Essential Tips for Choosing a Wall Tile for the Bathroom

29 July 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

The wall tile you choose for your bathroom, either just for the shower area or to go over the walls in the entire space, is very important; it needs to be tough and durable but also easy to clean. Mould tends to collect on the face of that tile as well as behind the walls, so you want a durable tile that you can clean with a brush and bleach without damaging the tile itself. You also want a tile that looks good and that is easy to replace if there is damage done. Note a few simple but very essential tips for choosing wall tile for your bathroom.

Abrasion and durability of manmade stone

You want wall tiles, and especially those used in the bathroom where they'll be cleaned often, to be resistant to abrasion. You don't always need to be an expert on manmade stones themselves to make the right choice. Look for what is called the PEI rating, or Porcelain Enamel Institute rating, to determine a manmade stone tile's level of hardness. These ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5; the lower the PEI rating, the more porous the tile and the more likely it is to show abrasions. Tiles used in commercial settings usually have the highest rating, but these can look very industrial. Look for a PEI rating of around three for your bathroom so you can easily clean the tile without damaging it.

Natural stone is not graded according to this PEI scale, so you would need to note if your home can manage the weight of more durable yet heavier stones like limestone or granite. These stones are durable but they may need added bracing along the walls to hold their weight; if you're unsure of how to do this, choose a manmade tile instead.


If you're matching the tiles on the wall with those on the floor, look for a textured stone or other materials. A soft and smooth surface such as limestone can mean more risk of slipping and especially as the surface gets wet.

Replacement tiles

If tiles in the bathroom should get damaged, you want to note how easy and affordable it is to replace them. Subway tiles have a larger size so you can replace one area that's damaged more readily than a section of smaller mosaic tiles. Tiles that are adhered to a web backing rather than large single tiles, such as limestone, can also be easier to cut away and replace when they get cracked or discoloured.

Talk with a contractor from a business like Herrmann Tiles to learn more about your bathroom wall tile options.