When tiling your bathroom, you have many options to chose from. One of the most common is stone tile. It creates an elegance that can't be matched by other types of tiles and if done right, the result can be breathtaking. When shopping for stone tile, the options can be overwhelming. Use the following tips as a guide for narrowing down your options to find the perfect stone tile for your bathroom.
All stone tile is porous, making it susceptible to stains and even cracking. There are four levels, including non-vitreous, semi-vitreous, vitreous and impervious. Non-vitreous is very absorbent and should be avoided in damp areas, including bathrooms. Semi-vitreous are slightly less absorbent but will need more maintenance when used in wet environments. Vitreous is the most common absorption level that you will find and can be implemented into your bathroom design. Impervious are very resistant to the absorption of liquids and can be used in your bathroom with care.
Most retailers have a grading system that they use to rate the quality of their stone tile. This grading usually refers to the size, shape, and thickness of the tile. Grade 1 will refer to high quality materials. Grade 2 materials will sometimes have irregular surfaces or chips. Grade 3 materials may have major flaws but can still be used in your design as accent pieces.
Some stone tiles are more slippery than others. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that floor material have a minimum of a .6 dryness coefficient level for any type of material. Use this number as a guide for your own bathroom.
Some stone tile will only be recommended for outdoor use. Most will be okay for indoor use but always check that it will be able to withstand the traffic and moist environment of a bathroom.
Once you have narrowed down your stone tile choices based on performance levels, it becomes a choice of appearance. Remember that stone tile is always unique because nature has made the material instead of a factory. While this will give your bathroom a true one of a kind look, it also means that they usually need a little more work. For example, sealing agents may need to be periodically applied to protect the surface of your tile. Look at these bathroom designs that include natural tile and you will surely see that the beauty of the tile is worth the extra research and maintenance.
This highly detailed vanity area includes stone mosaic tile around the vanity that sits against a stone tiled wall. There is also a carved stone border that really gives the space some personality. Notice how the colors vary in each tile. This is expected when working with stone tile and it may require a little extra planning when tiling to make sure that the difference in color is equally distributed through the bathroom.
Your Tile Doesn't Have to Be Perfect:
One of the best designs including stone tile often involved uneven edges. You aren't confined to straight lines and borders when working with stone tile. This design shows how pieces of tile were placed together to create a puzzle inspired background. Remember to have your tile properly sealed if you chose this type of design as it will be nearly impossible to replace pieces if they crack or chip.
Mosaic Stone Tile:
Mosaic tiled backsplashes are becoming more popular, especially ones that include detailed designs. This example shows how beautiful a stone tile mosaic can look and how it can drastically change the feel of a bathroom. A simple subway tiled backsplash would not have the same dramatic effect that the stone tile does in this traditional bathroom.
Great for Walls:
Stone tile doesn't just have to be for backsplashes or borders. It can also be used on an entire wall surface or only the bottom or top half for a truly custom look. This design chose to place the tiles at a different angle, which adds yet another layer of design to this stunning look.
A stone tiled countertop might be a great way to save some money in your bathroom. It is usually more affordable to buy pieces of stone rather than a slab and by choosing this route, you can still have your dream vanity material without going over budget.
An encased bathtub always looks more luxurious, especially if stone tile is used. Make sure that the type of tile that you chose can handle the wet environment and be sure to have it initially sealed and maintained to keep the stone just as beautiful as it was the day it was installed.
When tiling your bathroom, don't be discouraged by the extra work that is usually required when finding and installing stone tile. You certainly won't regret it.