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How do I Choose the Best Wet Room Tiles?

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  • Written By: Terrie Brockmann
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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Choosing the best wet room tiles involves several factors, including the homeowner's favorite style and color. Other important issues involve the size of the tile and the size of the grout line, the material the tile is made of, and the maintenance the tile needs in the future. Generally, it is important to remember the safety issues, from wearing safety glasses while cutting the tiles to choosing tiles that are not too slippery to stand on safely.

A European innovation for bathrooms is the wet room, which is a waterproofed shower room. Usually, the entire bathroom is tiled and is waterproof. Since the tiling is prominent, consumers need to know how to choose proper wet room tiles. In addition to choosing the proper tiles, a builder needs to consider the underlayment and the grouting.

Homeowners often think that the most important decision about wet room tiles concerns the tiles' appearance. Although this is important, other factors often are more important. Typically, the goal of the wet room builder is to create a waterproof area, and one of the challenges is leaks in the grouting. Larger tiles need less grouting and therefore, present a lesser chance of leakage.

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Another consideration is the tile material, such as porcelain or glass. Many of the most popular tiles are man-made products, such as porcelain and glass. Other tiles are made from natural materials. Homeowners may need to consider that some of the natural materials need more maintenance and may be labor-intensive. Natural materials include slate, granite, and other stones.

Safety is one of the factors that a builder needs to take into account when choosing wet room tiles. Non-slip tiles may reduce the chance of accidental falls. This is very important for elderly people or persons with physical disabilities.

Lighter-colored tiles often make a room appear to be larger and lighter than dark-colored tiles do. Dark-colored tiles give a room a nurturing, cozy appearance. The color of the grout used between the tiles may change the appearance of the tiles. Grout of a contrasting color may add a busy, cluttered feeling because it accents the individual tiles. Matching grout usually helps the tiles blend together, giving a seamless look to the wet room.

Choosing wet room tiles in home improvement centers allows the homeowner or builder to see the exact color, texture, and other qualities that are important. Occasionally, when a buyer purchases wet room tiles over the Internet, he does not receive the product that he envisioned. Several factors cause this type of inaccuracy, including faulty color settings on a monitor or poor photography.

An important factor when installing wet room tiles is the maintenance and cleaning. Some tiles with a rough texture will trap and hold dirt and soap scum more than smoother textured tiles. Often the heavier texture, such as some slate tiles, is more skid-resistant; however, they are harder to clean and need periodical sealing. Non-porous tiles generally do not need sealing and are easier to clean.

Some tiles, such as porcelain tiles, need special handling and are often difficult for inexperienced installers to use. One of these is the porcelain tiles. They shatter easily, and experts caution do-it-yourself remodelers against working with them. Many homeowners hire professional installers to work with porcelain tiles.

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