You could be forgiven for thinking bathroom tiles are a trivial thing to choose. After all, you only have to head down to the hardware store and select the best looking option, right? Wrong. It’s a little more complicated than that.
Renovating your existing bathroom or constructing a new one from scratch is a monumental investment. It’s crucial you optimise your bathroom’s aesthetics and functionality by taking the time to find the perfect tiles. Here are 6 tips to help you choose the ideal tile.
Try Before You Buy
No matter how much you love a tile, it’s wise to test it out in your bathroom first. However, you can’t install tiles during your bathroom renovation and send them back for a refund if you’re not happy with the result. The solution? Purchase a simple Sample pack.
How the size, color, and finish of a tile will look varies tremendously depending on the lighting. And the lighting in your bathroom will invariably differ substantially from the hardware store. Purchase a small sample pack and stick it onto the wall of your bathroom to see how it looks at various times of the day.
Evaluate the Most Appropriate Material
Tiles generally come in four different materials, all of which have their distinct pros and cons.
- Available in several different colours with a choice of a glossy, polished, matt, or satin finish.
- Dense and non-porous, which makes it resistant to fire, slips, and stains.
- Durable and long-lasting when installed on walls
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Prone to wear and tear like chipping
- Only suitable for low traffic areas
- Numerous creative design options
- Suitable for walls and high traffic floors
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Resistant to stains and scratches
- More expensive than ceramic
- Luxurious earthy appearance
- Available in several types such as limestone, marble, slate, travertine, and granite
- Porous, therefore prone to absorb water and stains
- Difficult to maintain as you must periodically apply a sealant
- Vulnerable to bleach and harsh cleaning chemicals
- More expensive than other options
Consider the Slip Rating
A fall in the bathroom can result in serious injury, especially among the elderly. You can minimise the likelihood of an accident by choosing a tile with a high slip rating. Without getting into the details, we grade tiles on a slipperiness scale that ranges from R9 to R13: the higher the number, the less likely the fall.
R9 refers to glazed tiles that become dangerous when wet, so they’re not suitable for bathrooms. R10 is still borderline hazardous when wet, so R11-13 are your best bet for your bathroom.
Consider the Wear Rating
Similarly, we rate tiles on how much foot traffic they can withstand before degrading. You should take into account how often you expect to use a particular bathroom.
- PEI Class 1: No foot traffic, therefore only suitable for walls
- PEI Class 2: Light foot traffic
- PEI Class 3: Moderate foot traffic
- PEI Class 4: Heavy foot traffic
- PEI Class 5. Extra heavy foot traffic
Note that PEI Class 4 and 5 are only essential for commercial bathrooms. Residential bathrooms are okay with PEI Class 2 or 3.
Consider the Size of Your Tiles
In a big bathroom, large format tiles look great on both the walls and the floor as they create a classic seamless look. Large tiles also work well in smaller bathrooms, because they create the illusion of space by reducing grout. However, smaller tiles such as penny rounds and mosaics can add interest to a cramped bathroom.
Narrow bathrooms with low ceilings tend to look better with vertical tiles. Conversely, horizontal tiles make small bathrooms with high ceilings feel more spacious.
Getting the Colour Right
First and foremost, the colour of your bathroom must complement the rest of your home. Darker colours are adept at providing a sensation of warmth and masking the accumulation of dirt. However, they do tend to make your bathroom feel more enclosed, so try not to overdo it. A gloss finish can reverse the effect to an extent. Neutral colours are a timeless style, and are great at creating a sense of space in smaller bathrooms.
If you’d like help selecting the optimal tile for your upcoming bathroom renovation, then get in touch with the professionals at Style Bathrooms today. With over 20 years’ experience in serving the Adelaide region, they’re your one-stop-shop for all things bathroom related.