In this article, we’ll talk about ceramic wall tile, and everything that you need to be focusing on during the installation to make sure that you get absolutely the wall that you wish. If you’re lucky, we might even give you an idea or two that you hadn’t already thought of.
We’ll help you find out what you need to be looking out for in the process with different tips on how to choose the right tile.
We’ll also let you in on a little secret that most people aren’t aware of.
Lastly we’ll take a look at some of the other types of tile that you could be considering for your project, and give you some of the advantages of those too.
When you’re ready, we’d love to help connect you with ceramic tile installers in your area. The can take a specific look at the project you have and then help you with both ideas and tips, and when you feel ready for it and they clearly understand your needs, they can provide you with quotes free of charge for the exact project that you have in mind.
What is Ceramic Tile Made of?
Since you have landed on this page, it’s probably specifically ceramic tile that you’re interested in, so let’s start out by talking about what it is made of for you to get a better understanding too. If you’re not quite sure what they’re made of, you’re not alone.
They’re popular yes, but I bet you that most homeowners would have no clue how to distinguish them from porcelain, although they know that porcelain has a better reputation. That is typically where people’s knowledge stops.
Ceramic tile consists of clay, natural products and sand that has been shaped before being fired in a kiln, which is a specific type of oven that is used for baking tile where they’re kept and the moisture inside is removed in the process.
Ceramic tile come in two main variants: Glazed and unglazed. So what is the difference between the two? One has a protective coating added on top of it, the other doesn’t. The glazed tile will have liquid glass added, and when it goes in the oven the glass fuses with the tile. The glazing serves a couple of different purposes, but you can also read our article dedicated ceramic glazes.
First of all, the glaze will add a protective layer to the tile. Ceramic is porous and without this protection, the tile doesn’t have nearly the same protective properties as it otherwise would. Secondly, the glazing also helps in actually giving the ceramic tile that beautiful look that you’ve been longing for because it is where it gets its decorative elements from. When you buy unglazed ceramic tile, this is also more receptive towards stains, and it’s generally recommended that unglazed material will get a protective coat of sealant applied to it too.
When you’re standing with a tile, it’s easy to tell if it has been glazed or not simply by looking at it from the side. If the color is continuous all the way through the body of the tile it hasn’t been glazed. When it seems like there’s one part of the tile that is different from the rest, that’s an indication that glaze was applied to it.
Things to Consider When You’re Choosing Tile For a Wall Project
There are certain things you can do in order to ensure that your tile installation project is a success, which is why you need to absolutely consider these tips below before proceeding with your project. Some of these tips can help make sure that you’re getting that nice, expensive feel that we all want, without necessarily spending too much.
If you’re getting started on a major bathroom remodeling project, we encourage you to read our article on the topic. We’re also always ready to connect you with actual bathroom remodeling contractors. We also encourage homeowners to take the necessary time to go through all the steps of planning it properly.
Consider the Lighting as Well as the Tile
You can’t simply do one, you need to make sure that you consider all the different aspects related to your project. Changing the lighting can end up transforming the entire feel of the space, and while you’re at it and spending a lot of money on tile, it’s worth also making sure you have the corresponding lighting to go with it that makes the right impression. Doing so doesn’t need to be expensive but can surely have a meaningful impact. Scones is one option to consider, while pendants are another.
White Can Make Your Bathroom Look Expensive
When you get white tile and possibly even fixtures installed, this is a sure way to create an expensive and elegant feel. Choose things that you are sure will compliment each other and don’t be afraid to replace your towels either.
Find Out How Much of The Wall You Are Going to Cover and Where
Before you go out and actually choose what is going on your wall, it’s important you know where it’s going. It may sound simple, but that’s how you keep your costs under control and make sure you don’t make costly mistakes. Ceramic wall tile can go a range of places as you know from reading this article.
How Big is Your Budget?
