Gone are the days of the bathroom merely being seen as a utilitarian space. Today, bathrooms are not only made to be functional but also aesthetically pleasing. One of the many ways to achieve both is by using tiles.
Compared to carpeted bathrooms, tiled bathrooms allow you to easily eliminate water run-off and clean deeply-rooted dirt, stains, germs, bacteria, and other foreign bathroom accumulations you could possibly think of. All you need to do is to either mop or wipe them with soap and water, and you’re good to go!
One thing that makes bathroom tiles a low-maintenance option is their complete moisture resistance. Not only does your bathroom have to deal with frequent water run-off, but also with modern shampoos, soaps, and harsh cleansers that could possibly damage your bathroom walls, countertops, and walls. With bathroom tiles, however, their non-porous nature allows them to withstand even the harshest, moisture-filled environments.
Issues surrounding wear-and-tear are common yet inevitable problems that homeowners will need to address somehow. With bathroom tiles, however, having them installed and maintained professionally will make them last for one to two decades.
If you happen to crack a couple of bathroom tiles, however, you only need to follow two steps – the first is to remove the cracked tiles, and second, install the replacements using an adhesive tile and grout.
Especially ceramic tiles, you can surely find bathroom tiles that suit your price range, all the while keeping the same luxurious aesthetic they’re well-known for. In the long run, the mere presence of your bathroom tiles may increase your home’s resale value, making way for great returns on investments.
Lots of options
Just as how you’d surely find a bathroom tile that matches your budget, you can also find a design that matches your desired aesthetics. Bathroom tiles come in various shapes, colors, finishes, and materials that you can either use to cover your bathroom floors and walls or as accents.
Now that you’re probably convinced that a tiled bathroom is your way to go, the next thing to decide is whether you’d want a fully-tiled or a partially-tiled bathroom. Nonetheless, a well-designed tiled bathroom is a clear winner when it comes to aesthetics and functionality.
What Can You Use Instead of Tiles for a Bathroom?
Looking for design tips for your bathroom? Whether you’re building it from scratch or you’re simply remodeling one, it matters to use the right materials to make it functional yet pleasing to look at. Most probably, among your most common options are bathroom tiles, but what if you want something different? Here are some of the best choices:
For starters, acrylic panels are reinforced with glass fibers that make them hard-wearing, smooth, and seamless. Aside from their resistance to cracks, dents, and scratches, they are also less prone to mold growth, water damage, and leakage. On top of that, acrylic panels offer easy installation with limitless design options.
Bright and light-reflecting, back-painted glass tiles are ideal for smaller bathrooms aiming to gain the illusion of a bigger space. The grout in-between each tile also aids in making your bathroom less slippery. Despite their aesthetic value, however, all it takes to clean them is a small window cleaner as back-painted glass panels are resistant to water stains and mold growth.
If you’re on a budget, fiberglass panels could be your best bet. Compared to other materials, they are cheaper to repair and replace, all the while preventing leakage and mold growth. Although their affordability makes them ideal for homeowners who regularly renovate their bathrooms, note that they usually offer limited design options and are also prone to scratches, damage, and fading.
Although marble is more on the pricier side, note that a well-cared marble bathroom can last a lifetime. Not only is it completely resistant to mold. It can also withstand scratching, fading, scuffing, and chipping. A marble bathroom also automatically increases your home’s value, making it an excellent investment.
If you’re looking for a material that can showcase your endless creativity, paint is your best option. Before, paint used to be avoided in bathroom design, but thanks to the discovery of moisture- and steam-resistant paint that are also wipeable, you can now express your creativity in your bathroom without sacrificing its function.
Types of Tiles for the Bathroom
You’re done planning and decorating the other parts of your house and now you have to decide what type of tiles to use for your bathroom. There are several types available, and depending on how you use your bathroom, it’s important to know what your options are.
Below are the different types of bathroom tiles to choose from:
Vinyl is the most common and popular tile to use in your bathroom. It’s cheap, easy to install, reusable, and durable. If you’re not too focused on aesthetics, the vinyl tile is practical.
