When you are designing a bathroom remodel in Philadelphia, one of the most important choices our clients make is what type of flooring to install.
Not only will the material, color and size you select set the tone for your overall design style, but there are also practical considerations to factor in. Two of the most important questions being: how your bathroom will be used, and how often it will be used.
When our clients have a high traffic area where kids will be living, we help them pick a tile that is durable, slip-resistant and able to withstand tough staining. Thoughtful and informed choices will greatly contribute to the comfort, convenience and longevity of the space.
There are numerous types of flooring you can choose for your bathroom remodel in Philadelphia, but tile still stands as the most popular selection. However, even bathroom tiles are available in a wide variety of materials, including porcelain, glass as well as stone. Some options are suitable for your bathroom flooring, walls, along with the shower, while others might fit well for one use but not another. To help you start planning your remodel or addition, here is a look at the best tile in Philadelphia to use for your bathroom:
When you think of bathroom tile, what may initially come to mind is ceramic tile, along with its nearly indiscernible counterpart, porcelain. These traditional materials are used frequently for bathroom flooring and shower walls, and for good reason! You can find ceramic and porcelain tiles in nearly infinite colors and styles, including wood or stone lookalikes, and they can be used on both bathroom floors as well as the walls. Because of how it is made, porcelain is denser and more durable than ceramic, and it has a lower water-absorption rate. Do beware, not all ceramic tiles are approved for use in the shower. And contrary to many ceramic tiles, the color often runs all the way through porcelain tiles, which is a benefit if they get chipped. Fortunately, for ease of cleaning and maintenance, you really can't go wrong either way.
One downside of both ceramic and porcelain is that they can feel hard and cold underfoot, but that problem can be mitigated by installing radiant floor heat and setting down plush cotton bath mats beside your vanity, shower and bathtub.
Vinyl has become another popular material for bathrooms because of its safety, durability and comfort. Luxury vinyl flooring, vinyl tiles and vinyl sheet goods are all faster and easier to install than ceramic or porcelain flooring, as the material is simple to cut. This often translates into lower labor costs. In past years, vinyl had a negative reputation for looking cheap and not wearing well, but LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile in particular has come a long way in terms of aesthetic appeal and durability. No matter if you’re redoing a master bathroom, powder room or guest bathroom, there is a vinyl tile that will complement your design style. Because of its low installation cost and ease of maintenance, it’s also a good fit for a children’s bathroom or other spaces that get lots of foot traffic. Vinyl can be selected with a slip-resistant feature as well.
For your shower floor tile, you should also consider mosaics. The superiority of this type of tile comes not from the material with which it is made—as that can be porcelain, glass, marble or stone—but its size. These tiles are smaller, so they can easily conform to the shape and slope of higher end wet-bed shower floors. Plus, there are more grout lines and texture, which create better traction and slip-resistance when you are showering.
Mosaics provide plenty of versatility that enables them to fit within a variety of design styles, including modern, traditional, transitional, Mediterranean and coastal. For a luxurious master bathroom or guest bath, you can make eye-catching patterns using mosaics of different colors and sizes, a technique stretching back centuries to the ancient Roman baths. For a contemporary or spa-like bathroom, go for a crisp, clean look by using homogenous tiles featuring the same or a similar color and shape.
Glass tiles also are favorite choice for bathroom remodeling in Philadelphia. They are non-porous and are highly resistant to chemical damage and staining. Glass selected in a smooth finish makes it nearly self cleaning and a snap to polish. Glass is also visually appealing, although it doesn’t come in the same range of finishes as ceramic and porcelain. Glass tiles can also create an unmatchable sense of richness and depth.
Because the glass is excessively slippery when wet, you should avoid using it for a shower floor. For the most part our designers avoid specifying glass tile for any floor due to the possibility of dropping something that could crack the glass. Not matter what material you select for your bathroom tile when remodeling, whether it be ceramic, porcelain or glass, make sure it is rated for installation on floors and when in doubt, plan to limit it's use to vertical surfaces.
Concrete tile (aka cement tile) has been around for 150 years. Originally used in Spain and Southern France, this material has recently come into greater use in the U.S. with an emphasis on large format, geometric patterns. As you might expect, cement tile is a strong, durable material that is easy to clean. Since concrete tiles are thick and heavy you should make sure that your home’s floor structure can handle the weight of this flooring. Installation is similar to ceramic tile with only slightly greater difficulty. If you are a DIY enthusiast, just don't make this your first tile job!
Concrete tile is customizable and although expensive, can fit a range of budgets. Stephanie Hoffmeier, from the Bellweather design team, discussed how she designs patterned cement tile for use in kitchen and vanity backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, and floors. She also offered these thoughts on concrete tile, "While we see that concrete encaustic tile is all the rage these days, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if it makes sense in your home such as design (pattern) scale and price per square foot. There are so many options!"
"With concrete flooring you're not limited to a predetermined color or design as you are with factory-produced tile. Patterned cement tile can provide added dimension and interest to a space but it is important to think about how it will impact the overall aesthetic and your budget."
One important consideration when designing with concrete tile is that although it is durable and water-resistant (similar to other cement products) it is naturally porous. Because of this it's important to understand that when used in heavy wear areas this type of tile should be resealed every 2-3 years. Resealing reduces the likelihood of staining and oil marks that can occur from constant use. Cement tile is also more expensive. "When clients come to me with this tile, and a tight budget, I'll look for porcelain and ceramic options that provide a similar, patterned look, for half the cost." Hoffmeier says. Still, if you can truly appreciate the real thing, don't substitute!
When you’re designing a custom bathroom remodel or addition in Philadelphia, there are numerous decisions to make, from your preferred tile style and paint color to what type of fixtures you want! At Bellweather Construction, our design-build process is set up to empower your decision-making so you can confidently create a bathroom that is both lovely and functional. We provide space-planning, attention to detail and important insight to guide you as you choose the right materials and features for your project.
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