Picking The Right Bathroom Tiles

Bathroom tiles are easy to overlook, aren’t they? When we think of a bathroom we instantly think of the new suite or the power shower or even that stylish dual basin that you’ve always wanted.


Tile flooring adds to a home’s value for re-sale, and is generally more popular than carpet. Tiles are also ideal for allergy sufferers or people with pets, as they collect less pollen, pet hair, and bacteria.


The tiles form a huge part of the design of your bathroom and cover a large area too. Your bathroom tiles can make or break a design and they deserve some thought, care, and attention.


No two tiles are made equal and in a world full of choice you can be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed with tile choices. Alan Heath and Sons are here to help.


Let’s run through the main tile types and styles and give you a better idea of what you might need in your own new bathroom.


Picking The Right Bathroom Tiles


Ceramic Bathroom Tiles

Ceramic tiles are the old favourite of the tile world and for good reason, too. Ceramic tiles are very low maintenance and mostly low cost compared to other tiles. They’re the starting point and often your best bet.


Ceramic tiles are waterproof after grouting, and they’re easy to cut. This saves you money on fitting and labour – and is often why many budget bathrooms will choose ceramic. Ceramic tiles are best used on walls due to their shiny exterior.


Quarry Bathroom Tiles

If you’re after a durable tile then quarry tiles are a good choice. Ideal for flooring as they’re hard-wearing, quarry tiles are made from natural clay and are unpolished and not glazed either.


Quarry tiles give a good grip under foot and for that reason are perfect for the floor, coping with all the foot traffic in your bathroom.


Slate Bathroom Tiles

Slate is often used in kitchens as it’s highly resistant to scratches and damage over time. But slate can also look great in your bathroom (depending on your design) and many opt for this moody, dark but luxury–looking tile.


Slate can be porous so must be sealed regularly, but it’s good at resisting chemicals and fading. This can be off-putting for most though. Any porous tiles need to be maintained and re-sealed regularly and this is often the deciding factor to choosing something else.


Slate tiles might not work in your small bathroom as the dark colour may swamp your room. Choosing colours in your bathroom is important for your look and feel.


Marble Bathroom Tiles

We all know that marble tiles are expensive. They’re expensive to buy, expensive to fit and then expensive to look after too… but they’re very luxurious to look at.


Marble is a tricky choice for the neat ones amongst us, as marble is unique and no two tiles are the same.


Marble is also porous and can also discolour with water so be aware that the tiles may change colour over time. Marble tiles need sealing after fitting and polishing too, making fitting expensive. Marble tiles are not the height of fashion anymore though and are now considered to be an old fashioned choice.

Granite Bathroom Tiles

Beautiful and elegant, granite is very hard-wearing and is ideal for a floor tile. The strong exterior face of granite is built for walking on and looks great too. Granite won’t fade either so you’re sure to keep the look and colour of your newly laid tiles too. It’s scratch and stain resistant, and very durable. It’s also easy to clean and so very suitable for busy areas.


Granite tiles do need re-sealing occasionally but all-in-all they’re a good solid choice for your bathroom floor tiles.


Travertine Tiles

Travertine tiles are much like slate in that they’re dark and textured. The better the quality the better the price though as some cheap versions can take a lot of work to make look nice once they’re down. Cheap tiles can mean lots of filler, which can of course crack and fall out. They need to be maintained.


Porcelain Bathroom Tiles

Porcelain are the most popular tile by far but they are very hard to cut and this tends to make them a hard DIY tile. Non-the-less they’re still very popular with us as we have the tools and expertise for the job.


Denser and harder than ceramic, porcelain is a very shiny and clean looking material. These tiles look great when polished and presented in a brightly-lit bathroom. Porcelain is pretty hard-wearing and can take the rough and tumble of modern day living. It’s harder to scratch or chip it.


You can get porcelain tiles in a range of finishes including natural, smooth, polish, and textured. There’s a huge range of colours and patterns, allowing you to create just about any look that you like. We often recommend you go for the glazed option to save on regular cleaning.


If you’re fitting porcelain tiles yourself you’ll need special tools for rounded edges, so if you have an odd-shaped area you may want to look at ceramic instead.



Bathroom tiles come in all shapes and sizes and it’s worth noting a few points here about that too…

Small bathrooms need bigger tiles – smaller tiles means more grout lines and more lines to mess up your small walls.


Larger bathrooms will cope with big and bold – you won’t get away with crazy colours in a small bathroom but when you go large you can be more creative with textures and colours.


How many tiles will you need? – You’ll need to measure the area that’s going to be tiled and calculate the area in square metres which is the length x height of your wall or length x width of your floor.


With larger tiles you should measure the wall both vertically and horizontally and then divide by the size of the tile to save on a high wastage of tiles.


You will still need to add extra tiles for wastage or the odd breakages though. Don’t worry if there’s too much maths involved – we can help you out. We do this every day!


Tiles are an important part of your bathroom


A large bathroom will take time to tile but choosing larger tiles may make this a quicker (and may make slightly less-expensive) job.


The one thing you need to get right with large tiles is your plastering. It must be very flat as larger tiles are very unforgiving of a bumpy wall or floor!


Choose your colours to complement your suite and don’t go too big in a small bathroom. Large tiles are very much in fashion and most top-end hotels will now have large tiles for that wow factor.


If you need any advice just contact us now or pop into our Coventry Bathroom showroom near Warwickshire for some expert bathroom advice.