Choosing the Right Tiles for Your New Bathroom

Tile is one of the most popular flooring options for bathrooms. Not only does tile add style and visual appeal, it offers many practical benefits as well. Tile is water resistant, easy to clean, extremely durable, and available in a vast array of colors, textures, shapes and patterns.

When selecting bathroom floor tiles, there are a few key factors to consider:

Customized Bathroom Tile Designs
  • Durability – Tile is very resistant to water, mold and mildew. This makes it perfect for humid bathroom environments.
  • Slip resistance – Bathroom floors can get wet and slippery. Choosing a tile with some surface texture gives added traction.
  • Easy maintenance – Properly installed tile requires very little upkeep. Occasional sweeping and damp mopping is all that is needed.
  • Style – From elegant marbles to colorful mosaics, tile comes in endless options to match your personal taste.

This guide will overview the most popular varieties of bathroom tile and provide tips on choosing the perfect flooring to achieve your dream bathroom sanctuary.

Best Durable Bathroom Floor Tiles

When searching for durable and long-lasting bathroom tiles that can withstand humidity and heavy use, these materials rise above the rest:


Porcelain tile is one of the toughest and most impervious materials available. The dense composition created under extreme heat and pressure makes porcelain superior in strength and water-resistance.

Key features:

  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Very low water absorption rate
  • Resists staining, fading and wear
  • Withstands temperature extremes
  • Easy maintenance
  • Long lifespan of 20+ years

Porcelain tile has very minimal porosity, making it almost impermeable to water and ideal for damp bathroom environments. It is highly resistant to chipping and cracking as well. Glazed porcelain options have the added benefit of a protective coating for even greater stain protection.


Glazed ceramic tile also makes an excellent bathroom flooring choice. While not quite as durable as porcelain, ceramic tile still offers impressive strength and resiliency.

Key features:

  • Durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Resists moisture and daily wear
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Range of style options
  • Typically more affordable than porcelain

The impervious glaze coating on ceramic tile creates a barrier against water absorption and staining. There are a wide variety of ceramic tile styles, colors and finishes to choose from.

Natural Stone

For a ultra high-end, spa-like look, natural stone tiles bring unrivaled elegance and luxury to a bathroom. Materials like marble, travertine and granite not only offer innate beauty, they have exceptional durability as well.

Key features:

  • Elegant, upscale visual appeal
  • Each stone has unique veining patterns
  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Withstands humidity well with proper sealing
  • May have higher cost than ceramic or porcelain

When properly sealed, natural stone tiles stand up nicely to bathroom humidity and everyday use. The premium look and feel of stone flooring brings a refined, spa-quality finish.

Anti Slip Bathroom Tile Options
Anti Slip Bathroom Tile Options

Anti-Slip Bathroom Tile Options

Given that bathroom floors often get wet, selecting an anti-slip tile surface is crucial for safety. These tile varieties offer enhanced traction and grip:

Textured tiles – A slightly uneven glazed surface provides grip for bare feet in high moisture areas like showers. Popular options include textured ceramic, porcelain and mosaic tiles.

Stone varieties – Materials like slate, travertine and tumbled marble have an naturally irregular texture with grip-ability even when wet.

Mosaic tiles – Small tiles mounted in mesh sheets create visible grout lines that give added traction. Pebble mosaic tiles offer an attractive anti-slip choice.

Porcelain tiles – Many porcelain tile manufacturers now make lines specifically engineered for superior anti-slip properties with a safety rating exceeding minimum standards.

Choosing a flooring surface with some texture and grip goes a long way in preventing slips and falls in wet bathroom conditions. An anti-slip rating of R11 or higher indicates suitable traction.

High-End Designer Bathroom Tiles

For those seeking a ultra high-end, luxury finish for their bathroom sanctuary, designer tile brands offer unmatched artisan quality, innovative textures, 3D designs, and cutting-edge visual effects.

Some exceptional designer tile manufacturers include:

Ann Sacks – Part of the Kohler family of brands, Ann Sacks offers artful interpretations of marble, stone and wood looks with intricate designs and detail.

Jeffrey Court – Elegant mosaics, metallic accents, dimensional surfaces and opulent glazes define the Jeffrey Court designer lines.

Porcelanosa – Industry leader Porcelanosa creates tiles emulating natural quartzite, onyx, marble and travertine with unsurpassed realism.

Walker Zanger – ExquisitePorcelain and glass selections exhibit the artistry of decorative tile with shimmering finishes and nature-inspired beauty.

From sensuous neutrals to daring brights, these designer collections feature exclusive shapes, patterns and enhanced visual depth. Expect price points ranging $30/sq. ft. on up to the luxury stratosphere.

