Everything You Need to Know About Bathroom Tile

Fresh off Coverings, the premier trade fair and showcase of tile and stone, Kim Bernard, executive director of facilities and showroom design at Walker Zanger, is sharing her insider knowledge and advice on selecting the perfect tile for all of your bathroom's surfaces.


Field Tile

-Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles of any size and shape are ideal for the bathroom.

-Most types of stone, including marble and limestone, are suitable for use on shower walls, as long as they are properly sealed and no longer porous.

Campus Beveled Ceramic Tile, from $11, Waterworks

Everything You Need to Know About Bath Tile

-It is important to be aware of the "slip factor" when selecting tile for the floor. High-gloss ceramic tile can be slick when wet and should be avoided for safety reasons.

-Any type of stone can be used on a bathroom floor, but some stones don't fare well in steam showers, while others tend to break down in wet areas. Generally speaking, stay away from dark limestones in these areas.

Noir Honed Tile, $10, The Tile Shop

Everything You Need to Know About Bathroom Tile

-White marble has been dominating the market for a while now, because of it's timeless look, and is still a stylish choice for 2014 and beyond.

-Glass tile is still extremely popular for shower and tub walls and backsplashes -- they're available many colors and sizes, and add wonderful depth and shine to a space.

Elida Ceramica Glass Mosaic Tile, $8 per sheet, Lowes

Wood Thumb

-Patterns based on both midcentury modern and geometric designs with a contemporary twist, are just as popular in tile as they are in other aspects of interiors.

-Technology has revolutionized the world of porcelain tile, allowing for realistic representations of not only stone, but wood looks as well. You can actually have a "wood" shower using porcelain tile!

-Large-format tile, dimensional tile, and shapes such as ovals, arabesques, and rhomboids are all very popular at the moment.

Montagna Wood Look Porcelain Tile, from $3, Home Depot



-It is often preferred to use a smaller tile in a shower to allow for the necessary slope for water to drain -- this is where a mosaic, or small tile, comes in handy.

-The most important consideration when selecting a tile is your own lifestyle. If you have kids, you may want a worry-free porcelain tile for around the tub and on the floor.

Carrara Pinwheel Basketweave Tile, $12 per sheet, Lowes


Everything You Need to Know About Bathroom Tile

-People often shy away from using larger-scale tiles in smaller bathrooms, but they can actually help visually expand space -- plus there's the added benefit of fewer grout lines.

-For small spaces, tiling all walls to the ceiling is an elegant look. It's quite common in Europe.

-Take stylistic cues from your home's architecture and surrounding interior aesthetics when deciding on a tile. Find one aspect that really attracts you, such as a decorative element, color, or texture, and use that as a springboard.

Vibe Ashbury Tile, price upon request, Walker Zanger


Everything You Need to Know About Bathroom Tile

-For safety and durability reasons, it is important to work with an experienced supplier to make sure you're selecting a tile that's appropriate -- use-wise, that is -- for the room.

-Be mindful that this is a long-term commitment. Spending a bit more for something you really love is well worth it.

-In order to maintain a unified look, don't mix too many disparate materials. For a monochromatic look, you could get away with more, but in more colorful spaces, try to stick to three or less.

Aquila Carrara Mosaic, $53, The Tile Shop

Are you tackling a bathroom renovation? Tell us what you have planned in the comments!

  _kim Photographs: Malcom Davis Architecture, Andrew Arthur, Bisazza, Chris Patey, Don Freeman, Marianne Cotterill, via The Design ChaserKali CavanaghGreg Natale, Lisbeth Grosmann, via Remodelista, via Luxe Interiors, Anson Smart, Winchester Tile Company.