Next in terms of affordability is the ceramic tile. There are different designs available, and glazed ceramic is water resistant. It’s easy to install and will last you longer than the vinyl tile.
Glass Tiles (Mosaic Tiles)
Glass tiles have a wide range of colors, textures, sizes, and designs. They don’t stain and resist molds. They’re easy to clean and nice to look at. However, they’re prone to scratches and you may need to shell out more money when you decide to get glass tiles.
Natural Stone Tiles (Limestone Tiles)
Using natural stones for bathroom flooring is ideal when you know that you’ll get high foot traffic in the area. The material is hard and durable. Slipping is rare and it creates a naturally elegant profile. However, it’s costly, and it’s hard to replace.
Plastic Laminate Tiles
This tile has several types available and they’re affordable. Some are even textured. It is easy to install and it’s stain resistant. Plastic laminate tiles can be as pretty as standard tiles, but not as durable and may give off chemical smells upon installation.
This traditional tile is regarded as sophisticated and classic. It can be patterned or veined. It’s durable and creates a wealthy look. Sure enough, this tile is expensive and is prone to stains and scratches.
One of the toughest tiles you can use for your bathroom, it’s hard to crack, chip, scratch, or break. It lasts a long time when properly maintained. It is expensive and cold though.
Best Tiles for Bathroom Walls
When choosing the best tiles for your bathroom walls, there are certain things you have to consider first. If you have kids that’ll use the room, it’s very important that you put safety first. Having a slippery and accident-prone bathroom wall and floor is not acceptable.
There will be water and moisture everywhere so safety comes hand in hand with durability. It should last long without expensive maintenance and replacement. It’s important that it’s easy to clean as well, and will not attract dirt and molds. Lastly, the design. Go for the theme that you want to and choose a tile that will best fulfill it.
You can definitely match your floor tiles with your bathroom walls. Here are the best tiles that you can use to decorate:
The cheapest of the bunch. Ceramic tiles are easy to install and maintain. It’s the standard choice for bathroom walls. Opt for a glazed ceramic tile so it will be stain and scratch-resistant. There are tons of designs available too, so choose what works with your theme.
Natural Stone Tiles
A bit more on the high-end side, natural stone tiles come in a wide range of designs, colors, and textures. They’re hard yet elegant, and need a bit of maintenance such as regular sealing and cleaning to last longer.
Glass or Mosaic Tiles
When you think of a bathroom, you’ll immediately think of this tile. It’s made up of small glass pieces together to make a big tile. It offers different colors, sizes, and patterns. Textured glass tiles are nice to the touch and they’re highly durable. Glass or mosaic tiles are a bit more costly than ceramic tiles.
This one is commonly used for other rooms like the living room and the bedroom but nowadays, it can make your bathroom walls look exquisite. Marble tiles can be patterned or veined.
Slate tiles provide a modern yet medieval look to your bathroom walls. They’re resistant to damage such as breaking, chipping, or scratches. While slate tiles are not cheap, they’re well worth the investment.
Best Tiles for Bathroom Floor
In deciding which set of tiles to use for your bathroom floor, it is important to account for the rest of your layout. Which colors and materials would best complement your shower, toilet, and closet? Which fits the vibe of your house the most? It is a good thing then, that most bathroom tiles are versatile and can blend in well.
The most popular option is Vinyl Tiles, which have been a bathroom staple for as long as home redecoration became a must. For safety and comfort, vinyl is one of the best materials on the market.
They feel just right when stepped on, and they last a long time. And unlike in previous decades, modern-day vinyl tiles now have self-adhesives and can even be cut using your home tools! Just make sure you are careful when handling sharp objects.
However, if you think vinyl is too basic for your taste, then porcelain and ceramic tiles are your next bet. The material lends itself well to a wide array of patterns, which means you have the freedom to experiment with as many designs as you want. However, these tiles can require a lot of maintenance. They may also be uncomfortable to your bare feet.
