A tiled bathroom floor can add a touch of timeless elegance and class to any bathroom, but it's also a practical boon, protecting your floorboards and underlay from damp and mould in the humid atmosphere of a bathroom. However, not every tile is born equal, and tiling even a small bathroom can turn out to be a surprisingly expensive project. Luckily, there are many good choices available for homeowners refurbishing a bathroom on a tight budget. Below are some of the best inexpensive choices for bathroom floor tile materials, along with their individual strengths and weaknesses.
The classic choice, ceramic tiles are still wildly popular, and for good reasons. Ceramic tiles are tough, and resistant to scratches and chips, particularly if well-glazed. Many ceramic tiles are also the same colour all the way through, instead of having an outer coating of colour, so any chipping that does occur will be much less noticeable. The popularity of ceramic tiles, affords you a vast array of sizes, colours and shapes to choose from, and shopping around a little can usually net you an excellent price.
However, ceramic tiles are far from the most comfortable tiles to walk on, particularly in bare feet; their surfaces can get very cold in winter without some kind of underfloor heating (an expensive addition to say the least), and their toughness makes them distinctly unpleasant to land on if you slip. Tiles with textured anti-slip glazes are available, but tend to be a little more expensive. Ceramic tiles are also quite difficult to install, potentially incurring the additional cost of professional installation if you're not an accomplished DIYer.
A well-made vinyl tile is almost indistinguishable from a ceramic one without close inspection, and at an even cheaper price point. Vinyl tiles are also an excellent choice for busy family bathrooms, as they combine excellent durability and scratch resistance with excellent anti-slip properties, without the cold, uncomfortable feel of ceramic tile.
However, vinyl tends to be quite vulnerable to ageing, particularly in bright, airy bathrooms that allow in a lot of UV light, and older vinyl tiles will eventually start to crack, flake and discolour. While replacing individual tiles is a relatively simple process, it is one that will have to be maintained indefinitely to keep your floor tiles looking new.
Spongy, absorbent cork may sounds like the last material in the world that you'd use for tiling a floor, but the right finish can make all the difference. When coated with a suitable waterproof coating (usually polyurethane resin), either by yourself at home or before sale at the factory, cork becomes an excellent and thoroughly distinctive choice, at a price point similar to regular ceramic tiles. Coated cork maintains its soft, comfortable feel and natural warmth, and is available in a wide variety of styles and colours to add a unique touch to any bathroom decor scheme.
However, polyurethane can't work miracles; while cork tiles can take a reasonable beating they are generally less durable than vinyl or ceramic equivalents. They are also relatively high-maintenance, needing a fresh coat of resin every few years to avoid water infiltrating the cork itself and causing unsightly swelling and damp. If that happens, the tile will need to be replaced. Fitting cork tiles can be a messy endeavour, and require a strong adhesive underlay to remain in place. Slotted tiles designed to fit together without adhesives or grout are available, but their unique shape means sacrificing some durability, particularly around tile edges.
Contact bathroom suppliers to learn more about these and other options.Share
3 December 2015
The kitchen is the most used room in my home, and in the past, I found it could get messy and chaotic very quickly. Trying to cook dinner when you can't find an essential appliance or see past the clutter on the counter is no fun. I realised I enjoyed my time in the kitchen more and was more productive when my kitchen was organised and laid out in a way that optimised functionality. I changed my kitchen cleaning and organising routine, decluttered, got rid of appliances I don't use and moved things around to ensure frequently used items were easy to reach. I started this blog to share my tips for creating a kitchen that's enjoyable to use, and I post about ways you can optimise the space you have. I hope you find my posts useful.