Above left: Rainforest tiles, from £216 per sq. m, at Stone & Ceramic WarehouseAbove Right: HD Concrete by British Ceramic Tile is available in dark, mid and light grey. Prices start at £28 per sq. m

Tiles are a staple of the bathroom, and there are so many options – colour, size, shape and pattern – to consider that you can create almost any look you want. They’re not just for the walls either; they’re a great practical surface for the floor and give you another surface to use to make the room feel uniquely yours. Colour has a huge impact, even in the smallest of spaces. ‘People lean towards neutral schemes because they’re low risk. It’s trickier to mix a combination of colours rather than use a single neutral tone across the room,’ says Jess Piddock, in-house designer at Domus. ‘However, when it is done well, a mixed palette can create an uplifting space that can be as energetic or tranquil as you like.’ 
If the fear of getting it wrong is stopping you from stepping outside your colour comfort zone, start simply. Plain tiles on the floor can serve as a blank canvas to which you can add bolder wall tiles. Alternatively, create a feature wall or basin splashback then harmonise it with more familiar greys and neutral shades. Use tile shape and size to alter the sense of space in your bathroom. ‘Chevron and herringbone tiles can help elongate a room and create the illusion of space,’ says Hamish Smith of Ca’ Pietra. ‘When working with non-patterned tiles, the bigger the tile, the better. Large, plain or natural tiles add a certain depth to a bathroom, making an impactful statement,’ he adds. 

Above: Transport your bathroom to exotic lands with the new Kasai collection by Refin. Priced at £90 per sq. m, this cherry blossom print will can’t fail to restore a sense of balance and harmony

Mixing and matching different sizes of tile also works in any size of bathroom. ‘By using a combination of small and large formats, you create zonal areas making spaces look more interesting and larger,’ explains Claire O’Brien, who is head of design and product at British Ceramic Tile. The best way to mix and match patterns? Keep tones similar. ‘This way the whole design scheme of a bathroom can work in harmony without becoming too fussy,’ says Louisa Morgan, marketing director, Mandarin Stone. Don’t forget the floor: here, tiles give you the chance to design from the ground up. If you’ve already got elements you like, such as a colour combination or material finish, a floor can complement these.

Below Left: Dial up the drama with Airslate graphite on the walls and Tinybroken Edge Negro on the floor, priced around £209 per sheet and £16.22 per sheet respectively. Both are available at Porcelanosa

Above Right: Flirt with the feminine appeal of Geoform Ivory porcelain scallop, around £107 per sq. m. For the floor try Plaza Gris Hexagon Mosaic, £15.54 per sheet. Both are available at Mandarin Stone

Article by: Sophie Baylis