Remodeling your bathroom comes with a lot of big decisions, one of the more fun being choosing new tile. But as anyone who has retiled a bathroom knows, the possibilities are endless! Ceramic or porcelain? Classic or abstract? Pouring over the many different sizes, shapes, materials, and of course, price of bathroom tile can be fun, but also overwhelming. With all the options on the market, how do you choose the perfect look for your space?
Here are six tips for choosing your dream bathroom tile.
1. Define Your Vision
The first step in choosing bathroom tile is defining your vision. What kind of aesthetic are you going for? Do you crave a peaceful space to unwind at the end of the day, or are you looking to make a punchy statement? Creating a mood/inspiration board is a great place to start. From there, you can work with your designer and contractor to be sure the elements are not just beautiful, but functional and will hold up over the long haul.
2. Set Your Budget
Setting your budget is an essential step in any home renovation project. You want to be able to comfortably explore your options, so set your bottom line early. Ceramic is often the least expensive choice, with porcelain being a nice step-up due to its durability. Don’t forget to add room for the 10% breakage allowance, 15% if you are planning to install diagonally or in a room with lots of curves and corners – these require more cutting and waste.
3. Consider Tile Size
Give some serious thought to the size of your tile. Smaller tiles such as basket weave or penny tile that were once popular are making a major comeback, but larger tiles such as 12×24 can create the illusion of more space. White subway tile is a classic choice that never goes out of style, but for a modern twist, consider using a larger 4×16 option.
4. Pick Your Materials
Stain- and odor-resistant ceramic is a solid and economical choice, but porcelain is a bit higher grade due to its water-resistance and thorough-body composition (blue tile is blue all the way through, not just on the surface like with ceramic). Don’t rule out glass, marble, or other natural stone. Glass is always luminous and dazzling, but installation can be tricky so be sure your contractor is up for the challenge! Marble is elegant and timeless, but can be vulnerable to scratching and will need regular sealing.
5. Pattern Play
Choosing a tile with an abstract pattern can be a really fun way to create a show-stopping look in a small space. Aside from tiles that feature a pattern, others are being designed to create patterns by the way they are installed on walls and floors. Ever-popular hexagon tile appears again and again in design history, and modern diamond Escher tiles (seen above) are currently having a moment.
6. Don’t Forget the Grout
A quality grout job can make or break your tile work, so don’t leave this important step overlooked. Selecting a grout color can be just as important as choosing your actual tile. Do you want to match the grout to the tile, or select a contrasting color that will make your tile pop? White grout is always classic, but harder to keep clean and could require more maintenance. If you go with a contrasting grout color, be sure your contractor uses a sealer or grout release to protect your glaze. Nowadays grout comes in a plethora of color choices – gray, beige, black, even rose or pale green! Also key, choosing a medium that your contractor is comfortable working with – some prefer to use premixed grout, and others will want to mix their own.