Tiles are a big feature of every bathroom, and with so many styles, sizes and combinations, how do you get it right? Check out this must-see interview by Reece with Interior expert (and Tiles of Ezra founder and director) Georgia Ezra for some practical and stylistic advice.
Whether you’re renovating or about to embark on a start-to-finish bathroom build, tile choice is a major consideration. What size bathroom tiles should you choose? Should you go floor-to-wall with every tile? And will your favourite tile last the test of time? To help you make the right decisions for your home, we speak to the founder of Tiles of Ezra and Director of interior architecture firm Studio Ezra, Georgia Ezra, for some real-time advice.
In terms of style, what are the main things to consider when selecting both floor and wall tiles for the bathroom?
Georgia: What you see at eye level when you walk into a bathroom is really important. People will often include a small feature strip behind the sink or bath, but is that really the most effective way to create drama within your budget? Instead, I’d recommend bringing the tiling full height to the ceiling for a stronger effect that will open up the space.
Also vital, and commonly misjudged, are the endpoints of the tiling. If you're not tiling floor-to-ceiling or wall-to-wall, and instead just creating a feature wall, you need to define the endpoints clearly. Ask yourself, ‘why is there an endpoint and does it line up with the joinery?’. It's important to properly plan for these points to ensure the space will make sense visually and not look incomplete.
What should you avoid when choosing tile combinations?
Georgia: I don't like to hinder creativity by telling people what they should or shouldn't do when choosing tile combinations, but what I do tell clients is that no matter what room you're designing, it should be treated as a story with all elements perfectly tying together. So go ahead and play with intricate patterns and bold colours – I personally love to do this – but you should ensure it all makes sense as a whole. For example, if you're choosing a bold or bright colour, try sticking to one pattern or select one tone but create interesting layering through various textures. Ultimately, you don't want your space to look busy and lose its impact.
Tiles come in different makes and types, are there any tiles that are better for higher traffic bathrooms?
Georgia: In terms of durability, you’ll find that porcelain and ceramic tiles are a common choice, as they’re thinner which is sometimes easier to lay and can be considered more practical as they don’t need any sealing. But, do they offer the same warmth, texture, energy and passion as handmade tiles? No. Something like a Zellige mosaic tile is another durable option, and one that also offers a unique warmth and texture. Cement tiles will require the most upkeep, as they’re more porous and need regular sealing – but still very durable.
What are some quick tactics to tile within a tighter budget?
Georgia: Instead of opting for floor-to-ceiling tiling throughout the entire bathroom, think about tiling one block of the bathroom, such as the shower area or just the floor. Not only will this save you some money, but it can allow the tiling to become the hero of the bathroom. Or for something different, consider how you can wrap the tiling around certain bathroom products, and then how high you can take that tiling to create impact.
In your opinion, what colour and size tiles are best for small bathrooms?
Georgia: If you have a small bathroom, you can really take tiling strategy in two directions; opt for large format tiles to make the bathroom look bigger or go with really small penny roll tiles for some intricate detailing. I don’t think there is any particular shape that’s ‘best’ for a small bathroom, but wrapping the floor tile right to the ceiling is an absolute must if you’re trying to make the space feel bigger. And in terms of colour, lighter tones always help to create the feeling of a larger space.
If you’re looking to see how current Aussie renovators and designers are bringing their bathroom tile visions to life, visit the Reece’s bathroom gallery
Photographer Amelia Stanwix
Interior design and architecture by Studio Ezra
Tiles: Tiles of Ezra (FL005)