You can have the most marvelous bathroom ever, but an ill choice of tiles can have an absolutely destructive effect on both aesthetics and feelings.
Appropriate tiles, on the other hand, give bathrooms a focal role in the house. Besides, tiles are always a good idea when you need a modest facelift, because they provide brand new looks with almost no renovation.
However, choosing bathroom tiles and installing them is not easy, so be careful when picking the style and the design. While they are simply a decorative feature of other rooms, tiles can be the accent element of your bathroom.
How to choose the best bathroom tiles? First of all, think about colors, shapes, and patterns which you would like. The second step is to make sure such are applicable to your bathroom.
Inspiring moods and feelings
Image source: Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.
Thinking about the emotion you want to inspire is the cornerstone of the tile-planning process. Once you’ve settled this, you’ll have a narrow choice to deal with.
Your solution can also depend on the overall style/theme of your home, since you don’t want your bathroom to appear completely disconnected (for instance, contemporary homes will opt for modest palette choices).
Choosing the proper material
Image source: Carolina V. Gentry, RID
- Glass tiles: Even if glass is a very popular solution for bathrooms, it comes with a ‘heavy’ price tag, and a demand for constant maintenance. Still, making the investment can really pay off, as there is nothing as beautiful and shiny as glass tiles.
- Ceramic tiles: Ceramic tiles come with surprisingly low prices, had we considered their amazing functionality. Thanks to ceramic tiles, you’ll have a sturdy bathroom, easy to maintain, and suitable for all types of decals (your kids will appreciate them!). Its biggest advantage is that they are suitable for painting, or any future redecoration.
- Stone tiles: Stone tiles are a neutral and organic choice, which inspires a deep natural feeling. Besides, there will be a variety of types to choose from, which means you can also go for cute pebbles/rocks and their amazing textural touch.
- Porcelain tiles: Last, but not least, porcelain tiles are the masters of bathroom tiles. They look amazing; and are at the same time highly moisture-resistant (which becomes obvious when you see their price). Still, if the budget allows it-go for them!
Image source: Webber + Studio, Architects
The thing with restricted-size bathrooms is that they are really susceptible to bad color solutions. There should always be harmony and simplicity, with no more than two pastel shades.
Size will be decisive when choosing the color of your tiles, having in mind you can only make this decision twice.
The ‘win-win’ combination for small bathrooms is light palettes (everything from plain white to smooth brown can be an idea). Get creative with pastels, and create your own set of hues. The more you care, the cozier your bathroom will appear in the end.
Image source: C O N T E N T Architecture
Dark and saturated hues (rich brown, deep navy, etc) work perfectly with large, or even oversized bathrooms. They are also a smart choice for extensively bright bathrooms.
Size and shape
Image source: ZeroEnergy Design
The first thing to do is to analyze the layout of your bathroom. Is it big enough? Which shape of tiles could be ideal for it?
Designers suggest us to use large tiles for larger rooms; and small tiles for smaller rooms. However, there is no rule. You are absolutely free to choose the tiles you like!
Luckily for us, manufacturers provide all models, colors, sizes, or shapes of tiles. The most popular idea is rectangular/square tiles, ideally in a neutral color, or with a special pattern that will make the bathroom memorable.
Image source: Chalet
The generally accepted concept is that large tiles are not suitable for small bathrooms, as they visually decrease their size. Still, this is not always true: sometimes, larger tiles have an exactly opposite effect, turning the bathroom into a unique and impressive piece of design.
You would have to choose a tile-set for the floors, walls, and showers/tubs. The most passionate among you could also surround the bathroom with specific mosaics, or apply a small, impressive portion to turn it into a focal point. Still, remember these are just tips. It is your bathroom, and you’re the one who makes the rules!
Image source: Change Your Bathroom, Inc.
The essential consideration in terms of textures is to obtain a floor which is not slippery. Regardless on the tiles you have chosen, a matte finish is likely to solve this problem.
Don’t be too concerned if the walls don’t match: safety is your primary concern (especially if there are children around)! Besides, you can always combine colors with other elements and materials.
Image source: Lake Country Builders
Most of the time, grouting comes on peoples’ minds once they actually face a problem with it. The reason is that people choose tiles without considering their post-grouting appeal.
While there will be no particular issue with the tiles, you might find yourself surrounded by numerous grout lines that ‘suffocate’ the place, and make it appear too busy.
Grouting should also be considered when purchasing a pre-made mosaic. Remember that what you see in the catalogue was not grouted, and will therefore look completely different when you apply it at home.
Before you purchase whatever, ask the vendor whether he could show you a grouted exemplar, and compare it to the result you expected.
Patterns and prints
Image source: Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co.
Think whether you would like to introduce a specific pattern/print in your bathroom. Geometrical patterns, for instance, can be easily achieved with ‘subway tiles’ on them.
Another good idea is to choose an attractive print, and to apply it to your shower enclosure in order to make it unique.
Image source: Dijeau Poage Construction
We don’t like cleaning. Furthermore, we switch from ‘don’t like’ to ‘hate’ when showers and tubes are involved. Why is it so? Maybe it is the wrong choice of tiles that tormented us many times, before we finally decided to replace them.
That’s why porcelain and ceramic tiles are housewives’ favorite choice: they look amazing; and there is almost no maintenance involved (assuming they are properly sealed). Stone, on the other hand, is more prone to grim and dirt; and can be really problematic when applied with textures on it.
Image source: Smart Design Studio
Summing up, glass is not really the maintenance-facilitator you would love; and it can also be very slippery. Have you decided to use it because of its beautiful looks, we recommend you to chose a coated version without textures.
Make it light
Dark bathrooms, or such that have almost no access to natural light, should use lighter tiles to reflect shine, and to disperse it through the entire space.
Bathrooms bathed in direct sunlight should avoid this solution, as even a row of glossy tiles can be enough to create unpleasant glare. Instead, they can benefit from darker tones, or semi-glossy tiles with satin shine.
Make it personal
Image source: Susan Jay Design
It is you and your family’s members that should actually have a final say on tiles’ colors. While unfrequented rooms can ‘sneak out’ with plain tiles, a cozy family bathroom will need more than that.
That’s why you’re welcomed to make bold and vivid choices, or to add child-friendly decals. Older people, on the other hand, can choose a more sophisticated scheme, something like gorgeous grey or creamy white.