If you’re in the process of building or renovating a bathroom, your choice of tiles is going to be one of the most effective ways to add visual interest and a dash of wow factor.
The texture and colour of the tiles you’re considering is important, but you also need to pay attention to their shape, as well as the way they’re laid. Pattern is a subtle design element that can make your bathroom an absolute showpiece when it comes to tiles!
Play with pattern
Even the most ordinary tile can introduce an interesting pattern into your bathroom when laid in a certain way. Keep in mind that the smaller the tile, the busier the pattern it creates, so my first piece of advice would be to choose basic geometric shapes that are less likely to date.
Remember that unusually shaped tiles often cost more – something to keep in mind if budget is an issue. A good tip is to save the amazing tile for the floor only (bathroom floor areas are usually quite small), and pair it with standard white tiles for the walls, Put the rest of the budget towards a great mirror or maybe standout tapware.
If you wish to make a bigger statement, continue the same tile or similar colour up one wall as a feature. It will be cheaper than covering all of the walls, but still pack a punch. I particularly love running the feature tiles on the floor up behind a freestanding bathtub or the rear wall of the shower.
Make it a feature
If the basic square and rectangular shapes are not exciting enough for you, the hexagon offers a different pattern which is great for a feature wall. For this brand new home you see in the photos below, I used hexagon tiles for both the floor and as a feature wall, and teamed these with cheaper standard tiles in contrasting matt white. The effect is striking.
I particularly love running the feature tiles on the floor up behind a freestanding bathtub or the rear wall of the shower.
Prefer it simpler?
Take a basic shaped tile and lay it in a striking pattern, and it takes on a whole new dimension, as you’ll see from below. In this heritage home, I’ve placed an inexpensive plain rectangular tile at an angle to make a popular herringbone pattern, which complements the rest of the house. I achieved a stylish and interesting look with an otherwise “standard range” item.
playing with grout
You can also play with grout to achieve very different looks with the same tile. This often comes down to the colour you choose. A trick to make a basic tiled wall more interesting is to choose a contrasting grout colour, perhaps going with charcoal on white tiles, or maybe deep indigo on grey tiles.
It’s always worth seeking the advice of expert sales staff in the tile store, who often have great knowledge of their products and can help you explore the possibilities of pattern.
I hope that after reading this you’ll never enter a bathroom again without noticing what pattern is on the wall!
Treble of tips
- Always choose quality tiles, and save money by being clever with where you lay them, if budget is an issue.
- Avoid surprises! Ask for a quote before laying tiles in unusual ways, as complex patterns will always cost you more in labour than just laying tiles in a conventional way.
- For extra drama, use a stronger contrast (dark vs light) between the tiles you choose, or maybe even opt for coloured grout.