Choosing Your Bathroom Surfaces
There are two main choices to consider when picking out your bathroom surfaces - tiles and glass blocks. Tiles have been used for years and are popular with home designers. Glass block is a new and beautiful solution for your bathroom decor.
Tiled floors can crack along the grout lines unless there is a leveled, solid surface beneath it. The floor under tile has to be at least one inch thick. The best surface to lay under tiles is backerboard. It's a cement-like, reinforced material that is sold in sheets. Backerboard resists moisture and adds thickness to the floor.
Some tiles, like stone or rustic quarry tiles are very heavy. Most bathrooms are small enough to handle the weight of such tiles, but if the room is relatively large, have an architect or a structural engineer examine the floor to make sure it can hold the tile weight. This applies to tiles put down on the floor and up on the walls alike.
The tiles that you use for your bathroom floor have to grip underfoot. Such porous tiles as quarry are beautiful, but must be sealed after installation. Porcelain and glazed tiles can be installed without sealing. Use the same principle if you are tiling the countertop.
Tiled walls don't need as much care as the floors, because the water will always roll down. You can make the bathroom look very stylish and personal by adding some painted and textured tiles, borders and special edges. Just keep in mind that these touches will cost more than plain tiles. Compliment the tiled walls by having matching accessories in your bathroom.
There are two main types of grout you can use. Standard one is cement-based grout. It can be made stronger and bond better with latex additives. A stronger choice is epoxy-based grout. It's stain and water resistant, but also costs more. Grout has to be sealed, because it's porous. Try to purchase grout that is mildew resistant.
Glass block is a relatively new option for bathroom walls and floors. It's great, because it preserves the privacy, while letting in maximum light. It resists water and is easy to clean and maintain.
Glass blocks can be prefabricated or built on site. There are many choices of glass and block designs. If glass blocks are put together using plastic or silicone building systems, this will ensure square and level installation of windows and walls. They are also great insulators for bathroom interior.