There’s a reason tile is often the material of choice in the bathroom: it reflects light, it’s durable, it’s easy to clean and it freshens up space. Tile is a good way to make space look polished and to revamp a bathroom without doing a major overhaul. Keep in mind that the grout between tiles can become grimy if it’s not cleaned properly, and regular maintenance is important in preserving an aesthetic that looks fresh and not grungy.
Tile is more expensive than paint, so the amount of material and the complexity of your design will likely depend on budget. Options range from minimal use in a border, for example, to maximum use in floor-to-ceiling executions.
It’s good to think about resale value when making changes to a bathroom, especially because white and off-white are the most popular color schemes in that room. That said, your bathroom is a space that all of your guests will likely see at some point; so if you want to make a statement, this is the place to do it.
Here are five general bathroom tile ideas to apply to your space.
Wainscoting is a decorative wall covering that extends partway up the wall. It’s typically done in wood and in spaces such as the dining room. However, it can also work in the bathroom as a way to add character. If you want to incorporate tile but are on a budget, try tiling from the floor up and then paint the remaining wall with a gloss or semi-gloss paint for easy clean-up. A potential benefit of using tile wainscoting is that it can also work as a backsplash if it extends high enough above the sink.
Tile flooring is common in bathrooms and offers a nice alternative to hardwoods, which can get warped if they are exposed to too much water. If you decide to put ceramic tile on the floor, look for a grade of 1 or 2, a water-absorption rating of less than 7 percent and a coefficient of friction above .60, which are slip-resistant and can stand up to water.
Define zones in the room by using a different tile in the shower. You’ll want to use a tile that has a water-absorption rating of less than 3 percent (lower than what’s recommended for the floors) and has good traction (a coefficient of friction that’s greater than or equal to .60).
If budget isn’t a factor, then all-over tile can be an interesting way to merge durability and easy cleaning with style. Vary the color, shape, pattern, size, and texture of tiles by using different materials on the floors, on the walls, and in the shower. Using all-over tile is a good way to make a small space brighter, as the tile will reflect light.