Bathroom Tiles: Types, Trends & Tips
Tiles for Bathroom
The tiles are manufactured pieces of hard-wearing material such as stone, metal, ceramic or even glass. They are mostly used for covering floors, walls, roofs, showers and other objects such as tabletops etc.
Tiles are often used to form wall and floor coverings. There is a large range of tiles that is from simple square tiles to complex or mosaic tiles. They are most often made of ceramic, typically glazed for internal uses and unglazed for roofing. There are other materials that are also used commonly such as glass, concrete, cork and other composite materials and stone.
Why are bathroom tiles installed?
The bathroom is a multifunctional room in the house. Whether it is a relaxing bath in the tub, a quick rinse in the shower or a pampering session in front of the mirror, we spend a lot of time in the bathroom. It is also a room where the guests are likely to visit. It is also important that the bathroom should look good for everyone’s benefit. So it should be attractive as well as designed gracefully and functionally.
Tiles have always been a trend for the bathroom. It is probably because they are easy to clean and maintain as well as they are mostly waterproof.
The tiles for bathroom are available in different varieties from classic to modern. The diverse spectrum spreads from simple to traditional as well as contemporary stylish design. Modern bathroom tiles have a marvelous variety which helps to get a unique sophisticated look.
Difference between bathroom and kitchen tiles:
Bathrooms and kitchens are the areas where tiles are mostly used on the floor and walls than any other area in the house. The tiles are the better option for floors than any other type of flooring options like wood, carpet, and cement etc. The tiles are easy to clean, water and slip-resistant and durable, these are the features that are required for the areas where water is present and the chances of spilling and staining are high.
People may be tempted to think that any type of tile is suitable for both kitchens and bathrooms but there is a slight difference between kitchen and bathroom tiles.
The kitchen is usually the busiest area of the house, so you should choose the tiles for floors that are designed for heavy traffic. For the backsplashes carefully choose the tiles which are easy to clean and maintain as well as those that don’t stain.
For the bathroom, two conditions are very important to consider while tiling floor. These are the tiles should be slip resistant and they should not be water absorbent. As the bathroom is a very humid and wet area of the house, so you should choose the tiles that will prevent any accidents from happening and to protect the structure of the house. For the walls, the slip factor doesn’t matter much but the water-absorbent factor matters a lot, so pay special attention to water absorbance and porosity.
Types of tiles for bathrooms:
There are many types of tiles for bathroom but not all types of tiles are suitable for wet areas. One of the most important factors while selecting tiles for bathroom is that the tiles should not absorb water as well as they should be slip resistant. Here is an overview of types of tiles for bathroom:
Porcelain tiles are made from a mixture of clays that is pressed into shape and fired in a kiln at high temperatures. These tiles are denser and less porous. These tiles are liquid resistant, highly stain resistant, moisture absorbent, durable, fireproof, requires less maintenance and are easy to repair. They also come in a variety of colors, textures, shapes, designs, and sizes.
Ceramic tiles are highly recommended for indoor floors and walls. These tiles are very versatile in nature and as they cannot be affected by stains and water etc so they can be used in a wide range of environments. These tiles are durable, highly resistant against allergens, easy to maintain, have endless design options and water resistant.
Natural Stone Tiles:
Natural stones are used for floors and walls for a long period of time due to their beauty and durability. They give a beautiful, elegant and sophisticated look to bathrooms whether they are used on walls or on the floor. It is not resistant to water so it requires a waterproof membrane to withstand moisture in the bathroom.
Glass tile is one of the crystalline and most elegant tiles. These tiles increase the aesthetic appeal of the bathroom. Glass tile is versatile, it can be shaped easily and it will provide more style when a finish is used on it. It is available in a large range of colors. These tiles are used as mosaics or as an emphasis on walls in the bathrooms. They are moisture and stain resistant. These tiles are best used on walls and on low traffic areas.
Marble is a soft natural stone. It comes in a range of sizes and designs. It can be veined or patterned and it adds interesting colors to the bathrooms. It gives a modern, elegant, sophisticated or traditional look to the bathroom.
Decorative tiles are made up of the variety of materials and are embossed and decorated with a variety of patterns, designs, styles and images like stripes, leaves, birds etc. They are perfect tiles for a landscape, mosaic, border designs or to give emphasis to a certain area.
Granite is durable and strong natural stone. It is available in a range of colors and textures. It is easy to clean and maintain. It can also be made completely non-porous and stain and scratch resistant with sealing. It is a wonderful tile for bathroom for flooring as well as for other applications like walls, bathtub surrounds, countertops and vanity tops etc.
Limestone is a beautiful natural stone, available in a variety of colors. It comes in a number of finishes like honed, polished or brushed. It is most often found in neutral colors like brown, beige, soft whites and creams through to jet blacks.
Metal tiles are made from solid metal or from resin with a metallic coating. These tiles add shimmer and sparkle to the room or area. These tiles come in fascinating and charming hues like bronze, copper, silver and gold. These metal tiles can also be used to emphasize a specific area or design in the bathroom in combination with other types of tiles. These tiles are often used in luxurious shower designs.
Terracotta is a beautiful red clay tile fired at low temperatures. Because of its rustic quality, it provides a welcoming and natural feel. It is porous that’s why it requires to be sealed regularly to avoid any staining. It is suitable only for dry areas but if glazed then it can be used in the bathrooms also.
