Oct 21, 2015

Selecting the right bathroom tile

When it's time to update your bath your main surfaces will often be tile. With all of the selections available at home improvement stores & tile showrooms, it's good to know how to select the right one for you. Here are a few tips. 

White subway tile is classic and elegant this installation is updated instead of using an alternating lie. 

1. Select your favorite tile first. Whether you love a clean style and desire subway tile have or have seen a beautiful accent tile that you would love to use in your shower or as a backsplash, select that tile first. From there, your overall palette and design can be developed. Remember that you can express your personality in the tile you selected. How about a fabulous color? A beautiful pattern? All of the elements of your bath should flow from your main choice. 

A pattern inset is the focal point

2. Don't overwhelm your design with too many different tiles.

Bathrooms generally require shower tile, tub surround, backsplash, and floor tile at a minimum. Once you have selected your main "must-have" tile, you can develop a wonderful design by selecting complementary tiles for every other surface. It's a good idea not to overwhelm your bath with multiple patterns and textures; using three different tiles is a good rule of thumb.

Simplicity is elegant. Marble counter and walls paired with patterned shower floor tiles are perfect in a craftsman bath.

3. Use one tile as your focal point. Since bathrooms are generally small, it's a great idea to select a "wow" tile as your focal point or feature tile. That might be the backsplash behind your mirrors, a pattern on the floor, a fabulous inset on the shower walls, or even a feature wall covered with a unique pattern or texture.  By making one element your focal point, you might also be able to use less tile and therefore make that tile the most spectacular one you can afford.

Porcelain is a fantastic tile option with a variety of pattern and scale and fabulously easy maintenance

4. Take maintenance into consideration.

Everybody loves beautiful tile but in areas that are often wet there can be a great deal of maintenance. Stone requires a lot of care whether it's used in the shower or the floor of your entire bathroom. Since it is porous, it must be sealed on a regular basis; even during the installation process may need to be grouted to fill in holes. Bars of soap or not ideal for use in the shower with stone tile since a scummy film generally builds up on the tile and cleaning can be challenging.  Porcelain is a fabulous choice and is available in fantastic patterns, colors and sizes. It requires less maintenance than stone, because it's  non-porous. You can use an epoxy grout designed for repelling stains so wiping the tile down is all you need to do to. Classic ceramic tile is always easy and requires the same care as porcelain. Glass tiles are fabulous for walls, but not for floors because they're too slippery. They do require daily maintenance because water spots will form if you don't wipe them down.

The tile mix and change of scale makes this bathroom classic & elegant

5. Consider scale.

If you love a particular tile, look to see what other sizes it is available in. Often you can use a large version on the floor, a smaller version on the walls – combined with an accent tile – and even smaller – 1" x 1" or 2" x 2" – for the shower floor for slip resistance. Finding the same tile in a different color way also works well.  The new format of porcelain tiles allows you to do large-scale flooring and walls, and smaller decorative accent tile quite easily