Ceramic Bathroom Tiles
Ceramic tiles are a perennial favourite when it comes to a choice of bathroom wall covering. With prices starting at a very low level tiles will probably remain a popular option for the foreseeable future.
There is a vast choice of tiles on the market from small mosaic tiles to very large wall tiles as well as a myriad of finishes and colours. This means that you should be able to find something to suit your tastes regardless of what they might be. You can select from a very wide choice of
- sizes - from the smallest mosaic to very large modern tiles
- colours - every colour of the rainbow, plus black!
- designs - marble effect, stone effects and plain
- edges - square, rounded, chamfered or tumbled
- finishes - smooth, riven, dimpled, glazed and unglazed
and by combining two or more different options it is possible to create a totally unique ceramic bathroom tile design.
There are ceramic tiles available designed for use as floor tiles. Many of these emulate the look of natural stone products but without the drawbacks (no need to seal the tiles, easier to clean and usually cheaper). Ceramic wall tiles are also available that imitate the look of many of the more popular natural stones:
One of the main disadvantages with all bathroom tiles is that they need to be grouted. The grout used to fill in between the tiles does not always posses a waterproof surface, either by the incorrect selection of materials or faulty application. Even the most carefully applied grout can end up with small pinholes or voids, especially after the area has been used. This can lead to moisture getting trapped and once there is a source of permanent moisture mould can take hold. Once this happens, keeping the grout looking clean can be a nightmare, as the mould tends to get behind the surface of the grout. To eradicate the mould the grout needs to be fully raked out. While the grout is removed the tiles should be left to dry out - the lack of grout will help any moisture behind the tiles dissipate. The larger the tiles the longer you should wait. Use a flexible tile grout to try and overcome any expansion issues and ensure it is correctly and smoothly applied. Alternatively you could look at alternatives to wall tiles such as bathroom cladding, some of which are available in tile effect designs (click the image below for more information).
As a manufactured product, ceramic tiles are subject to production issues that afect the quality and appearance of the finished tile. Variation in colour between batches is one such issue that needs to be taken into consideration when buying tiles. Make sure you buy your tiles from one batch; ensure you buy enough tiles to complete the work and allow for wastage; if you plan to carry out extra work in the future buy sufficient to cope with this. If you are unable to buy enough tiles from one batch mixing batches on one wall will usually be noticeable but keeping separate batches to separate walls can be a way around this problem. Also, many tiles are produced on a short-run basis so they may not be available once the initial stock has been axhausted. This can be important in commercial enviroments where there might be a number of bathrooms with a rolling program of refurbishment. Some manufacturers produce long-run patterns, such as Johnson Tiles, which can be a bonus if you are involved in a long term project (but the batch issue will still apply).