Last year, we renovated our bathrooms. It was a huge job because we completely gutted each space and started from scratch. The ensuite was reasonably straight-forward but the original main bathroom was quite small so we knocked down the external wall and had it rebuilt, pushing it out to the edge of the eaves to make the room larger. We agonized over whether it was worth the money but, once the job was finished, it proved to be worth every cent as, what was once a small bathroom, was now a good size that fitted with the rest of the house.
Renovating any room is a big job but when it’s a bathroom, there’s so much to consider … plumbing, lighting, shower heads, shower screens, bath tubs, sinks, benchtops, vanities, taps and so on as well as the colour, style and size of the floor and wall tiles. They are so important and very much the foundation of any bathroom renovation because the right tiles will help create the look and feel of the room.
It’s not an easy choice and can be quite confusing and overwhelming. Even though I had a bit of an idea of the style and colours I wanted, there were so many tiles to choose from, often with only slight variations to the pattern or tone. I spent a lot of time scouring the internet, reading Bathroom magazines as well as visiting showrooms for inspiration. If anything appealed to me, I’d grab some samples and take them home to see how they worked in my space and eventually my ideas came together.
I tried to be practical with all my choices, thinking about function as much as appearance, but one thing I decided on almost instantly was using large square tiles i.e. 600mm x 600mm. Here’s why:
- Large tiles help to create the illusion of space and can make a small area or room feel bigger than it actually is. Until we ripped out a huge spa bath we hadn’t realised just how big our ensuite was. Light-coloured tiles can also contribute to that illusion of making a smaller bathroom appear bigger as they will reflect any light.
- Smaller sized tiles or mosaics that require a lot of grouting can create a cluttered look, especially in a small bathroom as it is visually very “busy”. Larger tiles, by comparison, create a more “minimalist” look and help make a room appear more streamlined and open. To add to that seamless look, using a tile with a rectified edge will help, as well as matching the grout to the colour of the tile.
- Large-sized tiles, again those with a rectified edge, tend to create a “sleeker” look and contribute to a modern and contemporary style, if that’s the look you’re going for.
- If you’re trying to create a luxurious or sophisticated “look”, large tiles can help. The other trick we used here was to tile all the way to the ceiling which gave the bathrooms a 5-star hotel feel and made the rooms look bigger by taking advantage of the height of the ceilings and drawing the eye up.
- And probably the single biggest reason I chose large tiles is based on their ease of cleaning. Large tiles reduce the number of grout lines and are, therefore, so much easier to clean and maintain … especially in the shower where the grout is constantly wet and a breeding ground for mould and soap scum. This ultimately saves me time … time that I can spend doing other things … gotta love that!
So, even though the bathroom is potentially one of the smallest rooms in the house, clever selection of tiles can make it big on style and appearance and give the impression that the room is larger than it is. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to personal preference and budget but choosing the right tiles helped to make our bathrooms look bigger, brighter, more open and less cluttered. So tell me, have you ever renovated a bathroom? Did you find your tiles easily or were they something you agonised over?
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