We all know that Bearded Dragons are coming from Australia where dry conditions and hot climate are standard. Because of that reason bearded dragon owners are always looking for add-ons that will make the life of their pet a lot easier and more comfortable.
Buying a substrate for your bearded dragon pet is not a small decision especially because there is a buying guide that should be followed so you can buy something that will bring joy to your pet.
Keep in mind that the substrate should be able to handle water spills (occasional), extreme temperatures, and also dry conditions. Another important thing is that substrate should be easy to clean and because of that reason, a lot of bearded dragon owners recently are looking towards tiles as the best substrate for their pets and adult bearded dragons.
In continuation of this post, we are going to provide you with all the necessary information about bearded dragon tile substrate, what they prefer, and what is the best option overall.
Benefits of using Tile in Bearded Dragon tank
In recent times many bearded dragon owners and bearded dragon enthusiasts are using reptile tile substrate for bearded dragon tanks which is really a great choice in comparison with other substrates.
They have some cons but they seem to have a lot more on the positive side, especially because they are really affordable and bring great value for your money, they also last for long, they can be cut easily, they are inexpensive and most importantly they require low maintenance.
They are a really good option when you compare them with excavator clay, adhesive tiles, paper towels, sand, wood chips, loose substrate, walnut shells, play sand, and another substrate for bearded dragons and baby bearded dragons.
Easy to clean – Low maintenance
As we already mentioned a lot of beardie owners are choosing to buy tiles for their bearded dragon’s habitat. Many of them decide to place them just because they require lower maintenance.
After you successfully place the tiles in your bearded dragon tank you will be required to do very low maintenance. Cleaning tiles is really easy and you can do it very quickly which means it isn’t a time-consuming process and that will maybe motivate you to clean your pet’s tank more often.
This kind of setup will save you time and energy while your beardie will be happy living in the ideal habitat for him.
Tiles are inexpensive – Very affordable
Many people are looking at tiles as a really affordable substrate option especially because you don’t need to replace them on regular basis. They are sturdy, can resist for a long time, and tiles cut is an easy process.
The tile prices are really affordable and they are not going to cost you much simply because you are not going to need a large amount, just a couple of them or maybe even one tile will do the job for you.
Wide choice of tiles
Maybe you already know that tiles can come in many different textures, colors, and sizes. This means that whenever you decide to put a substrate in your bearded dragons’ enclosures you will have a lot of options to choose from.
Having a wide range of choices will help you decide on the right texture, and color, so you can provide your bearded dragon with a safe and ideal substrate that is great for him but at the same time, is cost-effective.
Low impaction risk
Always keep in mind that the substrate selection you are going to make will be very important once you decide to set up your bearded dragon’s enclosure. Especially if you want to replicate his natural habitat.
Bearded dragons and many other similar reptiles can often grab part of the substrate while they are feeding (catching their prey). This means having a substrate made of stones, sand, clay, or pebbles (loose substrates) can be consumed during this process which can bring a lot of problems to your bearded dragon.
Using tiles as a substrate selection means that you are not going to stress about impaction risk, non-particle substrate, or sharp edges, and your beardie will have safer surroundings to live in.
Tiles have beautiful appearance
As we already mentioned, tiles will make a great substrate in your bearded dragon enclosure. What is even better, you will be able to select from a wide range of tiles in different shapes and colors.
Taking advantage of this wide range of choices can make your dragon’s enclosure look appealing, will make your pet happier and you can still use all other benefits that tiles are offering.
Tiles are long-lasting choice
Tiles will be a long-lasting selection as substrate choice. They are really durable products which mean once you set up them in your beardie enclosure you will not worry about changing them after some time.
A lot of other substrate options on the market require changing ofter and because of that, they are less desirable to bearded dragon owners.
Tiles don’t need to be replaced, all you need to do is to clean them from time to time but that process is also easy because all you need to do is to take them out, clean them, and then return them to your tank. It is a very easy a not time-consuming process.
Tiles can be cut easily
Most of the tiles that are used for bearded dragon enclosures can be cut with ease. This is especially true for porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles because they can be cut very easily which will help you get the right size in order to cover the whole bottom of your beardie tank.
Negative aspects of using tiles for your bearded dragon enclosure
We already mentioned the positive side of using tiles for your bearded dragon enclosure. Right now we will take a look into the negative aspects of using tiles as a bearded dragon substrate.
Those are not really negative aspects that will take your look off the tiles as an option but they are more like a reminder of which tiles you should choose and what negative consequences some tiles can have for your bearded dragon enclosure.
