Getting flooring right in your bathroom is challenging. There are only a handful of options that fit the bill.
In general, carpets are a bad idea for bathroom floors. While they might feel great underfoot, they soak up moisture and start to smell after a while.
Hardwood and laminates aren’t a particularly good idea, either. If there are any imperfections in their sealing, they will expand and buckle.
Ultimately, that only leaves various forms of tiles. But which is best? Let’s find out.
Natural Stone Tiles
Natural stone tiles are, as the name suggests, cut from natural stone. Their performance depends on the qualities of the underlying material.
Quartz tiles, for instance, have many of the qualities of conventional porcelain or ceramic tiles. They’re highly resilient to wear, waterproof, and come in a range of styles and patterns (often reflecting the natural colour and grain of the rock). However, you need to be careful to choose floor-rated versions. Quartz is slippery when wet.
Marble tiles are a little more temperamental. While they are hard, they’re not waterproof because marble is a porous rock. Therefore, they require regular sealing to prevent damage.
You can also get plain stone tiles. These look rugged and worn and give your bathroom a more substantial feeling. However, you will need to check with the vendor whether they are porous or not. Rock that lets water penetrate may end up looking damp. Limestone tiles are grippy but also harder to find. You’ll need to apply finishes periodically to stop water and dirt from entering.
Slipperiness is an issue with natural rock. Smooth quartz and marble, in particular, can cause accidents. However, most vendors offer roughing techniques for floor-rated tiles which provide more grip. (You can apply finishes yourself to make the tiles rougher if they arrive too smooth).
Then there is the cost element. Natural stone tiles tend to be pricier than their porcelain and ceramic brethren. That’s because mining, preparing and fitting them involves a lot of labour which vendors can’t mechanise.
Ceramic tiles aren’t cut from rock. Instead, they’re made from clay, fired in a kiln. This process helps to bring costs down while embodying all the positive qualities of natural stone.
Ceramic tiles, for instance, are fully waterproof and available in various colours and designs. They’re also very attractive.
With that said, they do have some minor downsides. For instance, some people complain that ceramic tiles are hard underfoot. Stepping on them feels uncomfortable. Furthermore, they can also be cold in the winter, particularly the morning after a frosty night. Ouch!
Fortunately, there are ways around this. For example, homeowners can pair ceramic tiles with underfloor heating to deal with the cold issue, and add washable rugs to their bathroom floors for extra warmth and cosiness.
Porcelain tiles are made of clay, just like ceramic tiles. However, there are some important differences
Porcelain, for instance, is fired at higher temperatures. It is also made of a more refined clay mix (with many of the impurities removed). The result is a harder, denser tile that’s significantly more durable (one of the reasons why dentists love the material so much).
Because of the way they are made, porcelain tiles are less prone to absorbing water than ceramic. Their dense molecular structure makes it more difficult for moisture to get in, reducing the need for sealing. They are also less likely to split if you accidentally drop something on them. On bathroom walls, they look stunning. But because of their smooth finish, you need to be careful when using them on the floor. As with ceramic, always look for roughened, floor-rated products.
Which Type Of Floor Tiles Should You Choose For Your Bathroom?
In summary, you should choose bathroom tiles either made of stone, ceramic or porcelain. Our range includes stone-effect tiles, genuine natural stone tiles, and plenty of ceramic and porcelain options. With us, you can get something that complements your existing bathroom theme and helps to elevate the room to new heights.