Tile Types Explained

Tile Types Explained

Your choice of tile doesn’t only make a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of a wetroom, but also it’s functionality and practicality. There’s a wide range of tile choice out there, from different materials to colours and finishes, so making sure you suggest the right tiles to your client is really important. It can be difficult to understand the additional benefits of each tile purely based on how they look. In the post below, we’ll explain the different types of tiles available and the associated benefits and drawbacks of each to help you suggest the right ones to complement your client’s wetroom perfectly.

Ceramic

Ceramic makes for a very popular tile choice that goes way beyond the bathroom. Most notably is its use in the London underground, but you’ll also see it feature in many kitchens and bathrooms in our homes. It’s not surprising with its highly versatile and durable nature. Ceramic is created using a clay biscuit (of red or white), then a glaze is applied to the surface of the material before baking it in a kiln to set everything in place.

Ceramic tiles are renowned for being easy to clean and maintain, making these tiles perfect for a wetroom where they’ll be constantly wet and hit with shampoos and soaps on a daily basis. There is a common misconception around ceramic tiles, being that you can’t use them on floors. This couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s a perfect material for both floors and walls, making this the perfect tile choice for wetrooms. Whilst ceramic is not as hardwearing as some tile alternatives, with a large range of finishes, styles and shapes makes it easy for them to fit in with any style of a wetroom and its accessories.

Porcelain

Porcelain is a near perfect waterproof material, making it a perfect tile choice for a wetroom. This is because porcelain tiles are made with finer clays than ceramic tiles and are fired at higher temperatures. Their extreme durability also makes this material an excellent fit for the floor and walls of your wet room. Porcelain tiles come in two different finishes, glazed and unglazed.

Glazed Porcelain Tiles

Glazed porcelain tiles are comprised of a porcelain body with a layer of glaze pattern applied to the surface. The key advantage of this is that you can use any design you could ever want to replicate any material, whether that’s wood or metal, yet still benefitting from the hard wearing benefits of porcelain. You can pick a design that truly compliments your client’s wetroom, and fits their taste perfectly.

Un-glazed Porcelain Tiles

As the name would suggest, unglazed porcelain tiles don’t contain a layer of glaze. These tiles are composed of natural clays, meaning that colour runs the whole way through the tile. The advantages of this tile type are that it’s incredibly strong and resistant to abrasion, and it’s also unlikely to show signs of wear, unlike a glazed porcelain tile. However, this doesn’t mean they have to be dull and drab in their finish, they can be polished to a mirror-like finish – in white or light grey to compliment your client’s wet room aesthetic perfectly!

Mosaics

Mosaics provide a beautiful and more statement tile choice for a wetroom, and our inspiration for this style came from the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. If you didn’t already know, mosaics consist of small pieces of tile arranged on a sheet that when finished gives the impression of thousands of tiny tiles. With mosaics, you’re not limited by material choice so you’re free to use whatever best fits in with your client’s style, without compromising on durability. Mosaic style tiles are the perfect fit for a statement wetroom and will complement the space beautifully.

Encaustic Tiles

Encaustic tiles were popular back in the thirteenth century and were then bought to light again by our Victorian ancestors. Unlike glazed porcelain tiles, the pattern and colours are due to the use of clay, rather than just appearing on the surface of the tile. The pattern is inlaid into the body of the tile so that even when it wears over time, the pattern is not compromised.

Is a classic Victorian checkerboard look that’ll never date your client’s style? Or if monochrome isn’t right, there are a range of patterned tiles in burnt orange or royal blue. Not only can you create a timeless and stand out finish, but the material is also perfect for wetrooms!

Cement Tiles

Cement and encaustic tiles are often mistaken for one another, however, they are manufactured using different methods. Whilst encaustic tiles are formed using clay, cement tiles are (unsurprisingly) formed using cement. Cement tiles are also left to cure, rather than being fired in a kiln. Whilst you could opt to use cement tiles on the floors or walls of your wetroom, it’s extremely important to note that cement is a porous material, therefore the tiles must be sealed using the appropriate materials. If your client is wanting to opt for cement tiles, it’s worth letting them know that despite its beauty, it’s a high maintenance material compared to a material like porcelain for example.

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stones such as slate, marble and granite can look absolutely beautiful in a wetroom, and you can see why it would be a popular choice. However, with beauty comes a price… Natural stone, much like cement, is a very high maintenance material and can be vulnerable to damage when constantly exposed to water. If your client wants to choose this tile type, they should know that it must be re-sealed regularly, and it can be difficult to clean if it’s highly textured. Also – make sure to choose a stone with a slip-resistant surface!

So that’s a guide to tiles for wetrooms! There is a wide range of choice out there to suit every style and specification, which will your client choose to compliment their wetroom?