April 6th, 2017

he tile industry has made enormous advances in technology over the last two decades. The array of colors, styles, and quality can be dizzying. You can select tile that replicates the look of concrete, textiles, wood, and burnished metals. Or you can choose charming mosaics and subway tiles that recall a gentler time. Tile is a man-made product that harnesses the beauty of nature. The possibilities are endless. Tile can be expensive, no doubt, but, it is one of the best investments you can make in your home. It is also one of the more permanent style choices. This guide will help you choose tile for your small bathroom that you will love for years to come.

The best laid plans

Before you embark on your tile selection process, sit down and make decisions on your budget, style, and space. Do you live in a 50’s rambler or in a contemporary open concept home? What kind of budget do you anticipate to spend? What are you willing to spend more on? If you don’t know your taupe from a tender beige, you might consider hiring a professional designer to help you develop a layout and palette that will even please your mother-in-law. The extra attention you pay at the beginning of the project will shine in the end. Beware, this can also work in reverse!

Don’t come up short

Remember the old adage measure twice cut once? It definitely applies with tile. You will want to make sure that you have accurately measured your space. There are a couple of reasons for this, but, most importantly, so you don’t come up short. If you run short, even if the tile is stock item from your local distributor you could end up with a different dye lot. Worst case scenario, they could have run out. When measuring a wall or floor space measure length and width of the room, then multiply. So, a simple room that is 10′ x 12′ would equal 120 square feet. However, your space might have multiple alcoves and other tricky spaces. Break it up into multiple areas to determine your square footage. Again, this is where a designer can help you immensely. It is recommended to purchase a minimum of 15% more of your overall square footage. Do yourself a favor and order more. This ensures that if you chip, crack or cut wrong, you have extras. Also, should you ever need to repair a tile in the future you will have spares. The life cycle of tile is usually about three years. That means, the tile you purchase is not indefinitely available.

Buy cheap, buy twice

Just like anything, there are different qualities of tile. Since you will likely only be doing your tile project once, look for premium quality tile. Generally speaking, independent distributors are your best bet for high-quality tile that will last a lifetime. Skip the big box store and work with local distributors that strive to provide quality products and service. Visiting a local showroom gives you the opportunity to talk to a consultant that can help you select the best quality tile for your project.

Good things come in small packages

Mosaic tiles can make a small space appear larger, only because of the hundreds and thousands of tiny mosaics that can fill a space. They are great for shower floors and bathrooms in general since they have a lot of grout joints. This helps to alleviate the slipperiness of a wet floor. For walls, glass mosaics add sparkle and reflect light, which can make a small room feel larger.

Small bathroom, big style

Go big or go home

But, the general rule is, the larger the tile, the larger the floor looks. By eliminating excessive grout joints, you give the floor a more seamless appearance that is less visually distracting. For even more impact, if you continue with this same size up the walls, it creates a modern look. Which brings us to our next tip…

The golden rule: K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid)

This is so incredibly important in all spaces. Do not include too many random elements into a small space. It makes the overall design seem cluttered and fussy. Try to keep the floor color and wall colors similar in tone within just a few shades. Too much contrast between floor and wall can create a perimeter in the space, making it appear smaller. If you are uncertain of what would look best, this is the perfect opportunity to work with showroom staff. They see bathrooms in all shapes and sizes and can best steer you in a direction that will suit your style, budget and space.

Working with a pro on your small bathroom design

Work with a pro

As a wholesale tile distributor, we always recommend working with an independent tile craftsman to ensure your installation is appropriate for your space and the type of tile you choose. Nothing is more heartbreaking than when a well-meaning homeowner uses the wrong setting material or tile for their project and it fails.

Go forth and tile

We hope this short guide helps inspire you and give you direction into remodeling your small bathroom. Visit one of our showrooms to plan your project with one of our design consultants. They can help guide you to make your small bathroom a dream escape.