Of course, you can always add a comfortable rug mat or wear bunny slippers. They are also not that easy to install, but if you value their aesthetic appeal, then they are still a viable option.
Besides these two, you also have a more modern set of options with stone and plastic laminate. Stone fares well with most room designs and is a solid choice if you want an earthy tone for the bathroom. They also last longer than more conventional tiles but are more expensive.
As for tiles with plastic laminate, they are a lot easier to clean and are very durable. However, they do not allow a lot of moisture and you have limited design options to choose from.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide which type of tiles is the best for your bathroom. Be sure to think about the price, style, and maintenance before deciding to make a purchase.
Best Way to Clean Dirty Bathroom Tiles
We know just how much of a hassle it is to have dirty bathroom tiles. There is nothing more unpleasant than dirt and grime stuck in between them, and it can make going for a bathroom break the opposite of refreshing. The good news is that you do not have to spend a fortune getting rid of all that accumulated dirt, and your tiles can go back to being shiny and new in no time!
Heating Will Help
Before cleaning your tiles, it might help to “pre-heat” your bathroom. You can do this by turning your shower to the highest setting, but only after you have closed all doors and windows. Make sure to scatter hot water over the dirty spots on the floor, and then wait for a few minutes.
Use Good Cleaning Agent
Once this is done, you can go ahead and apply the cleaning solution. The good news is that you do not have to spend a fortune just to buy a good cleansing agent. There are materials that you can use to create a cleaning agent that gets rid of dirt and grime.
DIY Cleaning Solution
For the homemade bathroom tile cleaning solution, you can use regular household items you can find in the pantry or closet. Two materials you can use are baking soda and liquid soap, which can be mixed with water to create a solution. This can be sprayed onto wall tiles and be allowed to seep in for a few minutes.
After doing this, just wipe with a damp cloth or rug and your tiles should be looking a lot cleaner. You can also use lemon juice instead of liquid soap, as the acidity helps get rid of the bacteria.
If you do not mind the temporary smell of vinegar, you may mix it with water to get rid of mold. Just let it sit for ten minutes on the affected areas, and then wipe with a dry piece of fabric (a towel should suffice). To prevent mold from building up on your tiles, make sure to keep them dry. This will also make it more pleasant for household members and guests alike to use the bathroom.
Why Do You Need to Seal Bathroom Tiles?
When you are done installing tiles to your bathroom, it may feel like the end of a grueling task. However, the work does not end with sealing the grout. There is also the matter of sealing the tile itself. Of course, it is done on a case-to-case basis and there are factors to account for in deciding to seal off your tiles.
Top Reasons to Seal Bathroom Tiles
You should consider sealing the tile itself if you want extra protection against dirt, grime, liquid spills, and erosion. However, not all tiles need to be sealed, because many of the materials used in them are already protected enough by the grout. But if you used a material like stone, then you should think about sealing the tile. This is because slate or granite (and even marble) is absorbent, and liquids and other substances can stain them. You do not want your gorgeous bathroom layout to be short-lived.
Prevent Further Damages
If you acquire a house that already has a pre-built bathroom, then you might not be entirely sure if its tiles have been sealed. Try to spill some water onto your tiles. If they darken, then they are not sealed. You might want to seal these to avoid further damage. Also, if it has been years since your tiles have been changed, then resealing the grout is always a good idea. Routine maintenance is one thing that every bathroom owner should do, and it helps you spot cracks in the surface before they get worse.
Easy to Clean
To keep your sealed tiles clean, just make sure to wash them with a cleaning agent. Avoid using sharp tools that can permanently damage them. Be careful with handling freshly applied grout too, because it can take up to thirty days for some variants to fully settle in. You do not want them getting dirty before they permanently hold.
All in all, it is important that you seal your tiles if they are made from a stone base. Otherwise, it is enough to invest in sealing the grout. Taking care of your tiles is an essential part of bathroom maintenance, especially since they provide a lot of character and color to your design.