Which Tiles are Best for a Bathroom?

Tiles aren’t the only option for bathroom floors, walls and shower enclosures, but they are arguably the classiest choice. Perhaps you know you want tiles in your bathroom, but you’re unsure what type to choose. Use the information here to help you make the right decision.

1. Ceramic and porcelain bathroom tiles

The incredible versatility afforded by these two materials gives you plenty to consider. Sizes, colours and patterns vary dramatically, from a stone- or wood-like appearance to bright mosaic patterns. Keep in mind that ceramic and porcelain are cold to the touch, which you can combat with underfloor heating. These tiles are also more challenging to install, and ceramic, in particular, may be prone to chipping in high-traffic settings.

Both are made from clay, but they have different properties and characteristics. Ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of clay and other natural materials, which are moulded into shape and fired at high temperatures. They are often glazed, which provides a protective layer and adds colour and texture to the surface.

Porcelain tiles are made from a specific type of clay that is denser and more durable than the clay used for ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles are fired at even higher temperatures than ceramic tiles, which makes them harder and less porous. This makes porcelain tiles more resistant to water and stains.

One of the biggest differences between ceramic and porcelain tiles is their water resistance. Porcelain tiles are less porous than ceramic tiles, which makes them more resistant to water damage and staining. Porcelain tiles are also more resistant to scratches and chips, which can be a good option for a high-traffic bathroom.

Overall, both are popular choices for homeowners who want a durable, low-maintenance flooring option for their bathroom. The choice between the two will depend on personal preference and the specific needs of your bathroom.

White taps
2. Vinyl bathroom tiles

Low-cost vinyl flooring is well-suited for any bathroom in the house. It outperforms other popular choices in terms of comfort and affordability. Plus, the tiles are effortless to install, with a self-adhering back and the ability to be cut with a utility knife.

An advantage of vinyl bathroom tiles is that they are easy to clean and maintain, there is no need to worry about water damage or staining. Additionally, vinyl bathroom tiles are typically treated with a protective coating that helps to prevent scratches and scuffs, which can help to extend the life of the flooring.

Overall, vinyl bathroom tiles are a practical and affordable choice for homeowners who want a durable, low-maintenance flooring option for their bathroom.

3. Laminate bathroom tiles

Available in sheets, planks or tiles, laminate flooring is a low-cost choice. Laminate bathroom tiles are popular because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install compared to other types of flooring. They are also low-maintenance, as they can be easily cleaned with a damp mop or cloth. Laminate bathroom tiles are also resistant to scratches and stains, making them ideal for high-traffic areas like bathrooms.

However, it has relatively poor moisture resistance. Additionally, they may not be as durable as other types of flooring, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles. As a result, laminate may be best suited for powder rooms.

4. Natural stone bathroom tiles

Natural stone bathroom tiles are a popular choice for many homeowners looking to add elegance and sophistication to their bathroom, available in natural limestone, granite, marble, slate and travertine tiles in a wide range of colours and textures, adding richness to any bathroom.

One of the key advantages of natural stone bathroom tiles is their durability. They are resistant to scratches and chips, and can withstand heavy foot traffic and moisture. In addition, natural stone tiles are easy to maintain and clean, making them a practical choice for busy bathrooms. Be aware that real stone is more expensive than vinyl, laminate or ceramic look-alikes, and the porous surface requires regular sealing to keep it waterproof.

5. Glass bathroom tiles

Due to the high cost per square metre, glass tiles are typically reserved for backsplashes and shower walls. Even so, textured glass can be fitted as bathroom floor tiles. Glass offers a gorgeous depth and sheen, lending an air of sophistication to the space.

One of the main benefits of glass bathroom tiles is that they are available in a wide range of colours, textures, and finishes, allowing you to create a look that matches your style. They can be used to create stunning mosaic designs, borders or accent walls that add a unique touch to any bathroom.

Another advantage of glass bathroom tiles is that they reflect light, making the bathroom appear brighter and more spacious. This is especially useful for smaller bathrooms that may not have a lot of natural light. Additionally, glass tiles are resistant to moisture, which is important in a bathroom environment where humidity and dampness can be an issue.

Glass Tiles
6. Cork bathroom tiles

Cork is celebrated for being warm to the touch and easy on the feet. Tiles are available in numerous tinted colours. Fitting options include glue-down tiles, trowel-on adhesive and click-in-place floating tiles. Be prepared to apply multiple coats of polyurethane to seal the cork after installation.

