Photo features Artea Stone Bathroom Tile 6-1/2 x 6-1/2 in Antico.

Updating Your Bathroom Tiles Can Help Sell Your Home

Professional Realtors often advise home sellers to make small changes that make a big difference in a potential buyer's first impression. Flowers in the garden, a freshly painted interior, and countertops devoid of clutter all help home buyers visualize the true potential of a home. But what about the bathroom? New bathroom tiles and other small remodeling projects can help update this all-important space. Here are some design ideas to help you spruce up your home with new bathroom tiles before you open your doors to potential buyers.

Add a Few Tiles to Make a Big Difference

Over time, a few of your floor tiles may shift slightly or crack, or old shower tiles may become discolored. Rather than risking home buyers noticing one or two unsightly tiles, consider replacing these tiles with new updated tile. If you've kept a box of extra tiles from the original tile installation, then you'll probably have the best chance at matching up the colors. Keep in mind that even if you replace the tiles with the same brand, it could show noticeable variation between different dye lots. Therefore, in some cases, a replacement tile may be even more obvious than a crack.

If you decide to replace the cracked or discolored tiles, start by removing the surrounding grout with the help of a handheld grout-removal tool. Next, gently pry the broken tile off the wall or floor using a hammer and chisel or screwdriver, and then examine the underlying backerboard or subfloor to determine if additional repairs are needed. Adhere the new tiles using thin-set mortar. Once the tiles are set, you'll need to reapply grout and try to match the rest of the room's grout color as closely as possible.

You might be wondering when a crack is indicative of a larger problem. Usually, one or two small cracks aren't an issue. If the crack extends through an entire tile and into several others, you may want to check the subflooring and waterproof membrane under the tiles to ensure that you have the proper support. If your tiles are just discolored, this can be avoided with regular cleaning and proper ventilation. For example, turning on the bathroom fan for 20 minutes or opening the windows after a shower can help air out the space and decrease humidity levels. This will help your tile stay looking fresh for years to come.

Liven Up the Space with a Backsplash

If you're looking to update an older bathroom, a glass tile backsplash is an immediate upgrade that will capture the attention of potential buyers. Mosaic glass tile can dress up neutral bath decor, and the light-reflecting capabilities of glass will brighten the room. Marazzi's Crystal Stone mosaic tile is a perfect option. It combines the beauty of natural stone with the translucence of glass, and will instantly modernize your bathroom. You can also add a twist to a classic white color scheme by installing oversized wall tiles. For example, Marazzi's Oxford tiles are three-dimensional, made of glazed porcelain, and will give your bathroom a unique flair.

Photo features Crystal Stone 12 x 12 in Caramel.

Once you've settled on your choice of bathroom tile, a backsplash is a quick job that can be easily be incorporated into your bathroom before the staging process. Most mosaic glass tiles are sold in prearranged patterns with mesh backing. The interlocking sheets can be easily lined up and applied to your wall, followed by your choice of grout. Using a basic pattern, ceramic or porcelain tiles can also be used to cover a small wall area, such as the back of a vanity, to add an additional element of style to your bathroom that new buyers will love.

Incorporate Glass Accent Tile

The beauty of glass alongside the natural light and airiness of an updated bathroom never fails to enhance the look of the space. Rather than using glass in one concentrated area, such as a backsplash, consider incorporating glass tile accents throughout the room. Glass bathroom tiles can brighten up your shower with their luminescent effect. Try incorporating them behind open shelving or in shelving niches. These are fun ways to not only play with color, but to reflect the natural light of the space. A one- or two-row border of glass tile is also a great design element. It can be used as an accent on top of wainscoting, or just to add contrast to a monochromatic color scheme.

Enhance Design with Decorative Tiles

Another home project to consider for your bathroom is to add decorative tiles around the tub or shower. Decorative or accent tiles can strategically highlight the most attractive parts of your bathroom, and can bring attention to other recent updates. Add a row of glass tiles on the wall behind a soaking tub or frame an over-sized wall mirror with smaller tiled accents, for example. The beauty of the tile will help create a focal point that will stay with those touring your home long after they've left.

Add Natural-Looking Beauty

Recent trends in bathroom design utilize natural elements to create a serene, spa-like atmosphere. One way to create a natural look, but still retain the benefits of tile in your bathroom, is through the use of wood-look floor tile. Wood-look plank-shaped tiles combine the benefits of porcelain with the artisanal look of hardwood flooring. The porcelain surface is easy to clean and stands up well to stains. Simply grab a broom and sweep away dust when an expected buyer requests a showing. To complete the natural look of your bathroom, add natural greens by placing small planters around the tub and opening the windows to allow natural light to seep inside.

Photo features American Estates 9 x 36 in Natural.

After Tiling, Stage the Bath

Once your new bathroom tiles are installed and ready to go, you're ready to stage your room. A thorough cleaning is a must, including the removal of any mold or mildew stains. If older grout is discolored, clean it and reseal it if possible. Then remove clutter from your vanity tops or use tinted glass containers to add sparkle and help organize toiletries. Lastly, hide personal objects in your bathroom, including picture frames. The goal is to make the room appear simple, yet welcoming. This helps new buyers visualize themselves in your home.

You want to sell your house for the price it's worth, so don't let outdated decor stop you. Ask a Realtor for an honest evaluation of your home before you put it on the market. Some buyers may have trouble looking past older bathroom floor tiles and color schemes, and it's better to understand potential issues before you begin showing your home. A quick refresh to the tile can result in a beautifully redone bath, which will be a strong selling point.