. There are new systems coming on the market to offer American builders this option. If you live in a wildfire zone, you’ll benefit from its fire resistance. Because tile is nonflammable, it’s also not going to produce smoke (including the toxic smoke often produced during structure fires), and can help reduce flame spread. 

If you live in an area prone to rainstorms and flooding, you’ll appreciate its superior water resistance. (While no building material can guarantee a home’s complete survivability, increasing its potential to come through a disaster with less damage can be helpful to homeowners.) 

On a more mundane note, pretty much everyone likes a surface that’s durable and low-maintenance. You’ll never have to bring in a house painter to spiff up tile cladding before putting your home on the market.

Credit: Why Tile
Tile roofing materials add energy efficiency and resale value to a home.

Roof Material 

Spanish-style homes throughout Southern California are topped with barrel tile roof materials. They’re extremely attractive, durable, and, like siding, fire-resistant and low-maintenance. But maybe that look just won’t work with your modern or Tudor home. No problem! 

There are newer tile options for other architectural styles that also mesh more attractively and easily with solar panels, provide a durable roof, and withstand the elements. They can also add to a green building certification and lower your heating and cooling bills — and add to your home’s value. “Tiled roofs are highly sought-after and can easily make a difference of $10,000 to $15,000 on the price of a standard 2,000-square-foot home,” shares McLennon.

Credit: Sara Albers of Alice & Lois

Baseboards and Wainscoting 

It’s not uncommon to see wood or MDF baseboards paired with tile floors, but this is a missed opportunity. Taking tile up the wall can reduce water damage in the event of flooding. It can also add durable, decorative style as decorative paneling in any room.

Jennifer Hyman, a Chicago-based interior designer who is also a real estate broker, suggested this approach for a client’s kids’ bath, she says. When she was brought in recently to list that same home for sale, she asked the homeowner about this choice. 

“They told me not only did it still look good, but it actually also made bath times easier because they added suction cup storage baskets to the walls for bathtub toys and kid-height towel hooks to help with cleanup,” Hyman says. “They credited the bullnose tile baseboards for preventing damage when the tub overflowed during a ‘submarine expedition.’ The bathroom design has held its value and still looks great!”