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Using Ceramic Tile as a Substrate for Bearded Dragons

It seems that there is a new sheriff in town regarding bearded dragon substrate and it’s name is ceramic tile. Ceramic tile? The same stuff you use on floors? Yes, the one and the same.

It’s seems while I was off day dreaming somewhere ceramic tile has made it’s way into many bearded dragon owners hearts. There are many that have proclaimed the greatness of this substrate. So, is it the best and how does ceramic tile stand up to other substrates?

From what I’ve seen, it stands up pretty good next to all the other substrate options. That being said, I really don’t believe there is a substrate right now that is the best thing to use. This is my opinion, but the substrate options we have as bearded dragons owners are all just adequate.

I believe that ceramic tile may come close to being the best option we have. Then again, give it some time and bearded dragon owners minds might change in a couple of years. I have seen many different substrate options rise and fall in popularity over time.

I still believe the substrate decision is left up to you, the bearded dragon owner. It’s really our responsibility to weigh the positives and negatives concerning all aspects of care for our bearded dragons. With this being said, I find ceramic tile to be a very good option to use in your bearded dragons home and is one that I plan to use in the future.

The Positives and Negatives

There really aren’t too many negatives concerning this substrate option. Ceramic tile is easy to clean and keep disinfected. It also retains heat fairly well and probably will give off heat even after all heat lights have gone out in your dragons cage. I’m just speculating on this, but if rocks and concrete do it, I bet ceramic tile will do it as well.

Don’t forget about the fear of impaction being non-existent with this option. This is a huge plus and will ease just about any nervous dragon owners mind ( including mine ). You are always going to be taking a chance when using a substrate like sand.

You can also buy ceramic tile in many different colors and you make your cage look very nice using it. This is a big bonus in my book. I like having a nice looking and functional cage.

Some of the things that I consider as negatives ( others may not ) are a dragons natural instinct to dig and burrow is taken away. Also, there may be some problems with bent fingers and toes because of the hardness of the substrate.

Before anyone gets up in arms and tells me how bearded dragons natural habitat substrate is packed down and hard like concrete, I already have heard this information. I have also heard other information about bent toes in bearded dragons caused by living on hard surfaces. I guess it really depends on who you want to listen to.

I also have to say that I’ve never been to Australia and do not know what the earth is like there. I wish I could actually see it for myself and give a much more educated answer, but for right now I’m unable to and can only go by what I hear and pictures that I see. Hopefully, sometime in the future I will be able to take a trip to Australia to find out ( anyone have some extra tickets? ).

I believe that bent toes can be kept to a minimum with plenty of climbing materials in a dragons cage. This will help keep your bearded dragon from being on the hard surface all day.


Ceramic tile seems to be a very viable option as a bearded dragon substrate. It may also be our best solution at this time along with non-stick shelf liner, reptile carpet, newspaper and playsand. For me the positives far outweigh the negatives ( at least in my opinion ) for ceramic tile.

Before I let you go I want to say that I have seen a lot of changes in opinions concerning bearded dragon care over a short period of time. It seems that new things come out and everyone is ready to jump on and ride the bandwagon.

I’m not here to ride any bandwagon and I’m also not here to push my opinion on anyone else or make friends. I still believe that decisions like this needs to be left up to the bearded dragon owner.

The funny thing is as minds change towards substrate options, my opinion is still written on the internet for everyone to see. I guess that’s why I’m more reluctant to give any substrate the stamp of approval.

After saying all of that, I believe that ceramic tile is a very good option to use for substrate in your dragons cage. The jury is still out on whether I’ll have to change my opinion in the future. I hope not and I hope that this continues to be a great substrate option down the road.

Is ceramic tile the right option for you? That’s something you’ll have to decide.

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