Bathroom Surfaces: Ceramic Tile Pros and Cons
Learn the facts on this popular material for bathroom walls and floors, including costs and maintenance needs, before you commit.
Because ceramic tends to cost less than porcelain and is much lighter, it’s often used for wall and ceiling installations. However, there are some major cons to this material, too: It’s not as strong as porcelain, so it doesn’t make the best walking surface. It can be very cold underfoot in the winter, and heavy tile can be difficult to install.
Curious if ceramic tile will work in your bathroom? Here’s what you should know before making the purchase.
The basics: Ceramic tiles are wide ranging; all are generally made from red or white clay that’s been fired in a kiln and glazed or finished. If you’re a tile nerd like me, ceramic tile technically includes porcelain tile too, but for this ideabook we’ll exclude that category.
Cost: Ceramic tile is often priced below $2 per square foot. Higher-end tiles can easily run $20 to $40 and more per square foot. The average tends to be around $7 to $9 per square foot.
This type of tile can make for a great accent in a bathroom, but I’d avoid using too much texture in a shower , since it can make for difficult cleaning. Try using it for a feature wall or feature corner instead.
I recommend cleaning ceramic tile with a white nylon scrub brush and a little soap. You shouldn’t need much more than that. Ceramic is very durable, but it’s best to stick to mild household detergents and to spot test before using anything new.
Installation: Installing ceramic tile is pretty straightforward; it could even be a DIY project if you have some experience working with tile. Many of today’s ceramic tile actually has directional arrows on the back side; make sure you keep them lined up the same way so you get the correct look.
Tell us: What pros and cons have you experienced with ceramic tile?