The tiles you choose for your bathroom should do more than just protect the space from water damage; the look of the tiles will greatly impact the overall look of the bathroom itself, and some materials are more fragile than others. To ensure you’re happy with your choice of tiles for years to come, note a few small but important details to consider when shopping.

Shape

Square tiles are classic, but note that rectangular tiles will add the look of length and depth, according to how they’re installed. If you are tiling a small bathroom, opt for longer rectangular shapes; long, horizontal tiles will make a bathroom look wider, whereas rectangular tiles set vertically will make it look deeper and longer.

The shape of tiles can also work in the opposite way, making a bathroom look smaller and even a bit cluttered. Very small tiles often seem busy and can close in a space, so avoid these in a small shower area or bath. You may assume that larger tiles will overwhelm a small space, but larger squares can actually look better proportioned and keep the space seeming more open and airy rather than small and busy.

Colour

Dark tiles or those in a bold colour such as blue or gold can seem very stately and elegant, but consider how your bathroom space will look when completely covered in this colour or shade, especially if you have a dark paint colour on the walls. If you prefer something bold for tiles, consider using this colour as a border along the floor or shower area, rather than for the entire floor and shower surround. This will keep the bathroom from looking busy and overpowering and allow that bold colour to stand out and be noticed.

Material and maintenance

Bathroom tiles need to be waterproof and resistant to mould and mildew, but they’re not maintenance free. Natural stone tiles need to be sealed regularly as they often have pits and pores that can hold moisture and eventually cause cracking or allow mould to grow. Porcelain and ceramic are much denser so they won’t hold moisture and will be less prone to cracking over time. Glass is also very dense and needs little to no maintenance, and it’s a lightweight material as well; heavier stone tiles may require some bracing of your bathroom’s subfloor or framing so it can hold that heavier weight without cracking and settling, meaning extra work and cost for their installation.