Adding a bit of style into your bathroom can be a simple task with the addition of strategically placed bathroom tiles, and can eliminate the need for a complete design overhaul. Bathroom tiles are a great way to introduce colour, make a bathroom look more visually exciting, and can be a very cost effective transformation.
With an abundance of patterns, textures and colours to please even the most of particular of tastes, bathroom tiles are an obvious choice for highlighting the assets of your bathroom whilst adding a little wow factor. Although some people prefer leaving it to the professionals, most bathrooms can be tiled in a weekend, even if you have had no previous tiling experience! Along with adding a little design flare tiling your bathroom offers a host of other benefits including hygienic properties and their ability to be easily maintained.
Ceramic Bathroom Tiles
Ceramic bathroom tiles are a very cost effective option, made from four key components clay shale, gypsum, and sand worked into a material called bisque. The bisque is shaped into tiles and fired in a kiln up to 2500° F. Ceramic tile is porous, so a glaze must be applied to the tile before the tile is fired again to harden the glaze, creating a sturdy and long lasting tile.
Because ceramic wall tiles are resistant to moisture and humidity they do not swell or deform when exposed to high levels of moisture, therefore are ideal for damp environments such as the bathroom. Ceramic wall tiles are easier to maintain than a painted wall and are available in an array of fade resistant finishes such as matt, glossy or semi glossy. Ceramic tiles are highly resistant to harsh chemical cleaners which allow them to be easily maintained as they will not absorb or retain stains unlike other wall coverings.
Porcelain Bathroom Tiles
Porcelain bathroom tiles are versatile, hard wearing, long lasting and can be used in almost any room of the house including the bathroom, often used for flooring. Porcelain tiles are easy to lay, maintain and are sure to add a touch of sophistication to your bathroom. There is a common misconception that porcelain floor tiles are slippery when wet, when in fact most come with an anti-slip finish. Porcelain tiles are available in a variety of styles including marble effect, and are available in a spectrum of colours. Porcelain tiles are much harder and stronger than ceramic tiles there are two types of porcelain tile body porcelain and glazed porcelain.
Body porcelain tiles are hard wearing, the colour and pattern runs through the body of the tile, unlike traditional ceramic tiles where the glaze only holds the pattern and can be prone to chipping on the surface. Glazed porcelain tiles are generally printed and can have a colour body close in shade to the printed surface. Glazed porcelain tiles are hard-wearing and generally maintenance free, the scope and versatility of porcelain tiles in the UK is growing as they are the ideal choice for both contemporary and traditional spaces.
Stone Bathroom Tiles
Natural stone tiles are extremely durable and are a great way to invest in your home and add a spot of textured luxury into your bathroom. Granite tiling has become popular in bathrooms, however although it looks great it does have slight disadvantages in that it is more expensive and is susceptible to cracking easily, not only this granite and marble tiling can be easily scratched and are not always resistant to high temperatures. However, the varying colouring and texture of natural stone cannot be replicated by ceramic tile, as it provides unique design accents. Stone tiles give bathrooms a warm, classic look, while basic white ceramic tiles give a more modern contemporary feel.
Using Tiles to Create an Illusion
Light coloured bathroom tiles give an illusion of bigger space, as they reflect light better than darker colours, giving an airy and spacious feel. Using large bathroom tiles in a smaller bathroom i.e. 60 x 30cm can make the room look significantly smaller, although even smaller tiles i.e. 10 x 10cm can look good in smaller bathrooms, yet the need for more surrounding grout can often give an unappealing effect. Tile covered walls create a greater style statement than than paint can on its own, providing a more visually exciting effect.
Accent your Bathroom with Decorative Tiles
Many people choose to use tiling patterns to define spaces and highlight areas around a feature in their bathroom such as a mirror, basin, bath or toilet or shower enclosure. There are many ways to make the most of the space with your tiles including mixing sizes, or arranging them diagonally as this can help make the room appear larger. You can create a statement in your bathroom and keep costs down by tiling only the top or bottom half of your bathrooms walls, still achieving a wow factor effect.
Mosaic Bathroom Tiles
Mosaic tiling offers limitless possibilities to fulfil your own unique design concept. Many people also choose mosaic tiles to highlight fixtures and fittings in their bathroom, such as above wash basins, on shower walls or around vanity units to create a stunning feature. Some mosaic tiles are suitable for use on both walls and flooring offering more flexibility.
Tiling the Bathroom Floor
Using the same colour wall tiles as flooring tiles can create an illusion of a greater space, choosing a colour matched grout can also attribute to the feeling of a larger space. Many people opt for medium sized tiles for bathroom flooring ideal for both small and larger bathrooms. It is important to take note of the spacing between your bathroom furniture and windows, if the spacing is tight, small tiles may be the better option, as they will flow better than larger tiles and require less cuts.
Will Floor Tiles Make my Bathroom Feel Cold?
There is a bit of a misconception when it comes to tiling a bathroom floor. In general tiles actually retain heat so they should not feel cold on your feet, however this can depend on the surface underneath the tile for example tiling onto wood will create a warmer feel than tiles that are placed on top of concrete. Underfloor heating is a modern solution to warming floors and entire rooms. There are many benefits to under tile heating such as giving you more wall space, the elimination of radiators and low running costs.