*Choosing the Right Bathroom Tile

November 28, 2010
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While most of us are familiar with traditional bathrooms with ceramic tiles, there are now various materials to choose from, creating a bathroom design so unique it will make you feel you’re on holiday in a luxurious hotel. Other materials such as wood, granite, slate, marble, glass, and laminate can be used as bathroom tile or floor.  Regardless of the choice, it is important the floor is not be slippery to avoid accidents.

1)  Ceramic Tile -  Ceramic remains the most popular choice for bathroom tiles because it is impervious to water, moisture and stains.  It also comes in endless colors and designs.  Since it is available in different sizes, it can be made into a mosaic to adorn the walls.  Though the tiles are easy to clean, the grout between the tiles should be sealed as these are vulnerable to mold and mildew.

2)  Wood -  Many consider it impractical to install wood as a bathroom floor because of its sensitivity to water and moisture.  However, it can work with some precautions.  If used as a bathroom floor, wood should be coated with more layers of oil-based polyurethane than usual.  Cracks or seams should also be sealed well with wood putty to avoid water permeation.  Water should also be wiped or dried off rather than letting it sit.  It would also be advisable to install a ventilation fan in bathrooms with wood flooring to keep humidity to a minimum.

3)  Glass Tile -  For bathrooms with many windows, another great option is glass tiling.  Glass tiles are gaining popularity in the industry due to their color depth and luminescence.  Some are also made from recycled bottles and jars, making them an environmentally sound choice.  Glass tiles can be made to form mosaics along bathroom walls and can be mixed together with ceramic tiles.  However, smooth glass may not be a good option as bathroom floor because it can be slippery.  If you are bent on using glass tiles for your bathroom floor, the best one to use would be the sandblasted, textured type.

4) Cork and Bamboo – Other green products to use for bathroom flooring are cork and bamboo.  Both have the same look of wood but are more resistant to bacteria, mold and moisture.

5)  Marble -  Marble has been used in bathrooms for a while now and exudes a more luxurious look than wood or ceramics.  It comes in various shades, complementing many bathroom fixtures. Unfortunately, marble is also known to be slippery and requires regular sealing as it tends to absorb stains.

6)  Granite – Granite is one of the toughest and most durable material to be used in bathrooms.  Like marble, it gives off an elegant and luxurious ambiance to any bathroom.  However, the colors can be limited and it can also be slippery.  One advantage of using a natural stone for the bathroom is how they can be heated.  Current trends now use natural stones with under-floor heating in the bathroom.  These are great for cold winters.  During the summer, stone floors are also beneficial because they are cold to the touch.

7)  Quartzite -  Another natural stone used for bathrooms is quartzite.  Like granite, it is one of the hardest stones and will surely be around for decades. In contrast, quartzite has more color options and is less slippery because of its texture.

8)  Slate – If you love the rough and untamed look of the outdoors, slate may just be the option for you.  Slate is durable and comes in a variety of shades.  If sealed well, it is impervious to water and stains. Its rough texture also makes it safe to use as a bathroom floor as well.

9)  Limestone, Travertine, and Sandstone -  These natural stones have also been used in bathrooms to give it an earthen outdoor look.  But unlike granite, quartzite, and slate, these are soft and permeable to stains and water.  To last long, they must be chemically treated on a regular basis to keep water and moisture out.

10)  Pebbles -  Pebble floors and walls are another unique choice for the bathroom.  They give the bathroom a zen feel.  These are smooth pebbles attached to a mesh backing and are cut into different tile sizes.  When installed, the bathroom reminds you of nature and the refreshing feel of the beach under your feet.

With all these options available, it is almost impossible to decide when you are doing bathroom remodeling.  Just remember to make your choice complementary to the design of your home.

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One Response to *Choosing the Right Bathroom Tile

  1. plumbing on April 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Natural stone such as marble is extremely sensitive to moisture. The porous nature traps moisture from the air and tends to crack from the humidity.

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