Until you start on a bathroom renovation, it seems quite simple. The bathroom is generally one of the smallest rooms in the house. There are clear ‘must haves’ – bath, shower, toilet, vanity, some towel rails and a mirror. And tiles – just choose a colour…? Unfortunately there’s a lot more to consider when choosing new tiles for a bathroom. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll just pop into the tile shop on the weekend and have the tiles ready for trades on Monday. This should be one of the first jobs you do in your bathroom planning, some tiles can take up to 8 weeks if they aren’t in stock at your tile shop.
The tiles you choose can add sophistication or make a statement, and they really form the foundation of the style of your room. Generally you will need up to 3 tile choices for 1 bathroom – walls, floor, and feature/ accent tile. So with that in mind, make sure you allow yourself enough time to research your options and what will work best to make the most of your bathroom space. Here are a few points to take into consideration when choosing tiles.
Size of tiles
There are many size options when it comes to tiles, 75 x 150mm, 300 x 100; 300 x 300; 400 x 400; 300 x 600; 600 x 600; 600 x 1200mm! Your choice of tile size really comes down to personal preference and the look you are trying to achieve. Large tiles are on trend at the moment, especially for floors. Creating a modern look, they lend themselves well to larger bathrooms. Larger tiles help to create space and make rooms look larger, they flow nicely with less grout lines. However, in a smaller bathroom, if you go too large, they can look out of proportion and make the room look smaller again. Laying the tiles in a diagonal pattern on the floor can also make a small bathroom look larger. Consider the size of your room, when choosing tile size.
Subways are still on trend for splashbacks and walls, and small mosaics and feature tile can add sophistication and personalisation to your bathroom. There are lots of different shapes and designs – hexagon, arabesque, lantern, chevron, herringbone, fan and patchwork.
We personally love these hexagon marble tiles.
Style and colour
There are so many different colours, patterns, styles and potential mosaic and feature options, the choices are endless. Neutral options are recommended to create light in bathrooms, but dark colours can add an additional element of sophistication and luxury. Patterned tiles can also look great in small or large bathrooms, use them on either a feature wall or the floor and keep the rest fairly neutral so they make a statement. Geometric, bold patterns are great options at the moment.
Grout colour also needs to be considered, and can be difficult – how many different greys can there really be? Rather than matching grout colour, try using a contrasting darker colour to create interest. Also consider how much time you have for maintenance and cleaning in your bathroom when choosing grout colour. We all know how hard it is to get that brand new finished look back again, and over cleaning with too many chemicals can also eat away at the grout.
Type of tile
We’re afraid your budget may play a factor in your decision here. Natural stone is both beautiful and durable. It can add a gorgeous textural element to your bathroom. Natural stone also comes with a price premium. They are also usually heavier, harder to cut, are very porous (require special stone sealer) and generally more difficult to work with. So… they will cost more in labour as well. If you use it, make sure you choose a professional tiling contractor with lots of experience laying natural stone.
Porcelain tiles are great for wet areas, they have a really low water absorbency and are extremely durable. If you love the marble look, but your hip pocket can’t handle it, there are great marble look porcelain tiles available, beautiful imitation that adds the same 5 star look.
There are also many different tile finishes and textures, make sure you speak to your tile shop and tiling contractor about the best product to suit your needs.
Don’t forget the Shower Niche
A great way to create a seamless flow with clean lines in the bathroom, and prevent a trip hazard clutter of bottles on the shower floor is to have your tiler tile in a shower niche (soap recess). Keeping bath and shower products in easy reach, these add great functionality to the shower, and even to the bath. Your recess or niche can either be the same tile as the shower wall, creating seamless lines, or you can make it a feature with some contrasting statement tiles inside.
This beautiful patchwork of patterned tiles looks incredible with the cleverly set out niche seamlessly integrated.
A Final word on Maintenance
When choosing your tiles, think about maintenance. Natural stone is a high maintenance girl, and needs to be resealed and looked after regularly. Porcelain is a bit more laid back, and won’t take up so much of your time. Think about how often you really want to spend cleaning the bathroom rather than relaxing in it.
When you have chosen tiles and your new bathroom is complete, keep it looking gorgeous and brand new by not over do it with cleaning chemicals. You can shop our natural bathroom cleaning products here.