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Choosing the Right Tile for Your Bath


Choosing the Right Tile for Your Bath


One of the more pleasurable aspects of decorating or renovating a bathroom is choosing the type of tile for the room. Remember, tile is not only for the floor or the shower stall. Tile can be placed on backsplashes, vanity tops and tub decks. It comes in so many varieties that it can be a focal point of the bathroom.

What is Tile?
Tiles can be made out of almost anything, including wood and leather, but when it comes to bathroom tile people are referring to material that’s hard, esthetically pleasing and water-proof. Here are some different types of tile for the bath space:

Ceramic Tiles
These tiles are made of clay that is fired at high temperatures. Porcelain tile, also made of clay, is fired at even higher temperatures. Ceramic and porcelain tiles come in a great array of sizes, shapes and colors that can match the decor of just about any bathroom. The prices range from inexpensive to quite pricey. Ceramic tiles are easy to maintain, though the grout between them needs to be kept clean and sealed.

Stone
Tiles can be carved out of such natural stone as granite, marble, limestone, slate and travertine. The colors are usually neutral and give a bath space a luxurious look. Most stone is porous and needs to be sealed against staining. The homeowner also needs to make sure that the floor is sturdy enough to support the heavier tiles. Though regular stone is surprisingly affordable, rare specimens of stone can be very expensive.

Glass
People are surprised to hear that glass tiles can work in a bathroom, but certain types of glass are made to be both strong and beautiful. Glass tiles come in many colors. Popular colors for glass tile are blue or green, and they give a bathroom a shimmering, maritime feel because of the way the light falls into them. Glass tends to cost more than ceramic or even stone tile.

Metal
Though some people find metal off-putting, it is quite attractive if it’s used judiciously as an accent, a border or a backsplash. Stainless steel immediately brightens an area of the bathroom, but warmer colors such as those found in copper or bronze can be had. Metal scratches easily, so the homeowner should take note of this. They should also know that some tiles look like metal but only have a glazed metal finish. Metal can be very inexpensive, though handcrafted metal tiles can be more expensive than glass or stone.

Things to Consider
Before buying tile, the homeowner has to know which tiles are rated for the floor and which tiles can be put on the walls. The two types can’t be interchanged. Floor tiles are tougher and heavier than wall tiles, and they should have a textured as opposed to glossy finish to reduce the risk of slipping. Because they can be unkind to the feet, especially on winter mornings, it’s a good idea to lay floor mats.

Most types of tile can be easily installed by a DIYer over a weekend. These include mosaic tiles, which are small tiles that are attached to a backing. Special tiles with irregular designs, shapes and sizes should be left to a professional tiler.

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