Last updated: July 30th 2016 – A unique bathroom tile design for a bathroom renovation or for a new bathroom will make your bathroom really stand out. There is nothing like a beautiful tile design to decorate your bathroom floor, shower, or your walls to enhance the overall appearance of your bathroom as well as protect the walls and floors from water damage. And if you think that this is nothing but a time consuming project, think again. It is fairly easy to create a great tile design using tried and true methods and basic materials. Just follow these easy tips to get it done.
Bathroom Tile Ideas for a Bathroom Renovation
If you are renovating an old bathroom, then this is the best time to create a new tile design on your bathroom floor, wall., or shower. Every great project starts with a great plan and for this project; you need to completely plan what you want your design to become. First, you will need to choose your tile design, tile material, color scheme, and style. Then you will also need applicators and tools to set and finish the tiles.
1. Choosing your Tile
Tile is the most popular material used in constructing bathrooms, so choosing the right style is a great way to make your bathroom look great. Unfortunately there are so many bathroom tile designs when starting your tile search, that it can be painfully overwhelming. A great tip is to buy samples of all the tiles you like, take them home and see how they look, then simply return the ones you don’t like.
What kind of Bathroom Tile do you need?
First decide what areas of the bathroom you are going to tile. Are you going to do your bathroom floor, bathroom walls, or shower?
Pick a Tile Design
Choosing your tile design can vary depending on where you will want it to go. For example most modern bathroom floors consist of simple 12″x 12″, 12″ x 24″, 18″ x 18″, or 24″ x 24″ square/rectangle tile.
Pick a Tile Material
The most popular bathroom tile materials are ceramic, porcelain, marble, and glass.
Ceramic is usually the cheapest tile and can be manufactured to appear in many forms and surface smoothness. Ceramic is usually used for floors and showers since it’s waterproof. Ceramic tiles are the most versatile tiles since they are available in different colors and are very easy to use and install.
Porcelain is very similar to ceramic, but it’s usually stronger (they won’t chip as easily) and glazed to be somewhat shiny – think of trendy subway tile commonly used for bathroom wall tile or as a bathroom backsplash. Porcelain is often seen on counters, floors, and bath surrounds.
Marble has an amazing look – think Rome – it’s heavy, usually very expensive, can can be hard to keep clean/stain-free due to it’s porous nature.
Glass tile will keep the room attractively bright and it’s low maintenance, however it can be difficult to install and expensive to buy. You usually see glass tiles used as a backsplash or in shower tile ideas such as as an accent tile striped across the shower wall.
Pick a Color Scheme
It can be very difficult to match tile to your existing furniture, vanities, cabinets, counter-tops, and existing colors in the room. Sometimes people want things to match exactly, whole others prefer complimentary, but not exact color matches. It’s really your own personal preference. Unfortunately there are aren’t standard design rules to follow – it’s what ever looks good to you.
2. Create a Tile Pattern
Feel free to get creative with your bathroom tile design. You can do one style of tile throughout the room, you can mix styles together, or you can add accent tiles. There are no rules!
To create your own pattern, use graph paper to find out where you need to place each small tile. Keep working on your pattern until you are satisfied with your work. Afterwards, color each square to represent each tile. You may use two to three tile colors if you wish.
For example, in a kid’s bathroom, you can create a rubber ducky tile design by combining various colored tiles.
For more Ideas for Kid’s Bathrooms, click here.
3. Purchase the Tiles
When buying tiles that you need to execute your bathroom tile ideas, you must purchase more than enough tiles in case they crack. Its better to have extra, than to run out during the project. Also you want to make sure you buy your tiles from the same lot, meaning if you buy the “same” tiles a month later, they may not be an exact color match since they are coming from a different lot. Also it’s good to have extra for years later so you can replace broken or chipped ones.
When all your materials are ready, you may now proceed. If you have existing tiles to remove, then taking them off is the next step, otherwise you can begin preparing the walls or floor.
