Tiles are a popular choice for bathroom walls and floors. Available in a huge variety of materials, finishes and price points, there’s something for everyone – stone, ceramic, porcelain and glass are all popular. They are easy to clean and offer endless design possibilities. A relative newcomer on the market, another option is composite wall panels, which give a sleek, almost seamless look.
See our decorating section for more inspiration
Depending on what you choose, tile prices can vary quite considerably from simple ‘field’ or plain ceramic tiles at the lower end to glass mosaics and marble at the other. Settling on your budget first will help you to choose your material accordingly but don’t forget to factor in grout and adhesives costs and include a 10% contingency for breakages. Spares will be useful in case of breakages at a later date.
If expensive glass mosaics or hand-crafted tiles are a must-have but your budget is tight, then think about using your chosen tiles as a feature and tile elsewhere with standard format tiles. Decorative borders will add a cost-effective hit of pattern or colour or think about tiling one area, such as the inside of the shower cubicle.
Poor fitting will ruin even the most expensive of tiles while the cheapest can look fantastic if laid by an expert. If you’re a competent DIYer then invest in a good tile cutter and use ready-made grout if it possible as it is easier to use than powdered.
When choosing tiles, consider size, finish, even grouting. With modern tile technology creating exciting new designs all the time, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
1. GREEN SCREEN
Inspired by the colours of the ocean and with a crackle-glaze iridescent finish, these Ca’ Pietra Atlantis porcelain scallop tiles will add fresh impact to any showering space. Green is very much the colour of the moment, and we predict that it is here to stay.
2. WELL CONNECTED
Bathrooms are where tiles really come into their own. The vast array of materials, colours, textures and designs can be used to create anything from a floor-to-ceiling scheme to a feature splashback or decorative design strip. Here, petrol blues and retro pattern bring this whole bathroom together to create a bold but orderly en suite. ‘We were looking for something striking and different – these tiles score on both,’ says Caz.
3. NOD TO THE CHEVRON
This striking motif gives schemes a refreshing graphic edge. Coloured tiles laid diagonally are all the more eye-catching against dark flooring and fittings.
4. BOLD CONTRASTS
Beloved by ancient Chinese dynasties, the Moors and the Greeks, this enduring colour combination takes on a fresh, modern feel with the latest indigo textiles, shibori patterns and denim tones. An adjoining bathroom offers an opportunity for more adventurous decorating, as shown here with the strong wall colour and chequered flooring. Working equally well with contemporary and traditional interiors, encaustic tiles are a versatile product, and can be created using a myriad of finishes.
5. VARIETY SHOW
Black and white can be rather austere, so the designers have incorporated a mix of materials to add another dimension to the space. The reflective qualities of the marble and the mosaic effect tiles work together to create a luxurious sanctuary. The hexagonal floor tiles provide a subtle pattern without dominating, adding a sophisticated feel that brought the scheme together. A frameless screen helps to achieve a luxurious wet room appearance and allows the tiles to come to the fore, with a neat niche for toiletries contributing to the elegant minimalism of the scheme.
6. ITALIAN FLAIR
Classic and timeless, Arabescato marble with its striking veining embodies Italian elegance at its very best. Additional shades of grey on the blind and the wall ceramics bring cohesion to this simple, stylish look.
7. PRETTY IN PINK
The devil is often in the detail when it comes to creating a striking bathroom. Keeping it compact, penny tiles are small but impactful. They add an interesting aesthetic, they’re extremely versatile and – like any good tile – they’re also easy to maintain in even the wettest areas.
8. REFINED ELEGANCE
Marble tiles evoke the refined sophistication of grand Parisian apartments. In this scheme a marbled floor was chosen for practicality as well as style. A smart black bath with ages brass taps anchors the look, reinforcing the classic aesthetic.
9. PLAYING WITH SCALE
Vinyl flooring has come a long way since its early days, and is now seen as sophisticated yet practical option for the bathroom. As well as being incredibly hardwearing, vinyl is also easy to clean and comes in a variety of styles. In this inviting bathroom, the block colour of the wall panelling and floor allows a wonderfully whimsical wallpaper with a strong motif to shine.