So, you’re going to remodel your bathroom, huh? Here are a few tips based on bathroom tile trends.
I’ve been doing bathroom remodels for more than 32 years. When I went to the initial meeting with prospective clients, I would bring magazines with pictures of possible bathroom designs. This visual edge helped me to “get into their heads” as far as their likes and dislikes. With the Internet, the world is literally at your finger tips. I say take advantage of the multitude of great websites and outlets for bathroom designs out there. Get yourself a cup of coffee or bottled water and click your way to tile choices, faucet designs, cabinet colors, paint finishes, etc. – decisions that need to be made before you take out the sledge hammer!
Many of today’s bathroom tile trends lean toward simple lines, bold colors and ease of cleaning. Larger tiles with less grout maintenance rise to the top of the wish list. Glass accents are popular to get that elegant feeling and to create beautiful splashes of color. Floor tiles also are getting bigger; 18×18 porcelain tile is not uncommon, even in a room that’s only 40 sq.ft. With these larger tiles there are a few things that must be addressed. Large format tiles, any tile measuring 15” or larger on any one side, must have a flat tile surface. The tile trade industry says the floor can’t vary more than 1/8” in 10 ft. Also, the tiles must be structurally supported: Double plywood with a cement board underlayment is recommended with some tiles. Check with the manufacturer of the tile you select for details.
Also popular on in today’s market are “uncoupling membranes;” If you’ve watched Holmes on Homes you’ve seen orange waffles being installed as the underlayment. Uncoupling membranes allow for slight movement in the sub-floor without being transferred to the tile. This means no cracked grout or tiles, something to consider in your budget at the planning stage.
Don’t forget to consider the big bathroom tile trend: electric floor heat. Electric floor heat comes in two forms: Mats with heating wires already attached are great for mostly square rooms. They may be cut and turned to fit. Secondly, there are cable systems; this type of system utilizes guides and free wire cable. These systems work well with irregular-shaped rooms and have a larger degree of flexibility. I’ve never had a client say, “I wish I hadn’t put in the floor heat,” but I have had many say the opposite.
Check out the video below to watch a quick tutorial for installing an electric floor heat system.
So you see that there are many options available for today’s consumer. Take your time with your decisions. Plan your attack and then go for it. A newly remodeled bathroom adds value to a home as well as improved quality of life.