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How to Choose a Tile Design & Pattern for Bathroom Walls & Floors

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Decorative tile border around window and tub surround

Decorative border around tub and glass block window

Small bathroom tile patten and design
Unique small bathroom tile floor and wall designs

Nothing makes a bathroom uniquely yours like choosing the perfect tile design and pattern. The challenge can be the selections are daunting. What’s the best tile pattern, size, shape, color, surface or grout for the floors, the walls, or the tub or shower stall? So where do you begin? Consider the 6 ½ tips below to guide you through this process.

Tip 1 – Think tile designs & patterns – If you want a simpler more relaxing room keep your tile design more basic. If you use a more complex design the room will be more stimulating. Tile patterns can seem almost limitless. Choose from one tile pattern designs (including brickwork, herringbone, checkerboard etc.) to two tile patterns (like corridor, cobblestone, basket weave, windmill etc.) to three tile patterns (like trellis, divisible, soldiered) to multi tile patterns. 

Tip 2 – Think shapes – Almost any shape is available from squares, rectangles, hexagons, octagons, circles, triangles and even stars.  

Tip 3 – Think color – If you want a more relaxing calming atmosphere that will appeal to most people you’ll be best to stay in a neutral and earth tone color scheme. If you want a more dramatic appearance bright colors (whites, bold tones) can provide drama and energy. Another color option is to mix the colors up – use solid colors in one area and bold colors in another area.     

Tip 4 – Think tile size & grout joints– When designing your bathroom tile you certainly don’t have to keep (or in many cases want to keep) the size of the tile the same in the floors, the walls or the tub or shower enclosure areas. If you want to make a small bathroom look bigger larger tiles on the floor can help. In the shower floor smaller tiles are usually better because is can be difficult to try to cut larger tiles to fit a sloped shower floor. If you’re looking to keep the tile joints as small as possible larger tiles will work better.

Tip 5 – Think about touches, accents & borders – Why make a generic space when you can add your own special flair to the bath space? The use of decorative tile borders, accents, inlays and murals can turn your shower or bath walls into works of art.

Tip 6 – Think about safety & function – Tile that looks good but doesn’t perform well or is not safe is literally an accident waiting to happen. For bath and shower areas look for slip resistant and non-porous tiles. These types of tiles will minimize the risk of falling and will also protect the backer boards behind the tile walls from failure. Make sure to use the best grout available – most people love the look of tile but hate the grout joints. Consider using urethane grout vs. the standard sanded grout (it does not require resealing and offers better water protection as well).

Tip 6 1/2 – Think about getting help – Are you still confused? If so get help from a tile store or home bathroom remodeling professional.

Do you have any experience or questions about choosing the best tile pattern or design? If so please comment below.

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Learn more about bathroom tile designs and remodeling by visiting Cleveland Design & Remodeling (216-531-6085), Columbus Design and Remodeling (614-252-7294), Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888) The Bath Doctor (513-742-6679) or Cincinnati and Dayton web sites.

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Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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