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Five Tips When Selecting Tile for Your Bathroom

When it comes to designing your bathroom, selecting the right tile is a crucial aspect that can greatly influence the overall look and functionality of the space. From ensuring safety to creating visual interest, here are five tips to keep in mind when selecting tile for your bathroom.


Pattern tiles

We used a unique, patterned tile in this master bathroom to bring visual interest and warmth.


    1. Keep your shower floor tile small. 


For the shower floor, opt for smaller tiles, such as mosaic tiles, or those in sizes like 2×2 or 4×4. The shower floor is typically sloped to allow drainage, and smaller tiles conform better to the slope, reducing the risk of slipping and tile breakage. 



Small shower floor tile

We used a 4×4 ceramic tile for the shower floor in this home addition and remodel on Clearwater Beach, and paired it with creamy subway tile for the walls.


    2. Use larger tiles elsewhere for easier maintenance. 


Larger tiles have gained popularity in bathrooms for a good reason — they mean fewer grout lines. With fewer grout lines, cleaning becomes more manageable, as dirt and grime have fewer places to accumulate. Consider using larger tiles for your bathroom walls to simplify maintenance and achieve a seamless, sophisticated look.


Large shower tiles with accent

On this home, the client wanted a modern style with a touch of elegance. We used large, porcelain tiles with a mosaic accent to accomplish this look in her master shower.


    3. Explore Various Tile Patterns for Visual Impact.


The tile pattern you choose can significantly impact the bathroom’s aesthetic. Different patterns can create visual interest and influence the perceived size of the space. Here are a few popular tile patterns to consider:


  • a) Vertical Straight Stack: This pattern offers a modern and sleek look. The vertical arrangement draws the eyes upward, making the ceiling seem higher, perfect for smaller bathrooms or those with low ceilings.


  • b) Subway Tile Pattern: A timeless classic, subway tiles are known for their versatility and ability to fit into various design styles. They add a sense of elegance and charm to your bathroom, creating a visually captivating backdrop.


Marble subway tile

We arranged this marble tile in a subway pattern to align with the more traditional style of this home.


  • c) Horizontal Straight Stack: This pattern complements contemporary and minimalist designs. It offers a straightforward and clean look while providing a subtle visual interest through the lines.


    4. Mix and Match Tile Sizes for a Balanced Aesthetic. 


To add depth and avoid a monotonous appearance, consider mixing tile sizes within the same space. While larger tiles work well for shower walls, pair them with medium-sized tiles, like 6×12, for the backsplash. Combining various shapes, colors and sizes creates visual interest and a more dynamic ambiance in the bathroom.


Black hex tiles bathroom floor

In this guest bathroom, we used black hex tiles for the floor and gray subway tiles for the walls, creating contrast in shape, color and texture.


    5. Introduce Unique Tiles for a Touch of Luxury. 


To elevate your bathroom’s design, introduce special tiles for certain areas. Consider using hexagonal tiles for the bathroom floor, as they can add a sense of style and sophistication. Some designers like to fill their shower niches and benches with unique tile, to create a splash of color and to give some contrast.  You may also consider creating a picture frame, which is a space in the shower in which a section of tile is bordered by pencil tile, to create a focal point.  Creating an accent wall is another way to bring drama to a room.  These ideas are especially useful in neutral-colored bathrooms, where some visual interest is desired. 


Shower accent wall

In the master bathroom of this custom home, we used a stacked-stone accent wall to create contrast and visual interest against the backdrop of neutral marble tile.


Remember, the key to successful tile selection for your bathroom is to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics. Choose tiles that not only suit your design preferences but also meet the practical requirements of the space. Whether you opt for classic subway tiles, contemporary patterns, or unique combinations, the right tiles can transform your bathroom into a stunning and functional oasis.


Nelson Construction and Renovations, a family business founded in 2006, is a design-build company that specializes in high-end remodels, home additions, and custom homes. With our headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, we serve homeowners all over Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. We are an award-winning member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.  

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Nelson Construction and a clickable link back to this page.

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