If you’re the kind of person who likes to have options, choosing tile for your Edmonton-area bathroom may be an activity that gets your heart pumping. There are so many different kinds of materials, textures, sizes, and colors from which to choose. An exhaustive comparison of all the different options would be exhausting. So let’s just take a look at 7 tile types to consider for your Edmonton-area bathroom.
By the way, you’re not limited to a single type of tile when renovating your bathroom. The photo above (from an Edmonton bathroom we recently renovated) uses several different styles of tile for flooring and walls—giving the room a room with lots of visual interest.
Narrowing the Focus by Functionality
Before we get into the specific tile types for your bathroom, it may be helpful to narrow your focus a bit. Some tiles are beautiful to look at and are great for wall treatments, but aren’t well suited for floors because their slick surface can make the slippery—and that can lead to falls. Keep that in mind as you make your choices. That may mean considering certain tiles for walls and others for flooring.
Consider Cost and Maintenance
You’ll also want to take a look at basic costs for the tile you choose. The actual cost of the material is one factor, but you’ll also want to check with your remodeler about the cost to install. Some tile types are faster and easier to install than others and that will affect your cost. While most tiles you’ll consider for your bathroom aren’t “maintenance-free” they are relatively easy to maintain. Some may require periodic (yearly) resealing. You'll also want to keep an eye on the grout to keep them looking great.
Now let’s take a look at seven different options for bathroom tile.
Slate tile has a unique and intriguing look. It’s a fine-grain stone that’s created from shale and clay and then finished by heat and pressure. Slate has a nice textured surface that is naturally slip-resistant—which can make it a nice choice for floors as well as for walls. Despite its aesthetic appeal, slate can present some maintenance challenges. Some slate is very hard and dense. Other slate can be soft and tend to crumble. It is also prone to staining so it must be sealed to protect the surface.
Limestone, is a natural stone that generally features a honed surface. Most limestone comes in colors of beige, brown, or yellowish hues. The colors are generally subtle and neutral, which can make it a great background feature. It can be used for walls, countertops, or floors.
Travertine is limestone that has been formed from minerals that dissolved in groundwater and then pushed through the earth's crust by water. It has multiple layers and comes in numerous earth tone colors. It’s most commonly used on walls and floors. Both limestone and travertine can “etch” somewhat. Normally that is not an issue in bathrooms (in contrast to kitchen use).
Granite is one of the harder natural stone options. That’s one feature that makes it a popular choice for countertops and flooring. The other thing that makes granite popular is that it has so many naturally occurring patterns and colors. And because it’s a natural stone, your counters and walls will have a distinct look. It can require periodic polishing and some granite tiles may need a granite sealer.
Saltillo tile is also a very popular choice because of its unique look and the yellow-to-orange colors it has. The tile has natural imperfections, which many homeowners find attractive and distinctive. Because Saltillo tile is made of clay, it is very porous so it must be sealed often. It is somewhat prone to scratching and scuffing and cracking in colder climates. That may make it a less-than-optimal choice for an area such as Edmonton. It is also somewhat difficult to install—which increases its cost
Terra Cotta tile has some of the same characteristics as Saltillo. While it is fired, that occurs at low temperatures. It is a low-density tile that is more suitable for dry areas. If you love the look, however, glazing terra cotta can make it an option for some areas in your bathroom.
Ceramic and Porcelain tile is probably the most common tile type used in North American homes. It wears well, is virtually waterproof, and provides good traction. You can find these tiles in almost any color you can imagine. One popular trend is to glaze these tiles with high-resolution patterns or images to create a unique look. Another advantage of ceramic and porcelain tiles is that they are also available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.