Whether the tiles are for the hearth or surround, a few good tiles for a fireplace can be in different materials, including ceramic, porcelain, marble, natural stone, granite, terra cotta and different antique styles, as noted by the Tile Home Guide website. For the fireplace surround, any one of these tile types is suitable. However, hearth tiles should be floor tiles that can withstand heat and the weight of heavy objects, such as a dropped log or fire poker.
Tiles for fireplace surrounds can be either wall or floor tiles, which tend to weigh more. Tiles placed around the fireplace opening are decorative features, and many different types of tile materials and designs can be appropriate for this purpose.
Tile materials, such as ceramic and porcelain, are good for both the fireplace surround and hearth floor. However, for hearth tile floors in these materials, the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating for them should be 4 or 5, as noted by the Tile Home Guide website. The PEI rating scale refers to how strong the tile is in resisting wear traffic. On the PEI scale, number 5 is the highest class rating, notes the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
The other tile materials, such as granite, slate and marble, are all good options with varying features. For example, granite tile for a fireplace are very durable but can be expensive. For a classic look, marble can be a suitable choice.