Today, the bathroom tile market is overflowing with options. You can find both a simple inexpensive tile and an exclusive designer one, but the range of different options is so extensive that even experienced builders and designers sometimes find it difficult to navigate in it and choose the option most suitable for specific conditions. So, what rules should be followed when choosing a bathroom tile so that it is beautiful, practical and durable.
# 1. Deciding on the design
Since the choice of tiles is quite extensive, almost any design can be created in the bathroom. The first thing that every customer pays attention to is the color of the material. So, white is a win-win that can be easily combined with brightly colored objects. For some, white seems too boring, but it is with its help that you can significantly expand the space of a small bathroom. But still, pure white walls are not an acceptable option, so it is better to choose a warm white shade or dilute the walls with some other color.
Blue and green shades are great for the bathroom, which give a cool feeling, as well as warm beige and coffee shades that create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere in the room. It is better to use bright shades as accents, and the black color of the tiles makes the room gloomy, and is contraindicated if there is no window in the room.
Experienced designers advise taking into account several nuances when working with tiles:
artificial lighting can change the color of the coating, and this should be taken into account already at the selection stage;
glossy tiles can tire your eyesight, as it creates glare in the light of lamps;
vertical patterns on tiles can visually make the room taller;
it is better not to use tiles with a large pattern if the bathroom is not very large, otherwise it will seem even smaller;
for small bathrooms, of course, it is better to use tiles in light shades to visually expand the boundaries of the space.
# 2. Choosing a style
There are a great variety of different styles for decorating a bathroom, and each requires a specific approach to the choice of tiles.
So, the classic style provides for the division of the walls into two parts: the upper one is finished with tiles in a light tone, the lower one, together with the floor, in a darker shade. The classic style also provides for a combination of ornamented tiles and solid colors, and the color scheme should be the same.
An oriental style is perfect for bathrooms, which is conducive to relaxation. But in this way, you can organize only sufficiently spacious rooms, so as not to end up with an overly cramped space that has not a calming, but annoying effect. If you decide to create an oriental interior in the bathroom, then pay attention to the tiles in saturated colors: yellow, green, red, gold, turquoise, as well as options with a characteristic pattern. On the walls or on the floor, you can lay out some kind of mosaic pattern.
A calmer and more delicate bathroom interior can be obtained by using the country style, which is distinguished by delicate, pastel and woody shades. So, for the walls, you can use tiles in cream, pale pink, lavender, pale blue, and for the floor – tiles in terracotta shades. Pay attention to all the dim and washed out shades, the effect of aging and wear.
Minimalism, one of the most popular styles at the moment, offers monochrome shades in the bathroom. So that such a room does not seem boring, it is complemented with bright accessories.
No. 3. Tile surface type: glossy, matte or mirror
Today, you can find glossy and matte tiles on sale: both that and that have a number of undeniable advantages, but when choosing, you need to weigh all their main properties so that the bathroom space is comfortable and cozy.
Glossy tiles are more common. It attracts buyers with its ability to reflect light and ease of care. But here you should be extremely careful. If glossy tiles of light shades give almost imperceptible glare, then the dark ones glare strongly, which can irritate the eyes. By the way, glossy tiles with a completely identical color will always appear brighter than matte ones.
The matte surface is quieter, does not reflect light, but the splash marks on it are more clearly visible. The material is great for the floor, as it has a slightly rough surface. Often matte tiles imitate some material and have an interesting texture: you can find material like wood, pebbles, stone, metal, leather, etc. This material will look great both on the floor and on the walls.
Also on sale today you can find tiles with a mirror surface, with which you can achieve a visual increase in space. Such tiles can be used to lay out one of the walls in the bathroom; you can only use it as inserts between ordinary tiles. By the way, such inserts can completely replace a full-fledged mirror. You can install mirrored tiles diagonally on the floor or on the walls to achieve greater depth of space. In addition, such tiles are used today for decorating the ceiling in order to visually make the room taller.
No. 4. Choosing a tile size
If the bathroom has a decent area, then tiles of any size can be chosen for walls and floors. If the room is miniature, which is found in most cases, then the choice of tile size should be approached with utmost care. Small mosaic tiles can play a cruel joke and make the bathroom even more miniature. If you choose large tiles, then the space will be divided into several large geometric shapes, which will make the room even smaller. Small repeating patterns, like a large bright ornament for a small bathroom, will not work.
