How to Choose the Best Bathroom Tiles


Brick tiling on bathroom wallsWhatever your tastes or specific requirements, there is an ideal tiled floor and wall solution to complete your perfect bathroom. Available in a wide range of materials, shapes, cuts and finishes, there is plenty of scope to get creative, but it can be confusing selecting the best tiles to fulfil the right functions.

Read on for our specialist guide to choosing the best bathroom tiling for the floors and walls that beautifully complements your dream bathroom design.

Choosing Bathroom Floor Tiles

Bathroom flooring materials vary considerably, but tiles tend to be the most popular option due to their water-resistant, hygienic and durable qualities. Bathrooms get a lot of daily traffic, making them a hotspot for dirt and wear and tear. Whilst choosing tiles that enhance the look and feel of your bathroom is key, it is crucial that they are a good fit for your lifestyle requirements.

Below is a list of some of the most common types of materials used for bathroom tiling and the pros and cons of each:

Vinyl Tiles – Pros and Cons

Vinyl flooring is the most cost-effective bathroom tiling option and comes in a wide range of colours and designs to suit both modern and traditional suites. Soft underfoot, resistant to water and dirt, and highly durable, vinyl tiles are ideal for family bathrooms. They are also very easy to cut and install, so if your bathroom has a distinctive shape, vinyl tiles are easy to work with. Unfortunately, they can be prone to snagging if they come into contact with a sharp surface and they do nothing to enhance the value of your home.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles – Pros and Cons

Available in a range of colours, styles and shapes – with either a matt or gloss finish – ceramic and porcelain tiles are highly versatile and will suit any bathroom design. Made from natural clay minerals, these hard glazed square tiles are naturally resistant to moisture and stains and are ideal for bathrooms that get a lot of traffic. Although they can be hard and cold underfoot, and require more maintenance than other flooring materials, ceramic or porcelain tiles will add value to your home and provide an attractive finish.

Stone Tiles – Pros and Cons

Marble, granite and limestone are popular choices of stone tiles for bathrooms. Although quite expensive, they offer a beautiful, unique element, with varying textures and patterns. Unfortunately, some stone tiles – particularly marble – are not very durable and require a lot of maintenance. Therefore they tend to be best installed in bathrooms that are more for style and design rather than everyday practical use.

Linoleum Floor Tiles – Pros and Cons

Made from lots of different types of materials, with linseed oil as the main ingredient, linoleum tiles can be found in a wide range of colours and patterns. These smooth tiles tend to have a glossy shine and can be used to replicate other types of materials such as wood and stone flooring for a much cheaper price. Highly durable, easy to clean and water and spill-resistant, linoleum tiles are ideal for busy bathrooms.

Benefits of Tiling a Bathroom Floor

  • Cheap and easy to maintain – Water repellent, easy to clean and typically hard-wearing, tiling is a fantastic option for a long-lasting, stylish bathroom floor that requires little maintenance.
  • Durability – Good quality tiles installed correctly, with the appropriate grout and sealant used, should last for a very long time.
  • Hygienic – Fresh in appearance with easy-to-wipe surfaces, tiling is one of the most hygienic materials for bathroom floors.
  • Versatile – Tiles come in a range of colour, style, shapes and size options, making them ideal for both modern and traditional bathroom suites.

Blue bathroom theme with patterned floor tilesChoosing the Best Bathroom Tiling for Walls

Tiling for bathroom walls is a cost-effective way to create an attractive finish in your bathroom and add value to your home. It’s also highly valuable for creating a waterproof environment that is highly practical for everyday use.

Natural stone tiles such as granite and marble tend to be very popular choices for bathroom walls
as they create a stunning design statement and are flexible in terms of shape and size for unique application. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are also common, mostly due to their durability and usefulness in bathrooms that receive a lot of traffic.

Many homeowners choose to install mosaic tiles on their bathroom walls – typically around the sink and in the showering area. Aesthetically pleasing, stain and water resistant and great for bathrooms of any style or size, mosaic tiles are highly versatile and instantly add the wow factor. The range of colours and patterns offer flexibility in terms of creativity, however due to their fragility you will need to take extra care and carry out regular maintenance.

Selecting Bathroom Tile Size, Colour and Shape

Bathrooms tend to be one of the smallest rooms in the house, and limited space makes it trickier choosing the right tiling. Often smaller bathrooms require specific tiling designs to create the illusion of a larger space and reduce the shrinking effect. Below are some tips on what shapes, colours and sizes of tiles are best for your bathroom:

  • Light coloured tiles tend to be better for making a bathroom look bigger as they reflect light more easily.
  • Avoid using large tiles if you have a small bathroom as these will make it appear much smaller – like the bathroom walls are closing in on you!
  • The placement of fixtures and fittings in your bathroom will affect what tiles you can use. If, for example, there’s little wall space between the shower and the toilet, small tiles will create better flow as they won’t need to be altered in size or shape.
  • If your bathroom is big enough, consider using tiling to break it up into zones. This will not only make it look bigger but will allow you to be creative and add a stamp of personality to your finished design.

If you’re keen to have your dream bathroom installed, KNB is a leading provider of fitted bathrooms in the Nottingham area. Find out more about our expertise and how we can help you on our Fitted Bathrooms page, or contact us directly.

Patterned bathroom tiles