Best Durable Bathroom Floor Tiles
Best Durable Bathroom Floor Tiles

Budget-Friendly Bathroom Tiles

Creating a stylish bathroom doesn’t need to blow the budget. Many home improvement stores now carry their own exclusive lines of quality tile priced below standard retail.

Big box stores

Major retailers like Lowes and Home Depot have affordable in-house brands with a nice variety of ceramic, porcelain and mosaic looks starting around $2 – $5 per sq. foot.

Discount tile shops

Stores specializing in tiles and flooring often sell overstock and surplus tiles from name brands at sizable discounts. Great spots to score deals.

Online retailers

Websites like Wayfair, Overstock and Build Direct sell direct-to-consumer, cutting out middleman markups. Budget-friendly pricing on their own tile brands.

With some hunting, beautiful tile can be found at budget prices. Setting your own tiles also keeps labor fees down. The key is allowing ample time to source bargains from retailers and clearance sales.

Eco-Friendly Tile Materials for Bathrooms

For the planet-conscious, there are now many great options for sustainable bathroom tiles with renewable or recycled content.

Glass tile

Made from up to 70% recycled glass, glass tile has a light environmental impact. Available in wide range of iridescent colors.

Concrete tile

Cement tiles contain up to 40% recycled material. Also naturally mold/mildew resistant. Gain popularity for industrial chic look.

Porcelain tile

Manufacturers like Fireclay, Bedrosians and Crossville now offer tile containing 40% pre-consumer recycled content.

Cork tile

Sustainably-harvested cork oak tree bark makes a resilient, hypoallergenic tile material. Has sound and heat insulating properties.

Wood-look tile

Wood-look porcelain or ceramic tiles offer the aesthetic of natural wood without depleting forest resources. More durable and moisture-resistant.

Mosaic tile

Small pieces mounted on mesh sheets reduce waste. Vast color/style options for personalized looks.

Designers, distributors and consumers increasingly demand sustainability. Thankfully quality eco-options exist to satisfy every design taste and conserve environmental resources.

Customized Bathroom Tile Designs

Budget Friendly Bathroom Tiles

For a truly one-of-a-kind bathroom floor, customized and bespoke tile services allow for personally tailored designs. Between shape, size, color, finish and decoration, the options are nearly endless.

Pattern play
Choose multiple colors/textures and have tiles precision laser cut into unique shapes like chevrons, starbursts or honeycomb designs.

Monogram magic
Add individuality by having tiles etched with initials, logo or meaningful symbols.

Photo transfer
Transform a meaningful photo into a custom tile mural for significant personalization.

Hand-painted tile
Work with an artisan specialist to develop custom hand-painted tile motifs.

3D design
Digital printing now allows any image or artwork to be reproduced on a tile surface in ultra realistic 3D detail.

Bespoke tile offers luxury specificity and permits designers to fully exhibit their creative visions. Though costs exceed standard tile, the high-end design possibilities make a dramatic statement.

DIY Bathroom Tile Installation Guide

Installing tile may sound intimidating, but with proper planning, tools and attention to detail, you can achieve professional-looking results DIY. Follow this step-by-step process for a successful tile installation:

Step 1: Subfloor Preparation
Thoroughly clean the floor down to the bare subsurface. Fill any holes or cracks with filler compound to create a smooth, even base.

Step 2: Layout Your Tiles
Dry lay the tiles to map out placement and see how the pattern looks. Having this reference helps keep tiles aligned when officially setting them.

Step 3: Apply Mortar
Use a notched trowel to spread thinset mortar evenly across an area no larger than you can tile in about 20 minutes.

Step 4: Set & Space Tiles
Firmly press tiles into the mortar, leaving equal spaces for grout lines. Use plastic spacers between tiles to maintain even alignment.

Step 5: Finish Edges
Measure and cut border tiles as needed to fit edges and openings like drain pipes. Finish off edges with an edge trim piece.

Step 6: Grout Application
After at least 24 hours of mortar curing time, spread grout across the gaps between tiles using a rubber trowel. Wipe gently with a damp sponge.

Step 7: Seal & Protect
Once grout has cured fully (48-72 hours), apply a penetrating sealant. This adds stain protection and makes cleaning easier.

With attention to detail and proper tile setting techniques, even first-timers can achieve picture-perfect results installing their own bathroom floor tiles.

Whether aiming for an budget-friendly upgrade or indulgent designer look, floor tile enables you to achieve the bathroom of your dreams. Evaluate the practical factors of use, maintenance and safety along with the overall aesthetic vision. Take time to explore the exceptionally vast range of styles, shapes, textures, patterns and materials available. With thoughtful planning and tile setting diligence, you can completely transform your bathing space into a personal sanctuary.

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