White Tile: How to Choose The Right Shade of White… | Fireclay Tile

We're Hiring! Click to view open positions.

Fireclay is Hiring!

Your Cart ×

Color Spotlights

White Tile: How to Choose The Right Shade of White Ceramic, Brick or Glass Tile

By Ted Ryan

White Tile: How to Choose The Right Shade of White Ceramic, Brick or Glass Tile

White tile is without a doubt one of the most popular finishes for a home. Whether it’s a backsplash, a bathroom floor, a custom shower, or a fireplace, white tile offers a clean and sophisticated look. But white tile comes in many different shades and hues and choosing the right one for your home takes careful consideration. Lucky for you, we offer a wide array of white tiles across our range of Ceramic, Brick, and Glass Tile bodies.

We’re walking through each one to help you whittle down your whites.

Favorite White Subway Tiles

Tile Shown: Favorite Neutrals Sample Pack

How to Choose the Right Hue of White

Cool or warm white? That’s usually the first question designers and DIY’ers will ask when picking out the white that’s right for them. How you decide depends on your preferences, but there are some guiding principles to help you find one you’re happy with.

What do your existing furnishings look like? Warm colors like reds, pinks, and yellows will lend themselves to a warm hue of white while blues, greens, and purples prefer a cooler hue.

Next, observe the natural light in your space. How much is there? The more light, the purer the white you’ll likely want in order to reflect the natural tones. Artificial light tends to skew warm or cool, so your tile will want to balance its effect.

Fresh Exchange White Backsplash

Brick Shown: White Mountains // Design + Image: The Fresh Exchange


Sample several shades of white and see how they react to light throughout the day and then compare your notes in the evening when you’re only using artificial light. The tile might appear one way online or even in person at a local store, but observing it in the space it’s to be installed is the only way to know how it will appear.

Remember, the finish will determine how light reacts to your tile as much as the color, with gloss and matte finishes each reacting differently to both natural and artificial light.

Even grout color can affect how different white tiles appear in your space.

Ultimately, the choice depends on the vibe you’re after. Want crisp and clean? Choose the purest white possible. Calming calls for something cool and cozy requires something warmer.

Sara and Rich Comb Mini Star and Cross in Tusk Kitchen Backsplash

Tile Shown: Mini Star and Cross in Tusk // Design: Sara and Rich Combs // Images: Margaret Austin

White Ceramic Tile

Our recycled ceramic tile body comes in 14 different shades of white ranging from brilliant white to richly warm.

White Wash

White Wash is our most luminous shade of white tile. This bright and clean color loves natural light and pops with a like-new luster long after it’s installed. Its glossy finish reflects light, adding to its brightness, and is easy to maintain. White Wash is virtually free of all pigment and undertones and features minimal variation, so if you’re looking for the whitest of white tile, this is it.

Emily Henderson White Wash Chaine Homme Bath

Tile Shown: Chaine Homme in White Wash // Design: Emily Henderson // Image: Tessa Neustadt

Capitol

Next along the spectrum is Capitol. Capitol is a white tile with a subtle undertone of grey, reminiscent of white marble. The finish is non-slip, making it perfect for residential and commercial floors, steam rooms, and pool decks. The non-slip finish gives this tile a somewhat muted look with minimal variation.

White Herringbone Capitol Kitchen Floor

Tile Shown: 3x12 in Capitol // Design: Hatchworks // Image: Robert Gomez Photography


Daisy

Similar to Capitol is Daisy. Daisy is a white glaze with nearly no pigmentation and just a hint of grey undertones. Unlike Capitol, Daisy is not non-slip. Instead, the matte finish makes for an approachable white that’s less radiant than something like White Wash. Daisy features slightly more variation than Capitol and is perfect for a clean backsplash with just the right amount of personality.

SVK Interior 2x6 Daisy Herringbone Backsplash Kitchen

Tile Shown: 2x6 in Daisy // Design: Senalee Kapelevich // Image: Michele Lee Willson Photography

Frost

Frost is another white tile with mild grey undertones. What’s unique to this glossy finish glaze is its decorative crackling detail, known as crazing. Frost is bright, reflective, and features very noticeable variation giving each tile unique, one-of-a-kind characteristics. Please note: Dark, pigmented grouts are not recommended with this glaze due to staining potential.

