Summer has arrived, and you have decided it’s finally time to update your ensuite bathroom. The only problem is, today, there are about as many types of tile as there are apps for your phone. If you’re the type of person who walks into a remodeling supply store and suddenly comes down with a bad case of decision paralysis, don’t fret. Our experts can help you out. We want to suggest a few tips to get you started and maybe even save you a few dollars.
1. Set Your Budget
Determine how much you want to spend in total by prioritizing. What is it your mother used to tell you? Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Unless you’re filthy rich, chances are you have limited resources, and you want to get the best value for every dollar you spend. Is that natural stone tile backsplash more important than a new shower fixture? Do I want those European-style frameless glass shower doors or a top-tier granite bathroom countertop?
Suppose you start redesigning without a firm budget in place and a clear idea of your spending priorities. In that case, you’re likely to fall in love with ridiculously expensive features only to find out later that you can’t afford them along with that new jetted tub you want. It’s like when the Property Brothers used to show clueless TV couples checking out a gorgeous house that has everything they want, and then announce, “Oh, by the way, this is about a gazillion dollars over your budget.” Not cool.
Once your bathroom remodeling budget is firm, then it’s time to go to the design store and have some fun. Tile comes in a variety of different types, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone. Ceramic will be your cheapest option. It’s highly durable, and it’s a good choice for homes with kids and pets, as it doesn’t scratch easily. Ceramic also can handle high-traffic areas without showing wear, is resistant to germs, and is easy to clean. On the other hand, ceramic tile designs tend to fade over time and can be dangerously slick when wet. Also, unless you have underfloor heating, ceramic tile is uncomfortably cold in the wintertime.
Like ceramic, porcelain tiles are also made from firing clay and other materials. Porcelain is generally more expensive than ceramic, though. This is because it’s made of more finely-grained clay and minerals, making it more resistant to staining and moisture.
Stone tiles may carry a higher price tag as they are not man-made like ceramic and porcelain and thus are more eco-friendly. They also are incredibly durable. No stone tile is the same as the next, so you get a uniform yet stunningly unique look. It’s essential to get the right kind of stone, as some types are more porous and, therefore, susceptible to water damage. Granite tile is a great option for bathrooms as it is highly scratch and crack-resistant. Additionally, stone is very heavy, so you may have to factor in extra costs for bolstering your subflooring.
2. Choose a Color Scheme
We recommend selecting your cabinet and vanity colors first. Once those colors are selected, then you can begin to put together a palette for your tile. The most popular bathroom colors generally are more neutral, including brown, beige, white, grey, and black. These hues provide a pleasing backdrop for more colorful accessories like towels, wall art, and knobs. Think of what kinds of feelings you want your bathroom to evoke. Browns say warmth, comfort, and security, while greys will give you more of a balanced, calming vibe. Whites will make you think of spaciousness, cleanliness, and innocence, and beiges are natural, relaxing, and stable. Finally, blacks lend an air of elegance, strength, and formality.
3. Get the Right Size
Tile size continues to change, but current trends indicate ‘bigger is better.’ Larger tiles will give you the sense of having more space, whereas the more traditional 4×4 square tiles that used to be popular can make your bathroom look outdated and cramped. Even classic designs like subway tiles have expanded from the standard 3×6 measurement to more popular 4×16 and 12×24 sizing. The larger the tile, the fewer grout joints you have, giving the area a more spacious feel. However, this is not to say that smaller tiles have gone the way of the Dodo. Many bathroom designs incorporate a variety of tile sizes and shapes to create a beautiful overall look. You may want to look through several magazines or design websites to get ideas for the bathroom tile designs you like.
4. Finalize the Look
Once your budget and color scheme are in place, and you have looked at different tile sizes, it’s time to wrap up the design. All tiles naturally go with a particular look. For instance, if you’re trying to create a modern feel, you might go with stainless steel fixtures, thin grout lines, and rectified tile. Granite tile will give your bathroom an air of classic elegance, especially when paired with ornate fixtures. For a more rustic look, you may want to consider wood flooring with white ceramic wall tiles.
Be sure to bring paint swatches and cabinet color or wood flooring samples to see what will fit your look. Another option is to buy individual tiles and bring them home to see how they appear in your bathroom. Purchasing samples is reasonably inexpensive and may end up saving you from having to lug heavy tile boxes back to the store if you don’t like them.
5. Plan for Shower Tile to Reach the Ceiling
I’m sure we have all lived in homes where the tile in the shower only reached within a foot or two of the ceiling. I wonder – what were the homebuilders thinking? Those extra feet of tile don’t cost much, and they can make all the difference in the look and feel of your shower. Tile extended to the ceiling not only makes your shower feel taller, but it will also give it the clean and finished look it should have had when it was first built. You also will not have to worry anymore about that thin swath of painted wall falling prey to the daily onslaught of humidity. Moisture in your shower drywall? That’s an expensive fix.
Putting a plan together for your bathroom tile will make sorting out the details of your bathroom’s new look easy and fun. And if you’re looking for natural stone surfaces, contact Granite Liquidators. We offer granite countertops and tiles for adding class durability to your bathroom. And best of all, our affordable, wholesale-to-the-public model will get you a beautiful product for a great price.