Tile: Finding the Perfect Match
You are ready to remodel that old tired bathroom. Fittings and fixtures have been selected. The vanity has been designed and now it is on to the tile store. You walk in and instantly have a panic attack. There are literally thousands of tiles to choose from. Before you make a run for your car, take a deep breath, relax and remember these pro “Tips from the Trade”.
High Drama or Understated Elegance?
I admit I am a sucker for a white bathroom. There is something about the cleanliness of white tile. I do like to mix in a little something with color or texture as an accent. Oceanside Glass Tile is my go to for accents or unusual design details. I especially like the fact that they use recycled materials in their product.
Most of my work does tend to the understated elegance category but we are currently working on a black powder room which I am really excited about. We are using a very dark wood-like tile with a gold Greek key border. That is what I call very dramatic.
What Size Tile Should I Choose?
While most mosaics are a smaller size, there has been a resurgence in a larger format (size). Subway tile now ranges in size from 3 X 6 tiles to 12 X 18 and bigger.
Larger tiles mean less grout which for many is preferred. The larger sizes do seem to make the space look bigger and less busy. You also don’t have to use the standard subway pattern. Tiles can be stacked for a contemporary look or placed in a herringbone pattern.
I mix smaller and larger sized tiles all the time. The combination creates a pattern and flow to the walls. Textured tile patterns and 3D patterns are showing up in high end designer tile from Versace. They create beautiful installations.
Wood, concrete, marble, stone, you name it you will find it. But how to choose “the one”? I chose tile like I am coordinating an outfit. Start with the basic look and build from there. I prefer subtle patterns or a general color for the floor. Depending on the size of the room there can be a lot of pattern.
Accent is the key. Shower floors are a perfect spot for decorative bling. I rarely install tiles in an expected pattern. Running bond, diagonal or herringbone patterns work in any design style.
If you have a long narrow space, consider placing the tile on the diagonal to make the room feel wider. Really large spaces allow borders and special accent installations. Choose colors you love and will want to live with everyday. I do tend to avoid overly trendy tile patterns which can become outdated overnight.
What is the best tile material?
Porcelain has changed the world of tile. The variety of color and pattern is endless. This type of tile is durable and low maintenance and can even be used outside.
Natural materials are beautiful but require upkeep. The new porcelain mimics these materials without the fuss or muss real stone needs. You will not have to resurface or reseal porcelain.
High traffic areas would benefit from a subtle grain or a non slip surface. Texture is a nice way to enhance the tile design you select.
Still unsure if you can go ti alone? If you are not working with someone on the project, a professional designer can help you make these selections. Gather some photos of bathrooms you love, get recommendations from friends or check out HOUZZ.com for pros in your area. You can also check out our portfolio of work for inspiration.
Sharon L Sherman ASID CID CKD is a designer and Reiki Master located in New Jersey. Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, Family Circle, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Record, The Star Ledger, Bergen Magazine and Aspire as well as several books. Her Blog “Tips for the Trade” has appeared in digital form on Sivanaspirit.com. She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini.