Tile can change an ordinary looking bathroom into a visually appealing masterpiece. With countless styles of tile available for homeowners and construction contractors, it is often difficult to make heads and tails over what type of color and finish to select, as well as the right size that pulls every design element of the bathroom together. Your bathroom tile project might be part of a major renovation or the construction of an entirely new bathroom. In both cases, you need to know about what to look for when deciding on a bathroom tile.
Know the Four Most Popular Tile Materials
The first step for deciding on a bathroom tile involves learning about the four most popular materials used to make bathroom tile.
Stone presents a natural look that seamlessly blends with other stone constructed bathroom accessories. You have to apply a sealant to stone tiles to prevent water from degrading the otherwise rugged material. Sleek stones like marble enhance the elegant ambiance of a bathroom, while granite absorbs the pounding caused by frequent foot traffic.
As one of the most affordable tile options, ceramic works great in moist conditions. Prolonged exposure to moisture does not degrade the tough tile material. Ceramic is also simple to install, as well as requires minimal maintenance over several years. If you go with high-gloss ceramic tile on the bathroom floor, make sure to perform several slip tests to ensure optimal safety.
Despite its relatively high cost, porcelain is one of the most popular types of bathroom tiles. The stylish tile works best when applied to bathroom walls. It is also the best tile option for homeowners that opt for another type of flooring in the bathroom. With a super dense surface, porcelain absorbs little moisture, as well as it resists dents and scratches.
Because it tends to create a slightly slippery surface, glass tiles are also best applied to bathroom walls. With the right lighting, you can create a vibrant ambiance by installing lights in positions that reflect off the glass tile surfaces. Glass tiles are less costly than most other styles of tile materials, which makes the tiles ideal for homeowners working on tight home improvement budgets.
Determine the Optimal Size
Walk into any home improvement store, head to the bathroom accessory section, and you will immediately notice a wide variety of tile sizes available for homeowners and construction companies to install in a bathroom. The sheer number of tile size options can be overwhelming. Therefore, to select the right size for bathroom tile, you first need to factor in the size of the bathroom and the sizes of other bathroom features that include any vases and cabinets added for aesthetic and functional appeal. You can go with a bathroom tile measuring one-by-one inch or opt for a much larger tile size that covers several feet.
Balance is Key
You can add different types of tiles to a bathroom floor and walls, but you have to be careful not to cross the proper design line. Too many bathroom tile styles can create an awkward appearance that diminishes the aesthetic appeal of other bathroom design features. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed three different type of bathroom tile designs. An even better rule of thumb involves choosing one type of tile style for the floor and a different tile style for the walls. Smaller bathrooms especially produce an awkward appearance because of the addition of too many different styles of tiles.
Different Tile Colors for the Floor and Walls
The floor and walls difference in tiles is particularly relevant when it comes to discussing tile colors. Neutral colored tiles on the floor work best because the neutral color keeps the focus on the brighter and more attractive colored tiles placed on each of the walls. A neutral bathroom floor color is like creating a subtle colored floor in the living room or dining room. You want the focus of guests to be on the visually stunning artwork you have hung on the walls.
Don’t Forget about Texture
Although visual appeal matters for deciding on a bathroom tile, so does the issue of functionality. Bathroom floors need to be cleaned frequently to remove dirt and the thin film that forms because of exposure to water. A smooth surface such as glass it easy to clean, but the smoothness creates a slippery surface after a shower. Choosing a subtly textured bathroom floor tile gives you the best of both functional worlds. The subtle texture makes the tiles easy to clean, as well as generates enough resistance to prevent slips and falls.
Mix and Match Different Sizes
We have already talked about the importance of size, but you can take the discussion to the next level by considering mixing and matching at least two different bathroom tile sizes. Be careful in selecting two different sizes of tile, as the grout lines might not match up and you create a disjointed appearance that reduces the aesthetic appeal of the bathroom. One effective way to mix and match tile sizes involves pairing four-by-four-inch floor tiles placed around a centrally located bathtub with 12-by-12 inch tiles that sit next to the bathroom door. The key is to make sure the tiles line up perfectly.
Make Sure the Price is Right
Deciding on a bathroom tile requires one or more visits to the local home improvement store. You gain access to an expert that can help guide you towards making the best buying decision. However, you can expect to pay more for bathroom tiles sold in stores, as opposed to going online and making a purchase via cyberspace. A good strategy is to visit a home improvement store, select the tiles you want to install, and then order the tiles online from the same retailer. The strategy is most effective when you do business with a big box retailer like Lowe’s and The Home Depot.
Finally, don’t neglect grout. The easy to spread mixture settles between the crevices between tiles installed in the bathroom. Grout color matters, as well as the capability of the mortar-like mixture to withstand extended exposure to moisture.
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