Choosing the Right Bathroom Tile

By: Glenn Whitehead

Choosing the right bathroom tile is a difficult part of the design process due to large variety of size, shapes, colors, and types of materials. The beat choice for your room depends on, the overall decor, the amount of traffic, the room size, and the application. To help make the selection process a little easier, I've put together a list of facts regarding the different choices.

Types of Tile-When deciding which type of material to go with, the deciding factors include: durability, moisture resistance, and, as always, price. Make the choice based on personal preference and your intended use of the room.

  • Ceramic-Ceramic tile is made from clay and shale, which is then baked in a kiln. This is one of the most popular and durable surfaces for bathrooms; due to the moisture resistant qualities.
  • Porcelain-Another form of ceramic tile, porcelain is extremely hard, durable, and moisture resistant. It is baked at very high temperatures, which makes it a very dense material and the color runs all the way through; helping it hold up well to chips, scratches, and stains. This is an excellent choice for bathrooms with the only drawback being the higher price.
  • Terracotta-This tile is made from natural clay, which gives it the orange/brown color. It is, generally, an unglazed material and will probably need to be sealed. Using terracotta as a bathroom tile may not be the best idea in high traffic areas due to it's fragile, absorbing nature, which makes it more vulnerable to staining, and chips and cracks.
  • Natural Stone-Natural stone tile, such as granite or marble are great choices for bathrooms because of their natural beauty and durability. The main drawback is the higher price. The finishes tend to be very smooth like glass; which can make for slippery conditions when wet.
Sizes-There are many to choose from. When making your choice, consider the following factors.
  • Room Size-Many believe that using a smaller tile makes the room appear bigger; which makes it a popular choice in small rooms.
  • Slip Resistance-Due to the higher number of grout joints, smaller tiles create a more slip resistant surface.
  • Slope of Floor-This usually pertains to showers. Small mesh mounted tiles, such as 1x1 or 2x2, work better than larger sizes for sloping to the drain. Larger tiles may have to be cut to prevent cracking.
  • Appearance-The most important factor is personal preference. You'll be the one spending time in the room. Find something that's pleasing to the eye.
Color-Again, you've got a multitude of choices. So many, in fact, that some homeowners become bogged down in the process. Some key factors to consider are:
  • Overall Home Decor-While you can change the color scheme somewhat; it's a good idea to choose a color that's a smooth transition from adjoining rooms.
  • Versatility-Due to it's small size and personal nature, the decor of a bathroom can be completely changed on a regular basis depending on the season or your mood. You may want to consider choosing a more neutral color to make redecorating easier.
  • Room Size-Many people believe that lighter colors make a small room look bigger and darker ones give large rooms a smaller, more cozy feel.
I hope these tips will help you with choosing a bathroom tile that will be the perfect finishing touch to your room. Remember to take your time and make your choice carefully. Unlike paint or wallpaper, it's not that simple to change the floor. More than likely, you'll be living with it for a long time.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck.

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