Bathroom Tile Guide

Bathroom Tile Guide

Posted by As'ad on 6th May 2024

Should you use porcelain tiles in the bathroom?

Yes, porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for bathroom flooring and wall coverings. Their durability, water resistance, and low maintenance make them highly suitable for this environment. Here's why porcelain tiles are a popular option for bathrooms:

1. Water Resistance: Porcelain tiles have low water absorption rates, typically less than 0.5%. This means they are highly resistant to water penetration, making them ideal for use in wet areas like bathrooms. They can withstand splashes, spills, and moisture without warping, staining, or deteriorating.

2. Durability: Porcelain tiles are known for their exceptional durability and strength. They can withstand heavy foot traffic, impact from dropped items, and general wear and tear, making them a practical choice for bathroom floors that experience frequent use.

3. Low Maintenance: Porcelain tiles are easy to clean and maintain, requiring only regular sweeping and mopping with a mild detergent or tile cleaner. Their non-porous surface resists stains and prevents the growth of mould and mildew, reducing the need for extensive cleaning.

4. Design Options: Porcelain tiles come in a wide range of colours, patterns, and textures, allowing you to create various aesthetic effects in your bathroom. Whether you prefer a sleek modern look, a classic marble-inspired design, or a rustic wood-look finish, there's a porcelain tile option to suit your style preferences.

5. Versatility: Porcelain tiles can be used on both bathroom floors and walls, providing a cohesive and seamless look throughout the space. They can also be installed in showers, around bathtubs, and as backsplashes, offering versatility in design and functionality.

6. Hygienic: Porcelain tiles are hygienic and hypoallergenic, as they do not harbor bacteria, mould, or allergens. This makes them a safe and healthy choice for use in bathrooms, where cleanliness and hygiene are important considerations.

7. Temperature Resistance: Porcelain tiles are resistant to temperature fluctuations, making them suitable for use with underfloor heating systems commonly installed in bathrooms for added comfort.

Overall, the combination of water resistance, durability, low maintenance, and design versatility makes porcelain tiles an ideal choice for bathroom flooring and wall coverings. They provide a durable and stylish solution that can withstand the unique challenges of the bathroom environment.

UK bathroom tile trends

In British bathrooms, a variety of tile styles are used to create different aesthetic effects and cater to diverse design preferences. Here are some popular tile styles commonly found in British bathrooms:

1. Metro Tiles: Also known as subway tiles, Metro tiles are rectangular ceramic tiles inspired by the tiles used in subway stations in the early 20th century. They feature a classic and timeless design characterized by beveled edges and are often used in traditional and contemporary bathroom designs alike.

2. Mosaic Tiles: Mosaic tiles are small tiles, typically measuring less than 2 inches in size, arranged in intricate patterns or designs. They can be made from various materials such as ceramic, glass, or natural stone and are used to create decorative accents, borders, or feature walls in British bathrooms.

3. Patterned Tiles: Patterned tiles come in a wide range of designs, including geometric, floral, Moroccan, and Victorian-inspired patterns. They add visual interest and personality to bathroom spaces and are often used as floor tiles, wall tiles, or decorative accents in shower niches or alcoves.

4. Marble Tiles: Marble tiles are prized for their luxurious appearance and timeless elegance. They feature distinctive veining and variations in colour and are used to create sophisticated and upscale bathroom designs. While natural marble tiles require sealing and maintenance, porcelain tiles that mimic the look of marble are also popular in British bathrooms for their durability and easy maintenance.

5. Wood-look Tiles: Wood-look tiles offer the warmth and texture of wood flooring with the durability and water resistance of porcelain or ceramic tiles. They come in a variety of finishes and colours, ranging from light oak to dark walnut, and are used to create rustic, Scandinavian, or contemporary bathroom designs.

6. Hexagonal Tiles: Hexagonal tiles, also known as hex tiles, feature a six-sided shape and are available in various sizes and materials such as ceramic, porcelain, or marble. They can be arranged in different patterns, including traditional grid layouts, herringbone, or honeycomb patterns, and are used to create visually striking floors, backsplashes, or shower walls in British bathrooms.

