What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Floor Tiles?

Painting floor tiles is a great way to spruce up your home without having to break the bank. But what kind of paint and primer should you use for floor tiles?

You must use a paint and primer that are specifically formulated for tiles. The ideal paint is a latex floor enamel, and the ideal primer is an acrylic-urethane adhesion primer. Latex paints provide a durable and easy-to-clean finish that has excellent adhesion and is quick drying.

In this article you will learn about:

  • The 3 factors to consider when choosing paint
  • What type of paint to use
  • What paint finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for floor tiles

3 Key Factors for Choosing the Perfect Paint

When it comes to painting floor tiles, there are a few factors to consider before you start (don’t miss my full guide to painting floor tiles). Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

1. Durability

The durability of the paint is one of the most important considerations when choosing floor tile paint. You want to make sure that it will be able to withstand whatever wear and tear it may encounter in your specific environment.

You should take into account the level of foot traffic, temperature extremes, and any exposure to moisture or chemicals.

2. Type of Paint

There are several types of paint available for painting floor tiles, including oil-based, water-based, and epoxy paints.

Oil-based paints provide better coverage but take longer to dry, while water-based paints dry faster but may not last as long.

Epoxy paints are more durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic but require more preparation work than other types of paint.

3. Finish

The finish of your floor tile is also an important consideration. Latex paints generally offer more options in terms of sheen, from flat finishes with a low luster up to higher gloss levels for added shine. 

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is a popular choice for painting floor tiles, as it provides a glossy finish and is highly durable. The paint is composed of oil or alkyd resin, which makes it resistant to water damage and wear. It is also easy to clean off surfaces and can be used in both interior and exterior applications. 


  • Provides a glossy finish 
  • Highly durable 
  • Highly resistant to water damage and wear 
  • Easy to clean off surfaces 


  • Messy to apply
  • High VOC content: fumes can be hazardous if not applied with proper ventilation 
  • Can be harder to find since most areas are banning the use of it

Water-Based Paint 

Water-based paint is another popular choice for floor tiles, as it provides good coverage. This type of paint dries quickly and has low VOC content, making it a great option for people looking to reduce their environmental footprint. 


  • Quick drying time
  • Low VOC content
  • Easier cleanup – requires only soap and water  
  • More cost-effective compared to oil-based alternatives  


  • Not as durable as oil-based alternatives 
  • Cannot be used outdoors due to water-soluble nature

What Paint Finish Is Best?

When painting floor tiles, there is an important factor to consider: the gloss level. The gloss level of paint affects its durability, sheen, and even the overall look of the room.

For solid tiles, a semi-gloss or high-gloss latex paint works best. These types of paints will provide good coverage and longevity since they are more resistant to wear and tear. 

However, if you’re looking for a more dramatic effect in your space, you might want to go with a high-gloss finish to give off an extra shine.

Though many people opt for a low-gloss finish if they don’t want that extra sheen, the decision ultimately depends on your individual taste and desired look.

When it comes to patterned tiles, it’s best to use high-gloss paint as this will bring out the intricate details of your tile design and make them pop.

A high-gloss finish will also help make cleaning up any spills or dirt on the floor easier since it has a smooth surface that wipes clean easily.

The Best Paint and Primer for Floor Tiles

When it comes to painting floor tiles, quality paint and primer are essential for the best results. It’s also important to prime the tiles before painting to ensure that the paint adheres and a latex-based primer is ideal for this purpose.

Spray painting is also an option when it comes to painting floor tiles. The same quality paint and primer should be chosen when spray painting as with traditional hand-painting methods.

It’s also important to use a clear coat sealant after spray painting to protect the floor from wear and tear over time.

Best Paint

When it comes to painting floor tiles, Benjamin Moore’s Floor & Patio Paint is the best choice. It’s available in both low-sheen and high-sheen formulas, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

This quick-drying, easy-to-apply latex floor enamel is resistant to soaps, detergents, grease, and oil, making it an ideal option for bathrooms and kitchens. It also has a low VOC content and can be tinted to any color.

The paint is designed for excellent gloss and color retention, meaning your tiles will continue to look great over time. When applied correctly, this paint can last up to five years without needing another coat.

Furthermore, this paint dries quickly, so you don’t have to wait long before walking on your freshly painted floors again.

Most importantly, Floor & Patio Paint is specially formulated for use on ceramic tile floors. This means that you don’t have to worry about damaging your tiles as the paint won’t chip or peel off easily when exposed to moisture or heat.

Best Primer

If you’re looking for the best primer for painting floor tiles, then look no further than INSL-X Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer.

This premium-quality, acrylic-urethane bonding primer is specifically formulated to adhere to all types of glossy tile surfaces, even those that are notoriously difficult to coat.

Not only does this unique formula bond superbly to hard-to-coat surfaces, but it can also be top-coated with almost any product.

This primer can cure at temperatures as low as 35°F (2°C) and has a low VOC content. To top it off, cleanup is simple, just use soap and water and you’re done.

This bonding primer also offers excellent enamel holdout, which ensures that you get an even topcoat finish on your floor tiles after painting.

It covers up to 100 square feet per gallon (2.5m² per liter) of interior or exterior use, making it ideal for larger projects such as tiling an entire floor.

Even better, it dries quickly so you don’t have to wait around before moving on to the next stage of the project. Cleaning up is also a breeze since it is water-based and can be wiped clean with ease.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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