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How to choose the perfect bathroom tiles for the home

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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The prospect of choosing bathroom tiles to create the right look in the room can be exciting for homeowners until they are faced with the task of shopping for the tiles that they like. The process can be quite confusing with the variety of wall and floor tiles available in the market. At this stage, several questions come to mind. What type of tile is ideal for the floor and walls? Can the same tile be used for the wall and floor? Should one use a different type of tile in the shower area? What colour combinations of tiles work best for small bathrooms?

We’ve compiled these tips to help you to pick the perfect bathroom tiles.

Bathroom tiles to highlight a focal feature

BANDRA RESIDENCE: modern Bathroom by smstudio
smstudio

BANDRA RESIDENCE

smstudio

A stylish bathroom must have a focal point, whether it’s a luxurious bathtub, a sleek shower or even a sculptural tap. Picking a bathroom wall tile that presents the perfect background for the feature will ensure that it shines within the area. The wall tile can either complement or contrast the focal feature to make it stand out, enhancing the sophistication of the bathroom in the process.

Bathroom tiles to create a unique look in the room

Turn-key solutions: modern Bathroom by Urban Projets
Urban Projets

Turn-key solutions

Urban Projets

Another option is to make the tiles the highlight of the bathroom. Often, one comes across beautiful patterned or textured wall or floor tiles that one cannot resist. In such cases, it’s best to follow one’s heart and use the tile to add unique style to the bathroom. Ensure that the tile is complemented with plain tiles on the wall or floor to provide visual relief.

Get help from an interior designer to create a unique bathroom.

Using bathroom tiles as accents

MADHUNIKETAN 10TH FLOOR: modern Bathroom by smstudio
smstudio

MADHUNIKETAN 10TH FLOOR

smstudio

In bathrooms that have light or neutral-toned tiles, creating an accent with a border of contrast coloured or printed tiles can transform the room from dull to interesting. Similarly, if the bathroom has bold or patterned tiles as its focal feature, then an accent border with plain tiles will not only complement the look but also prevent the bright tiles from overpowering the area and making it look cramped.

What type of bathroom tiles are ideal for the floor?

One can choose bathroom floor tiles to create a focal feature in the room. It can be achieved with a tile carpet on the floor or gorgeous wood finish tiles that bring the Scandinavian style to the bathroom. Alternatively, if the bathroom already has another focal feature, then the floor tiles should complement it. Ideally, if the wall tile is bright and bold, then the floor tile should be in a neutral or light tone to balance the colour palette of the space.

Safety is an additional feature to consider when choosing floor tiles for the bathroom. This is especially significant in wet areas such as the shower enclosure, where the tile should have an anti-skid finish to prevent slipping.

Get tips on the best bathroom tiles for Indian homes.

Is there an ideal format for bathroom tiles?

Palacio 1BHK : modern Bathroom by Gurooji Design
Gurooji Design

Palacio 1BHK

Gurooji Design

Doubtless, large format tiles are low maintenance as it reduces the amount of grout between the tiles that one needs to clean. However, the large format isn’t suitable for all bathrooms. As a thumb rule, choose the format of tile that matches the size of the bathroom – large format for big bathrooms, medium for mid-sized rooms and small format or mosaic tiles for tiny bathrooms.

What type of bathroom tiles are ideal for the shower area?

Since showers are in the wet area of the bathroom, besides style, safety is vital when deciding on the type of tile for the area. While large format tiles might be easier to clean, bear in mind that they offer less resistance than smaller tiles, which have more grout lines to provide resistance against slipping. If a large format floor tile is preferred, ensure that it has an anti-skid finish.

When browsing through bathroom shower tile ideas, often one comes across curved enclosures, which look cosy. If this design is chosen for the bathroom, then mosaic tiles will be the option as unlike large format tiles, they can be used to cover an irregular surface.

Moisture resistance is another significant feature to consider for shower tiles. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are the most maintenance-free option for wet areas in the bathroom. While one can use natural stone tiles in the shower area, it’s essential to be aware that they require an additional sealing to protect against moisture absorption. Additionally, the sealing will need to be reapplied every few months to ensure that the stone tiles don’t get damaged.

Mosaic glass wall tiles are a popular option for the shower area, but it’s best to use small coloured tiles rather than large clear ones as the former doesn’t show up the moisture trapped behind the glass.

What type of tile is recommended for small bathrooms?

Premium Residence: modern Bathroom by Aayam Consultants
Aayam Consultants

Premium Residence

Aayam Consultants

While large format tiles help to create the illusion of spaciousness, they needn’t necessarily work in a small bathroom. Some of the large bathroom tiles tend to accentuate the smallness of the room, defeating the purpose. Instead, it’s always best to use smaller tiles for tiny bathrooms and powder rooms.

In smaller bathrooms, lighter coloured tiles work better than bold or dark tones as they make the area look brighter and airier. It’s also better not to use a contrasting shade of grout as this will take away from the smooth and spacious look of a light-coloured tile.

Another visual trick that one can employ is to use diagonal tile patterns for small bathrooms. It will not only create a unique look but also make the room appear more spacious than it is.

Find more ideas for transforming a small bathroom.

What are the other factors to be considered before choosing bathroom tiles?

Chand Residence: modern Bathroom by Studio Ezube
Studio Ezube

Chand Residence

Studio Ezube

Don’t forget to assess the use of the area before picking the best tile for it. For instance, ceramic and porcelain tiles are suitable for floors and counters that are exposed to water, whereas glass tiles can be used for the walls or backsplash.

Maintenance is another important point to keep in mind when choosing bathroom tiles. Larger format tiles come with less grout and are easier to clean. Mosaic tiles have the maximum grout, but they won’t require much maintenance when they are used in a backsplash area. On the other hand, using mosaic tiles, especially in a light shade, on the floor will require a backbreaking effort to maintain.

Attached Bathroom: modern Bathroom by ZEAL Arch Designs
ZEAL Arch Designs

Attached Bathroom

ZEAL Arch Designs

Don’t forget about the overall look or design style when choosing bathroom wall and floor tiles. Patterned tiles can be used effectively to bring style to the floors and walls of a bathroom, but one should ensure that they are combined with neutral tiles so that they don’t overpower the room. Using a strip of printed tiles in an area can create the illusion of a taller or wider space.

Deciding on the perfect combination of tiles and the ideal format is not easy, which is why we recommend working with a professional bathroom designer who can help with creating a stylish space. From helping with designing the most efficient layout to choosing the best combination of bathroom tiles for the room to make it look eye-catching, hiring a professional can ensure that the room has all the necessary elements without compromising on its sophistication.

What type of tile will you choose for the bathroom? Leave your answer in the comments.
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