Designing your next bathroom can be a lot of fun. Bathrooms might seem dull, but they’re a versatile space, and advances in bathroom tiles Brisbane mean there are more styling options than ever before.

The tiles you choose for your bathroom can have a huge impact on the look and feel of the final space, so it’s important to get it right. In this article we’re going to go over the process of choosing and ordering bathroom tiles for your next project.

1. Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles

Moisture is the biggest concern when it comes to bathrooms. The amount of water in your bathroom will have a negative impact on most types of materials, such as chipboard and timber.

Water can also affect tiles. Tiles that absorb too much moisture are prone to staining and cracking, which can significantly shorten their lifespan. In most cases you’ll be choosing between ceramic and porcelain surfaces.

Ceramics are produced using fine clays and a high temperature firing process. They are almost impervious to moisture and are highly suited to bathroom installations. On the other hand, porcelain tiles use a coarser clay and are fired at lower temperatures. They are prone to moisture absorption and should only be installed in bathrooms when they are glazed or sealed.

2. Tile Slip Ratings

Bathroom falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in the home. It’s important to select floor tiles that minimise the risk of slipping.

In Australia, tiles are awarded a slip rating from P0-P5. The higher the rating, the more slip-resistant the tile. These ratings are awarded using controlled tests that simulated a foot landing on the tile. The amount of friction that’s generated is measured, and a rating is awarded. Bathroom tiles should carry a slip rating of P2 or P3. You may want to consider a higher slip rating if you have mobility issues or are prone to falls.

3. Tile Format

Choosing tiles isn’t all about selecting colours. The shapes, sizes and formats you select will also impact the final result. For small bathrooms it’s a good idea to choose medium format tiles, and then mix and match with feature tiles such as mosaics, finger tiles or penny rounds. This type of combination adds detail without overwhelming the space or making it feel cramped.

For larger bathrooms you typically have more freedom to choose grander surfaces, such as large format tiles. Larger tiles give the illusion of additional space, which can make large bathrooms stand out. 

4. Colour Selection

This is the fun part of choosing tiles for your bathroom! Selecting colours can be a challenge though. It’s worth consulting a professional designer for help. They’ll typically offer three main categories of tiles to choose from:

  • Light and neutral colours – Whites, light greys and beige tones (including natural stone) are a classic choice for bathrooms. These colourways complement all types of tapware and fittings, and they allow you to create bright, clean spaces.
  • Dark and moody colours – If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, dark tiles in blacks and deep greys can add a sense of mood and luxury to any bathroom. While darker colours can make a space feel more enclosed, they can be paired with features like lighting, plants and feature tiles to create bathrooms that feel open and inviting.
  • More colourful tiles – Tiles are available in a huge range of colours. There’s no need to stick to whites and greys if you’d rather be more colourful! One of the hottest bathroom trends of the past few years is the use of block colours such as greens, blues and pinks. These not only look striking, they can turn any bathroom into a design centrepiece for your home.

5. Sampling Tiles

Don’t be afraid to ask for take-home samples of the tiles you like most. Taking home a sample or two is the best way to experience how a particular tile will look in your exact space. Most tile showrooms will be happy to give you a whole tile that you can take home. Simply hold your samples against the wall or floor where they’ll be installed and stand back to get a sense of the space.

6. Measuring to Order

Tiles are often one of the most expensive parts of a bathroom project. You don’t want to order too much and be left with tonnes of excess tiles, but you also don’t want to underestimate the space and run out of tiles part way through the job.

Take the time to carefully measure and note down the dimensions of your bathroom. If you’re installing multiple types of tile (for instance, wall, floor and splashback tiles), make sure you take measurements for each individual tile area. We recommend measuring your space, rounding up to the nearest whole number, and then adding 10% to your order to account for waste during installation.

Ordering the right amount of tile is critical to finishing your project on time and on budget. If you aren’t comfortable ordering on your own, leave it to a professional tile installer.

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