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Ideas 04 - the secret of a beautiful bathroom

what tiles should you choose to polish your bathroom?

the answer you find in instagram or pinterest would certainly contains keywords like, small, cement encaustic, and geometrical tiles etc.

there are so many shapes and colors of choices that leads to great flexibility of combinations and design.

1. how to choose?

according to the principle of perspective, the further an object locates, the smaller it looks to us.

if we apply this principle in our bathroom, small wall tiles can visually move the wall backwards and enhance the perspective of this space.

that's because the grout lines for the tile spacing work as the perspective grids and create an illusion that the wall moves backwards and look further.

the denser the grids are, the more fragments we saw on the wall. therefore, we would focus more on the shape of the tiles and the tile gaps.

on contrary, if a single tile is relatively bigger for the same area, we would notice first the texture and quality of the tile, then the gaps.

also, in a bathroom with big tiles, we immediately pay attention to the sanitary ware, such as toilets, bathtubs, other than the wall. which works the opposite in a bathroom with relatively smaller-sized tiles.

this means, large sized tiles reveals the quality of the bathroom ware.

i wonder if you ever notice that the bathroom rendering for ikea campaigns always come together with small tiles. now you know why.

if you have limited budget, maybe you should try to use small tiles to define the style of your bathroom. and it would still look eclectic.

2. how to match?

at the early stage, people tend to collect plenty of tile samples to compare so to find the suitable match.

but one thing to pay attention is that considering tiles are not enough in the whole design process. because in our daily life, the function of a bathroom is way more than we think. so please count in the faucets, hardware and handles, etc.

to remain the bathroom in a fresh and clean status, after you have pictured everything, when i mean everything , it includes towels, shampoo and toothbrushes, i believe the color palette shall be within 4 types max.

for example, white is for bathtub and toilet, metal is for wares and handles, and wooden or other colors are for basin cabinet. there are no much choices for tiles left.

therefore, choose the tile color within given color, or add one or two for decoration purpose.

below picture is a bad example for bathroom color. it looks messy already, let alone the days once people move in and really start to use it.

in this example, right picture is more orderly than the left one.

next picture is a smart design to conceal the cabinet into the background wall while leaving the other walls white. it keeps all the wares golden and have hexagonal tiles for decoration. it is designed with great logic and control of color layers.

3. how to lay tiles?

the laying methods have been developed into tons of different types. but the two main basics are 井 and 工.

井: to make the look rigid and tidy.

工: to create a lively result.

the laying geometry needs to consider the pattern and shapes of the tile itself. for example, to make it look natural, it's recommended to use 工 method for the cement tiles of marble patterns so to have staggered pattern, instead of rigid and identical ones.

if your bathroom is small, or you need room for storage, choose plain colored small tiles is a good way to make it tidy.

based on this principle, choose one wall or the floor to differ from the plainness, but never use large hexagonal tiles.

the irregular shapes (other than rectangular or square) will inevitably end at the joint of the walls which might results in a weird shape. this could reminds one of the suit with unaligned sewing joint and leave an impression of being rough.

one tip to remember is to have the irregular shaped tiles smaller than the regular ones in a same room. the joint gaps can reduce its visual impact in this way.

another tip is to use the gap filler smartly.

to match the tiles and gaps in the same color, the wall tend to look like a whole complete surface. even when you choose a complicated method for laying the tiles or have irregular shapes, the gaps won't interrupt the space structure. and this could easily improve the texture of the wall.

here is the summary of today's topic - tiles for bathrooms:

1) if you are looking for a fresh and tidy bathroom, try to maintain at max. 4 colors in your bathroom.

2) if your budget is limited, try to use small tiles.

3) focus on the shapes and laying if you decide to use small tiles.

4) in the same room, make sure the irregular shaped tiles are smaller than the regular ones.

5) never forget the importance of the gap fillers in this space.

About the author:

草三冉 Cao San Ran

is an interior designer and writer, based in Canton area, China. He has been working in design industry for over a decade both in Japan and China. His works are always well-thought-out in layouts and details to ensure the unique and best hierarchy solutions for each client. His great writings also put an in-depth theory into an accurate but simple explanation that made me a big fan of his.

If you read Chinese, scan above QR code to read more articles in Chinese from 草三冉.

I will be happy to translate more of his works to share with English readers.

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