With so many choices on the market, finding the right bathroom tile can be a challenge. What color, texture, shape or finish is the right one for your home? What is the right accent tile for the trim, or built in shower caddy? Furthermore, how should the tile be installed – vertical, horizontal or in a herringbone pattern? Searching online or visiting a local tile store can be a good place to start, but can also be a visual overload.

Ultimately the tile you choose will make the biggest impact on your bathroom remodel, but can also have the biggest impact on your budget. You want something that looks chic and trendy, will last the test of time and will be easy to maintain.

It is important to keep in mind that not all tiles can be used for all applications.  Meaning, a wall tile with a glossy finish cannot be installed on the floor, as it will be too slippery. When buying certain types of tile like ceramic, porcelain or glass, be sure it is rated for use on floors. In fact, ceramic tile comes with a coefficient of friction rating (COF) – choose one rated .50 or greater. When looking for porcelain floor tile, opt for those with at least a PEI III rating, as rated by the Porcelain Enamel Institute.

The most common types of tilling include ceramic, stone, glass, porcelain, marble and vinyl.

Ceramic tile is available in interesting patterns, wood lookalikes, and modern designs. They are versatile, typically come in all shapes and sizes, and are easy to maintain. These tiles can easily be installed over radiant floor tubing and when protected with a high-grade glaze, can resist wear and scratches.

Porcelain tiles are one of the most expensive tiling options, but is the most popular, and has a tough, dense surface that resists water stains. Many homeowners like the larger porcelain tiles that are 12” x 24” or larger which provides a more seamless look. Manufacturers also offer the same design tiles in smaller sizes to mix and match or if you prefer a more classic look.

The installation of porcelain tile is not for the Do It Yourselfer, and should be installed by a professional as the installation of larger tiles can be challenging.

Stone tiles, made from limestone, marble, granite, and slate, require more maintenance than ceramic tile, but with regular cleaning and sealing can be a really great choice as an accent, or for a modern sleek design. Although typically more expensive, the rich tones and interesting patterns can offer a one of a kind look for your bathroom.

Glass tiles, when installed properly hold up well over time. Just be sure to select textured glass to prevent slippery surfaces. Small glass tiles with lots of grout joints can be slip resistant, however, many homeowners dislike the abundant amount of grout as it can discolor over time. You can have the grout tinted to the same color as your tile so it blends with the tile and appears to be one cohesive sheet. If glass tile is a little overwhelming for the entire bathroom floor, consider it as a feature in the shower area.

If neutral colors are your tile of choice, consider installing them in a diagonal design. Diagonal tiles create the illusion that the bathroom is larger than it really is and offers an interesting focal point, especially when installed on a shower wall or on the floor. Or, to brighten up the bathroom, consider adding an accent tile with color in your shower or on your backsplash.

Matte finish tiles are increasing in popularity.  They feature a soft, yet bold look, with the versatility of providing a low sheen – good for both flooring and walls.

Ceramic wooden plank tiles are gaining popularity in the bathroom remodeling world. They look elegant and come in a variety of widths and lengths. They offer a natural grain look, while maintaining water resistance. Don’t be tempted to install a real wood floor in your bathroom. Water can easily penetrate the finish and can stain or crack in the future. Even though you can apply a coating to wood floors, it is really not recommended, especially under a sink, toilet bowl or in a shower area – essentially in any part of your bathroom.

When embarking on a bathroom remodeling project, consult with a professional remodeler, or at least a knowledgeable tile supplier. Utilizing the right tile and installing it properly is vital to the success of your project.

Alex Filis – President    A.F. Signature Home Renovations

(347) 952-1449     www.afsignaturerenovations.com