Francesca Albertazzi Backsplash Picket in Frost

Tile Shown: Pickets in Frost // Design: Rudy Winston Design // Image: Janis Nicolay

Tusk

Tusk is where our whites start to warm up. As the name suggests, Tusk is an ivory color white with warm undertones. The glossy finish is smooth and reflective and has minimal variation. For a clean, uniform look in a mostly artificially lit setting that you don’t want to appear cold, like a shower or bathroom wall tile, this is an excellent choice.

Claire Thomas Tusk bath


Tile Shown: 4x4 in Tusk // Design + Image: Claire Thomas

Calcite

Calcite is a warm white with a slight beige undertone. It is matte and non-reflective, giving it a soft and smooth appearance. There is a slight variation from tile to tile and little to no decorative crazing. Again, we do not recommend darker pigmented grouts with this glaze due to staining potential.

Sara Sherman Samuels Calcite Hexagon Bath

Tile Shown: 6" Hexagons in Calcite // Design+Image: Sarah Sherman Samuel

Chateau

Chateau is a warm off-white with pigments of yellow, linen, sand, and flax. It features a matte, non-reflective finish with slight color variation and little crackled detailing. In natural light, the yellow tones tend to dominate while in artificially lit settings, the glaze takes on a peachier hue.

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Chateau (center color) with Cardamom + Shell (discontinued) // Design: Wraith Design // Image: Sen Creative

Gardenia

Gardenia is a warm white glaze with a creamy organic pigment. Where White Wash sparkles with brand new brightness, Gardenia has the charming patina of time. The off-white glaze is glossy with a shiny, semi-reflective sheen, slight color variation, and little to no crackled detailing.

The Perennial Eco Friendly Cuisine Gardenia Backsplash

Tile Shown: 4x4 in Gardenia // Design: The Perennial

Magnolia

Magnolia is an alabaster colored off-white with a drop of faint green pigment. Magnolia has noticeable color variation, and intricately veined crazing on the glossy, semi-reflective finish.

Fare Isle 2x6 Magnolia Shower

Tile Shown: 2x6 in Magnolia // Design + Image: Fare Isle

Magnolia with Black Patine

Magnolia with Black Patine is much more than your average white tile. Starting with a standard Magnolia tile, this colorway undergoes an additional step to enhance the appearance of the crazing inherent to this glaze. Finished tiles are treated with a black patine that embeds in the crazing for an artistic look of age and distinctiveness.

2x8 Magnolia with Patine

Tile Shown: 2x8 in Magnolia with Black Patine // Design: Bells + Whistles // Image: Haley Hill Photography

Here's a closer look at Magnolia with Black Patine:

Magnolia with Black Patine

Ivory

Ivory is a white ceramic tile color with tones of coffee and silt. This warm color with a slight tint of yellow gives the look of golden hour sunlight. Ivory is a matte glaze, resembling the material ivory in both color and sheen. There is a slightly noticeable color variation with a smooth finish featuring virtually no cracking.

Ivory Bath Sarah Comb Posada inn

Tile Shown: 2x6 in Ivory with custom Sintra // Design: Sara Combs + Rich Combs // Image: Margaret Austin Photography

Halite

Halite is an off-white bordering on light grey, like the surface of the moon and matches well with concrete countertops. This chalky white glaze is matte and non-reflective for a muted appearance. There is a slightly noticeable color variation affecting the glaze's brightness and little to no crackle detailing.

Oh Joy! Studio Kitchen Reveal

Tile Shown: 3" Triangles in Halite // Design: Joy Cho + Project M Plus // Image: Bethany Nauert

Feldspar

Feldspar is a warm white ceramic tile glaze that features a rich khaki color. This beige glaze is matte and non-reflective with an almost orange glow cast across its smooth surface with little to no crazing. There is a noticeable variation to this glaze and finds itself at home in spaces that you want to feel cozy and inviting.

Feldspar Kitchen Backsplash

Tile Shown: 2x6 in Feldspar // Design + Image: Reserve Home

Milky Way

Milky Way is another beige glaze that’s more saturated than Feldspar with pink pigment to give it a dusty rose color. Milky way has a glossy, smooth finish that pops in the light. There is a slight variation to the color and sheen of this tile for a white tile with a colorful personality.

