When in the middle of a bathroom remodel, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with tile options. Of course, not every bathroom has to have tile, but this material is used in most bathrooms, and for good reason – it is the best and longest lasting in wet conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tile options to find one that is right for you.
Vinyl tiles are the ultimate material for homeowners on a tight budget. At one time, vinyl sheets were the norm, but companies now make them in 12 in by 12 in pieces, which simulate the look of tile. Vinyl tiles come in just about any shape and size, and for easy install, you can find peel-and-stick versions that can be placed directly over your current flooring. Vinyl isn’t appropriate for your shower, and you get what you pay for – it won’t last as long as ceramic or other kinds of tiles. If you have a very limited budget, though, this is a great option.
If you need tile that’s cheap and durable, ceramic is right for you. Ceramic tiles are baked clay slabs covered in glaze. They’re rated for hardness, and usually a level three is the highest you’ll need for your bathroom. Ceramic tiles are made in large batches, because even tiny differences in the baking process can slightly change the color and size. So, if you need to replace a tile, it can be difficult to get a perfect match. On the plus side, though, they’re super easy to clean, great for floors and walls alike, and are easy to disinfect. Porcelain is a kind of ceramic, for the record, but it is a bit harder to install, even if it is around the same price range.
Terra cotta isn’t for everyone. With this material, style is limited and if you don’t buy from a reputable seller, you could get a poor quality product that chips easily and doesn’t lay flat. However, well-made terra cotta tiles will last a lifetime – or longer – and this is a great way to get that organic look to your bathroom.
Engineered stone, or agglomerate, tiles are a little more expensive than ceramic and other low-priced options, but this material is great if you want the expensive feel of marble without the high price tag. Engineered stone is made from crushed remnants of marble and other rocks, and it is sealed together with an epoxy base. The biggest disadvantage here, however, is that engineered stone is high-maintenance, and over time, fades from the sun. Because it chips fairly easily, it isn’t the best choice for floors, but works well for walls in some cases, and is even more popular in kitchens.
Like Engineered stone, terrazzo is a good choice if you want something as elegant as marble without a marble budget. This type of tile is made from combining concrete and marble chips. It lasts a long time and can easily be refurbished, but you’ll have less style options and this material is more slippery when wet than other tile options.
Marble is one of the most beautiful building materials in the world, but it is also very expensive. Marble costs, in some cases, over five times as much as ceramic and other low-cost tile options. In addition, this is a very soft stone, so it cracks, stains, and scratches easily. Like engineered stone, you have to clean and protect marble often, and on top of that, marble is hard to match in terms of color and pattern, since each piece is organic. Replacing just one or two tiles can be hard! However, if you really want an upscale bathroom, including marble might be a good option for you.
One of the most beautiful types of tiles you can use in a bathroom, but unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive. Not only do you have to pay prices similar to what you’ll see with marble, but this is also not a product that you can install yourself in most cases. Even your general contractor is probably not qualified to install glass, because if you aren’t specially trained, the tiles will crack, chip, or fall from walls in a matter of months.
The tile materials listed above aren’t your only options. When you visit your home supply store, you might find other stone options, man-made pressed tiles, and even leather! So how do you choose the option that is right for you? Answer the following questions:
Remember to look to the rest of your house for inspiration as well. Whatever tile you choose should mesh well with the tile in your kitchen, as well as the style of your bedrooms and living spaces. Luckily, there are thousands of tile choices regardless of your budget, so you should be able to find one that is perfect for you.Need help with your bathroom remodeling project? Post Your Project on Handy American and receive free estimates from top-rated local bathroom experts or search our Contractor Directory