What Bathroom Tile Material Should You Choose?

Wednesday, July 22 2015 10:25 AM

Bathroom tile comes in a wide variety of materials: including vinyl, ceramic and porcelain, marble, laminate, stone, wood, cork, linoleum glass and more. Some materials are better than others when used in typically wet spots.

This will depend on the vitreosity, or ability to absorb water, of the material used. Nonvitreous tile absorbs water and should not be used on or near floors, but rather in accent areas of walls. Glazed tiles will resist water, but tile used on floors also need a high friction coefficient to be able to resist causing slips and falls. Here is a guide to the most popular materials used and a few things to consider when choosing bathroom tile.

Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl tile is typically the cheapest on the market and the most popular because it’s easy to use and high in strength, comfort and protection. They can be used for any bathroom type and for any surface application.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are a great-looking option for wall décor with their wide range of available colors and patterns. They aren’t as well-suited for flooring tile as replacing bathroom tilesofter vinyl tiles, but they are easy to clean and maintain. These tiles can also be glazed for added protection to prevent scratching and damage.

Plastic Laminate Tiles

Plastic laminate tiles are useful in remodeling projects because they don’t raise the height of the floor significantly, making it easier to transition from room to room. These tiles are strong and easy to keep clean, but they have a tendency to absorb moisture and warp in standing water. Extra care is needed to caulk the gaps along the tub and walls to keep water from damaging laminate tiles.

Marble Tiles

Marble tiles provide a stylishly refined and classic look to your bathroom. Made from limestone heated and compressed in the earth for millions of years, marble has a polished look that adds elegance to any surface. Tiles are usually veined or patterned, giving interesting texture and color to your bathroom.

Stone Tiles

Besides marble, other stone tiles include granite and slate and are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They can provide your bathroom with a contemporary or rustic look, but are typically more expensive than other materials. They require more maintenance as well, needing to be sealed to prevent water damage and cleaned regularly.

Wood Tiles

Wood tiles look great, but are highly susceptible to damage and staining. Tiles must be well-sealed at the joints and require two coats of polyurethane for added surface protection. They will look good on walls, but should be avoided for use on floors for bathrooms that are frequently used.

Linoleum Tiles

Linoleum is valued for its high degree of protection and durability. It is said to naturally resist dirt and grime while being able to keep its original color. It can be used for both floor and wall applications. It looks terrific in a retro design, but comes at a slightly higher cost than similar materials.

Glass Tiles

Glass tiles are a wonderfully different look for your bathroom. They come in a wide range of colors and textures and can be installed to be slip-resistant when used on floors. They also provide a nice focal point for your bathroom design when used on walls, and resist water and staining.

If you want to explore your options for new bathroom tile, give All Seasons Construction a call for a free consultation at (316) 685-1700.

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