No matter how well designed your new bathroom is, choosing the wrong tiles can have a major affect on its overall look and feel. The right tiles, however, can turn a bathroom into one of the highlights of your home.

The right choice of tile can take a bathroom from the mundane to ‘wow’! Size, shape, material, colour and finish all come into play when choosing tiles, but there are many other factors to consider, too.

Size and shape

The size, shape and layout of your bathroom will influence the size and shape of your tile. Generally, the larger the room, the larger the tile, but there are no hard and fast rules. It really comes down to the design, style and layout of the space.

DESIGN TIP: It’s often thought that large tiles in a small bathroom make it appear even smaller. Although this is generally true, it’s not always the case. Large tiles in a small bathroom can create the opposite effect and make quite an impression, as long as the majority of tiles can be applied without any cuts.

Think of the surfaces that require tiling as individual planes interacting with each other. If using more than one tile in your bathroom think about where they start and stop? How do they meet? What size are the tiles and are there any windows or niches to factor in? Which walls accommodate the vanity basins, shaving cabinets, mirrors, toilet, bath, taps and shower and how do the selected tiles interacting with the fittings?

Thinking this way should help you to choose a shape and size of tile that best compliments your space, and flows with the lines created by the design.


If you’re using a couple of different sizes of tile within the bathroom (which is often the case), make sure their proportions work together. It’s important that the tiles line up properly everywhere they meet.

For example, if you’re using a 300 x 300mm tile on the floor, the wall tiles should be sized in multiples of 300mm – 100, 150, 600, or 900. Look at how the floor meets the wall in this bathroom. The width of two floor tiles equals one wall tile, so the grout lines match up perfectly.


Speaking of grout lines, people tend to choose tiles without thinking much about how they’ll look once grouted. While small tiles can look great, be mindful of the large number of grout lines that result from using a small tile. This busy look may not be what you intended had intended for your bathroom.

The majority of tiles on display in a showroom are without the grout, therefore will look different once grouted up in your bathroom at home. Ask your supplier if there’s somewhere you can see them with the grout in place if you’re concerned about the end result. Most suppliers have catalogues showing the tiles in situ, or check pinterest for tile and grout images.

DESIGN TIP: Grout colour will greatly affect the final aesthetic. While contrasting grout will further define the shape of the tiles and create a busier surface, grout in a similar or matching colour will create a more subtle appearance.

Colour and finish

There are many tiles available that look amazing in their own right, but if the style, colour and finish don’t compliment the style of your home, they will quickly lose their appeal.

Also be mindful as to how the tile is going to date. If it’s longevity you’re after, then sticking to a neutral pallette of colours will do the trick. You can always accessorise with the latest trends and colours in the way of towels and decorator pieces to keep it looking up-to-date.

Natural light

If your bathroom is dark, with minimal or no natural light coming in, use lighter coloured tiles – they’re more reflective and will brighten the space.

On the other hand, if your bathroom gets a lot of natural light, particularly direct sunlight, gloss tiles may be too reflective and create glare. A semi-gloss or satin would be a better alternative in this case. In recent years matt tiles have been on trend, matt tiles soak up the light.

DESIGN TIP: In small bathrooms, try using tiles of the same colour on the wall and floor. This will help to create a more spacious feel.

Need design assistance with your bathroom? Our team is ready to help, just give us a call and we would be happy to discuss your project.

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