There are many options for wall and floor materials when renovating a bathroom. One very popular option is porcelain. Before choosing your bathroom materials you may be asking yourself: Is Porcelain Good for a Bathroom?
Porcelain is often used for bathrooms because porcelain is durable and nonabsorbent, which means it should not discolor over time. Porcelain is an easy to clean strong material that is available in an assortment of designs and price points. Overall porcelain is a very popular and safe choice for bathroom floors and walls.
I am Jorge Fontan an architect in New York and owner of Fontan Architectrue. I am going to discuss some reasons why porcelain has become a very popular material for bathrooms walls and floors. All photos below (as in all my posts) are from homes we built or renovated.
Porcelain is Nonporous / Nonabsorbent
The surface of porcelain is very dense and hard. This makes the material more resistant to discoloration because it does not absorb as much as other materials may. Porcelain is more likely to keep its color and tone over time making it a good choice if durability is important to you.
Easy To Clean
Porcelain tile is generally easy to clean. Usually, anything on it just wipes off. You can clean it with just water or a solution of water and a small amount of white vinegar.
Wide Range of Colors & Designs
Porcelains are going to come in a very wide range of colors and designs. Some are made to look like marble or even concrete and others are solid colors. They can even have textures to them. I always advise seeing samples in person before purchasing porcelain tiles.
As an architect in New York, we have a huge availability of showrooms to visit to see examples of different finishes. I like to see and touch tiles before making a final decision to purchase.
We have another post on Gray Bathroom Design that features several porcelain bathrooms if you are interested.
Inexpensive Compared to Marble
In general porcelain comes in a range of price points. If you compare porcelain tile to marble, it can be around one third the price of marble.
In the photo below we have a porcelain bathroom from one of our projects where we used a Statuary Marble look porcelain tile. Although there is no real comparison between the look of porcelain to marble it is a pretty good approximation especially to the untrained eye.
Available in Large Format
Large format tiles also commonly referred to as slabs are a great way to elevate a bathroom design. Slabs look more luxurious, but also cost more. Large format tiles reduce the number of grout lines and if you get pieces large enough you may be able to do one full piece from floor to ceiling. As you can see in the Manhattan apartment we designed below where we used large format porcelain tiles from Porcelanosa.
My favorite thing about porcelain tiles is that they can be used to create a modern bathroom design. At our firm we tend towards modern design and most of our clients are looking for modern or transitional home interiors. Porcelain comes in enough options that you will easily be able to make a modern bathroom.
In the photo below we have a very modern and somewhat industrial looking bathroom from a Manhattan Loft Apartment that we renovated a few years ago. We used a gray industrial looking porcelain tile to be consistent with the loft feel of the apartment. If you want to read more on modern bathrooms I have another post I wrote on How to Deign a Modern Bathroom.
Can Have 3D Accents
Porcelain can also come in 3D Accent Tiles. These are tiles with a three-dimensional texture that you can install to pop out and give a little extra design to your bathroom.
Porcelain is an overall good choice for a bathroom but there are other options. As an architect when I design homes for people, I am looking to make the right bathroom for them. Personal taste, budget, and preferences are all important factors when selecting finish materials. Porcelain can be a good choice for someone who does not care about natural stones and who wants a durable long-lasting option that will still look good.
Thank You for Reading Our Blog Post on Why Porcelain is a Good Choice For Bathrooms.
I hope this was helpful. If you would like to speak with an architect about a potential project, you can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.