7. Terrazzo Tiles: Terrazzo tiles are made from a composite material consisting of chips of marble, quartz, granite, or glass embedded in a cement or resin base. They have a speckled or flecked appearance and are used to create vibrant and textured surfaces in British bathrooms, including floors, walls, or vanity countertops.

These are just a few examples of the diverse range of tile styles used in British bathrooms. The choice of tile style often depends on individual preferences, the desired aesthetic, and the overall design scheme of the bathroom space.

Should I go for Matt or Gloss/Polished porcelain tiles?

Whether to use matte or glossy tiles in the bathroom depends on several factors including personal preference, the desired aesthetic, and practical considerations. Here's a comparison to help you decide:

Matte Tiles:

1. Appearance: Matte tiles have a non-reflective surface that creates a soft and understated look. They offer a more subtle and natural appearance compared to glossy tiles.

2. Slip Resistance: Matte tiles tend to have better slip resistance than glossy tiles, especially when wet. This makes them a safer option for bathroom floors, particularly in households with elderly individuals or young children.

3. Maintenance: Matte tiles are generally easier to maintain as they are less prone to showing water spots, fingerprints, and smudges compared to glossy tiles. They also tend to hide dirt and grime better, requiring less frequent cleaning.

4. Aesthetic: Matte tiles are well-suited for creating a contemporary, Scandinavian, or spa-like aesthetic in the bathroom. They provide a calming and serene atmosphere, making them popular for creating a relaxing retreat.

Glossy Tiles:

1. Appearance: Glossy tiles have a reflective surface that adds brightness and depth to the bathroom. They create a sleek and polished look that can make the space feel more spacious and luxurious.

2. Cleaning: Glossy tiles are relatively easy to clean as they can be wiped down quickly with a damp cloth. However, they are more prone to showing water spots, soap scum, and fingerprints, requiring more frequent cleaning to maintain their shine.

3. Aesthetic: Glossy tiles are often used to create a modern or glamorous bathroom aesthetic. They can be particularly effective when used as accent tiles or in small bathrooms to reflect light and create the illusion of space.

4. Considerations: It's important to note that glossy tiles may not be ideal for bathroom floors, especially in wet areas like showers, as they can be slippery when wet. However, they can be used effectively on bathroom walls to add a touch of sophistication and style.

Ultimately, the decision between matte and glossy tiles comes down to personal preference, the desired aesthetic, and practical considerations such as safety and maintenance. Some homeowners opt for a combination of both matte and glossy tiles to achieve a balanced and visually appealing look in their bathroom design.

Colours that look best in a Bathroom

The choice of tile colour for a bathroom depends on various factors such as personal preference, the desired mood or atmosphere, the size of the bathroom, and the overall design style. Here are some considerations to help you decide on the best colour for your bathroom tiles:

1. White: White tiles are a classic choice for bathrooms as they create a clean, bright, and timeless look. They make the space feel larger, reflect light effectively, and provide a neutral backdrop for other design elements. White tiles are versatile and can be paired with virtually any colour scheme or decor style.

2. Neutral Tones: Neutral colours such as beige, taupe, grey, or greige (a combination of grey and beige) are popular choices for bathroom tiles. They provide a soothing and understated backdrop, allowing other elements in the bathroom, such as fixtures, accessories, and artwork, to stand out. Neutral tiles can also create a sense of warmth and tranquility in the space.

3. Soft Pastels: Soft pastel colours like light blue, soft green, pale pink, or lavender can add a subtle pop of colour to the bathroom without overwhelming the space. Pastel tiles create a calming and serene atmosphere, making them well-suited for creating spa-like retreats or relaxing sanctuaries.

4. Bold Colours: Bold and vibrant colours such as navy blue, emerald green, deep plum, or rich terracotta can make a statement in the bathroom and add personality and character to the space. Bold tiles can be used as accent tiles, feature walls, or backsplashes to inject energy and drama into the design.

