Most homeowners tend to overlook the aspect of safety when choosing bathroom tiles and instead prioritize other aspects such as style, color, cost, material, and durability. However, safety is also an important element to consider especially in homes with small children or older individuals.
Why Do You Need Safety in the Bathroom Anyway?
Slippery bathroom flooring is a potential for injury for both children and adults alike. In 2010 alone, there were about 2.3 million cases of nonfatal fall related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is worth noting that 10% of these falls happened in home settings, with a majority of them related to slippery bathroom floors.
The good news is you can take certain measures to reduce fall related accidents in your bathroom. Such measures include installing support rails, shower room chairs, or having the floor surface etched. Nevertheless, you can only be sure of slip prevention by choosing friction proof bathroom tiles. Here are some good examples of safe non-slip tiles for your bathroom:
* Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Ceramic is one of the most popular bathroom flooring options because of its longevity, ease of cleaning, scratch resistance, mold resistance, and surface attractiveness. However, it is important to note that ceramic is naturally slippery. For instance, large highly glazed ceramic tiles are quite slippery.
Fortunately, most tile companies have developed anti-slip ceramic tiles. Such tiles generally have a honed marble or stone matt finish, which is less slippery in comparison to glazed tiles. Porcelain also undergoes etching treatment to mimic the rough look and texture of natural stone such as travertine.
– For additional information about Bathroom Remodeling on a Budget, check these tips on Ottawa’s page >> Bathroom Renovations on a Shoestring Budget.
* Vinyl Bathroom Tiles
Vinyl is a popular flooring option because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to install, comfortable and durable. They provide great traction even when wet. They also feature an under layer beneath their surface, which can somewhat reduce the impact of falling.
Manufacturers have developed nonslip vinyl tiles suitable for bathrooms. These tiles do not require grouting since flooring experts mount them against each other. Nevertheless, bathroom vinyl tiles may start lifting from the floor due to high humidity. Of course, loose or lifting tiles are a safety hazard since they can lead to trips and falls, so it would be wise to repair them immediately.
For more on installing Vinyl Tiles, see our post Installing Dry Back Vinyl Tile.
* Wood and Cork Bathroom Tiles
Wooden tiles such as parquet are warm to the feet and offer great traction. However, they are prone to water damage. Wooden tiles begin to fade once they absorb water. To prevent such a scenario, tile fitters use polyurethane on the corners of such tiles to make them waterproof. However, this is a costly undertaking considering the cost of purchase and installation.
If you are working on a budget, cork tiles are a great option. Besides providing warmth, these tiles come in various shades to match different bathroom designs. Cork tiles with a rough finish offer great slip protection, are superb options for a rustic bathroom theme. For more on Cork Flooring in Bathroom, see Lisa Smith‘s post – Using Cork Flooring in a Bathroom.
* Glass Tiles
The idea of glass material for bathroom flooring might seem far-fetched. However, glass tiles are a great alternative to conventional tiles, particularly due to their safety properties. Manufacturers use tempered glass to render glass tiles almost unbreakable. What’s more, small glass tiles have numerous joints that make them slip resistant. Finally, you can use glass tiles to create lovely aesthetic illusions.
While a contemporary bathroom is featured in this post, tile flooring composed of smaller tiles (Read: more grout lines) is generally considered to be more slip resistant. Hence, it’s popularity in wet locations such as showers. For a cool article on tiling a shower, see our article – Installing a Zero Clearance Shower Drain.
Safety should be the topmost priority when installing bathroom tiles. Fortunately, most tile manufacturers offer a wide variety of anti-slip, safe bathroom tiles that you can use to enhance both bathroom style as well as safety – consequently preventing potentially dangerous falls. For more on the topic, a ranking from AgeInPlace.org – Best and Worst Bathroom Flooring for Aging in Place Safety.
For more from us on flooring in general, please see our Flooring category. Cheers. ~jb