A great selection of tile for your bathroom laundry or kitchen renovation can be the make or break of the whole remodelling project. This is a very good area to seek some help with, as the science of selecting bathroom tiles is a complicated black art.
You must consider, the composition of the tile, the surface, the colour, the wearability, the gloss, the ability of your bathroom renovator to lay it, the grout, the sealing…
The list goes on.
An experienced designer can quickly narrow the list down to a few tiles which you can easy select from.
Read on, to get an insight on how to select bathroom tiles.
Tiles and Tiling
Big and bold or small and subtle, anything goes when tiling these days.
When it comes to updating a bathroom and laundry, the choice of floor surface must take into account aesthetics, durability, ease of cleaning, safety and waterproofing.
While tiling your wet areas has practical motivations, it can also be done in style. The conservative choice was always for neutral square ceramic tiles in standard sizes, perhaps with a few border or feature tiles. This narrow focus has changed, with consumers becoming more adventurous and choosing anything from big bold tiles to tiny mosaics, or interesting materials such as glass, ceramic or natural stone. The choice of material and size is all about an impression of space. Larger tiles have less grout lines and make your surface look bigger. For example a bathroom with a low-ceiling can be countered with a narrow strip of feature tiles running vertically up a wall to give an appearance of a taller ceiling. Another important consideration when choosing tiles is safety. Study the safety ratings of tiles that are glazed with different finishes to make it less likely to slip over on water spilled onto the tiles.
Ceramic tiles have been used for years in bathrooms and are easily up to the task. They are a ceramic biscuit or base with a glazed surface. They are usually the cheaper alternative and start around $20 per square metre for reasonable tiles.
Porcelain is the next step up with harder wearing qualities than the ceramic brother. Most people who purchase porcelain do so for the look rather than the hardness though. The square edges and the stone and marble look alike’s are so convincing these days. Be wary though as there are many types of porcelain around. Glazed and full bodies are the main types, with the glazed porcelain only having a small coating of glaze on the top of the tile, like icing, The full bodied tile colour is even right through. This means if there is a scratch or a chip, it is less noticeable. Porcelain starts at $40 per square metre for Chinese glazed, and steps up through Chinese full bodied to Italian and Spanish tiles. The Chinese tiles can be very good, and more and more has been imported into the country over the past few years. The Italians will always have the design and style edge though.
Glass, Stone, Marble Be careful is all I can say here. If you decide to renovate using any of the above options, the cost of the tiles is increasing as well as the cost to lay the tiles. Do not scrimp on the tiles or the price you pay to lay them. It is a specialised skill laying stone and marble and the guys who do it well charge for it. Keep in mind, that this is the last thing that happens in the bathroom, and if it has to come out, you basically have to start from scratch again. Make sure you are entirely happy with the work of the stonemason before he begins. Don’t take his word for it. Make sure you get to see some of his finished material.
Here is what another bathroom design expert Lester Fong had to say about choosing bathroom tiles:
“Unlike the other rooms at home, bathroom tiles should be approached from a more functional direction.
Firstly, not all tiling materials are suitable for the high moisture atmosphere of the bathroom. 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. Logically, laminate flooring is not really suitable for the bathroom floor. Wet laminate surfaces tend to be extremely slippery and can cause accidents at home.
Some of the more popular tile materials include porcelain, ceramics and natural stone. Understanding their characteristics help you make good choices. For example, porcelain tiles are fairly limited in design compared to ceramics and natural stone should only be selected if the owners are not worried about the high moisture affecting the tiles.
Tile size is also another consideration, especially for the shower area. Though bigger tiles are popular in contemporary bathroom designs, they won’t work as well on the shower floor. The contractor will have a much harder task ensuring efficient drainage. As a result, water will pool on the floor of the bathroom. Ideally, the tile size should be about 12 inches by 12 inches. Large tiles work better on the walls since they create the illusion of a bigger bathroom.
When it comes to following trends, the design of the bathroom depends heavily on the overall concept of your home. Patterned tiles can be seen in most contemporary bathroom designs. Most of these tiles will immediately and dramatically affect the look of your bathroom but take care not to cover the entire room in them. Instead, tile part of the wall in an interesting design to create a feature wall. This would create a focal point that draws the eyes of guests and helps to anchor the overall look of the bathroom. A strip of brightly colored tiles place in the midst of bare walls can create a striking appeal that accentuates the structure of the room.
