Choosing Your Perfect Bathroom Tile

Adding bathroom tile to your bathroom can completely change the look and feel. Bathroom tiles should ideally create a floor surface which is attractive, water resistance and safe to walk on. When you are considering the perfect tile for your bathroom, be aware of the unique properties in each that may or may not be suitable for your particular needs. Generally speaking, pick European tiles over those made in Asia as they tend to be much better quality. Try to maintain the tile size throughout your bathroom, as different sized tiles could cause installation problems. If you choose granite or other stone tiles, accept the differences in color as they contribute to the uniqueness.

Ceramic Bathroom Tile

Ceramic tile can range from cheap to expensive, and is generally considered the "standard" for bathroom tile. Ceramic tiles are made of clay, shale or porcelain and fired at extremely high temperatures until they are hardened. The higher the firing temperature and the more times the tile is fired, the harder and less porous the finished tile will be. If you choose a neutral ceramic tile such as white, cream or tan, using a dramatic grout color such as blue can give your bathroom a dramatic flair. Remember to always apply sealer to grout lines to preserve the original color.

Stone Bathroom Tile

Stone bathroom tile can include marble, granite, brick, slate, onyx, travertine and limestone and can offer durability, strength and beauty. Stone tiles tend to be on the expensive end, and in some instances it can absorb unwanted stains easily as well as present a slippery surface which is not ideal in the bathroom where water is part of the package. Stone tiles will last a very long time, so is good for high-traffic areas such as bathrooms, but you must weigh the pros and cons when deciding to install stone bathroom tiles.

Hardwood Bathroom Tiles

A relatively newcomer to the tile lineup, are solid wood, parquet flooring or engineered woods-several layers of laminated wood and other high-tech materials making it somewhat similar to plywood. Hardwoods tend to be wear-resistant, attractive, more comfortable to walk on than ceramic or stone, easy to clean and refinish and are somewhat warmer in the winter. On the flip side, hardwood bath tiles are more vulnerable to moisture, making them a bit less desirable in the bathroom.

Linoleum Bathroom Tile/Laminate and Vinyl Tile

Linoleum bathroom tiles are made of renewable and natural materials such as ground cork, limestone, jute, linseed oil and even wood flour. There are more and more marbled and graphic designs in this particular type of tile, and linoleum tiles tend to be more durable and easier to clean than vinyl tiles. Laminate and vinyl tiles are found in a wide array of colors, patterns and textures, some which imitate the wood look. Laminate is fairly durable, but not to the extent that ceramic, stone or wood can be.

Mosaic Bathroom Tile

Once an ancient craft, this beautiful tile can be made of stone, porcelain or colored glass, and is typically used to create amazing and artistic floor patterns. The tiles are small-only one or two inches square, and most often expensive. If you cannot afford to tile your entire bathroom in mosaic, consider adding a small section to the floor, countertop or shower enclosure for visual interest.

You can also find bathroom tile in concrete designs which are durable and low maintenance and are also great for wet areas as you can choose from a variety of textures such as shiny, rough, slick or sandpaper, in many colors and sizes. Take a trip to your local home improvement center and browse through the vast array of tiles. Making a major change in your bathroom can be as simple as changing out your present flooring for the visual treat and durability of tile.