4. Remove the Old Tiles
Removing old tiles requires some muscle for the initial two to three tiles but after a while you only need a crowbar (or a trim crowbar if you want to be more delicate) or even a flat tool like a metal scraper or even a flathead screwdriver to remove each tile.
5. Prepare the Wall
After you remove the tile, you may have some wall damage from all that crowbaring. Make sure that you level the area where you will be working on, patch any holes, and scrape off any left over mortar/adhesive. Use a level to see if the area is okay. Be sure to get rid of all the debris and start out with a clean work area.
6. Laying the Tile
There are a number of ways to get tile to stick to your surface. Mortar, SimpleMat, or Peal-and-Stick tiles. With mortar, mix the it according to instructions and be sure that you have your pattern with you. Place the mortar on the area that you will be working on – it doesn’t hurt to watch a few youtube videos on how to learn the basics of tiling.
If you want to do it the easy way, try SimpleMat. It’s basically a big roll of double sided tape that first adheres to your wall, then you stick your tiles to it. It’s way easier and cleaner than mortar and you will get the job done at least a day sooner.
Start laying the tile from the middle going outwards. Make sure that your pattern is set and you are satisfied with the pattern that you have made. You will need a tile saw to cut special pieces to fit around power receptacles, switches, and the edges of the wall.
7. Grout the Tile
Once the mortar has set (after 24hrs) or once the titles are stuck to the SimpleMat (Zero wait time), grout your tiles. Apply grout all over the title and make sure that every space between the bathroom tiles has been thoroughly filled with grout. Remove excess grout by using a cloth, sponge, or brush and then allow the tile to set for at least a day or two.
Now you can take photos of your newly remodeled bathroom and send them to us!
More Complicated Bathroom Tile Ideas
Now that you are confident in executing your own tile bathroom ideas, you can experiment with more complicated designs should you choose to take it to the next level. There are a lot of designs to choose from such as Aztec designs, Roman designs, and some very eclectic tile designs. You may also be interested to learn how to use specialized tools to cut and shape tiles.
Getting Fancy with a Tile Cutter
A tile cutter is a special tool to cut tiles into any shape that you want. It is a given that tiles are delicate and could get chipped or even break when cut using the wrong tools. A tile cutter is like a glass cutter tool, it will cut the outer portion of the ceramic tile, and then you only need to tap it and the tile will be cut perfectly!
But be warned, a tile cutter is not always 100% perfect, you will sometimes miss and cut the tile in the wrong way and this is why you should have more than enough tiles to work with.
When creating more elaborate bathroom tile designs you should still use the basic method of sketching your designs on graphing paper first. Afterwards, color your designs to find out how much colored tile you need. And no matter how complicated your tile design is, you should never forget to plan your materials and your entire project as well.
Try Other Types of Tiles too.
It is possible to use different kinds of tiles for your bathroom design. While ceramic tiles are the most popular since they are available in different colors and are the most affordable, you can explore using other kinds of bathroom tile such as natural stone, travertine, or glass tiles.
You will need to plan carefully and be sure to consider the pattern, the materials that you wish to use, and your budget.
Cleaning your Bathroom Tiles
Cleaning ceramic tiles is easy. You may use vinegar and water to clean or if your tiles become dirty or covered with grime, you can easily remove these stains with the use of baking soda or lemon juice. You do not need to use special cleaners anymore which could even affect the health of your family members. Ceramic tiles will stand the test of time as long as you care for it. So if you are looking for the ideal tiles to create unique bathroom tile designs then ceramic tiles should be your choice.
Bring your Bathroom Title Ideas to Reality
All in all there are so many wonderful materials to use for your bathroom but only ceramic tiles are the most efficient in creating different patterns. Ceramic tiles are found in different colors and textures, they can be glassy in appearance making your patterns all the more beautiful, and of course they are easy to install and to maintain. You do not need a professional to set this kind of tile for you. Be confident, you can do this on your own and it won’t take too much time.