For decades, tiles have been the go-to flooring option for bathrooms and kitchens thanks to their water-resistance and ease of maintenance. But did you know that the tiles used in bathroom tiling are different than the ones used for kitchen backsplashes? It’s easy to think that these two areas use the same tiles, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Understanding the differences between the two can go a long way towards helping you choose the right tiles for your specific applications.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the characteristics of bathroom tiles and kitchen tiles so you can pick the most suitable tile variety for your needs.
When it comes to choosing tiles for your bathroom, you’ll want a tile variety that’s slip-resistant and water-resistant. The bathroom is one of those areas that’s frequently exposed to moisture, stains, and heavy water flow which makes it crucial to choose a tile variety that can withstand these very well. Some examples of bathroom tiles are natural stone tiles, porcelain tiles, and ceramic tiles. These options are perfect for installing on walls and floors as they possess the necessary traits of a bathroom tile.
Maintaining foot traction is the most important thing to consider when choosing bathroom tiles as using the inappropriate one can lead to slip hazards. Considering that a bathroom is usually small, you can make do with using smaller tiles that are laid in a diagonal pattern to make the room feel more spacious. Using large tiles can result in uneven tile flooring as the rest of the tiles will need to be cut around the fittings.
In regards to style, it’s best to stick to plain and simple tile patterns for that ultra-clean look. Tiles with colourful designs can look out of place inside a bathroom so reserve the stylish flooring for other applications. Light hues such as white, cream, and light grey are excellent choices that help bring a calm and relaxing feel in a small space such as a bathroom.
When talking about the kitchen, it’s an area that is most prone to stains and spills. This means that your choice of tiles should be stain-resistant, hard-wearing, and easy to keep clean. Oil buildup and food residue can be a nightmare to clean, especially if you’re using a tile variety that’s porous in nature like ceramic tiles. If you plan on using tiles for your kitchen’s backsplash, glass tiles and are an excellent choice since they require little to no maintenance. On the other hand, cork, vinyl, and stone tiles are perfect for kitchen floors as they conceal stains quite well and can withstand heavy foot traffic.
Kitchen spaces can fit large tiles just fine and will look even better as opposed to using smaller tiles. In terms of the layout, a straight pattern is a preferred choice as it brings together the other design elements of the kitchen. You can also use other tile patterns such as a herringbone pattern or a windmill pattern for that distinct look.
For kitchen walls, you can opt for a tile variety that’s functional yet aesthetically pleasing. Think of it as an accent piece that will breathe life into your kitchen. Here, you can get creative with styles and patterns whilst keeping the stain resistance in mind.
Things to consider when choosing between the bathroom and kitchen tiles
Before you head out to the hardware store, you may want to consider these factors to ensure the tiles you buy are fit for your intended applications. Here are some things to keep in mind:
A busy kitchen is subject to more foot traffic than a bathroom. It’s for this reason that the tiles for your kitchen floor should have a higher resistance rating (known as a PEI Rating) than those on your bathroom floor. The PEI test gives a score from 0 to 5 for a glazed tile’s abrasion resistance. The higher the rating, the better the quality of the tile’s surface and the wider the applications the tile can cover.
Safety is the top priority when choosing bathroom tiles. For that, you want a set of tiles with an anti-slip rating (known as an R-Rating) on your bathroom floors. The R-Rating score determines the slip resistance of a given tile. The rating value is between 9 and 13, with a higher score indicating better slip resistance.
Bathroom floors are usually quite small, so it makes sense to use smaller tiles. Tiling with very large tiles would result in one full tile in the middle, and every other tile cut to fit the contours of the room and to be shaped around the fittings. The bathroom is also a tight space, so it’s more convenient for the tiler if the tiles are small or mid-sized.