Tips for Selecting the Ideal Bathroom Tile for your DIY Project
When deciding to remodel your bathroom it is often a challenge to choose the right tile size, colors, style and price range for your home. While the world of tile is vast there are a few key points to help you narrow down your decision.
Perfect Bathroom tiles are often the focal point of this multi-use room and its facilities particularly when utilizing size and material variations. Borders, pattern designs, layout geometry, and mixing of size and material composition can easily and creatively enhance and glorify this area once relegated to featuring white porcelain tile and wallpaper.
Size variations for variety in your interiors
The general rule is the smaller the tile, the harder to keep clean. Thus using 1” X 1” may be aesthetically appealing, but cleaning all that grout is the stuff of nightmares, particularly in an area that gets soaked often.
The standard size for bathroom tile is 4” X 4”, placed on the wall and the floors. This size is still used frequently in new homes but generally only on shower enclosure walls.
Due to the ever-expanding square footage of modern bathrooms, using larger tile sizes (generally 12” X 12”) on the floor is far more practical in terms of initial cost and cleaning time. Unless the bathroom is quite large (over 100 sq. ft.), installing 18” X 18” or 24” X 24” sizes could look beautiful, depending on the floor space in your bathroom.
Rectangular tile is found in 4” X 6” and 3” X 9” configurations and can create an unusual look for the walls but will be impractical for the floor due to the small sizes.
Mosaic and Mural Tiles add excitement and depth to the shower or bathing area and can also be installed as a backsplash around the bathtub and sink counter. Either one will add uniqueness to the bathroom but may prove difficult to keep clean and mildew free.
Choose a tile material that compliments your decor
Tile can be made in various mediums, from ceramic to glass, each with its sizzle and style. Below are some guidelines to help you choose, and pricing will vary based on your geography and if tiles are readily available in your hometown tile store.
Ceramic tiles are the most common & traditional material with painted and glazed surfaces. The white underneath the tile will be exposed if chipped, creating a noticeable damage spot. They can be installed on the walls, floors, counters, and backsplashes of the bathroom ranging in price from $1.00 to $20.00 per square foot uninstalled.
Similar to Ceramic, but tend to be slightly harder and have the color throughout the entire tile. This makes it less likely to chow any damage, but the price is also a bit higher at $2.00 per square foot uninstalled up to $50.00 or more for hand-painted tiles.
This distinctive and colorful reddish-brown unglazed clay gives the area a more rustic or Spanish influence. These tiles must be sealed periodically to maintain their shine and water resistance. The tile’s average price is $1.00 to $3.00 per square foot uninstalled.
The reflective qualities of glass tile offer a depth and illumination not found in other compositions and thus adds an interesting dynamic in the bathroom area. Not suitable for the floor, but great for walls and backsplashes.
As a stand-alone wall, glass tiles offer light diffusion transparency with seclusion and privacy. Prices start at $15.00 to $25.00 per square foot uninstalled.
Natural and organic tiles such as granite, marble, and even limestone offer an elegant refinement to the bath area. Installing on walls, counters, and backsplashes is preferred as the surface becomes too slippery for flooring.
Stone tiles often need resealing to ensure moisture resistance. Generally, the prices range from $5.00 to $15.00 per square foot uninstalled, with rare stone colors commanding much higher costs.
Now that you know the various materials available, it’s important to understand how to calculate the amount needed for your bathroom project. This step is extremely important to avoid overbought or a shortage of tiles.
The process begins with accurate measurements of the area you plan to tile. To calculate the tile needed for your bathroom, you can read this article about tile calculation.
Mixing Sizes and Materials
Today’s bathroom tile usage is all about size and material variations. Mixing glass with porcelain or granite and marble can create breathtaking patterns and treatments that will turn the bath area into a luxurious setting to help remove the day’s stress.
Placing a border of rectangular tiles set into a mosaic or square tile pattern will break up the lines and create a visual focus that pulls the eyes in that direction.
The same is true when using hand-painted tiles sporadically throughout a tile wall. Use these ideas to choose the perfect tile for your next bathroom tile project. There are no rules – choose a style that you love and works well with your home, and let the world of bathroom tile guide your creative mind.