5 tips for tile in remodeling a bathroom
Keeping carpet and hardwood out of the loo is a no-brainer. But when it comes to selecting tile, there’s a lot to consider. Whether you’re laying the groundwork for a complete bathroom overhaul or just replacing the shower walls, let our highly rated tile experts help you navigate the process.
• Choose wisely. While ceramic tile reigns supreme, porcelain tile continues to gain ground in popularity with homeowners. “Both have many styles, but porcelain can replicate the appearance of different textures like wood or natural stone,” says Mike Rowe, owner of highly rated Charlotte Tile & Stone Restoration in Waxhaw, N.C. Rowe says the price will vary depending on the tile size and pattern, but for porcelain tiles, homeowners should expect to pay 15 to 40 percent more than the cost of ceramic.
• Size matters. If you favor a larger tile, pick porcelain. “With flooring, I’d recommend porcelain because of the increased durability over ceramic,” says Travis Doot, owner of highly rated Stefanados Tile & Stone in Seattle. “Porcelain tile is much stronger.” Doot says porcelain tiles can cost between $5 and $15 per square foot.
• Going wall-to-wall. “For walls, ceramic tile is probably the most popular material due to its affordability,” says Doot, noting that the average cost of the basic tiles he uses range from $2 to $7 per square foot. “Ceramic tile is usually the most economical option and when it’s installed correctly and cleaned regularly, it will last a long time.”
• Keep grime away. Neither porcelain nor ceramic tiles require a sealant, but the grout does. “Vertical surfaces aren’t as susceptible to staining as much as horizontal surfaces,” Rowe says. “The grout should be sealed every couple of years to repel soil and stains.” Homeowners now also have the option of eliminating grout sealer forever. Steve Dye, owner of highly rated Team Tile & Stone in Las Vegas, offers SpectraLOCK, an epoxy grout that repels stains. “It’s literally stain proof,” he says. “It’s the permanent solution for eliminating maintenance.”
• Trendsetters. In addition to using a variety of tile sizes, don’t forget a fun accent tile. “A lot of people are using classic white tile with a band of glass or something with some color to spice things up,” Doot says. “You get the usability of the bulk of the tile and then a little flair to give the area some style.”