There are many factors to consider when choosing the best tile for your project. Tile makes a huge impression in any room, but especially the bath. It surrounds your walls, shower, bath tub and floor. We’ve come up with five questions to ask yourself when choosing tile for your project.
1. What is my budget for tile? The three main types of tile for a bathroom are ceramic, porcelain and natural stone. Ceramic is the most budget friendly, then porcelain, and natural stone with the biggest price tag. Ceramic tile is white underneath, meaning that if a ceramic tile gets chipped, white will show. Porcelain, however, has “through-body composition,” meaning if a porcelain tile is green, for example, it is green the full way through, thus, less noticeable if chipped. Porcelain is more durable and water resistant. Natural stone is the most expensive and may need to sealed when used in wet areas.
2. What is my color scheme? Sometimes we see clients who start with the vanity and cabinets to decide on the color scheme. Other times, we see clients who start with their dream tile. A dream tile is usually special or unique, something the client has been drawn to upon walking into the showroom or had in mind for a while. It can be a bold accent tile or something as simple as white subway tile. Your dream tile can serve as a jumping off point or the base design for the room.
3. How many different tiles types do I need? Typically for a bathroom we suggest no more than three types of tile: wall, shower and floor. The accent tile can go on the walls or in the shower, you just need to choose the best tile for each location. Think: size, safety, look, and feel. Do you prefer smooth tile or natural pebbles caressing your feet? Do you like textured walls? Will your tile be easy to clean?
4. How do I choose the correct type of tile? Wall tile is not made to be walked upon and thus is not safe as floor tile. However, if your dream tile choice for the shower walls doesn’t offer good slip resistance on the floor, you can frame in smaller tile on the shower floor. Smaller tiles have more grout lines, which break up the slick surface area and make the tile more slip resistant. Large format tile with fewer grout lines brings a seamless look to the bathroom — just make sure they are slip resistant. Large format tiles should have a slip resistant rating of A or B. Glass tile is great for walls and accent tiles, but it can be too slippery to serve as the best tile option for floors. Lastly, if you expect to have a curved shower bench or a shower wall with a curve, you will need smaller tiles to handle the curves.
5. How much maintenance do I want in my tile choice? If you don’t want tile that is high maintenance, porcelain and ceramic are easy to clean. Their slick, smooth surface easily wipes down with cleaner. Natural stone, however can be very porous; dirt, grime and mildew can get trapped in the stone, making it more difficult to clean. Also, when using natural stone tile, consider your water’s mineral content — hard water can stain porous rock.
We understand choosing tile can be daunting, but we are here to help! Please contact us for a free in-store or in-home consultation to begin the process. We look forward to helping you find the best tile for your bath or shower remodel.