Whether you want to design a utilitarian space for your busy family or a zen retreat with a soaker tub, choosing the right tile will be one of the most impactful decisions you will make for your bathroom’s overall design. When carefully considered, your tile should last for decades in durability and aesthetics. However, with so many options on the market for flooring, backsplashes and shower surround, how do you decide on the right material, size, shape and colour for your bathroom? Modern Home Victoria sat down with Loki Selmani from Loki Tiling Ltd to help you narrow your options and make an informed decision based on a few important considerations.
When choosing tile, Selmani recommends working with a tile professional that is familiar with the properties of each material, especially when considering high traffic areas that are moisture-rich. “We are always on top of the latest products and can advise on factors such as waterproofing before installing tile, the differences between outside walls versus inside walls and other issues homeowners may not have considered.”
Selmani’s first tip is that clients look beyond aesthetics to consider the function of the tile for their specific environment. Generally speaking, bathroom tile can be reduced to four categories: natural stone, ceramic, porcelain and glass. All of these materials have their own unique properties and come in an overwhelming variety of shapes, colors, patterns and textures. Like most design decisions, choosing tile is always a matter of striking the perfect balance between function, budget and aesthetics.
Natural Stone: When it comes to durability, stone leads the pack with its natural composition and timeless beauty. Each tile will have its own variations and unique imperfections creating a one-of-a-kind look in your room. Even though it is Selmani’s personal favourite, he warns that natural stone is more sensitive and higher maintenance than porcelain or ceramic tile. He adds that some stones, like marble, are more porous and will need to be sealed, especially in a bathroom. A textured stone floor will help prevent slips on a bathroom floor but it has to be properly sealed to reduce the impact of moisture.
Ceramic: Hardworking ceramic tiles are affordable, installation-friendly and are ideal for high-humidity areas. Ceramic tiles are typically less expensive than glass tiles and are easy to clean.
Porcelain: Harder than ceramics, porcelain is a popular choice for bathrooms, based on its non-porous, and stain resistant qualities. Porcelain tiles can also mimic natural stone varieties.
Glass: A popular choice for bathrooms, glass reflects light and adds a polished look to your space. Glass is a bit more costly but comes in a limitless variety of colours and finishes.
For Selmani, working with designers on this penthouse unit in the Promontory at Bayview Place was a unique project that started out considerably small but continued to grow as the project evolved. Creating a master ensuite akin to their own private spa, “the owners started with a four-inch backsplash behind the counter and then after some consideration decided to install a full wall of tile to accentuate the lofty ceilings.”
The soft monochromatic white and grey blend of the marble backsplash with frameless mirror keeps the natural light-infused space streamlined and airy. Warmed by the wood vanity and champagne bronze freestanding tub filler and faucets, the marble on marble elements elevate this bathroom to luxurious highs.
A Carrara marble vessel sink has visual impact on the marble countertop while the champagne bronze hardware provides a modern touch in this elegant space. The understated round mirror reflects light and allows the delicate crystal light fixture to take centre stage.
Selmani adds that grout colour makes a significant impact to the final look of your tile and suggests that owners choose their grout colour after they get the tile home. “Grout colour will always look different in a showroom compared to its final location based on lighting, natural light, wall colour and flooring.” Personally, he likes to match the grout colour to the tile as much as he can (unlike the 1970’s and 80’s when the trend was to contrast the grout with the tile colour). Today, the majority of Selmani’s clients want a modern streamlined look where the grout colour virtually disappears.
Oval marble mosaic tile flooring couples beautifully with the sculptural freestanding solid marble soaker tub.
“Naturally resistant to the havoc of high-humidity conditions, ceramic tile was chosen for this ensuite shower based on its resistance to water and stains. This contour tile was great value — it looks elegant but was considerably inexpensive.” Selmani adds that ceramic tile is a good fit for bathrooms or other moisture-rich environments like laundry rooms and mud rooms.
To add to the master bathroom’s opulence, not only is there radiant in-floor heating but the shower bench and back wall are also heated to take the shower experience to the next level. “Heating these elements isn’t as expensive as it used to be so we are definitely seeing this luxury added to bathrooms more often.”
Champagne Bronze shower head and fixtures give this walk-in shower a unique modern feel.
To bring cohesion and unity to the overall design scheme, principal materials such as marble flooring and contour ceramic tile were repeated in the guest bathroom.
The perfect place to make a statement and experiment with bold style, this penthouse powder room fuses shimmering glass tile backsplash, Carrara marble pedestal sink and graphic wallpaper.