How to Choose Bathroom Tile

How to choose bathroom tile - modern white bathroom with white square tub, shower with white rectangular tiles

We spend a lot of time in the bathroom – some estimates say it’s over two years throughout the course of a lifetime. Because of this, it makes sense that bathrooms are one of the highest impact places to renovate in your home. 

When it comes to upgrades in the bathroom, choosing the appropriate tile is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Today, we’ll talk about how to choose the best bathroom tile for you and your home.

Types of Tiles for Bathroom Installation

Vinyl Tile 

Pros: Vinyl is the most budget-friendly option, and it’s the most commonly used. It’s durable and easy to install.

Cons: It is sometimes considered less visually appealing than other materials. 

Ceramic Tile

Pros: Glazed ceramic tile comes in a wide variety of designs and colors, and it can be more budget-friendly than porcelain. It’s durable and doesn’t absorb water.

Cons: It’s not as resistant to water as porcelain.

Porcelain Tile

Pros: Slightly better at water resistance than ceramic, porcelain is also extremely durable. It’s also available in a wide variety of styles and colors.

Cons: It does cost more than other options.

Granite Tile

Pros: Highly resistant to stains and moisture, granite is also very strong and can be quite attractive.

Cons: It can be expensive, and it has a particular visual look that may not be desired in every decor scheme. It also requires regular maintenance to preserve the sealer.

Marble Tile 

Pros: Marble comes with a beautiful visual appeal, and it’s prized for the luxurious effect it creates in a bathroom.

Cons: It can be expensive, and it is susceptible to scratches and stains. It’s also a very brittle material, and breaks very easily – it can even be broken with bare hands. In order to stay sturdy, it requires regular sealing.

Remember, you can use different types of tile for different areas of the bathroom. Consider the unique uses of each particular part of the bathroom and how much wear and tear it will be subjected to.

How to Choose Shower Tile

When choosing a tile for your shower, keep in mind that this area will be exposed to the most moisture in the room. Shower tiles must be hardy enough to withstand consistent water, and they’ll likely often stay wet. In general, porcelain is a better choice than ceramic to resist water damage.

How to Choose Bathroom Floor Tile

The floor of your bathroom will be the most susceptible to nicks, scratches, and other damage. Choosing a material that will wear well for the cost is important. The bathroom floor is often subjected to the most cleaning, so tile should be also easy to maintain. 

How to Choose Bathroom Wall Tile

The walls of your bathroom will be subjected to the least amount of direct water exposure, and they won’t be cleaned as vigorously as the flooring. However, they’ll still be receiving a good amount of indirect moisture, so they should be able to withstand some serious dampness.


When choosing a tile for your bathroom wall, floor, or shower, keep in mind that design affects cost. If you’re interested in tiles with an intricate pattern that needs to be closely matched, this will impact labor costs. The more time required, the higher the price of labor. Detailed tile designs need the precise touch of a careful craftsman, which will also increase the cost. 

Cost is also impacted by the tools required to cut and shape the tile. Some materials, like ceramic, can be cut with a wet tile saw or a snap tile cutter fairly easily, and can sometimes be installed by a DIYer. Others, like porcelain, require a wet tile saw and the expertise of a professional. Many tile installers also use a “score and cut” installation, and complicated cuts can be done with an angle grinder with a diamond blade, as well as a wet saw. All materials, methods, and required tools can change the final cost.

Additionally, materials with a higher degree of fragility will cost more, since a surplus will need to be ordered to cover any breakages during installation.

As always, check with your contractor when creating your budget, as material costs are subject to change due to availability and location.

Ceramic Tile: $0.50-$35/square foot

Porcelain Tile: $3-$35/square foot

Granite Tile: $16-$30/square foot

Marble Tile: $5-$25/square foot

Give Us a Call

Modern Touch Contracting uses 20+ years of expertise to bring clients mid-range and above renovations, and we would love to talk with you about your bathroom remodel plans and hear your plans for your individual space. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.