When it comes to choosing a type of tile for your bathroom renovation, you may get stuck asking yourself about the differences between the many types of modern tiles available. Different materials have their pros and cons, so here’s a quick guide to picking flooring that’s perfect for your bathroom.
Vinyl is the most common bathroom flooring material, as it is very affordable and gets the job done. It works in every bathroom in the house, from the master bathroom to powder room. While vinyl tiles have come a long was in aesthetic appeal and ease of installation, they still occupy more of a function over form space. Vinyl is long lasting, self-adhering, and can be cut with a utility knife, so it can be installed by a savvy DIYer.
CERAMIC AND PORCELAIN TILES
It’s hard to beat ceramic or porcelain tile on looks because styles and colors abound; whether your tastes are to stone or wood lookalikes, brilliant colors, or surprising patterns. Ceramics are easy to maintain, too. When protected with a high-grade glaze, ceramic will resist wear and scratches even better. Porcelain tiles are even harder and often have through-body color, an advantage if chipping occurs. Ceramics and porcelain tiles will pick up the coolness of morning temperatures more than other options, but floor heating has come a long way, too, and will help keep you warm and cozy. These tile options are also not as easy to install, so it may be best left to professionals.
NATURAL STONE TILES
Stone tiles were once rare in bathrooms. In the past decade, though, natural stone tiles have risen in popularity in homes, bathrooms included. Made from granite, limestone, slate, or marble; stone tiles are available in colors that range from creams to blues, and reds to golds. Available textures are nearly as numerous: cleft, tumbled, sandblasted, etched and flamed variations are just the start. Regular or irregular patterns can add a custom look to your bathroom floors. They are higher in price and require more maintenance (porous stone are sensitive to abrasive cleaners,) but for some, are worth their weight in gold… or marble.
WOOD FLOOR TILES
Wood is no longer an option only for the fearless. It will stain if water penetrates the finish, but this can be mitigated through proper sealing around the perimeter and joints during installation. Two coats of polyurethane must then be applied as protection. The maintenance requirements may not be fore the faint-hearted and we recommend its use in lower traffic areas, but they add a lot of character to a bathroom, and give any space a natural, elegant look.
Glass floor tile is one of the most rare bathroom flooring solutions. Installed properly, glass tile holds up very well in high-use master baths, and if textured, it can resist slips. Small glass tile with lots of grout joints are also slip-resistant. The aesthetic appeal of glass tile is two fold: Covering the floor in a thin layer of glass creates the illusion of depth, and if the glass is tinted, you get a beautiful stained-glass effect. It is one of the highest priced options and most complex to install, but when done safely and correctly, it is beautiful.
With so many options, it can be hard to choose a material, but there really are no wrong answers. It’s always a great idea to consult with a professional designer, but don’t get overwhelmed by the process – have fun with it.