5. Monochromatic Schemes: Monochromatic colour schemes, such as shades of grey, black, or beige, create a cohesive and sophisticated look in the bathroom. They allow for subtle variations in tone and texture while maintaining a sense of harmony and balance throughout the space.

6. Contrast: Contrasting tile colours, such as black and white, or light and dark, can create visual interest and depth in the bathroom. Contrast can be achieved through the use of different tile materials, finishes, or patterns, adding dimension and drama to the design.

7. Natural Stone: Natural stone tiles, such as marble, travertine, or slate, come in a variety of colours and patterns inspired by nature. They add texture, warmth, and organic beauty to the bathroom, creating a luxurious and elegant ambiance.

When choosing the best colour for your bathroom tiles, consider factors such as the amount of natural light, the size of the space, your design preferences, and how the tiles will complement other elements in the room. It's also helpful to create a mood board or gather inspiration from design magazines, websites, or social media platforms to visualize different colour options in the context of your bathroom design.

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Popular bathroom tile sizes

The choice of tile size for a bathroom depends on various factors such as the size and layout of the bathroom, the style of the design, and personal preference. Here are some common tile sizes used in bathrooms and considerations for each:

1. Small Tiles (Less than 4 inches):

- Mosaics: Small mosaic tiles, typically measuring less than 2 inches, are commonly used for creating intricate patterns, accents, or borders in bathrooms. They are versatile and can be arranged in various designs, adding visual interest and texture to the space.

- Penny Tiles: Penny tiles, which are small, round tiles often measuring around 3/4 inch in diameter, are another popular option for bathroom floors, walls, and shower surrounds. They create a classic and retro-inspired look and provide excellent traction due to the large number of grout lines.

2. Medium Tiles (4 to 8 inches):

- Subway Tiles: Subway tiles, typically measuring 3 inches by 6 inches, are a classic choice for bathroom walls and shower surrounds. They create a timeless and versatile look that works well with various design styles, from traditional to contemporary.

- Hexagonal Tiles: Hexagonal tiles, often measuring around 4 to 6 inches across, are another popular option for bathroom floors and walls. They add a unique and geometric touch to the space and can be arranged in different patterns, such as a classic grid layout or a trendy honeycomb design.

3. Large Tiles (More than 8 inches):

- 12x24 Tiles: Large-format tiles, such as 12x24 inches, are commonly used for bathroom floors and walls to create a sleek and modern look. They have fewer grout lines, which can make the space feel more expansive and easier to clean.

- Large Square Tiles: Large square tiles, such as 12x12 inches or 18x18 inches, are also popular choices for bathroom floors and walls. They provide a clean and uniform appearance and can visually enlarge the space, especially in smaller bathrooms.

4. Extra-Large Tiles:

- 60x60cm Tiles: Extra-large tiles, such as 60x60cm or even larger, are becoming increasingly popular for bathroom floors and walls. They create a seamless and contemporary look with minimal grout lines, giving the bathroom a luxurious and spa-like feel.

- 120x60cm porcelain tiles, which are even larger than standard tiles and can be as large as 120x120cm, are a high-end option for creating a truly seamless and luxurious bathroom design. They are often used for large-scale projects or custom installations.

When choosing the best tile size for your bathroom, consider factors such as the size of the space, the overall design aesthetic, and practical considerations such as maintenance and installation. Additionally, you can mix and match different tile sizes to create visual interest and texture in the bathroom design.

What bathroom lighting will best bring out the tiles

The type of lighting in a bathroom can significantly influence how tiles are showcased. Here are some types of bathroom lighting that can bring out the beauty of tiles:

1. Natural Light:

Natural light enhances the colours and textures of tiles, making them appear more vibrant and true to their characteristics. Consider maximizing natural light by incorporating windows, skylights, or light tubes in the bathroom design. Position tiles in areas that receive ample natural light to highlight their features.

