Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Bathroom Tiles

There is a lot to consider when choosing bathroom tiles. Ultimately, you want something that looks great and blends into your existing home.

It’s easy to think it’s too much. You want the perfect look, color, and material that’s both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Choosing the wrong tiles could mean you could be stuck with something that doesn’t work for a long time or spending more money to replace them.

No matter if you choose a DIY bathroom remodel or hire a contractor, keep reading to find out how you can choose the perfect tiles for your bathroom.

First Steps to Choosing Bathroom Tiles

The first steps to picking bathroom tile are to ask yourself a few questions.

The biggest consideration when choosing tile for your bathroom is how the room will be used. Do you plan to tile the shower area and the floor?

Do you have kids that drop toys on the bathroom floor? Is there a lot of water on the floor from the shower? You may need a tile that is durable and absorbs water.

Will the tile be installed over heated floors? Then your only options are going to be ceramic and porcelain tile because they conduct heat so well. Otherwise, you won’t get the full benefit of having heated floors.

Also, how big is the bathroom? If you have a small bathroom, using larger tiles will make the bathroom seem smaller. For a larger bathroom, large tiles will make a bathroom seem like it’s proportioned well.

However, if you’re going to put a rug in the middle of the floor, opt for smaller tiles.

Who will install the tiles? If you do a remodel, you can go either way. If you’re opting for a DIY job, then you might want to consider ceramic tile. They don’t have a high amount of density, and they’re easier for DIYers to cut by hand.

Types of Bathroom Tiles

It’s easy to get lost in the types of bathroom tile. Take what you discovered from the questions above and discover which type of tile will work for you.

Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles

According to Houzz, ceramic and porcelain tile made up 45% of wall choices and 69% of flooring for remodels in 2016.

Porcelain tiles tend to get confused with ceramic tiles. Often the terms will be used interchangeably, but they are two completely different animals.

The similarities are this: they’re both made from clay and fired in a kiln. The clay to make porcelain is more refined than the clay used to make ceramic.

Many tile professionals tout porcelain being superior, which is why it commands a premium price. Let’s look at the other differences between porcelain and ceramic.

The first difference is the density. Porcelain tiles have a denser composition, making it more durable. Ceramic tiles tend to be softer tiles, which is great when you want to cut them on your own. However, under heavy use, ceramic tiles can chip more easily.

The second difference is the water absorption rate. A common misconception is that porcelain or ceramic are waterproof. That is not true. Remember, both are made of clay, which is a porous material.

Because porcelain is a dense material, it doesn’t that much water, with a tested water absorption rate of half of a percent. That makes porcelain a great choice for bathroom floors.

If you decide that porcelain tiles are for you, then have a professional company like Mid-Atlantic Tile remodeling install them. According to them, they are brittle tiles, and they could break if you try to cut them on your own.

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone bathroom tiles run the gamut of limestone, marble, slate, travertine, and sandstone. Natural stone has an imperfect look and abstract patterns, which makes it a great fit for rustic environments.

It’s also very durable and scratch resistant. The water absorption rate will depend on the stone that you choose, as some stones are more porous than others.

Glass Tile

Glass tiles will give your home an elegant look, and you can get them in a broad range of colors. The downside to glass is durability. It’s certainly much less durable than porcelain, which means that glass should be installed in low-traffic bathrooms and on the walls.

Colors & Patterns

What is the look you want to achieve with your bathroom tiles? Do you want a rustic look, a consistent pattern, or all white?

Do you go with a shiny look or a matte look? Before you answer that question, think about how much maintenance you want to do. A matte or satin finish is more difficult to maintain because they are harder to keep clean.

With ceramic and porcelain, you can have virtually any look you want. Natural stone has imperfect and abstract patterns, which makes it a better fit for modern and rustic environments compared to ceramic and porcelain.


The final consideration is your budget. The factors that will impact your budget are the square footage you’re trying to cover, whether you hire a professional company or not, and the material you use.

At first glance, DIY seems like the least expensive option. But before you dive in and do it yourself, remember that installing tile is hard on your body. You’re on your knees a lot if you’re doing flooring. It’s also a messy job. Plus, when you go decide to you it yourself, a lot can go wrong.

If that doesn’t work for you, then hire the job out.

With your materials, ceramic is going to be your most budget-friendly option. Glass is going to be less expensive than porcelain. However, porcelain will be much more durable.

Don’t Leave Picking Bathroom Tiles to Chance

There’s a lot to think about if you need to pick new tiles for your bathroom, just to find something that you’ll love for years to come.

The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. You have access to resources and a directory of tile professionals who can help you make a great decision.

Have a look at this directory of bathroom remodeling businesses today.

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