Depending on the surface area you want to cover, choosing tile for a bathroom is no easy feat. There are so many options available, it can make your head spin. Before you get dizzy, take a deep breath and let’s go through some of your tile options to help you decide which one is right for your bathroom’s style and function.
Choosing Tile for a Bathroom Remodel: A Few Tips to Get You Started
Which bathroom is it? If you’re remodeling a powder room, you won’t be as worried about the slip factor and may have the luxury of using higher-end tiles that you might not have been able to accommodate in the budget elsewhere. A kid’s bathroom, or a universal bathroom design focusing on accessibility, will require non-slip tile options for showers and floor. The level of maintenance you’re interested in putting into the tiles is also a consideration. Large tiles mean less grout – while smaller tiles mean more grout – and grout means more complex cleaning and long-term maintenance.
Where will the tiles go? I generally recommend using non-slip tiles on the shower floor, and they’re also a good idea on the floor of bathrooms frequently used for bathing and showering. However, gorgeous 18×18 marble tiles look amazing on bathroom floors and a well-placed area rug can always substitute as a non-slip surface directly adjacent to bath and shower areas. If you love the look of a slippery tile, simply choose it in a mosaic pattern, where extra grout will serve the non-slip role, or intersperse a mosaic pattern around larger tiles to serve the same purpose.
What type of tiles are you interested in? There are so many different types of tiles to choose from, ranging from ceramic and porcelain tiles to glass and quarried rock. Here is a brief rundown:
- Ceramic and porcelain tiles. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, ceramic/porcelain tiles continue to be the most popular bathroom tile choice due to their ultra-durable surfaces and availability. With so many tiles to choose from, start by limiting your viewing selections to the styles recommended for bathroom applications, including non-slip options for safety. I assure you there are more than enough different styles to choose from.
- Quarried tiles. Natural stone tiles are right behind ceramic tiles in terms of popularity. Again, your choices are seemingly endless. Keep in mind that quarried stones are porous, which means they are susceptible to stains, etching and/or chips or cracks depending on the type of stone you select. Marble is softer, granite and slate are harder. Marble is smooth on the feet but can be slippery. Slate can be rough for tender feet but is non-slip. Each has its advantages and your bathroom designer will help you select the best choice for your needs.
- Glass Tiles. These are becoming increasingly popular, especially for those who prefer a more modern look. They come in all kinds of funky colors and their translucent nature adds its own level of interest as well as light play. Typically, glass tiles are used on the walls, to increase visual interest around sinks, baths and showers. They can be used on the floor but are less typical there because they are expensive and the contractor has to be meticulous to keep the adhesive from being visible. Glass tiles are relatively chip- and break-resistant but they’re susceptible to scratches.