Bathroom Tiles

Ceramic tile and other ideas for your bathroom floor

Tile is one of the top materials used in bathroom remodels and additions. The advantages tile offers are numerous: it's waterproof, relatively inexpensive, versatile, durable, and it comes in a vast array of colors and styles.

The Basics of Bathroom Tiles

Tile is commonly used for bathroom flooring, shower stalls and countertops. Occasionally, the walls and even the ceiling of a bathroom will be covered with tile, though more often they are simply painted.

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There are several different types of tiles, including:

  • Ceramic tiles, which are made from fired clay, minerals and water. Glazed ceramic tiles come in almost every color imaginable, while unglazed ceramic tile is the color of the materials and must be sealed before use.
  • Porcelain tile is similar to regular ceramic tile, but is harder and more durable.
  • Cement tile comes in a range of colors and is durable, but needs periodic sealing.
  • Stone tile is made from natural materials like granite, marble and limestone. While beautiful, stone tile tends to be slippery and often requires special cleaners to maintain.
  • Vinyl tile is easy to care for, but lacks the richness and higher-end feel that comes with other types of tile.

While almost any tile can be used on shower walls and bathroom countertops, tile used on bathroom floors and shower floors must be textured so it is not slippery. In addition, smaller tiles are an excellent choice for bathroom floor tile since there are more grout lines in the surface and grout is not slippery.

A recent innovation in tile design is the LED (light emitting diode) tile, which has a tiny LED embedded in it so that the tile actually emits light. This tile is perfect for use as a permanent night light or for a dramatic statement in the decor of the room.

Bathroom Tile Ideas

Tile is an ideal medium for injecting color and style into the decor of a bathroom. Many homeowners like to use a contrasting color of tile as an accent placed intermittently in the floor tile or as an interesting bathroom tile design in the backsplash above the countertops.

If existing bathroom tile is not to your liking but you don't have the money to replace it, painting it can be an option. Painting bathroom tile is tricky but can be accomplished if you are careful. After the tile is thoroughly cleaned, it must be lightly sanded to improve adhesion of the paint. Then, apply a primer undercoat before you paint. Since bathrooms generally have high humidity levels, use a two-part epoxy resin paint for good results.