Materials for Bathroom Tiles: A Complete Guide

bathroom tiling

From flooring to shower surrounds, there’s more than one way to tile your bathroom.

Tiles are a great solution when it comes to flooring and surrounds for bathroom projects. They’re versatile, diverse, and come at a variety of price points so you’re sure to meet any budget.

But when you’re starting out with your tile search, you’ll want to be sure that you’re savvy when it comes to materials for bathroom tiles. After all, they might look or seem the same, but they’re all actually quite different from one another.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to take a closer look at the most common types of bathroom tiling based on materials and what you should know to make the right choice for your project.

If you want to learn more about bathroom tiling, check out our other resources:

1. How Much Does it Cost to Tile a Bathroom?

2. What Types of Tiling Are the Best for Bathrooms?

3. Is Tiling a Bathroom Easy?

4. Top Bathroom Tiling Ideas

Top six materials for bathroom tiles

1. Porcelain

Leading the pack is a timeless classic. Porcelain is a glazed product which makes it easy to clean as well as nonporous, or waterproof for wet bathroom surfaces. These tiles come in a variety of sizes, colours and patterns that can be mixed together to create novel patterns and design elements. They’re also usable in shower surrounds or backsplashes. 

While these tend to be among the more affordable variety of tile, watch out for artisan porcelain, which can be hand painted and glazed as focal points in a design. While stunning to look at, they can also cost a pretty penny.

2. Ceramic

Coming in a close second when it comes to popularity are ceramic tiles. These, too, come in a wide variety of styles and colours and are renowned for being cost effective. Ceramic tiles are very durable and come pre-glazed so that they can remain waterproof in your bathroom and used anywhere. When it comes to ceramic tiles, the design options are limitless as you combine different colours and shapes to create a truly custom design. 

3. Natural stone

Stones like limestone and slate can look modern and appealing with natural grain patterns and large tile slabs. However, it’s important to note that these tiles must be sealed properly when used as bathroom flooring since they are naturally porous. Marble and granite might be great for a bathroom benchtop, but avoid these materials for your flooring and otherwise since they can become quite slippery when wet.

4. Glass 

While not the best option for flooring, glass tiles can be an amazing way to accent a design for a bathroom wall or shower surround. Glass is often used as a border, mosaic, or other design element to draw attention to different areas of the bathroom. While it remains easy to clean, it’s best to keep it to drier areas of the bathroom where traffic and usage are low since it is also breakable.

5. Metal

Believe it or not, you can incorporate metal tiles into your bathroom design scheme the same way that you would with glass. These finishes are usually accents to other broader design elements and used sparingly to bring contrast or a bit of shine to a design. Finishes for metallic tiles include bronze, copper, and even a stainless look. 

6. Terracotta

Glazed terracotta can be a mainstay when it comes to bathroom flooring. While naturally porous, the glazed variety has become synonymous with bathroom floors and walls alike. These tend to come in larger sizes, making them a great way to cover larger swaths of space with fewer materials. Keep in mind that depending on the type of terracotta tile you choose, you might need to reseal it in the future to ensure it remains waterproof. 
Need more inspiration? Check out our Top Bathroom Tiling Ideas [Inspiration Guide]

How to choose a bathroom tile for your project

Once you have narrowed down the material for your project, how are you supposed to choose a bathroom tile? The options can feel endless, and that can be a good thing as well as cause a bit of overwhelm. Fortunately, when you work with a quality and dedicated tiler, you can collaborate with a team that knows a thing or two about tiles. And this can help you narrow down the playing field rather fast. 

Other factors besides materials for your tiles include:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Colour
  • Finish
  • Grout
  • Placement
  • Cost

Finding the right tile provider in Sydney

That last bullet point might feel like the prevailing concern, but it doesn’t have to be. Part of the process is finding the right provider that can help you balance design needs with your budget. Start by looking for a company that will provide consultation services, so that you can get started on the right foot by looking at the right materials and options in the first place. From there, they should be able to create an accurate estimate for costs including materials and labour for the installation. Don’t proceed with anyone who will not provide these services.

Once you have squared away the budget factor, there are a few other areas to consider. For one thing, experience is a huge part of what makes a great tiler one of the best. So many factors go into not just estimating tiling jobs but completing the installation work, from calculations and measurements to finessed cutting and careful grouting. Choose a provider that has years of experience and a track record of proven success.

You can check on this supposed success by looking at their reputation and social proof. Look to see if they have a project gallery or a list of customer references you can speak with. You can also check the internet for reviews and feedback on various websites that former customers might have left. This can all be a good indicator of the type of experience you’ll have when you work with them, too.

Want to learn more? Read on about How To Choose the Best Tiler Near Me

Material, design, and budget assistance from NHK Tiling

Creating an oasis in your bathroom should be a fun project, not a stressful one. But with all of the options available on the market, it can be hard to narrow down the field. We recommend starting with a material and a sense of your overall budget. From there, we can work with you to narrow down options that will look great together, combining colours, textures, and shapes to design a unique space that’s all your own.

The NHK Tiling team has over 24 years of experience providing consultation and installation services when it comes to tiling. We’re Sydney’s go-to experts and are proud to offer only the highest quality materials for indoor (and outdoor) tiling projects. 

There’s no project too big or too small for our team. We’re on standby waiting to work with you and guide you through your tiling project. All you need to do is call us on 0402 462 570 today! 

Request a free quote on 0402 462 570, or simply enquire online.