Flooring Tips for Your Bathroom

Are tiles compatible with underfloor heating?
There are two types of underfloor heating systems you can use in your bathroom: a hot water (or wet) system, or an electric mat (or wire) system. Tiles are compatible with both.

“Natural stone and porcelain tiles are both ideal options for use with underfloor heating,” continues Sian. “Each has a high thermal mass and strong conductivity, which allows heat from the pipes or electric mat to easily transfer to the floor surface, providing you with a toasty and warm bathroom.

“A top tip is to take into consideration the thickness of the tile or stone you plan to use with your underfloor heating, as this will affect the length of time it takes for the floor to reach its optimum temperature. The thicker the tile, the longer it will take to heat up.”

Sorrento porcelain tiles (29.8 x 29.8 cm) in a new design called Molini by Fired Earth. Priced £99.80 per sq m.
Work out what your want
Before splashing out on tiles, it pays to come up with a realistic budget of how much you’re willing to spend. “This will help you to determine what type of tile you can afford and work with, whether that’s budget friendly porcelain tiles, or splashing out on natural stone Flooring Tools. And don’t forget to allow enough in your budget for important costs such as underlay, grouting, sealant, installation and even delivery costs,” advises Sian.

Spend time considering what type of look you’d like to introduce to your home and draw on inspiration from Pinterest, home interest magazines and online flooring visualisers. Once you’ve figured out if you’re more of a contemporary fan or love the vintage trend, you’ll be better placed to decide if you want natural stone or sleek, minimalist tiles in your bathroom.

“Consider your lifestyle,” continues Sian. “If you’re always on the go and have a busy household, then an easy-to-clean porcelain tile might be a better option over natural stone, which requires more maintenance.”

“With so many different types of flooring available it can be a hard task knowing where to start, but a golden rule to follow is to pick something that has longevity. Whether you’re adding a dramatic focal point or a simple hint of pattern, it’s important to choose a style that not only reflects your personality and home, but also stands the test of time. Frequently changing the type of tiles you have because you no longer like the style can be a costly exercise, so it’s important to get it right first-time round.”

And while selecting the right floor is crucial for the overall look and feel of your interiors, don’t forget about your choice of grout. The grout you pick can do wonders for accentuating certain colours and textures within tiles, adding the finishing touch to your flooring. Use it to inject character to your bathroom by opting for a contrasting grout to create a bold look.

This stunning bathroom designed by Ripples features Carrara marble tiles (59×59 cm) from £105 per sq m.
Is it necessary to invest lots of money?
“You can pay a premium for tiles but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting a better product,” explains Nick Ounstead, director at Tile Mountain. “Brand and designer names will command a higher price but, while that may give you an exclusive design, it doesn’t always mean better quality. Low-price tiles can still offer excellent quality and longevity. You may pay a little more for porcelain tiles than ceramic as they are harder wearing.”

Desert Waves is a polished porcelain tile available in a choice of charcoal, grey, or beige from Tiles Mountain . Priced £24.99 per sq m, each tile measures 60cm x 60cm.
Ceramic versus porcelain tiles
When choosing between ceramic or porcelain tiles, it’s advisable to opt for the latter. “Due to the lightweight structure of ceramic tiles, they can be more delicate and not ideal for anything requiring weight or repeated walking on,” Sian O’Neill, from Topps Tiles, explains. “The structure of porcelain means it’s denser and more hardwearing, which is perfect for bathroom flooring.”

Porcelain tiles are available in a variety of designs. You can even get stone and wood-effect porcelain tiles that are incredibly realistic. Use a mild, specialist tile detergent mixed with warm, clean water to make them sparkle and make sure you use a chamois-style cloth rather than a sponge mop, which can push dirt into your grout.

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