They retain heat
In case you decide to add tiles to your beardie tank you will need to be careful and closely follow the temperature in the tank because tile retains heat which can increase the temperature inside the tank.
Also, keep in mind that some tile materials like ceramic or porcelain can retain heat more than others and it will be a good idea to place them away from the basking side where your heat lamp is positioned because in some extreme situations they can burn bearded dragon’s skin or damage beardie’s claws.
It is recommended to have a thermometer in the tank so you can easily keep a track of the temperature and make some adjustments if needed.
Leftovers of food and dirt
One of the biggest downsides of using tiles is that leftovers of food and all the dirt that is collected on a daily basis will be caught between the tiles in the tank.
You should not stress too much about the dirt and food leftovers if you are making deep clean to your pet’s tank regularly and knowing that cleaning is an easy process when you have tiles in the tank.
This is not much of a downside especially if we compare the tiles with other substrate options, they are safe for your bearded dragon and they can be cleaned very easily.
Tiles can be porous
In case you decide that you want to use tiles as a bearded dragon substrate you should take a closer look at the composition of the tiles.
This is good advice because some tiles can be porous and being porous means that after some time tiles will begin to absorb dirt and different liquids which will boost the chances of stains and bacteria development and may cause health issues to your bearded dragon.
Once again, it is not a big problem in case you are cleaning the tank on regular basis but it will be nice if you take your time and get better quality tiles so you won’t make additional problems and tasks to yourself.
Types of tiles for bearded dragon enclosure
Porcelain tiles are kind of tiles that are very easy to clean and they are not porous. You will be able to choose from a wide range of textures and colors which is great in case you want to make a perfectly nice habitat for your precious beardie.
If you decide to go for the porcelain type be sure to select textured tiles so your bearded dragon can have a good grip. The standard porcelain tiles are very slippery and your beardie can have a hard time moving on standard non-textured porcelain tiles.
These tiles become even more slippery when wet, having wet and slippery tiles set up in your tank will make your dragon difficult to enjoy in his habitat.
The biggest percentage of people who decided to use tiles for their beardies enclosure are deciding to use ceramic tiles. Looking at their composition they appear to be the best option in case you decide to place tiles in your tank.
Ceramic tiles come in many different colors and textures. Sand color is especially interesting as a choice for your bearded dragon enclosure because it can easily blend into the beardie habitat and looks very natural.
They are not going to cost you much because they are really affordable and at the same time you can cut them easily which means that you will have the correct dimension without any additional problems.
These tiles are looking great, they are easy to clean and will decrease the risk of impaction.
If you are keeping the optimal temperature in your beardie tank it is not recommended to place the tiles under the basking area because they retain heat a lot and will make a problem for your bearded dragon. This is very important information to be remembered if you decide to place tiles in your tank.
Slate tiles are attractive, have a very natural look, and are used very often as substrate in bearded dragons’ habitats. Because of their surface slate tiles are able to provide a great grip for your bearded dragons but also help them to keep bearded dragon’s claws trimmed.
Please keep in mind that slate tiles are also keeping heat and that means that you will need to check the temperature in the tank often so it doesn’t become too warm.
Slate tile also has some downsides when compared with others like porcelain tile and ceramic tile. They are not easy to cut and also slate tiles are porous and which means they will absorb impurities which will increase the chance of bacteria development.
Do you need to grout tiles?
This is really a matter of personal choice because some owners grout tiles, while others are leaving tiles ungrouted.
If there isn’t a big gap between the tiles it will be better to leave them ungrouted because like that it will be easier to take them off when cleaning. On the other hand, if there is a big gap between the tiles maybe it will be a good idea to grout them so they won’t collect too much dirt and other unwanted things.
Textured or smooth tiles?
If you want your bearded dragon to have a solid grip on the ground where he is living you should definitely choose textured tiles.
Textured tiles are not slippery like others and they will also help during claw trimming.
Tile set up for your bearded dragon
If your tiles are cut in the correct size setting up them in your dragon enclosure will be nice and easy.
You will need to put a layer of newspaper or paper towel on the base of the enclosure floor and place the tiles over it.
Paper lying beneath the tiles will be able to catch all the dirt and will make your life easier whenever you decide to clean your tank.
As was already mentioned, cleaning and maintaining the tiles can be done quickly and easily.
If you have time, try to spot dirty places on daily basis and you can also use reptile disinfectant if it’s needed in the parts from where you pick the beardie poop.
At least once a month make a deep/detailed cleaning. That means removing and disinfecting the tiles and changing the paper that is lying beneath them.