Travertine is a beautiful, porous natural stone from limestone family. It is famous for its unique appearance, versatile designs and patterns and color range. It is less expensive than marble that’s why most people opt for travertine tiles. It is also available in different sizes. Due to different size range of travertine, it is more popular for decorating and flooring the bathrooms and showers. It is also a porous stone, so always use a sealer and a finish to protect it from moisture.
Saltillo tiles are more stylish, handcrafted and durable tiles than other tiles. They are good for bathroom floorings and walls if they are sealed properly to avoid water absorption and slipperiness. They are also easy to clean and long-lasting.
The most common tile choice people make for their bathroom flooring is slate tile. Slate is a fine grainstone. It has a textured surface which is naturally slipping resistant. It can be used on floors, walls and countertops.
Quarry tile is a hard tile made up of ground minerals and fired at high temperatures. They are usually harder than ordinary bricks. These tiles are not porous and they are water resistant. They are also available in many colors, shapes and sizes.
Tips for Choosing Bathroom Tiles:
When designing or renovating a bathroom, there are many factors to be considered in order to get the desired look of the bathroom. The one you expect to be most enjoyable is choosing the tiles. But the choosing phase of the tiles for bathroom becomes a little bit of a fatigue and stress rather than the enjoyment and excitement because of the availability of the vast variety of tiles with colors, types, sizes, textures, characteristics etc. Here are some tips while choosing the right type of tiles for your bathroom:
- Do your Homework:
Before selecting the tiles for bathroom it is important to set aside time to do your homework. Find out the different types of tiles available in the market like porcelain, concrete, natural stone, marble, terracotta, glass, stone etc. There are too many options in shapes, sizes, patterns, designs and characteristics available in the market. So find out which tiles you like and which tiles are the best suited to the area where they are installed.
- Sample before you buy:
When choosing the tiles for bathroom always order for a free sample before buying a pile of tiles. It is better to check the tiles before buying as to avoid buying a pile of expensive tiles which won’t be suitable for the bathroom. As for example buying a hundred square feet of black tiles can make the bathroom small or buying a hundred feet of super shiny tiles may be equivalent to super slippery. Those tiles are not suitable for bathroom. So always order a sample before buying and double check the size, style, design etc of the tile as well as perform the soak test for quality control before buying.
- Choose the top three options:
When you are satisfied with the sample tiles, always choose your top three options. As there are four spaces in the bathroom that need to be tiled that are the floor, the shower, the area surrounding the tub and the statement wall which is usually the wall behind the bathroom vanity. So never try to install all four different types of tiles for each space or area. Use two to three options of tiles and make a design with rhythm on all areas to make the whole bathroom unique, well designed and stylish rather than end up with a multicolored, childish and unplanned bathroom look. The key is to use no more than three tiles.
- Choose a statement tile:
Choose one statement tile that will be unique in shape, color, pattern or texture. This will add a vow factor and will help to emphasize the area and with the statement tile, choose the other two tiles that are simple from the same color’s tints or shades. This will help to emphasize the area with the statement tiles in the bathroom.
- Space Maximization:
Try to maximize the space in the bathroom by using light color palettes or by using large patterned or designed tiles. Light colors make the small bathroom look bigger than darker shades. Choose the tiles that will complement the size of the bathroom. For a medium-sized bathroom choose medium sized tiles and opt for mosaic tiles for small bathrooms.
- Choose the Wow factor feature:
Before choosing and buying the tiles for bathroom, decide which area you want to be emphasized on. Will it be a backsplash or it will be a shower enclosure or perhaps it will be an area surrounding the tub. So if you have decided early the focal point or emphasis of the bathroom before buying the tiles, then it will be easy for you and will complement the chosen feature in the bathroom.
- Consider the cleaning and maintenance factor:
We all know that the smoother the tile is, the easier it is to be cleaned. If you choose the embossed or textured tile then it’s a little bit difficult to clean and maintain. So keep in mind that for these tiles you must need to be a little more determined and regular about their cleaning schedule. This will help your tiles keep their beauty and attraction for a lifetime.
- Choose the floor tiles:
If you have decided to keep the walls simple then try to create the patterned tile floor. It is the latest trend. But if you choose the wall tiles to emphasize on then consider the flooring complementary or simple rather than bold and dramatic.
An important point to keep in mind before buying the tiles is that the floor tiles must not be slippery to avoid any kind of accidents.
- Be creative with tile layout:
It’s important to be creative or use your artistic sense to layout the tiles in the bathroom even if you chose simple tiles. There are so many patterns that can be created by simple tiles like rectangular tiles or metro style tiles etc
- Add the texture:
It’s better to add the texture to the bathroom with the help of tiles. If you want a spa-like feel in the bathroom, then you should consider nature inspired tiles like limestone, travertine, marble effect tiles, slate, natural stone tiles etc. You can also add natural wood color tones to complement these textures.
- Slip and Water resistant:
Keep in mind while choosing tiles for bathroom that the tiles for bathroom must be slip resistant in order to avoid any accidents. Bathroom, being the most humid area of the house shall be rich absorbent.
- Measure and Remeasure:
After you have decided the color, texture, material, pattern and design of the tiles that you are going to use, make sure to do this step before buying the tiles for bathroom. Make an estimate on how much it will cost you. Measure the length and width of the space or area which will be covered by tiles. Now multiply these two measurements. Now add 10 to 15 percent extra to the calculations for any accidents like breakage and emergencies etc, because it is a worst case if the tiling project is going to an end and you are running short of tiles and materials and the same tiles have been discontinued in the market.