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Tile Setter’s Advice….

For Florida Bathroom Floor Tiles….

Selecting tile for your Florida bathroom is an area where I feel you should adhere to some basic principals. But, this is also an area where you can let your imagination shine. Various sizes, colors, and textures combined can make your bathroom truly a work of art!

Let’s begin.

  • First, you should consider maintenance and ease of such.
  • Second, you should consider texture and where to place it.
  • Third, colors.
  • Fourth, design and design elements consistent with the interior flavor or theme of your home or space.
  • Maintenance is often overlooked at the expense of loss of luster and shine over a period of time. Nothing looks worse than a dull and well worn Travertine.

My advice after having busting out many Travertine floors is to consider Granite, Ceramic, Porcelain, or Glass for the bathroom floor. Use a durable non porous easy to clean material. You can use Travertine but remember it needs to be sealed. As a floor surface this can build up if not maintained properly. Like Marble, Travertine is a soft material and requires maintenance and can be stained, scratched, and easily chipped.

Textures on the floors can add an immediate design element. Perhaps a textured material or natural stone placed strategically in the center of the floor or as a perimeter band. Running your floor tile on a diagonal or diamond pattern has the effect of making your room look larger. However, expect to pay anywhere from $1.00-2.00 extra and more for a diagonal diamond pattern per square foot.

Design elements will add to cost as well. As much as $5.00 or more per square foot can be expected. Textures such as tumbled Marble would best be suited on walls. Round Riverbed Stones work well on shower floors and offer somewhat of a therapeutic value. Tumbled Marble or another color of Natural Stone used as a color band if incorporated correctly adds excitement and an “out of the ordinary” point of interest.

Colors. Always remember when using Natural Stone the installation generally costs more because tile setters have to craft, shape, grind, polish and form many pieces of the material. More often than not, there are no pre-formed corners and edges as there are with ceramic tile. And, the process takes a lot more time. You’ll appreciate that more when shelling out more per square foot for the material alone.

Another point to remember is that almost any tile including Natural Stone can have a pattern! You really need to open up a few boxes to determine if you may run into an issue here.For instance, some time ago we installed a Walnut Travertine shower and walls. As I removed tile from the boxes and it was placed on the wall, we could clearly see we had reassembled the cut slab straight out of the box. This is unusual but it happens. In other cases the same grain or flow of colors in Natural Stone be it Granite, Marble, Sandstone, Travertine, and Gemstone may not look good. Dark tile areas might need to be distributed within lighter tiles so you don’t wind up with too many dark or light tiles in one area.

If you are a DIY’er, when setting Travertine floors or walls be sure to use a thinset mortar that closely matches the tile surface color. Lighter Travertine should be placed with white thinset mortar and darker or chocolate Travertine should be set with gray thinset mortar. This is because Travertine is a porous material and your thinset can actually show through the surface or push through on installation. This can appear as a stain.

Design elements enhance the flavor of a space by using colors, textures, and sizes. A simple 6X6 shower enclosure will look much more appealing with a color stripe at the very least at about eye level. Using that same color stripe in other spots like the shower floor or inside a niche adds a little class.

There is a virtual universe of materials, colors, and textures at local distributors to flavor your next project. These additions add simple and attractive sophistication to an otherwise boring bathroom floor or shower.

The materials and ideas are as endless as your imagination and budget.

Be creative !

Florida Ceramic porcelain bathroom tile selection

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