No other room in the typical single family home is as suited to the application of tiles as the bathroom. Because of the demands for cleanliness, coupled with the higher humidity and moisture levels in the bathroom, tiles are the ideal floor and wall covering solution for this environment. If you are remodeling a bathroom or are building a new home, you owe it to yourself to discover the many exciting tile options available for bathrooms today.
5 Important Considerations When Choosing Bathroom Tiles
1. Slip Resistance
The parameter used for slip resistance is called the Coefficient of Friction (COF). The higher the COF, the better the slip resistance of the tiles. People spend a good share of their time in the bathroom in bare feet that are wet from bathing or a shower. The floor is often wet from humidity or splash over from the tub or shower as well. It is important to choose a tile design that has a COF of at least .5 (using the 1.0 scale where .1 is the lowest and 1 is the highest).
2. Low Water Absorption Properties
High chemical resistance to soaps, shampoo and chemical cleaning products are a more significant factor when choosing tiles for a bathroom as compared to other rooms in the home. Hygiene is an important requirement in the bathroom. This heightened level of cleanliness requires more frequent use of disinfectants and other aggressive cleaners. It is important that the tiles be impervious to water, or at the very least, have an extremely low level of absorption.
3. Water Resistant Background
Bathrooms are by their very nature, damp places. The steam from a hot shower, spillage from the sink, and water running off of bathers all contribute to a high level of moisture in the bathroom. It is very important that the walls and floors of the bathroom be waterproof as tiles are only water resistant, not waterproof. Moisture will eventually migrate through the tiles and it is necessary that the backing behind the tiles be waterproofed to prevent structural damage in the home.
4. Tile Size
While some bathroom design magazines will tell you to use smaller sized tiles in a small bathroom to make it look larger, large tiles, when installed on both the floor and walls, can create an illusion of size and elegance that is intriguing and visually appealing. The key to this strategy is to use grout that is the same colour as the tile and use the same coloured tile for the floors and walls. However, if your floor has a lot of irregular shapes that require a lot of tile cutting, then smaller tiles will ultimately give a better look.
5. Bring Nature Indoors with Stone Tiles
With the relatively recent popularity of natural stone tiles, many manufacturers have developed ceramic and porcelain tiles that look identical to natural stone tiles. With these tile types, you can achieve the desired effect of a natural stone tile without the cost, maintenance, and installation headaches associated with real natural stone tiles.