Exploring Bathroom Tile Types and Application Options
One word describes why tile typically covers much of a bathroom’s real estate: functionality. As the only room in the home where water on the walls and floor is not only allowed but expected, a bathroom needs wall and floor treatments that will protect the underlying surfaces from moisture.
Tile not only helps protect the bathroom from damp, mold and mildew but creates a surface that is easy to clean as well. The type of tile that’s best for your bathroom will depend upon your budget, your personal taste and the bathroom’s decorative style.
An Abundance of Decorative Options for Your Hard-Working Bathroom
With all their functionality, it’s almost a bonus that tile offers an abundance of decorative options too. Bathroom tile types are so varied that you can create any look and atmosphere that you like, from a Zen-inspired bathroom that serves as a personal retreat at the end of a hectic day to a hard-working, family-friendly bathroom built for practicality.
Tiles That Enhance a Luxury Spa Look
When it comes to the most luxurious tile material, nothing beats the look of natural stone. Foot-square stone tiles immediately evoke the look of a luxury spa. Most modern stone tiles feature factory-applied sealants that keep them stain resistant. They typically come with a moisture-resistant sealant as well. As stone tile needs to be resealed every few years to keep them water-tight, they may not be the best choice for heavy-traffic bathrooms.
Get Creative with Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tiles are the most popular and most affordable choice for bathrooms. Glazes make them scratch- and stain-resistant and impervious to water. As they’re available in a broad array of sizes, colors and patterns, you can really unleash your creativity with ceramic tiles with imaginative designs. Mix and match tile sizes. Alternate colors. When it comes to ceramic tile applications, the only limit is your imagination.
Take a new direction with ceramic tiles and organize them in patterns, such as a chevron design. Pull the look together with a border design, such as bands of trim tiles or a row of hand-painted decorative ceramic tile. Choose long, rectangular-shaped ceramic tiles and lay them vertically in a shower surround to create a waterfall effect. Create a wainscoting effect by inserting a row of contrasting tile on a wall.
What About the Grout?
As versatile and practical as tile is, they are all held in place with grout, and that means that the type of grout used for the application must be taken into consideration as well. For years, cement-based grout was the only option. Today, epoxy grout is the new buzz word in the tile industry. Made with equal parts resin and hardener, epoxy grout is highly resistant to stains. It’s also more expensive than conventional grout.
Properly sealed cement grout offers easy maintenance at a more affordable price. Both cement and epoxy grout are available in multiple colors. Choosing a medium-shade color will not only accent the pattern of the tile but will help hide stains as well.
While you’ll naturally want to consider price, durability, maintenance and style when choosing tile for your bathroom, think about size variations, patterns and accent options too. An imaginative twist on generic applications can transform an ordinary bathroom into something spectacular.