Installing tile on your walls is definitely something that helps increase the cost of any makeover because the material itself has a cost, and then comes the cost of installing it. While it’s beautiful, you will want to make sure that you can actually afford the look that you’re falling in love with, and remember that the more custom you end up making your wall project, the pricier it will be.
You can always ask ceramic tile companies if they any suggestions for lowering the cost while still giving you as many of the features that you’re wanting.
Should You Have Porcelain or Ceramic Tile Installed?
Although you’re “only” installing it on the walls where the impact will typically be less significant, you will still need to realize if you’re installing one type or the other. What’s good to keep in mind is that the color of porcelain goes all the way through, while that of ceramics is limited to the outer layer.
Why does it matter?
If you chip the tile deeper than the glaze, you will barely notice it if it’s made out of porcelain, however if you chip glazed ceramics, there’s a very big chance that it will leave a noticeable mark since the color is given by the glaze.
Take Your Time
Choosing the right design is a process that deserves you actually taking the time to properly consider all the different options. If you have started looking around, you probably noticed that you have lots of different options you can go with, and the selection process can seem overwhelming at first. Don’t rush through it. Give it sufficient time for you to make the right choice.
Sticking to a Color Scheme Is a Good Idea
Grey, brown or white tones are popular colors to go with for the bathroom. Make sure that your combination does not end up looking messy.
Getting Bigger Tiles is Popular For a Reason
There are reasons why you will want to go for bigger tiles rather than smaller ones. For one, it will give the impression that the space is bigger. Another advantage is that there’s less grout, and less grout means less to clean and repair, which can be an advantage since it’s usually the weakest spot when it comes to tile. Going for a lighter color of grout can also ensure that it doesn’t end up dominating your selection. However, if you go for white grout, it will get dirty earlier, so a lighter grey may be your best option.
If you’re planning on sitting on the tile, you may also want to make sure that it will be comfortable with your choice, and bigger ones may be especially preferred in that case.
Don’t Choose Too Many Different Types of Tile
When you combine too many different types of tile, it will start looking too much. A usual recommendation is that you limit your choice to no more than three in a room. That includes the floor area as well as the walls. The color combinations should take into account your vanity, cupboards and other bathroom features.
Contrast Often Makes Sense
There’s also a thing as too much of the same tile. Often it is a good idea for your wall tile to contrast the floor one.
Light Always Opens Up a Space
If you have a small bathroom, it is especially important that you choose the right color to not make it feel even smaller. In those cases, white is very often the color of choice. What you do need to make sure when you choose white is that you don’t go for a grout color that will stand out too much. Light grey or white may be preferable in those situations.
Ceramic tile comes in different grades when it comes to both variation in the color scheme and the durability. While you can install less durable tiles on the wall, if you’re planning on extending it past the wall, you should make sure that you choose a grade that allows walking on it too. If you want a very uniform looking tile, make sure that the color variation isn’t huge, which will usually be indicated on the website you’re buying it from, if you’re buying it online.
Diagonal Feels Larger
Yet another tip for making the space feel bigger is when you place tile diagonally.
If You Don’t Want to See a Lot of Grout, You Shouldn’t Choose Mosaic Tile
The amount of grout to tile will be a lot higher if you go with mosaic one. It’s pretty obvious, but now you’ve been told so again.
Think About The Amount of Maintenance Each Type of Tile Requires
Coming to this page, your main interest was probably ceramic, but if it has changed over time, make sure that you’re well aware of the associated maintenance of choosing one type of tile over another.
Consider How Contemporary You Want to Go
While you may have seen a design you really like, you should also consider whether it is maybe too contemporary. If that’s the case you might find yourself disliking it only a few years from now, and if you don’t even like it yourself, it might also be harder to sell your home at that point.
Consider Accents, But Don’t Have it Dominate the Space
While accents have their place in various home improvement projects, you should know that it can also easily end up becoming too much if you aren’t careful. The more accents you create, the easier you’ll likely grow tired of it too. It’s a better idea to include one focal area, which can be an accent, rather than have it completely take over. While the accent below is significant, it’s still done in a stylish manner that works with the space.