2. Recessed Lighting:

Recessed lighting, also known as can lights or downlights, provides even illumination throughout the bathroom without overpowering the space. Install recessed lights strategically to accentuate specific areas of the bathroom, such as shower niches, tub surrounds, or vanity backsplashes, where tiles are prominently featured.

3. Wall Sconces:

Wall sconces mounted on either side of bathroom mirrors or above vanity countertops can create a flattering and ambient glow that enhances the beauty of tiles. Choose wall sconces with adjustable arms or shades to direct light onto tiles and highlight their textures and patterns effectively.

4. LED Strip Lighting:

LED strip lighting installed along the perimeter of bathroom mirrors, vanity cabinets, or toe kicks can add a subtle and contemporary touch while illuminating tiled surfaces. LED strips come in various colours and intensities, allowing you to customize the lighting to complement the colours and finishes of your tiles.

5. Under-Cabinet Lighting:

Under-cabinet lighting installed beneath bathroom vanity cabinets or shelves can showcase tiled floors and walls by casting a gentle glow upwards. Use LED puck lights, linear strips, or tape lights for discreet and energy-efficient illumination that highlights the beauty of tiles without creating harsh shadows.

6. Statement Lighting Fixtures:

Statement lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers, pendant lights, or flush-mount ceiling fixtures, can serve as focal points in the bathroom while illuminating tiled surfaces. Choose fixtures that complement the style and colour palette of your tiles, whether they are sleek and modern or ornate and traditional.

7. Dimmer Switches:

Install dimmer switches for all bathroom lighting fixtures to adjust the intensity of light according to the time of day, mood, or task at hand. Dimming the lights can create a soft and inviting ambiance that accentuates the texture and sheen of tiles while promoting relaxation and comfort.

By incorporating a combination of natural and artificial lighting sources, you can effectively highlight the beauty of tiles in your bathroom and create a welcoming and visually stunning space.

Will tiles in a bathroom increase house value?

In many cases, yes, installing tiles in a bathroom can increase the value of your home. Here's why:

1. Aesthetic Appeal: Tiled bathrooms often have a more polished and upscale appearance compared to bathrooms with other flooring materials like linoleum or vinyl. The wide range of tile options available allows homeowners to choose styles that suit their taste and complement the overall design of the home, adding aesthetic appeal that can attract potential buyers.

2. Durability and Longevity: Tiles are known for their durability and longevity, especially when properly installed and maintained. Unlike other flooring materials that may wear out or become damaged over time, tiles can withstand moisture, scratches, and heavy foot traffic, making them a desirable feature for homebuyers looking for low-maintenance and long-lasting materials.

3. Water Resistance: Bathrooms are high-moisture environments, and tiles offer excellent water resistance compared to materials like hardwood or carpet. Tiled floors and walls provide a protective barrier against water damage, mould, and mildew, which can contribute to the overall condition and value of the home.

4. Versatility: Tiles are versatile and can be used for flooring, walls, backsplashes, showers, and even countertops in bathrooms. Their adaptability allows homeowners to create cohesive and visually appealing designs throughout the space, enhancing the overall value and marketability of the home.

5. Energy Efficiency: In bathrooms with radiant floor heating systems, tiles can help improve energy efficiency by conducting and retaining heat effectively. This can be a desirable feature for homebuyers looking to reduce energy costs and enhance comfort in their homes.

6. Resale Appeal: Tiled bathrooms are often considered a desirable feature by homebuyers, which can increase the resale value of your home. A well-designed and professionally tiled bathroom can set your property apart from others on the market and attract potential buyers willing to pay a premium for a beautifully appointed bathroom space.

While installing tiles in a bathroom can increase the value of your home, it's essential to choose quality materials, invest in professional installation, and maintain the tiles properly to maximize their impact on resale value. Additionally, consider factors such as the local real estate market, neighborhood trends, and the preferences of potential buyers when making home improvement decisions.