The best option for a small space is to use medium tiles. So, you can choose a square one with parameters 20 * 20 cm or a rectangular one with dimensions 20 * 30 cm. Rectangular one can correct the perception of a room: if it is laid out horizontally, it will make the room longer, and if vertically – higher. On the floor, tiles can be laid out diagonally: this is how the illusion of additional space is created.
No. 5. Tile grade
When choosing a tile, it is important to pay attention not only to its design, color and size, but also to its performance characteristics so that the material is suitable for use in the bathroom, does not slip, withstands all loads, is durable and strong. On the packaging, the manufacturer must indicate the type, category of tiles, their atmospheric and chemical resistance, the possibility of using them as floor or wall decoration.
First you need to understand the types of tiles. There are three of them in total, according to the European marking, and they are easy to recognize by their characteristic colors:
- first grade – red marking,
- the second is blue,
- the third is green.
The first grade has the highest quality, no more than 5% of defective tiles are allowed, and testing is carried out from a distance of one meter to the samples.
The second grade also provides for the presence of defective samples up to 5%, but in this case, testing is carried out from a distance of 2 meters.
The tiles of the third class are not of high quality, and more than 5% of defective products can be found in a batch.
Domestic manufacturers rarely use such markings, so you should look for information on the possible percentage of defects on the packaging.
No. 6. Physical properties
The signs on the packaging will help to understand the basic properties of tiles. So, floor tiles are indicated by the symbol of a foot; such a material is more reliable, strong and durable. Wall tiles are marked with a palm icon.
It is also important to pay attention to the resistance of the material to chemicals. This property is marked with a bulb sign indicating the degree of resistance: AA, B, C, D. When it comes to choosing tiles for the bathroom, it is better to take the most resistant material (AA), since there is always high humidity in this room, detergents are used and various kinds of cosmetic substances. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting streaks and stains on the material after a while.
The wear resistance of the material is indicated on the packaging with Roman numerals and can be of five classes. For residential premises, it makes no sense to buy a material whose class is higher than the third, since the load on the tiles will be minimal. If a small number of people live in the apartment, then you can choose first class tiles, saving a little.
No. 7. Manufacturer name
Today the name of the manufacturer plays a decisive role in the selection of tiles. Many have already established themselves in this market, and will not lose their good name by releasing products of inappropriate quality. That is why it is better to pay attention to those companies that have been on the market for more or less a long time and can boast of positive reviews.
Of course, Italian companies Valverde, Saloni, Tilegres can be easily recognized as leaders in quality. Their products combine excellent appearance and excellent performance, but such samples are not cheap either. Also, Spanish manufacturers have shown themselves well, incl. Aparisi, Pamesa, Novogres, Ceramica.
Lithuanian and Slovak tiles also performed well due to the price / quality ratio. Chinese products under the brands Cimic, Omica, Hitom are also widespread, and the prices for these tiles are quite reasonable with high quality products. Domestic manufacturers who use modern equipment also produce excellent products that compete with world leaders in the field. These are Shakhty tile, Kerama – Marazzi, Kerabud, Sokol Plant.
No. 8. We evaluate the appearance
Before buying, it would be a good idea to take a look at the tiles and assess how well they are made. Should be guided by the following parameters:
the enamel must be complete, without cracks, chips and other defects. There should be no foreign inclusions on it, and the presence of red or yellow stripes on it should immediately alert, because this is how defective tiles are marked in factories;
- increased requirements are put forward for floor tiles. It does not interfere with such an experiment: put the front side of the tile on a rough surface and rub, if there are no traces left, then the material is of high quality;
the correct geometric shape of the tile and compliance with the parameters indicated on the package;
moisture resistance: water should collect on the surface in drops;
anti-slip surface, especially when it comes to floor tiles. It is easy to check this: just wet the surface and run your finger over it. If this can be done easily, and the finger glides well over the surface, then the material will not be suitable for the bathroom, as it can be dangerous.
No. 9. We calculate the amount
It is very important to calculate the number of tiles correctly. If there is not enough of it, then in the store it will already be possible not to find the same one, which will cause problems, and if there is too much, then it is uneconomical, and the excess will litter the free space. In order to correctly calculate the amount of material, you need to know the parameters of the room and the selected tile, and to simplify the task, you can use a construction calculator. Experts advise adding 7-15% to the result obtained.
The choice of bathroom tiles is a demanding task that needs to be approached with special attention. It is necessary to take into account a lot of factors from appearance and size to performance and manufacturer’s name, and then the material will delight you with its ideal appearance for many years. We hope the above tips will help you make the right choice.
About laying ceramic tiles – read our article: “INSTALLING CERAMIC TILES”