Lifespan: 20 years with low quality tile/installation, 30-50+ with high quality tile and proper installation.
One of the most versatile floor types, tile is incredibly resilient, especially to water, with proper maintenance. This is a major perk over other flooring types, particularly when it comes to flooring for your bathroom. When it comes to replacing tile, usually you only need to replace the damaged tile(s) rather than the whole floor.
More often than not, tile is made from ceramic or porcelain, though tile can be found in stone like marble and granite. Porcelain is more water-resistant and stronger than ceramic, both are susceptible to chipping and cracking when heavy items are dropped on them. If there’s a crack, you may want to replace the tile(s) to prevent leaking water from damaging the subfloor and causing further issues.
Grout issues are among the most pervasive problems for tile that may call for replacement. As a very porous material, grout is not easy to maintain or clean, so it can be a hotspot for issues. If not properly and routinely sealed, grout can absorb moisture and grime, which can lead to stains, rotting, mold, or internal damage. Standing water damages grout, not necessarily the tile. Water damage can lead to loosened tiles and leaks into the subfloor, which can further impact how tiles sit. Tiles may buckle or crack with changes due to water damage in the subfloor.
Also, if grout isn’t mixed and applied correctly, it can crack or lead the surrounding tile to crack, particularly if the substrate/subfloor material behind the tile isn’t secure. The latter situation certainly calls for replacement grout or tiles.