Zosia Mamet Cabin basalt and Milk Way Shower Pan

Tile Shown: 4x4s in Milky Way with 2" and 6" Hexagons in Basalt // Design: High Street Homes // Image: Daniel Swindel

White Brick Tile

There are 5 white glaze options in our collection of Glazed Thin Brick, ranging from snow white to earthy beige.

Lewis Range

The brightest white in our range of white brick tile is Lewis Range. Lewis Range is a balanced white with virtually no pigmentation. It features a glossy finish, shiny, semi-reflective sheen, and slight color variation. This hand-applied glaze picks up the texture of the brick but does not allow its red color to transfer through the finish thanks to the use of an engobe primer.

Sarah Sherman Samuels Venassa Carlton White Brick Bath

Brick Shown: Lewis Range // Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel // Image: Nicole Franzen

Olympic

Olympic is another glaze that uses a primer to enhance the color of the glaze. This versatile white brick tile tends to reflect its environment, picking up cool or warm tones it’s featured among, even the color of grout one uses. The variation on this glossy glaze is very noticeable and features crazing. Because of this crazing and staining potential, using a light-colored grout for this white glazed brick is recommended.

Brick Shown: Olympic // Design: Heidi LaChapelle Interiors // Image: Erin Little

White Mountains

White Mountains is a cool white brick tile color with grey undertones. It features a matte finish with a rustic quality that highlights the texture of the brick. There is noticeable variation in the color and finish and some finishes are more translucent than others, giving the brick an appearance somewhat like an iced cookie.

White Mountain Brick Fireplace

Brick Shown: White Mountains // Design + Images: K Interiors

Big Horn

Big Horn is an earthy beige glaze with a glossy, semi-reflective, translucent finish that enhances the richness of the off-white color. This tile features noticeable variation with several degrees of translucence and shade. This warm white brick is perfect for a farmhouse design that blends a warm white palette with the robust qualities of brick.

Big Horn Brick bathroom Floor

Brick Shown: Big Horn // Design: High Street Homes // Image: Jen Morley Burner

Elk

Elk is the warmest and most saturated shade in the range of white brick tiles. This khaki-colored glaze has a glossy finish, a shiny, semi-reflective sheen, and slightly noticeable color variation. Where some white tile has a sterile look, Elk is reminiscent of rammed earth, giving the brick an organic quality and a high-character finish.

Brick Shown: Elk // Design: Anne Sage // Image: Elizabeth Messina

White Glass Tile

Our glass tile comes in a wide variety of colors, hand-applied by silk screen to the back of flawless, high-quality glass sheets for maximum vibrancy. But this technique is equally beneficial for white glass tile, and our collection includes 3 shades, available in both gloss and matte finishes.

Egret Gloss & Matte

Egret Gloss is a brilliant white glass tile for a fresh and clean look. The glossy finish reflects light and reveals the white backing with clarity. Egret Matte features the same vibrant white color as it’s gloss counterpart but with a diffused matte finish for a more frosty appearance.

White Glass Kitchen Tile

Glass Tile Shown: 4x4 in Egret Matte // Design + Image: Victoria Ninette Interiors

Dove Gloss & Matte

Dove Gloss is an off-white glass tile with taupe undertones. The neutral color pairs well with stucco or light-colored stone. This is a perfect shade for a clean but natural look. The matte version has the same tones but with a satiny matte finish.

The Nooq bathroom Niche

Glass Tile Shown: 2x12 in Dove Gloss // Design: Andrea Dabene // Image: Alex Strohl

Sparrow Gloss & Matte

Sparrow gloss and matte tiles are the warmest white in the white glass tile range. This warm neutral features a golden pigment that looks like late afternoon sunlight. Perfect for spaces where natural light is lacking, this glass tile looks elegant on its own and also pairs well against bolder colors.

Sparrow bathroom Wall

Glass Tile Shown: 3x12 tiles in Sparrow Matte // Design + Image: Chase Daniel

Ready to see which white works best in your space? Sample our favorite neutrals in our Fireclay Favorites Sample Pack.

Or scope out your project more with our helpful tutorial of 4 Places You Will Love White Subway Tile.

You Might Also Like: