What Things Should I Consider Before Choosing My Bathroom Tile?
Adding tile to your bathroom—or replacing your current bathroom tile—can truly make a huge difference in the look of the room. Choosing the best bathroom tile for your project can be challenging because there are so many different looks and materials. While you want something that is visually appealing, you also want to make sure the tile you choose will stand up to specific bathroom challenges. Maintenance of your new bathroom tile may also be an issue for you. Of course, there are many additional considerations regarding your new bathroom tile, including price, the look you are going for and the specific type of tile you are interested in. All of these questions and more can be answered by your Countertops and Cabinetry by Design professional during your initial meeting. Our highly experienced greater Cincinnati area professionals want to ensure your bathroom tile remodel is everything you dreamed it would be.
Types and Quality of Various Bathroom Tiles
Ceramic tile is being used more and more often, not only in bathrooms, but in professional settings such as offices, laboratories and hospitals. A huge variety of designs, patterns and colors are available in ceramic tiles—one of the primary benefits. Ceramic tile is much easier to maintain than paint, wallpaper, and most other types of tile. There are a range of finishes for ceramic tile, including matte, semi-gloss and glossy. Ceramic tiles are typically very resistant to abrasive cleaners and chemicals, making maintenance a breeze. Ceramic tile is resistant to moisture and humidity, making it an ideal surface for bathrooms. Ceramic tile is also generally stain proof, fire proof and fade resistant. Ceramic tile does not absorb or hold odors—another reason it is ideal for kitchens and baths. Finally, ceramic tile is considered fairly “green,” and is cost-effective, as well as mold and fungus resistant.
Porcelain tile is denser and more impermeable to moisture than ceramic tile, making it an even more durable option. Porcelain tiles are stain and water resistant, and work well with radiant heat to keep feet warm and toasty on cold mornings. Porcelain tiles are composed of sand, clay and other natural minerals, making them particularly tough, and because they are less porous and non-slip, they are especially good for bathroom use. Finally, porcelain tiles are extremely durable and stain resistant, and can easily withstand cold and other extreme temperature conditions.
While glass tiles are typically more common for countertops, backsplashes, and walls, mosaic glass tiles can add a luxurious look when installed on a bathroom floor. Glass tiles can be a pricier option, and may not withstand heavy traffic, so they might be more applicable for a guest bathroom. Glass tile comes in almost any size, even as small as half inch square. Glass tiles are often arranged in intricate patterns, using both solid and patterned or multi-colored tiles to create a unique look.
Stone mosaic tiles are highly functional when it comes to the somewhat harsh environment of high-humidity bathrooms or spill-prone kitchen areas. Stone mosaic is a durable material which is scratch and abrasion-resistant, while offering a unique, timeless and elegant beauty. There are many designs and stones to choose from with stone mosaic tile, including slate, granite, marble and travertine.
Will the Tile You Select Stand Up to High Humidity and Moisture?
Bathrooms are subjected to high temperatures and even higher humidity, which means bathroom tile must be able to withstand these issues. Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles stand up better to bathroom use, and can both be used with radiant floor heat. Ceramic tiles tend to cause slips when wet more readily than porcelain tiles, although you may be able to find ceramic tiles with a rougher surface.
Tile is often a better choice than wood for a bathroom because if an object is dropped, the floor will not “dent,” like a wood floor might—although if the object is heavy enough, it could cause a crack or chip in the tile. Tile is likely to be less expensive than wood floors and is much easier to maintain. While sunlight can discolor wood floors over time, sunlight will have little to no effect on tile floors. Tile floors generally only require sweeping and mopping to keep them in good condition and are unlikely to stain or discolor from a spill.
Considerations for Bathroom Tile
- Durability—As noted, bathroom tiles are exceptionally durable, particularly when compared with other floor surfaces. Bathroom tile is unlikely to stain and holds up well in the high heat and humidity conditions of a bathroom.
- Maintenance—Bathroom tile is extremely low-maintenance, requiring only wiping up spills, sweeping and occasional mopping.
- Affordability—Bathroom tiles are, perhaps, the most affordable of all floor coverings, ranging from $4-$8 per square ft. installed.
- Style—There exists such a wide array of styles, sizes, patterns and colors of tile that the design options are almost unlimited.
- Dimensions—Tiles come as small as half inch by half inch square, and as large as four ft. by two ft.—although tile this large would probably not be suitable for a small bathroom.
- Décor—The style you choose for your bathroom tile will reflect your own ideas of how you want your bathroom to look, whether contemporary, minimal, modern, shabby chic, English country, retro or any other style.
- Grout Color Selection—Grout will give your tile floor a finished look, as well as keeping moisture from getting beneath the tiles, and protecting the edges of the tiles from damage. Un-sanded grout is typically used for stone tiles, while sanded grout is used for other types of tile. Unless you are going for a particularly dramatic look, you will choose a soft, neutral grout that does not compete with the look of the tile—in other words, you want people to notice your tile, not the grout. You can minimize your future maintenance by selecting a darker grout color and applying a sealant.
What is the Process for Replacing Bathroom Tile?
Replacing the tile in your bathroom—or adding tile to your bathroom—does not have to be a daunting task. While it does require some effort to remove old tiles, you will save the money and time required to replace drywall or cement backer board. Your Countertops and Cabinetry by Design professional tile installer will completely cover the vanity, cabinets, bathtub and toilet with plastic sheeting before beginning the tile installation. Once the old tiles are removed, the surface will be scraped to remove all old thinset. Any damaged areas will be repaired, filling in small holes or uneven areas with drywall compounds. A chalk line will be used to mark the tile installation lines, and thinset will be mixed. The thinset will be used to lay the tiles, using spacers to ensure the tiles are evenly laid. After all the tile is laid, the thinset must cure for at least 24 hours before the tile joints can be grouted. Once the tile is grouted, another 24 hours must elapse before the bathroom can be used.
How We Can Help
Choosing the right bathroom tile can be a challenge, and the professionals at Countertops and Cabinetry by Design want to help you face that challenge, armed with the education and knowledge necessary to choose wisely. We want to keep your bathroom tile install as simple as possible, working hard to get in and get out as expeditiously as we can. In fact, we will treat your bathroom tile install in the same manner we would treat our own. During our first meeting, we will get an idea of your goals for your bathroom tile and may even be able to provide a time frame for installation at the end of that meeting. We believe in our company, including our experience, skill-set and our deep commitment to our clients, so feel free to reach out today with your questions. If you would like to get a head start on your planning before our initial meeting, reference our useful tile backsplash planner.