Cork bathroom tiles are also eco-friendly, as they are a renewable resource and do not require the use of harsh chemicals or adhesives for installation. They are also naturally resistant to mould and mildew, making them a good choice for bathrooms that are prone to moisture, however they do require a little maintenance.

7. Gloss vs. matte bathroom tiles

The choice between gloss or matte tiles for a bathroom largely depends on personal preference and the overall style you want to achieve.

Gloss tiles have a shiny, reflective finish that can make a room appear brighter and more spacious. They are also easy to clean and maintain. However, they can be slippery when wet, making them better for walls.

Matte tiles have a more natural, subdued appearance and can create a softer, more relaxing atmosphere in a bathroom. They are also less likely to show smears, and their textured surface can provide better traction, making them a safer choice for bathroom floors. However, matte tiles may require more cleaning and maintenance than gloss tiles.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your bathroom. If you want a bright, modern look, gloss tiles may be the better option. If you prefer a more natural, relaxing feel, matte tiles may be a better fit.

Gloss Tiles in Bathroom
8. Mosaic bathroom tiles

Whether you set individual tiles to create a mosaic or buy tiles with patterns built into them, the look can be absolutely stunning. You might use mosaics to define bathroom zones, serve as eye-catching accents, or cover the entire shower wall.

Mosaic bathroom tiles are also highly durable and resistant to water and stains, making them an ideal choice for use in bathrooms and other wet areas. They are easy to clean and maintain, and can last for many years with proper care.

There are many different styles and colours of mosaic bathroom tiles available, from classic black and white patterns to bright and bold geometric designs such as a Moroccan style bathroom. With so many options to choose from, it is easy to find a style that complements the overall look and feel of your bathroom.

9. Bathroom tile grout

White grout is the traditional option, but other colours include grey, black, or even energetic pink or yellow. Be sure to pick mould-resistant grout to prolong its lifespan in a damp bathroom setting. Grout helps to secure the tiles in place and provides a watertight seal to prevent water from seeping between the tiles and causing damage to the subfloor.

What tiles are best suited for a bathroom floor?

When it comes to choosing tiles for a bathroom, there are several factors to consider such as durability, water resistance, ease of cleaning, and of course, aesthetic appeal. The best bathroom floor tiles prevent moisture from seeping through and have a slip-resistant surface for safety. If you have a small bathroom, large tiles can make your bathroom appear larger. After making sure the tiles you’re considering have these features, your final selection may come down to style and budget.

What about wall tiles?

Wet rooms are the most likely spaces to have wall tiles from floor to ceiling. In this case, it’s common to use the same tile on the floor and the walls for a consistent appearance. If you want a glossy tile on the wall, you may be able to find the same style in a matte finish for the floor to avoid slip hazards while maintaining continuity.

Out of all the bathroom tiles, here are a few of the most popular choices:

  1. Ceramic tiles: Durable, moisture-resistant, relatively affordable, and come in a wide variety of colours, patterns, and sizes.
  2. Porcelain tiles: Similar to ceramic tiles but are denser and less porous, making them even more moisture-resistant. They are also harder and more durable than ceramic tiles, which can be a good choice for high-traffic bathrooms.
  3. Glass tiles: Stylish, modern easy to clean, moisture-resistant, and come in a range of colours and textures. However, they are typically more expensive than ceramic or porcelain tiles.
  4. Natural stone tiles: Natural stone tiles such as marble, granite, or travertine can add a luxurious and timeless look to a bathroom. They are durable, moisture-resistant, and come in a range of colours and textures. However, they are more expensive than ceramic or porcelain tiles and may require more maintenance.

Ultimately, the best tile for your bathroom walls will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and the specific needs of your bathroom. It is important to consider factors such as water resistance, durability, and ease of maintenance when choosing the right tiles for your bathroom walls.

Still need help? Contact us!

No matter what tile design or features you seek, Bathroom Inspirations has what you’re looking for. In fact, we offer far more than just tile—redesign your bathroom with a new shower, bath, basin, mirror, cabinets and everything else you need to achieve the desired look. We use the latest 3D design technology to help you visualise the space in advance. Plus, our design services are completely free, so you can start your project with confidence. To see how our bathroom designs come together, please explore our work or schedule an appointment to visit our showroom in Dorchester.