Choosing the Best Tile for a Bathroom

Did you know that the Deckstore also is home to Palmetto Tile and Stone? That’s right – we have a large tile and stone collection right in the store. In honor of our sometimes shiny, sometimes colorful, sometimes textural tiled friends we are going to do a blog series about TILE!

bathroom tileIf you’re ever managed a home renovation then you understand that the options are endless when designing a bathroom. From different faucets to toilets to tile choices – there are so many options! We can help you when it comes to your tile selection. It is always helpful to bring pictures of your design or inspiration to the store and see the selection in person. You can even take home a sample to see it in your space and in your lighting. Yes, lighting can completely change the look and color of your tile so take a sample home!

We recommend before you begin redoing your bathroom whether you are working with a professional or going completely DIY, look only for inspiration. There are so many websites like Houzz, Home & Garden, and other decorating blogs that will have photos of other bathrooms that can provide wonderful inspiration for your own home. Print out the ones you love or save to your phone or Pinterest board and show the person at the Deckstore or your tile store of choice.

For many, the bathroom, especially a master bath can be an escape or oasis. But a bathroom, like a kitchen, it’s not just the look you need to consider. There are also some very practical considerations: water – bathrooms get wet! – wear and tear, especially if you have kids, and more. The floor is one of the most important design elements in the bathroom. Bathroom flooring options are wide and varied, but tile is overwhelmingly the most popular choice. There are a multitude of materials to select from: vinyl, laminate, ceramic, porcelain and more. The best tile is one that complements, but doesn’t compete with, the rest of the room’s design and decor.

How do you choose the best tile option for you and your dream bathroom?

Ceramic, porcelain, and vinyl tiles are the most popular choices for bathrooms and perhaps the most practical. But there are many options available today, from wood and cork to stone and glass.

Vinyl is probably the most popular bathroom flooring material, because of its low cost and practicality. It’s practicality stems from its high safety, comfort, and durability. Whereas vinyl can often cause a person to cringe and think “cheap,” vinyl tiles have come a long way in aesthetic appeal and ease of installation. This is a pretty good bet for a DIY bathroom project.

bathroom tileThese are probably the prettiest options whether you like stone, wood lookalikes or colorful patterns. Ceramics score high with regard to maintenance, but they can be hard and cold to bare feet. Installing radiant floor heat helps to change that, but it cannot change hardness. Ceramics are not as easy to install as vinyl, though it is a job the adventurous DIY-er can tackle. When protected with a high-grade glaze, ceramic will resist wear and scratches.

Made from limestone, marble, granite and slate, stone tiles are available in colors that range from creams to blues, reds, greens and golds. Available textures are nearly as numerous and include cleft, tumbled, sandblasted, etched and flamed variations. Stone requires more maintenance than ceramic tile; regular cleaning and sealing are recommended. Stone is often more expensive. If you are willing to maintain stone it can be a beautiful option (although in our opinion maybe not well suited for bathrooms).

Plastic laminate tiles (more commonly available as planks) are another option. Similar to the laminate material that used to be popular to cover kitchen countertops, the tiles don’t significantly raise the height of the existing floor, which makes it easier to transition from room to room. While durable and easy to keep clean, laminate does not work well with moisture if not installed correctly. Standing water can infiltrate the fiberboard core, causing the material to expand and buckle. With laminates, it’s critical to caulk gaps along the walls, around the tub, and surrounding other fixtures to prevent water infiltration. There are limited design or color options, as well.

Wood is not necessarily the best option for a bathroom. Once water penetrates the finish, it will stain. During installation, the wood parquet tiles must be carefully sealed around the room perimeter and at all other joints. Two coats of polyurethane must then be applied as protection. It is an okay option for a powder room that is rarely used or does not have a shower but not the best option for a commonly used room.

Linoleum naturally inhibits the growth of microorganisms and repels dust and dirt, all while retaining its color.  It is easy to install and looks great. The look comes at a cost, however, as linoleum is relatively expensive.

Glass floor tile is about as different as you can get. Installed properly, this type of tile holds up well and if textured, it can resist slips. Glass can be beautiful and create a very cool look. Covering the floor in a thin layer of glass creates the illusion of depth, and if the glass is tinted, you get am interesting stained-glass effect. 

Cork is warm to the touch and very easy on the feet since it has somewhat of a give when you step on it. They look great too. Installation is not difficult, but if you purchase unfinished tiles, expect to protect them with two coats of polyurethane.


We look forward to helping you pick out flooring options for your bathroom – it can be so much fun and we hope that the result will ultimately be beautiful and practical!