Make Sure You Think About the Trim Too
While you’re installing tile on the walls, the addition of trim is often important to make everything look clean. While it probably won’t be too hard to find matching trim, it would be inconvenient to neglect its importance.
Rather Than Choosing Different Colors, Go With Different Shades
By Simply choosing different shades of a color, you can often create a more coherent look that when you otherwise choose different colors.
Use the Layout of the Tile to Create a Geometric Impression
The direction the tile is laid will change your perception of the space as can easily be seen in the photo below, where the vertical tile was a very strategic decision.
Types of Tile You Should Be Considering For Your Walling Needs
Ceramic and porcelain are not the only options that you can consider when it comes to installing things on your wall. We’ll give you quick run-through of the different types.
Being different but often compared to quartz, it is another type of tile that you should know about. Some of the advantages it possesses includes the fact that it looks like marble. Marble isn’t however known for being as easy to maintain as this stone is, which will give you less worry when all you want to do is enjoy your beautiful walls without a need for a lot of maintenance.
Their durability is yet another thing they’re admired for, which is due to their hard surface, and it just helps keep problems away.
When you need to clean it, it’s as easy as ceramic tile is, as you can simply use soap and water without a need for any sophisticated and expensive cleaning product. You will, however, need to make sure that things aren’t left on it when there’s a risk it could stain it.
They do have at least one of the same drawbacks as ceramic has, being that they can be damaged by sharp objects. Another issue with the tile is that sealing it is generally required and depending on the type you’re getting, it’ll need to be done rather frequently, often meaning once a year. While you’ll need to seal unglazed ceramic tile too, there’s no need for sealing with the glazed product.
Slate is another popular tile option, although ceramics is still more popular, as slate doesn’t work with everyone’s budget. However, you should know when it can be considered and when it should be avoided. Its uniqueness is definitely one of the advantages and appeal as well as its upscale feel.
It’s also very durable and creates a unique option when styled properly, although sealing is required. A disadvantage with the material is that it can be scratched, unfortunately fairly easily, and while your wall materials are less likely to experience that kind of impact, it’s important to know about.
The weight of the material also means the installation is probably best left to the pros.
Pebbles & Stones
While this may make you think you’re at the beach, it does have certain disadvantages that you might not think about. It’s beautiful to place in your bathroom, and if you’re next to the coast, this could feel like a natural continuation of the outside. When placed on the ground (as opposed to the wall), they have some advantages that they offer very good slip-resistance.
No matter on which surface they’re placed, they’re not easy to clean with their unevenness and the large amount of grout that hold them in place. Sealing is important, and there have been reported incidents where people saw them falling out rather quickly.
Vinyl can be a great alternative to ceramic tile for the walls in your home. It’s often made to look like ceramic tile, but it’s very budget-friendly and durable. While it does a good job at imitating ceramic, it doesn’t do a great job.
Glass tile is another very popular option when it comes to wall tile with their many different varieties and colors available. One of the downsides to this material is that you will definitely need a pro for its installation since it’s a specialty product, and while it may be tempting to use a general contractor, it could be a better idea to actually go for a specialist. They’re commonly used in bathrooms for accents but can also be used in the kitchen where they make great backsplashes. The way they interact with the light is yet another one of their advantages.
Soapy water is all it takes to keep them clean, although they’re usually installed in smaller sizes than ceramic, and that also means there’s more grout that you will need to deal with. Because of a combination of the cost of material and labor cost involved in the installation, it’s not a cheap material to go with.
Marble is about as high end as it comes, with every single piece of it being truly unique. It also means that there’s a natural variation even between the same type of tile. With the light shining on it, it can even seem like it’s glowing and being inside a marble bathroom is an unmatched experience in a lot of way. You should beware that it is prone to staining, especially when exposed to acid. Sealing is typically applied to make the product more resistant to such things.
Ceramic tile has a lot of functions in a home, and can truly look beautiful when properly matched with its surroundings. Either way, we hope that your project turns out a success!