How to choose the right tiles for your bathroom

How to choose the right tiles for your bathroom

They are always a popular choice for bathrooms, giving a clean, smooth finish as well as being practical, but how do you choose the right tiles?

Advantages of tiles in the bathroom

choose the right tilesTiles suit every area of the bathroom from the floor to the walls.  The biggest advantage is that they are so easy to clean and maintain.  Another important factor for the bathroom is that they are water-resistant, as many materials like carpet won’t stand up to the wet and moist atmosphere.

All kinds of colours, patterns and finishes are available in a variety of materials, both natural and man-made, to suit any budget and design scheme.  Tiles made from ceramic, porcelain and stone work well with underfloor heating. They are very efficient at conducting heat, much better than laminate or wood flooring.

Tiles are a hard material which makes them very durable, they will last for years and years to come.  Although you will need to regrout them in time, ceramic can last over 75 years and stone has an even longer life.

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Which tiles for which areas?

It is really important to choose the right tiles for the bathroom floor, as you don’t want your flooring to be a hazard.  Highly polished tiles will make a slippery area even worse.  If you are choosing ceramic or porcelain tiles, then matte, non-slip ones are essential for the floor, as they are made specifically for this purpose.

choose the right tilesStone tiles are always a design favourite as they give a stunning finish to the floor, with that luxury hotel look.  Be warned though, they are harder to maintain and more expensive.

Other options for flooring are vinyl and luxury vinyl tiles, always in demand for this area as they are low cost and practical.  They also have the advantages of being comfortable underfoot, non-slip and durable.

Laminate flooring is another great choice as it is easy to clean, hypoallergenic, and stain resistant.  It has a high quality wear layer on the top which means it is also scratch and dent resistant, so can withstand heavy foot traffic.  Its shock absorbent qualities make it comfortable underfoot and it is warmer than natural stone.

For the walls, smooth tiles are much easier to clean. You have the choice of finishes though, as safety is not a concern like it is with flooring.  Gloss tiles are great at reflecting light and are easy to wipe down but they will show smears.  Matte tiles are much better at hiding water marks.

Glazed ceramic tiles are waterproof, stain-resistant and budget friendly, making them the most popular choice for bathroom wall for many years.  Porcelain is another favoured material for the bathroom as is it dense and hard-wearing, with even more water and stain resistance than ceramic.

Natural stone, like marble and slate, has a stunning finish which gives that luxury look, but it is more expensive and harder to maintain, as the tiles will need resealing over the years.

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What size tiles?

For the bathroom floor, larger tiles are fine (as long as they are non-slip choose the right tilesor textured for safety) but considering using smaller ones for the shower flooring or around the bathtub for more grip – this will mean more seams, therefore more grout lines, which gives you greater traction underfoot.  Mosaic tiling is popular here for this reason.

There are no set rules for which size you should use in the bathroom, so it’s a good idea to try a few different size samples out to see how they look in place.  Bathroom and shower walls usually benefit from tiles that are larger 4×4″.  Larger tiles on the walls also means less grout to maintain to over the years.

The classic and versatile subway tile is as popular in bathrooms as it is in kitchens.  These rectangular shaped tiles (inspired by the New York subway) are traditionally 3″x 6″ made of glazed ceramic, but are available in a variety of sizes now.  They can be used to create patterns horizontally and in contrasting colours.

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Colour & pattern

The size of your bathroom and the amount of natural light it gets are both important considerations.  Lighter tiles will of course give the room a brighter, bigger feel and vice versa. Smaller bathrooms benefit from lighter and/or glossy tiles as they give the illusion of more space.choose the right tiles

Block colours are big for this year, as are Moroccan style patterns and natural colours.  Avocado is back in a big way as well; this shade of green used for feature walls, floors and baths is striking combined with white, gold and grey shades.

If you have neutral colours on the walls, a patterned floor can look stunning and really stamp your personality on the bathroom.  Patterned tiles can also make a feature area, above the sink for example, and even an accent wall.

If you are looking for a continuous appearance, often used in hotel spas, you can use the same tiles for the walls and floor – porcelain and natural stone are great choices for this.  For safety,  choose the same colour and material of tile but in a matte finish for  flooring.

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Herts Decorators provide high quality and professional decorating services to our clients across Hertfordshire, book a free estimate with our team today!

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George Ryland