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Glass Vs Ceramic Tiles: Which is Right for Your Bathroom?

• Under: Bathroom

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When redesigning a space, the aesthetic decisions can be limitless. Tiles are one that can really be confusing, as the colour, design, and pattern can impact your space hugely. Especially in a smaller area, such as a bathroom, the tiles you choose can make or break the look of the room. And to make matters more confusing, the debate between glass vs ceramic tiles doesn’t just stop at aesthetics, but the type of tile you choose matters in terms of longevity, durability, maintenance, and overall feel. So to help you out, we’ve broken down the pros and cons for each type of tile to help you gain a bit more clarity when it comes to making a decision that fits your needs.

Beginning with glass tiles, we’ll look at both the pros and cons

Pros

  1. If you’re tired of the classic look that most people go for, glass tiles are a great way to add some visual appeal to your bathroom. They give off a more elegant and contemporary look compared to traditional tile choices.
  2. Since glass reflects light, this is a great option for bathrooms, especially smaller ones. Your space will seem to be bigger and brighter, giving the room an airier feel.
  3. When it comes to keeping things clean, glass tiles are quite simple to maintain. Residue can easily be wiped away with window cleaner and a soft cloth.
  4. One of the most desirable qualities of glass tiles is its translucent effect. The paint on the wall behind the tiles will show through, giving off a deeper, more lustrous colour. You can choose your paint colour to go with the tiles, allowing for something unique to you.

Cons

  1. While glass tiles are easy to maintain, they are the opposite when it comes to installation. They’re quite difficult to install, thus hiring a professional will almost always be necessary, making the overall cost higher.
  2. Glass tiles are also more expensive per unit, in addition to their installation charges. They are almost double the cost of ceramic tiles, which is why many people choose to use them as accents instead. Glass tiles usually range between $7-$30 per square foot.
  3. Similarly, with stainless steel, glass surfaces are easy to clean, but every imperfection and fingerprint shows through on glass tiles. If cleaning isn’t your forte, or something you’ll not be doing very regularly, these tiles can be irksome.
  4. It’s not recommended to use glass tiles on the floor, as they are slippery and can be hazardous in wet areas like a bathroom. A non-slip sealant can be applied for more grip, however you’d also have to go for a matte finish tile, limiting your options.

How do ceramic tiles measure up? Let’s discuss their pros and cons as well.

Pros

  1. Overall, ceramic tiles are far more cost effective. Coming in at half the cost per unit (or less) compared to glass tiles, ceramic tiles can be used on all surfaces of the bathroom, without breaking the bank. Ceramic tiles usually range between $3-$6 per square foot.
  2. If you were hoping to finish your bathroom yourself, good news! Ceramic tiles are generally easy to install and can be done without a hired professional. Your material cost will already be lower, and you’ll also be saving on labour, making ceramics a much cheaper option.
  3. In terms of longevity and durability, ceramic tiles really do stand up to the mark. If you think your bathroom will be well used, they might be a better investment for the long term.
  4. With a wide variety of colours, designs, patterns and trim options, ceramic tiles are truly customizable to your individual taste. Ceramic tile suppliers are also found most everywhere, making them easily and readily available.

Cons

  1. Ceramic tiles can be very cold on your feet, especially in a place like a bathroom, where you’ll most always be barefoot. A floor mat or rug can help rectify this.
  2. While the tiles are easy to install, ceramic tile suppliers recommend hiring a professional for installation, especially if you’re new to DIY. This will naturally, increase the cost of your project.
  3. Ceramic tiles are handmade, unlike glass tiles. Some people might enjoy the small variabilities, but others may not. Handmade tiles can break more easily when installing them, which might be another reason to hire a professional.

When designing your space, having a design intention is wise. What look are you going for, and are you prioritizing budget or aesthetic? Glass tiles are contemporary, modern and give a more high-end and elegant finish, but with the high costs involved, you really must be sure before taking the plunge. Ceramic tiles are available in a much larger range, allowing you to pick and choose with more flexibility. Here, you get a budget-friendly look and one that’s more customizable.

Depending on your own individual preferences, the decision is in your hands! Which one is right for your bathroom?  

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