A Guide To Materials And Finishes For A Bathroom
Your bathroom is the most frequently used space in your home. Hence, it would be best if you designed a bathroom that can handle moisture, traffic and dirt without looking like a run-down shed. All this can take a toll on your bathroom flooring and cabinets and therefore it is imperative to choose a set of materials and finishes that can stand the test!
Choosing the right set of bathroom materials and finishes can be a challenging task if you are not a professional. Now you may wonder why? This is because bathroom materials and finishes are not entirely the same you would use in your kitchen, bedroom or living room.
Nope they are not!
And to make your life simpler and answer all your queries we have here a guide to bathroom materials and finishes to help you make an informed decision.
Materials For Bathroom Flooring
Bathroom flooring needs to be a little different than your living room and bedrooms because it is a wet zone. The idea is to incorporate durable, waterproof, moisture-resistant and safe flooring. Here’s a lowdown of the different types of flooring materials that work best in bathrooms.
Anti-slip tiles as the name suggests are tiles developed with a coating that protects you from the risk of slipping. This coating maintains a great level of friction even when it’s wet or slippery. They are perfect for pools and bathroom flooring, particularly when you have kids or ageing parents at home. They have all the qualities of other tiles such as resistance to heat, stain and water. This apart from being extremely durable, anti-slip tiles are available in a variety of shapes and colours for you to choose from. These tiles are best used in kids’, guests or common area bathrooms. So basically if you have kids or elderly folk using a bathroom be sure to design it with anti-slip tiles.
Vitrified tiles are manufactured by vitrification which is the strengthening of tiles by combining it with quartz, silica or feldspar at high temperatures. This process coats tiles with a layer of glass that gives it a sleek look. This further adds strength and makes the tiles water and scratch-resistant. This type of tile is a great pick for master bathroom flooring. However, do note that vitrified tiles are a wee-bit slippery when wet and soapy therefore are not an excellent choice for kids’, shared, or guest bathrooms.
Ceramic or porcelain was first invented in China in the 15th century. Modern ceramic tiles have come a long way since ancient times. They are dense, strong and durable which means they can be used in wet zones like a shower area or even in the entire bathroom. They are available in a range of shapes and sizes, are water, stain, and heat resistant that makes them an ideal pick for bathroom flooring.
Slate is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It is commonly used for roof tiling but can also be used as matte finish tiles for bathroom. These finely foliated tiles are highly durable and are available in a white range of colours. Slate tiles are also anti-slippery in nature due to their rough texture. These tiles work best in rustic and industrial style bathrooms as well as those used by kids or aged folk.
Used by artisans since ancient times and known for its glossy appeal, marble is a naturally occurring stone. It is predominantly white in colour with veins of a darker shade blended in. They are available in a wide range of colours from pinks to blues, blacks and greys. They are resistant to water and heat but are not very durable and can crack easily. Marble is therefore a wrong choice for a kids bathroom or one used by ageing parents.. Marble adds a sense of luxury and class to any space making it an excellent option for master bathroom flooring.
Also, Explore more about Bathroom Floor Tiles Design
Bathroom Materials And Finishes For Vanity And Storage Cabinets
When it comes to choosing bathroom materials and finishes for bathroom cabinetry, we recommend opting for waterproof materials. Avoid materials that are not resistant to moisture and water like MDF and HDF. A lot of homeowners fancy solid wood for their bathroom cabinets, but this material is not ideal for bathrooms as it tends to expand in humid weather or when moist.
Listed below are the materials and finishes we recommend for vanity and cabinets.
High-Density High Moisture Resistant(HDHMR) board is made by combining fibre chips, forest wood waste to form a single layer that makes it a robust higher density board. It is a durable material, and one that’s extremely resistant to moisture and water, making it an ideal material for bathroom vanity and storage cabinets.
When it comes to bathroom materials, tiles are always the most preferred choice. Besides walls and flooring, tiles can also be used on a vanity unit and bathroom countertop sink as well. You can choose between glass, patterned or even penny tiles.
Besides flooring, marble is also great to use as a vanity bathroom countertop sink. This lustrous material is perfect for a vanity bathroom countertop sink as that’s usually the centrepiece in any bathroom. A marble countertop manages to add much-needed drama to the vanity area.
If you wish to add storage cabinets in your bathroom, with a base material like HDHMR, it’s essential to use a finish that is water and moisture resistant as well. Laminate is an excellent choice when it comes to choosing a finish for your bathroom cabinets. It can withstand water and moisture, is available in a range of colours, patterns, textures and budget ranges, making it fit for everyone.
Also, Read more about Bathroom Storage Ideas
Bathroom Materials For Fixtures
Stainless fixtures are chrome plated to prevent rusting. They are highly durable to wear and tear. They come in a huge selection of designs from many manufacturers and can be found in every price range.
Aluminium fixtures are an alternative to steel as they are resistant to rusting and are usually preferred by interior designers working on projects in regions with high salt content in the air such as coastal regions. This metal is not an ideal choice as aluminium is not a strong material and hence is mainly used to build shelves, trays, towel racks and the like. Reputed brands will have accessories that are anodized. This is a chemical process that renders the fixtures with a durable black finish and made from alloys to make them strong yet lightweight.
Copper bathroom fixtures can be either made of solid copper or electrochemically coated with copper. They come in a wide range of designs like steel but are generally more expensive. You can also opt for different finishes from matte to high gloss depending on the look you want to achieve. It is not advisable to buy copper accessories from unknown brands as they can easily destroy and leave a green coloured residue of copper salts. Hence reputed brands will use alloys of copper and specially treated ones to prevent corrosion.
Plastic bathroom accessories are the least expensive of all and are available in endless designs, shapes and pieces. Plastic is not popular among most homeowners as they look cheap and can ruin the look of your style. This should be your last resort and only if you are working on a tight budget or if you plan to design a home to be rented. However, plastic fixtures can be used in kids bathrooms as they are easy to replace and come in a variety of colours.
We hope this guide helps you make an informed decision!