How do I choose Bathroom Tiles?

Choosing bathroom tiles for small bathrooms is not easy.  It seems like the possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing the right bathroom tiles for such a small room.  You’ll be faced with hundreds of different wall, floor and feature tiles to consider, with a choice in size, colour, texture and type. 

It’s easy to get swept up in current trends for bathroom tiles. Remember choose bathroom tiles you like as you may need to live with them for years to come.  Furthermore, it is important to take the time to find out what  bathroom tiles you love and what will best suit your bathroom and your style.

Need help with choosing bathroom tiles? 

7 Tips for Choosing the Right Bathroom Tiles

1. Take your time

Don’t rush your selection. First of all, ensure you have your bathroom tiles selected well in advance of when the tiler is due to start on site. Prior planning is important for the reason that it will save you a lot of stress.

Allocate to visit a tile showroom with an interior designer at the planning stage. You can't rush choosing your bathroom tiles, so I recommend allowing at least an hour or two with a designer. This gives you time to consider different combinations and as a result enough time to find the right tiles to complement your bathroom style.

2. Do Your Homework

You may think it is all about colour when it comes to choosing bathroom tiles. Similarly, it is important to understand the different types of materials and what they are most suitable for. Below is a list of the most common types of tiles used in bathrooms.

      • Porcelain tiles – porcelain tiles offer strong advantages when it comes to design as their strength allows for endless application in both interior and exterior design. First of all, porcelain tiles are suitable for any wall or floor application. As a result, porcelain is great for bathroom in terms of wear and tear especially in high traffic areas. Furthermore, porcelain tiles offer a hard-wearing surface that is resistant to stains, scratches and they are easy to clean and maintain.

      • Ceramic tiles – are a popular tile surface for kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, powder rooms or other wet areas. The glazed surface of the tile makes the tile dense and non-porous which certainly gives the characteristic of stain, fire and slip resistant. Ceramic tiles come in many finishes, including matt, satin, gloss and polished. As a result, you have endless options for the walls and floors of your bathroom. They are also easy to clean and maintain.

      • Stone tiles – these are beautiful tiles for a more natural feel. Stone tiles come in an array of colours and styles including marble, limestone, travertine, slate and granite. If you have your heart set on natural stone tiles, remember they are porous which consequently means they will absorb water, oils and stains that are left for long periods of time. For that reason, it is recommended that stone tiles are sealed immediately after being laid.  Furthermore periodical resealing is recommended to keep your stone looking its best and prevent any stains or damage.

      • Mosaic tiles – these tiles are great for creating a unique feature in any bathroom design. The endless options in colour, style and size will leave you in awe. I cannot deny how great a mosaic tile can look in a bathroom but beware as they can be slippery when wet. For that reason, be sure to check the slip wear rating when choosing mosaic tiles for any floor surface in your bathroom. Glass mosaic tiles are easy to clean but you will also need to clean the grout and the more grout you have the more cleaning that will be needed.

3. Understand Tile Slip and Wear Ratings

I mentioned slip wear for mosaic tiles before. While its not the most exciting part of choosing bathroom tiles, it is important in keeping you and your family safe. Tiles undergo a slip rating test that assesses the frictional characteristic of the surface to detect what is best suited to different environments. As a result, wear ratings measure the long-term wear throughout the life of the floor.

Safety is paramount and you also want your bathroom to look good, so when choosing bathroom tiles for the floor take note of the tile slip ratings and the tile wear ratings. If you're not sure, check with your interior designer or tile showroom.

4. Select your Tile Colour Carefully

I love how great a bathroom can look when my clients' tiles are the perfect colours to reflect their style and personality. Before we get there though, it is important to consider the basics of colour selection; lighter colours create a feeling of space in small bathrooms while in contrast, dark colours can close a space in. Neutral colours are a great choice for bathrooms for the reason that you can add colour and style with accessories to really create your perfect sanctuary.

When selecting bathroom tiles you will see that there is an endless amount of colours to choose from. Almost always it can seem overwhelming. In contrast, an experienced interior designer can be a great asset to you for the reason that even a slight variation can change the whole look of your bathroom.

Modern Bathroom with White Vanity Bella Vie Interiors
Design by Bella Vie Interiors

5. Choose the Right Tile Size

You would think colour was the hardest part of selecting a bathroom tile. In contrast, you need to look at tile size and that option is almost as overwhelming as the colour. Most importantly the size of the tile is going to be influenced by the size of your bathroom. If you have a large bathroom, then a large format tile will look stunning on both the walls and floors giving you a luxurious space.

If you have a small bathroom, then a feature, such as mosaic tiles, can make your bathroom look amazing. In contrast, do not dismiss large tiles for a small bathroom for the reason that less grout lines gives an illusion of more space.

Maculine Ensuite Design Bella Vie Interiors min
Designed by Bella Vie Interiors

6. Request a Sample

My final two tips are the basis of a successful bathroom design. First, when you have decided on the tile you want for your bathroom, take home a sample. Even when you are 100% positive you know which tiles you want. This allows you to see what the colour, size and finish look like in your bathroom. It's important to view tiles in your bathroom for the reason that they may look different in your bathroom to the showroom, Consequently, you need to make sure you like the colour, size and texture in your room.

7. Measure, then Measure Again and Maybe Once More!

If you have ever watched reality renovation television, then you will know the drama that occurs when they do not order enough paint, flooring or bathroom tiles.

When selecting your bathroom tiles, it is a great idea to take your bathroom plans with you. Firstly, you know exactly what the dimensions of your bathroom are. Furthermore, the experts can advise on the number of tiles you will need. Finally, I also like to take any other finishes I’ve already selected with me to be sure I’m looking at options that work with my tile selections.

Brad Swartz Architects unsmushed 1
Design by Brad Swartz Architects

More Resources:

Like to read more on creating your dream bathroom? Check out these informative blogs.

For more Bathroom design inspiration see Bella Vie Interiors on Pinterest.

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