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Trends in Bathroom Tiles

Tuesday, 02nd August 2011

The bathroom is the latest room in the home to receive a luxury overhaul, and as a result bathroom tiles are now more interesting and dramatic than ever before. the latest styles include everything from dazzling, jewel-like mosaics to large format, super-flat tiles that flow seamlessly from the floor to walls. The evolution in tile design is great news for apartment dwellers as they can be used to transform a dull or awkwardly shaped bathroom into a sophisticated space that's beautiful to look at and use.

Mini Versus Super Sized

When it comes to size, the latest bathroom tiles are all about extremes.  At one end of the spectrum we're seeing miniature mosaic tiles laid in intricate patterns across the wall and floor, while at the other end oversized tiles in natural textures and shades evoke the feel of a luxury hotel bathroom.

So how can they be used to transform your bathroom space?  A feature wall of twinkling glass mosaics looks like a work or art, giving a boring space instant drama (find inspiration and ideas at Bisazza's website, www.bisazza.com).  For something a little more low-key but no less effective, consider a single column or narrow border of brightly coloured mosaics juxtaposed against painted or stone-tiled walls.  Alternatively, make a poky bathroom appear bigger by taking large format tiles from the floor to ceiling - it will draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of space.  Most oversized tiles don't require grouting, which creates a completely uninterrupted line.

Or mix and match little and large tiles for an eyecatching modern look - think a column of dazzling metallics set between flat, large format tiles in the shower area or around the vanity unit.  Juxtaposing tiles of different sizes or materials is also a great tool if you have unsightly areas or the bathroom you'd rather not draw attention to, as the visual contrast will instantly attract the eye.

Colour and Pattern

Brights, stripes, metallics, all shades of grey - anything goes in the bathroom tiles right now, so long as it's not boring.  A feature wall of burnt orange or cobalt blue tiles will re-energise a dull bathroom, while a splashback in pencil box stripes has a fun youthful feel.  for something more subdued and elegant, consider the vast range of natural stone wall tiles - from luxurious marble with it intricately veined patterns to warm slate.  Or consider a pebbled mesh wall, which is a great way to bring a touch of nature indoors (take a look at Rock N Stone, www.rocknstone.com.au).

Metallic tiles, both large and small format, are making waves in bathroom design - see Johnson Tiles (www.johnsontiles.com.au) for glamorous copper, gift and silver tiles.  Or, consider an intricate pressed tin feature wall from Pressed Tin Panels (www.pressedtinpanels.com).  Other popular new patterns including trailing botanicals and traditional brocade with its luxurious, old-world feel.

Stripes can be used to great effect in a small or tricky bathroom - depending on whichway you lay them, you can make your bathroom walls appear higher or wider.  Some of the most appealing can be found at South Cross Ceramics (www.scceramics.com.au).

But it's not just tile patterns that are capturing our attention, but the way they're being laid too.  Tiles laid in a patchwork or herringbone pattern across the floor looks wonderful when contrasted against a plain wall.

Look-A-Like Tiles

Ceramic tiles that replicate the look and feel of natural materials such as quartz, marble, late and timber are one of the biggest things to hit the bathroom market recently.  these look-a-likes cost a fraction of the real thing, plus they're easy to install and don't require re-sealing.  With their natural variations and textures, even close up it's hard to distinguish them from the real thing.  See the ranges at Beaumont Tiles (www.beaumont-tiles.com.au) and Earp Bros (www.earp.com.au).

Textured Tiles

To create a truly sumptuous bathroom retreat, everything you touch or walk upon should feel wonderful.  Naturally textured tiles, with their bumps and grooves, evoke a sense of nature, while tiles with a subtly raised pattern look super glamorous.  Other textured options include crackle glaze tiles or those with a graphic, wave finish.  But texture is also important from a safety perspective.  Always choose textured, non-slip tiles for the bathroom floor to prevent falls.

By

Georgia Madden

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