What type of tile should I use on my bathroom floor and shower?

Personal style preferences influence material selection in any remodeling project. But while you may be tempted to purchase new tile for your bathroom floor and shower based largely on color and design, there are many other factors to consider as you shop—and plenty of options from which to choose.

Choose tile that stands up to water & moisture

The most important consideration for choosing tile is purpose. Bathroom tiles should stand up to constant water exposure, protect drywall from moisture and, if they are installed on the floor, provide good traction when wet. Proper installation and grout choice (we use an epoxy-based grout for long-lasting waterproofing and stain resistance) play a significant role in tile performance, too.

When it comes to durability and moisture control, porcelain tiles are the best option. Porcelain tiles are dense and impermeable, giving them increased strength and water resistance. They are also easy to clean (another plus in the bathroom), and through-bodied and glazed designs mask wear and tear. Porcelain tiles are available in a wide variety of styles to match any décor.

Bathroom tile mix

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are another popular choice in the bathroom, and they offer similar visual appeal. Ceramic tiles usually cost less than porcelain tiles, but they aren’t typically as water resistant or durable as their porcelain counterparts. Ceramic tiles are still a low-maintenance option, though, and they are easy to paint, allowing for simple redecoration.

Vinyl Tiles

If cost is a major concern, vinyl bathroom tiles may be a good alternative. Although they don’t create the same aesthetic as porcelain or ceramic tiles, improved design and increased style choices mean you can still design an attractive bathroom on a budget. On the other end of the spectrum are natural stone tiles. Requiring regular maintenance to retain their water-resistance, stone tiles are made from materials like marble, granite, limestone, slate and pebbles that have been treated to withstand the damp bathroom environment.

Plastic and Linoleum Tiles

There are also several other bathroom tile options on the market, including low-maintenance plastic laminate, linoleum—a higher-cost alternative to vinyl—and glass, a sleek option that requires careful installation. Tiles made of wood, cork and removable carpet squares can also be installed on bathroom floors, but most homeowners opt for more bathroom-friendly flooring.

You don’t have to select a single style of tile for your bathroom floor or shower; think about mixing tiles to create an accent wall, mosaic or border, or incorporate more expensive tiles as decorative accents. It’s important to choose tile that withstands bathroom use without too much required maintenance, but don’t forget to keep your personal style in mind to ensure you are happy with the look and feel of your new bathroom tile.