All bathroom tile is not created equal. Sure, the price-per-square-foot tells you that much, but what makes one tile more expensive than another? One of the factors has to do with durability. Tiles ought to last a long time. With all the moisture, heat changes, stepping and abuse, tiles should have a considerable degree of durability.
The primary thing that affects durability is the tile’s material. Here are the most common types of materials used to make bathroom tiles:
- Ceramic Tiles - Common yet beautiful, ceramic tiles are a popular choice for many bathrooms. They are extremely durable, especially when glazed.
- Porcelain Tiles - Porcelain is a beautiful form of tile that is available in a variety of finishes, most often seen with a high-polished finish. Because of its hardness, it is an extremely durable variety, even more so than ceramic. However, it is more difficult to install.
- Quarry Tile - Quarry tile is one of the strongest varieties of tile. In fact, most outdoor tile or public-area tile installations use quarry tile because, depending on its quality and construction, it may be the most durable form of tile available. Quarried tile is similar in composition to ceramic tiles, but is usually found in earthy tones of red or brown, while ceramic tiles are a light gray and typically finished in a colorful glaze.
- Stone Tile - Natural stone tiles are growing in popularity. Their unique look and exceptional durability make them a smart choice. Although it is more expensive and difficult to work with, stone tile is just as durable as stone itself.
Tile material is only one component of a floor’s durability. The grout quality and quality of construction is also a major factor when considering durability.
Photo Credit: P&J Tile