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Five Tips When Tiling A Bathroom

September 23, 2022

It's possible that the tiles you choose for you new bathroom will bring the design to the next level with a little thoughtful planning. I've compiled five common questions I'm asked regularly which are important decisions you will need to make during the planning stage of your bathroom.

1. To tile floor to ceiling or not?

2. To add a feature or accent tile?

3. Matt or gloss tiles?

4. Which tiles for the wall?

5. Which tiles for the floor?


One ~ This is a big decision and one a lot of people struggle with other than being a price-based decision - more tiles, higher cost ... we weigh up your options. There are essentially three main ways to tile bathroom walls. One, a skirting tile only. Very low cost option as the bulk of the walls are painted or wall-papered. Great opportunity here to add alternative colour and character. Two, tile to mid-way, around waist height. This gives an opportunity to have a decorative border if the style you are going for calls for this. Also a good option for a low-key bathroom not requiring a luxurious look. Can look great whilst still very durable and heard-wearing. Three, tiling from floor to ceiling definitely adds the Wow! factor. The walls will be able to be fully washed down if necessary and easy to wipe down. The room feels larger, a great option for smaller-sized bathrooms. It's so important to choose the right tile here to not only avoid a stark feeling but to aim for longevity as you are investing.


Two ~ As a rule of thumb, three different tile types in a bathroom is ample - any more and you risk it feeling too busy. The first thing to consider is which wall would you choose for your feature tile and focus on maintenance for now. A feature tile is generally smaller or patterned and possibly requires more grout lines. I advise to use these within your shower space as a last resort, purely as cleaning them will be more time-consuming. Look at your vanity wall or bath wall as the best options. For smaller bathrooms, maybe tile a wall niche with something a little exciting as your feature.


Three ~ Matt or gloss tiles are certainly a personal preference. My best advice is to mix it up a little ... maybe matt wall tiles with a gloss feature tile or vice versa. Matt tiles are more likely to hide soap marks or water drops than gloss due to the fact they reflect less light. If you love a more light reflective surface then gloss will help bounce more light around the room. Although they show up marks more than matt, gloss tiles are actually easier to wipe down.


Four ~ If choosing gloss tiles, these are better suited for walls. They can be used on floors if they are cared for properly and are anti-slip. Matt tiles on walls in bathrooms require better lighting as they do not reflect the light as well as a gloss wall tile. Gloss tiles will 'open up' a smaller bathroom in this instance. Now onto size ... smaller bathrooms typically look better with larger-scale tiles. Fewer grout lines makes for a less cluttered look. In short, larger tiles make a small room appear bigger.


Five ~ The most commonly used tiles for bathroom floors are ceramic or porcelain tiles. They are both highly durable. Porcelain tiles are generally harder and denser which means they can handle heavier traffic. They are more stain and water resistant and less likely to chip or scratch. In saying that, you can expect to pay a little more for porcelain tiles but they are more cost-effective than other options such as mosaics, terrazzo or natural stone. Similar rules of the size of tiles apply to floors as for walls - less grout lines in a smaller space creates an illusion of spaciousness. Bathrooms with angles or curves would suit a smaller size tile as it is difficult to lay large tiles in irregular-shaped rooms. It is usually up to your personal taste when considering the colour of you floor tiles, however, as a rule of thumb whilst dark floor tiles can hide some dirt, they can also make a room appear smaller. I advise to keep colours light if the bathroom lacks natural light - however too light could show up more dirt and marks.

I hope these tips help you with the abundance of choice available to us. See below for my bonus hot tip when considering tile size.

One thing we didn't cover here is how to choose your colour, pattern and texture scheme ... I feel another blog coming on!!

As part of my bathroom design service, I compile a materials and finishes board showing tile choices alongside other items in your bathroom. This gives you a complete picture of how each of the elements work together.

Got a bathroom or kitchen project? I'm here to help!

Bonus Hot Tip: If using large-scale tiles for walls with niches, allow extra tiles for wastage due to having to cut them to fit in and around the niche.

Let's get your space looking great!
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