The essential checklist for selecting bathroom tiles

The bathroom is one of the most used areas in a home. As such, style and design is often neglected in favour of a practical, functional and durable layout that is easy to clean and maintain. When it comes to tiles, neutral basic white tiles have ruled as the preferred option for many bathroom renovations. However, with a bit of planning and some design considerations, you can create a functional bathroom full of atmosphere that looks and feels great to be in.

  1. Consider the type of tile you need – there are many types of tile including ceramic, porcelain, composite stone, natural stone, glass mosaic and 3D. Some qualities to consider when choosing a tile type are durability, amount of traffic, water-resistance, slip wear ratings, maintenance, stain/scratch resistance, warranty and appearance.

  3. Choose your feature tile – this is your first choice of tile that essentially defines your bathroom look and is the starting point when selecting your complimentary tiles. It may be a run of accent tiles or a plain style of tile that gives your bathroom a certain look.

  5. Select your complimentary tiles – once you have decided on your essential tile, think about other types of tiles that will accent and compliment it in colour and style. If your feature tile stands out, then choose from 2 to 3 types of tiles that will subtly enhance the its look – and vice-versa if your feature tile is low key.

  7. Consider a special “wow factor” tile – these are special tiles that may be placed in a small or large area somewhere within the overall tiled space. These usually expensive high-end tiles will catch one’s attention because of some unique colour, texture or pattern. These special tiles can offset a basic tile layout that lacks personality.

  9. Tile size – Choose a tile size that is proportional to the overall size of your bathroom and fittings. Although square tiles are a good all-rounder, rectangular tiles can be laid in a direction to enhance the vertical or horizontal space in your bathroom – creating the illusion of more space.

  11. Tile colour – the basic rule for tile colours is that lighter colours open up a bathroom and give the illusion of more space while darker colours work in the opposite. However, darker tiles can be very mood enhancing, creating a warm, intimate space. Grout colour should generally match tile colours while grout width should be minimal and therefore less of a distraction.

  13. Creating mood – Consider the rest of your home first and factor in its overall style with your bathroom design – whether it is a modern or period home. Bathrooms are a place to relax and unwind at night but they are also places where you get ready and gear up for the day ahead – so think about how you want to feel when you are using this space. Factor in the effects of natural light during the day, and mood lighting at night.

  15. Try before you buy – tiles that catch your eye from a catalogue or retail space may look completely different when placed in your bathroom space because of light and space altering the effect of the tile colours. So it pays to bring a sample home to see how it actually looks in your bathroom.

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