Oct 5, 2017

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 nice know how to select the right one for you. Here are a few tips. 

White subway tile is classic and elegant

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. You can express your personality in the tile you select. 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 patterns and textures; using a maximum of 3 different tiles is a good rule of thumb.
Simplicity is elegant. Marble counter and walls paired with patterned shower floor tiles 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 in the shower, or a feature wall covered with a unique pattern or texture.  By making one element your focal point, you'll know how many you need. Splurge on smaller areas and make the tile the most spectacular one you can afford.

Porcelain is a fantastic tile option with a variety of patterns and scale tiles. it's fabulously easy maintenance

4. Take maintenance into consideration.

Everybody loves beautiful tile but in wet areas 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 it 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 builds up on the tile so 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 but you can find stone-like patterns that look real. You can use an epoxy grout designed for repelling stains so wiping the tile down is all the cleaning you'll need to do. Classic ceramic tile needs to be wiped down so water spots disappear, and classic white grout will need upkeep from mold and age. 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. 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 colorway 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.