Tile with Style

Creating interesting and impactful tile patterns with in-stock materials

by Sarah Richardson,

Webisode Bathroom After - Sarah Richardson Lowe's Renovation

AFTER: After photos of the ground floor bathroom

Webisode bathroom Before - Sarah Richardson Lowe's Renovation

BEFORE: Before photos of the ground floor bathroom

Webisode Basement Bathroom After - Sarah Richardson Lowe's Renovation

AFTER: After photos of the basement bathroom

Webisode Basement Bathroom before - Sarah Richardson Lowe's Renovation

BEFORE: Before photos of the basement bathroom

Episode 7

Magazines are filled with pages and pages of gorgeous and expensive bathrooms that may seem beyond the reach of the average consumer as they are filled with special order elements from designer boutiques and custom made fittings. You need not be discouraged - it is easy to achieve magazine-worthy results in your own home with in stock materials from your local store. By combining decorative mosaics and trim pieces with inexpensive tile and stone choices, you can mix and match your way to a unique and elegant bathroom overhaul!

Cool and Warm

The general approach may be to go with either "cool" (grey) or "warm" (beige) stone choices, but putting it all together works too! By creating a scheme that combines warm and creamy beige tones with some cooler grey accents, the end result offers the best of both ends of the spectrum, so don't feel that you need to limit your choices. The warm wood vanity and rustic bronze metal accents reference the beige tones while the pewter finish on the hardware and faucets integrates the greys, so everything is in perfect balance.

Want the look?

Allen + Roth 48"x21" Mocha Ballantyne Vanity - Item #156803

Shower Jambs

You can order custom shower jambs from a marble supplier to match the material on your vanity counter, but it can get costly, so I always try to work with the two in-stock options (grey toned Carrera or creamy beige Travertine). In this bathroom, the speckled Travertine jambs match the main floor tone, while the octagonal honed Carrera floor mosaic ties into the accent bands on the floor and shower wall.

Want the look?

American Olean 6"x76"x5/8" Riviera Marble Shower Frame shower jambs - Item #308515

Stripe up the Band

Even a small bathroom can benefit from the decorative impact introduced by a banded detail of mosaic in an accent colour. When using a mosaic tile as an accent, you can create any kind of pattern you like, such as this "ticking stripe" effect that combines varying widths of long bands with a smaller square band in the centre.

Frame it up

The back wall of the shower need not be bland and boring, so why not create a framed detail on your shower's largest wall? Install a single band of the material used as your main floor area to create the outside border, then install a single band of marble chair rail to create the "frame", and fill in the centre with glossy white subway tile.

Want the look?

Faber Stone & Tile 12" x 12" Polished Iceberg Marble floor and wall tile - Item #4975

Basic is Beautiful

Call attention to your decorative tile pattern by accenting simple white tile with in a slightly darker grout colour. Inexpensive 3" x 6" white "subway" tiles can become an effective focal point when set perpendicular to each other. Suddenly, basic becomes beautiful!

Want the look?

American Olean 3 " x 6" Gloss White Field Tile - Item #64396


Even a simple shower stall can get a little extra shot of style with a decorative band (or three) of mosaic. If you install your accent tiles about 5 feet above the ground, it will be at eye level (and it won't interfere with the installation of your shower controls). Mosaic sheets are usually a bit thicker than inexpensive ceramic tile, so you can use a double band of ceramic chair rail to make a smooth transition and disguise the differing tile thicknesses. It's the little details that makes all the difference and a custom accent is an affordable indulgence!

Want the look?

Faber Stone & Tile 1"x1" Cool Blend Marble Mosaic Item #155825

Mix + Match

The rule for combining a variety of stone options in one bathroom is that more is more! Once you've decided to embrace the palette of grey veined marble, why not combine a few different shapes and sizes (and tones) to create a truly dynamic statement in stone? Striped grey "Equator" marble is used to create a border around the floor and a panel detail on the wall, "Iceberg" marble is used for the main floor and the surround around the walls, classic Carrera marble jambs are used around the shower, and the shower floor is a multi-marble "pebble" mosaic for a whimsical touch. Why limit yourself to single choice when you can mix it up and make it fabulous!