How to buy the right bathroom tiles

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  • Follow our guide and find the best tiles to suit your bathroom

    What are the options?

    Tile materials include ceramic, glass and porcelain – most are suitable for all bathroom areas, provided they are properly sealed.

    Those made from naturally porous stone – like marble or limestone – are less water resistant than porcelain or ceramic tiles and will need regular sealing against water or stains.

    Don’t be tempted to use wall tiles on the floor – they aren’t as thick as floor tiles and won’t be strong enough to walk on.

    Ceramic and porcelain

    * Ceramic and porcelain tiles are easy to clean and non-porous.

    They are usually lighter and less expensive than natural stone,
    considered stronger than ceramic and are often used for flooring.

    * You can use ceramic tiles on the floor and walls.

    * Porcelain and ceramic tiles are great for adding colour and texture to surfaces and are easy to apply.


    * You need a diamond blade to cut natural tiles and they can be very
    large and heavy, so be sure your floor can take the weight – check with a
    builder before you begin.

    * Stone tiles can be used on both walls and floors, and the variety of natural colours and textures add warmth to a bathroom scheme.

    * Stone mosaics can be easier to handle than larger tiles and the grooves will provide a non-slip surface that’s ideal for wet areas.


    * Multicoloured or textured glass tiles give a smart, glossy finish. They’re often suitable for floors, too – check with your supplier.

    * Glass is non-porous, so glass tiles are resistant to any type of water or spillage and will never stain.

    Glass tiles with a foil or safety film backing won’t splinter if they
    break (although glass tiles are considered to be just as tough as those
    made from ceramic).

    Tiling know how

    Measure up

    Multiply the height and width of the area you want to cover to find out how many square metres of tiles you’ll need, then add at least 10% to allow for cutting and wastage.

    Do your research

    Natural products, such as travertine, terracotta and slate will need
    resealing around every two to three years with a product recommended by
    the supplier.

    Choose your adhesive

    Grout and adhesive have to be suitable for bathroom
    use, so check the packaging before buying. You can buy mould resistant
    grout, which is useful for shower areas, and coloured grout for floor
    tiles – such as grey, for slate. Ready-mixed versions are a bit more
    expensive than self-mix, but they’re easier to use if you’re doing your
    own tiling.

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