When you are designing a custom home, bathrooms present a complex situation because of their unique characteristics. Not only do bathrooms tend to see a lot of foot traffic, but they also are subjected to excessive amounts of moisture that can damage materials and turn each hard surface into a safety risk.

To address these and other issues, it’s important to choose the right type of tile for your bathroom. Beyond safety concerns, you also want to select a color and style that will blend with the rest of your design aesthetic.

What Tile Should I Use for a Bathroom?

As you peruse different tile options for each bathroom in your custom Colorado home, there are several factors to consider, such as the primary users of the space, your budget, your interior design preferences, and your preferred level of maintenance. Ideally, you want to outfit each space with a tile that is durable, slip-resistant and easy to maintain. Typically, ceramic or porcelain tiles are the most popular type of tiling that works well for your bathroom walls, the main flooring in your bathroom, and for your shower floor. Porcelain and ceramic have an abundance of color, style, and size options, and they can be used with radiant heating, which is a very common consideration for Colorado homes.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramics have long reigned supreme in the bathroom department, and for good reason. They’re versatile, durable and attractive. For example, subway tiles—one of the most ubiquitous bathroom wall and flooring options—are made from ceramic. Porcelain, a subset of ceramic, tends to be the best option, especially for a shower floor. It is composed of delicate sand particles that get fired under extremely high temperatures, so it is denser and stronger than other ceramics. Plus, porcelain tiles often have color going all the way through, which is advantageous if chipping or scratching occurs. The downside of porcelain and ceramic tiles is that they can be cold and uncomfortable underfoot, but that issue can be rectified with in-floor radiant heat and rugs. You also want to make sure you select a tile option that’s rated for use on bathroom floors. For example, opt for tiles that have at a Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating of PEI III and/or a coefficient of friction (COF) of .5 or greater. 

To help you narrow down the vast selection that is available to you, here are the best bathroom floor and shower tile options/trends to consider for your upcoming project:

1. Simplistic Design

simple bathroom remodel with tub and wooden plate

Rather than traditional bathroom styles, there’s been a shift toward more simple and clean designs. There’s been more emphasis on the idea that your bathroom should serve as a clutter-free environment that you can easily relax in at the end of the day. Sleek and seamless tile designs are relatively easy to clean and don’t require too much maintenance. We are going to see more bathrooms incorporate these features, using a lot of white, natural wood, and dark gray/black colors.

2. Unique Layouts

herringbone tile pattern

A classic but not an overused one when done with cleverness — there are ways of using classic subway tile while still giving it a unique layout. So, instead of a typical “brick set” pattern, you can also install them in various manners, such as the “herringbone”, “crosshatch”, “vertical straight stack”, and “vertical offset” patterns. This provides you with a distinct look for your shower wall without losing that classic feel.

3. Incorporating Natural Elements

organic tile pattern

Tile can also be inspired by “natural” looking elements achieved using marble/tile combos. This means that the tile pattern resembles patterns seen organically in nature, such as florals or rocks. Colors are remaining neutral, but the look helps capture the essence of nature’s relaxing aura. Depending on your preference, you may be more inclined to choose patterns that reflect your favorite environmental setting. From an autumn forest to a beach paradise, there are many options to select. A good way to add character to your custom bathroom would also be to add tiles that have mild imperfections with an “aged/worn” look.

4. Geometric Patterns

black white gold geometric pattern

After a brief hiatus, some metallic tiles and gold are making a comeback.  Specifically, Matte Hex tiles are a popular geometric tile that come in a variety of colors. They can also be used on both floors and walls, making a seamless design easily achievable.

Selecting Materials for Your New Custom Bathroom

Bathrooms are used daily for a variety of personal activities, such as grooming, showering and getting ready for bed. You naturally want that space to be as comfortable and inviting as possible. The tile you choose for both the flooring and shower wall or bathtub surround impacts the function of a bathroom, as well as how it looks and feels. At Gowler Homes, we have a team of experienced design and construction professionals to help you navigate the complex selection process that accompanies a new home build or custom renovation on the Colorado Front Range. We will guide your project from start to finish while empowering you to make informed decisions and create a space that is uniquely suited to your priorities, budget and personal tastes.

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