Tiling Bathrooms: How to Tile Bathroom Features

Person Installing a Sink

All materials used to cover bathroom surfaces have to meet three standards: They must be durable, resistant to water and humidity, and easy to clean. No material does a better job of meeting those criteria than ceramic tile. Tile offers another advantage: Carefully chosen, it will unify the design of the entire room.

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Designing your bath
Many homeowners first consider tile as a replacement surface for their bathroom floor or a tub or shower enclosure.

But if you're planning to put tile in your bathroom, don't stop there. Think of the tub enclosure or floor as part of an ensemble -- the tub, vanity, sink, walls, floor, and fixtures -- and experiment with designs for the entire room. Take tile samples home so you can judge their appearance and don't focus too much on single-color themes. A little variety can improve your design. Use accents sparingly -- they'll overwhelm a small space.

As you shop for ceramic tile for your bath, think small, at least at first. Tiles four inches or less fit more easily around sinks, tubs, and toilets, and require less cutting. Choose impervious tile, either glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles on the walls are much easier to clean than those with a matte finish.

Be wary of glazed tiles on floors -- they're slippery. Use tiles with a matte finish and seal them with enough sealer that water beads on the surface. Mosaic tiles are great for the floors. Their abundance of grouted joints makes the floor virtually slip-free.

Tiling a bathroom floor
Tiling a bathroom floor relies on the same methods as tiling any other floor. Remove the fixtures for a better finish that requires less tile cutting. Tiling over existing tile is OK if the surface is sound, but doing so will raise the floor level and may require an extension flange for the toilet. Dry-lay tiles to test your design before installing them


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