How to Choose the Right Tile for Your Bathroom

herringbone bathroom tile design with neutral floor tile

Choosing the right design and color of tile for your bathroom sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, the process can be a little more complicated—especially when there are so many tile designs and colors available!

There are a ton of tile designs available for the bathroom, in different shapes, colors, and sizes. The best part is that all tile designs look amazing; the trick is to find the right bathroom tile that fits your space and style. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips to help you narrow your choices and choose the right tile for your bathroom.

Consider bathroom tile choices

Before settling on a tile design, one of the most practical ways is to ask yourself a few questions. Do you want tile that requires yearly maintenance? Is there a lot of foot traffic in the space? Does the tile need to be durable enough to handle kids and pets?

The answer to your question can help you choose the right type of tile and cross some of the list. The good news is that even if a favorite of yours, such as marble or stone, isn’t suitable for your family, there still are other types of tile made to resemble these beautiful bathroom tiles.

Cement Tile

These trendy bathroom tiles are incredibly popular because of the unique patterns that contribute to an incredibly bathroom tile design. Cement tile also scores points for water-resistance and durability, though it does require sealing during installation and on a regular basis after installation. It is fairly easy-to-clean, requiring a regular sweep or dry mop.

If you are a self-proclaimed DIYer, you should realize the cement tile is fairly heavy and does require a solid subfloor. You can use these steps for preparing a basement floor for installation, plus any additional tips from a tile pro when you buy the tile.

Many homeowners don’t realize that cement tile does wear over time, which means that crisp lines and patterns may not stay as clear in the long-run. If you are okay with this, then cement tile is a great candidate for your bathroom.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile are a traditional top choice for bathrooms, though that doesn’t mean that ceramic and porcelain tile is boring. These tiles come in a wide variety of styles and choices; some ceramic and porcelain tiles even resemble wood for a rustic style or stone for a high-end look without the durability and maintenance.

Both tiles are easy-to-care for, requiring a regular sweep or dry mop. Ceramic and porcelain tile are very durable and water-resistant, making them a long-lasting choice for the bathroom. If sealed during installation, neither tile requires any sealing over the life of the floor.

Ceramic and porcelain tile are incredibly affordable, making them an easy choice if you have a tight budget. For DIYers, ceramic and porcelain tile are a fairly easy installation (especially with these tips for installing porcelain and ceramic tile), requiring grout and a few tools. As with any tile install, these tiles do require a level and prepped subfloor.

Glass Tile

Glass tile is incredibly stylish, adding a bit of shine to a bathroom. These tiles can be part of a light and bright bathroom, a pop of color that draws the eye, or the essence of color and coordination that makes a strong statement. When looking to add a bright color of tile to your bathroom, glass tiles are a natural choice, especially in mosaic stripes or for feature walls. Because of their popularity, glass tiles also commonly come in penny-sized or long-rectangular mosaics. Glass tiles are available in virtually any color or color combination.

Glass tiles are also fairly durable, meaning they can be used on the walls (such as part of a feature wall) or in a shower. They are not usually recommended for shower floors because they are smooth and may be slippery.

Glass tiles are easy-to-clean. If there is any concern that these tiles or grout may be stained, they can be installed with a dark grout to hide any discolorations.

Stone Tile

Stone tile tends be a bit more expensive, especially marble. With their unique and upscale look, these bathroom tiles give a bathroom a luxurious look. Their beauty is, unfortunately, combined with a few extra considerations during installation and throughout the life of the floor.

These tiles usually require a sealer during installation. Many stone tiles require a regular sealing throughout the life of the floor. Even with sealing, some stone tiles are prone to staining so homeowners need to be extra careful with stone tiles. When choosing a stone tile, be sure to ask your tile expert for information about maintenance and any durability concerns that might accompany that kind of tile.

Think about the size and location of the bathroom tile

Tile can make a bathroom look larger or incredibly small. When choosing bathroom tile, consider the size and location of the tile. Large tiles can extend the big feel or a large bathroom or make a small bathroom look even tinier. Smaller tiles with a ton of grout lines can make a small bathroom look busy and closet-sized.

However, that doesn’t mean that large and small tiles can’t be combined for a smooth and seamless look. Small tiles look great on a shower floor, on feature walls, or in mosaic strips that add interest to a space. These small tiles can be combined with larger- and medium-sized tiles for a beautiful bathroom.

Consider tile maintenance and durability

As with any other finish, you should always select the type of tile that fits your household needs. In a busy home, its best to choose maintenance-free and durable styles for flooring and wall needs. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your ideas for cement or stone; it just means they need to be added to the tile design as feature walls, shower flooring, or in mosaic strips.

Think grout

Choosing tile grout may not seem like a top priority, but even grout can make a statement. A contrasting grout can make a statement as part of a neutral tile design. A dark tile can also be a practical decision, hiding stains from a busy household. A tile grout that blends into tile can make a bathroom look larger or create a seamless look for maximum effect.

See it in person

Of course, one of the best ways to choose bathroom tile is to see it in person. A bathroom tile design can easily be laid out with an experienced tile pro and a few, strategic questions—and enjoyed in a dream bathroom for years to come.

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