Here are some bathroom tile ideas for bathroom floor tile. Your designer will advise you more fully on what bathroom tile selection is best suited to you.
- If you use a solid colour bathroom floor tile in your bathroom, you can add tile borders of a different colour to the tile floor, or you can create a border by alternating different colours. This kind of visual treatment can create a more interesting bathroom floor.
- When using the same colour tile for the floors and walls, choose a different tile size for the walls or lay the wall tiles horizontally or vertically to create a more interesting visual effect. The long side vertically stretches the walls up, and vice versa.
- Another bathroom tile idea is to choose a grout colour that contrasts with the tile colour. For example, if you are using white tiles, you could use darker or grey grout for contrast. Be sure and apply sealers to grout lines in areas of heavy wear since sealers will protect and preserve grout colours.
- If your favourite colour for a bathroom is pink, for example, add a few pink decorative tiles for the walls or use shapes, textures and borders to give it some visual interest. Select some rows of the walls where you can also use some of the pink tiles placed diagonally. These can draw your eye to one of the bathroom design features.
- To give your bathroom a contemporary style and look, consider using bright and bold colours with shapes or graphics against plain backgrounds. Contemporary style accessories and fixtures will further provide a modern-looking bathroom.
- If you are trying to have a romantic or Victorian look in your bathroom, use floral tiles in soft colours like pink, light green or light blue plus ceramic sinks and perhaps a wooden floor.
- For a Mediterranean bathroom look, mix terra-cotta tiles with Mexican or other hand-painted tiles for the floors. For the countertop perhaps mix the hand-painted tiles with another plain colour tile.
The future of bathrooms looks set to astound the homeowner. With a wider range of prints, patterns and materials, there is no limit to the design for your ideal bathroom.”
Selecting Bathroom tiles for your bathroom floor tile opens a world of possibilities for your overall bathroom design look. Bathroom tiles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, patterns and textures and they are the building block for any bathroom design. A great choice of Bathroom floor tile sets up the overall look for the completed bathroom renovation.
A Ceramic bathroom floor tile is often used because of its durability, resistance to dampness, its safety to walk on when wet and its ease of cleaning. If you select ceramic tiles for your bathroom, consider using a tile that has a slip-resistant surface for bathroom safety, which is one of the best bathroom tile ideas. If you buy and install unglazed tiles, like terracotta, they will need to be washed frequently because they absorb stains quite easily. Bathroom floor tile shapes can be squares, rectangles, hexagons and octagons while accent pieces can be narrow and small diamond-shaped. More recently tiles have been largely square or rectangular, with the size growing up to 1.2 x 1.2 m. For a bathroom, the most common sizes are between 300 x 300mm and 600 x 600mm. Any larger seems a little silly in such a small space, and smaller makes the room look too busy.
Bathroom tile selection and tile colour are important since colour can greatly affect your mood — making you feel calm or energizing you. Warm colours like peach and yellow are fun, they make the bathroom feel cozier and they go well with a more country looking bathroom decor. If you use neutral colours like beiges or whites, they will make the room look larger, they will reflect light and they are always in style. Colours like blue, green and violet are viewed as serene or cool colours. Brighter colours like black or red add drama to the decor, absorb light and will make the room appear smaller. Sometimes it is best in a bathroom to select these tiles for s feature wall. In rooms with plenty of windows and natural lighting, consider using darker tiles to offset the ambient lighting. You can also work in colours you want through the use of accent tiles and accessories.
Have fun and rely on your designer as you select the styles, colours, patterns and sizes of bathroom tiles and related details for your bathroom. You’ll want your bathroom to be a fun, cozy room to spend time in, and clever selection of bathroom tiles helps create the right kind of atmosphere.
Tile selection is the most important aspect of the bathroom as a wrong choice here will be very costly. Retiling the bathroom is like starting the project again. So get some professional help with this stage. It will be worth it in the longer term.
Blog written by Smarter Bathrooms