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Help with bathroom tiles

February 4, 2019

I really need help figuring out tiles for a very small bathroom (8ft x 4ft 7in). The floor and wall are marble looking porcelain tiles-- the floor tiles are 17x17 and the wall tiles are 12x35. 

The problem I'm having is with adding some mosaic tile for interest...the store decorator suggested adding 2 stripes of mosaic tile (each 5 inches wide) down the shower wall to add interest and one stripe between toilet and vanity. But she didn't factor into account that the wall tiles I'm getting are 12x35 so the stripes wouldn't look right.. ( the  55 shower wall would end up being 5" wall tile + 5"Mosaic+ 35"wall+ 5 Mosaic+ 5 wall). The other stripe that should've gone between toilet and vanity will end up behind the mirror because I need to start full tile on that wall with no cuts because that's the wall you see when you open door). 

Can anyone offer any suggestions for me?

I'm attaching diagram of my bathroom and photo from the showroom that shows the wall and floor with sample of the mosaic for the wall, of the octagonal mosaic for shower floor. The tiles are all from Porcelanosa. (Wall and floor are carrara blanco; wall mosaic is savoya  white; shower floor is glaze hexagon beiges.) 

Thank you so much for any help!

Comments (28)

  • fatratboy
    sorry, please ignore the sample of small circle shower floor tiles in the photo. the shower floor is the 12x12 sheet of small octagonal tile; the mosaic for the wall is the sample leaning against the wall. thanks.
  • N Levine
    Hello Fatratboy,

    How about adding interest with art and/or paint choices? The Porcelana tile is beautiful and can stand on its own in my opinion. The size of the tiles doesn’t need to be broken up with pops of color, again in my opinion. Your small bathroom can feel restful with the large areas of uniform surface.

    Here are a couple of photos of our bathrooms. Granted, there is a bit of variety in the tile but the artwork and the paint color offer interest. Maybe you get nice towels to give the color, or accessories.
    fatratboy thanked N Levine
  • N Levine
    Maybe my suggestion of paint won’t work as you may have tile covering all the walls. If that’s the case, how about some interesting frames around the mirror(s)? You can buy a piece of mirror and then get a frame from a frame shop.
  • fatratboy
    thanks so much for your help! your bathroom is gorgeous, and it has a lot of variety in the tiles which adds so much. I wish I had something more interesting and was trying to figure that out, I almost feel like abandoning completely because this is overwhelming for me. are you suggesting that I don't add any mosaic tile at all and just have the large marble tile throughout with the small octagonal shower floor? thanks
  • N Levine
    Of course, this is my opinion. It seems that feature walks and those banding, strips, etc will date your design. Having the small tiles in the shower will make it less slippery. If it were me, I would skip those!
  • kariyava

    Instead of an accent strip (which I agree could date the shower), what do you think about a framed mosaic accent in your shower, like this one (but more simple).

  • fatratboy
    thank you! I'm just seeing your post now so sorry for not responding earlier. I kind of like that idea of a framed mosaic on the shower wall... I looked through Porcelanosa tiles and couldn't find any mosaics that would match without making too much of "statement." are there any tiles you could suggest that might look good and not be dated too quickly?
  • mayflowers

    A vertical mosaic between the vanity and toilet?? That's weird. The two stripes of mosaic down the back wall is odd too. The mosaic you've selected is nice and I don't see it becoming dated. I would either run it down the center of the back wall from ceiling to floor or on the shower head wall, using the entire 12" of mosaic. Or you can just frame the shower head and valve like the photo.

    Is there a minimum that you need to buy of that mosaic?

    You do have a few too many shapes and patterns in the shower though and I wouldn't mix the hexagon with the mosaic. Use a neutral shape for the shower floor with that mosaic--a 2" square. Are you using a solid colored countertop?

    Are you installing a niche or a grab bar? I'm using a 36" Kohler shower bar along my 60" back wall instead of a niche and that's going to be my bling. We don't use a lot of hair products but it's wide enough for bottles. You can also get a teak tray that attaches. I am considering running a mosaic down the center of the shower bar but it depends on the field tile we select and whether we want to lay it vertically.

  • Nancy in Mich

    I think of the huge 1 ft x 3 ft tiles as very modern and used all on their own, without accent strips. If you like what N Levine has in their bath, you can look at smaller tiles with classic trim pieces.

    Do you know about the issues laying those huge tiles, and are your walls flat enough to handle them?

    What is the age and stye of your house? Is it as modern as the tiles you have chosen?

  • fatratboy
    Mayflower, thank you so much! when you suggest running tile in center of back wall, do you mean the 55 wide shower wall or the 30" side across from shower head? would I just run 12" wide in middle, so it would be 9" tile, 12" mosaic, 9 tile?
    and you don't think the hexagon floor blends? the wall mosaic is sort of an elongated hexagon so I thought the it sort of blend with the shower floor, you don't think so?
    also, that's a great idea to have a grab bar, as we are now in our 60s... I was planning on niche in 30" wall opposite shower head.
    thanks so much for your help!
  • fatratboy
    Nancy, thank you for you comments too! I do like the N Levine shower but isnt it subway? my bathroom is very small so I thought it would look better to have same tile throughout, do you agree?
    my house is 1950s split level but we've just redone much of it so this would fit the decor of the rest. what issues re laying large tiles? he's gutting the bathroom and so the walls will presumably be straight.
    thanks so much for your help
  • Nancy in Mich

    MongoCT explains it very well in this thread:Large Rectangular Tiles, Small Bathroom thread. Note that they are talking about 24" tiles, not 36.

    Setting Large Format Tiles thread, again, they are not even as large as yours.

    Large Tile Setting Bed

    Here is a worst case example

  • fatratboy
    Nancy, thank you again. I have a lot of confidence in my tile guy but am not concerned about whether the tiles I picked will look good. do you like the shower floor I picked? another commenter thought would clash with the wall mosaic (if in fact I end up using). thanks
  • my_four_sons

    I feel like the floor hex doesn’t work with your other tile choices, especially your accent tile. I would switch out your floor hex for a single color, the beiges don’t seem to work with the rest of the look.

    Keep the accent tile in the shower, definitely none by the toilet. No need to accent a toilet.

  • mayflowers

    also, that's a great idea to have a grab bar, as we are now in our
    60s... I was planning on niche in 30" wall opposite shower head.

    So are we. The Kohler shower barre acts as a shelf and a grab bar and is rated for 300 lbs. It also comes in 24" and could be placed on the shower head wall. We're also putting a 12" vertical bar at the shower entrance for getting into and out of the shower.

    I had slight lightheadedness in the shower once that almost made me lose my balance, and DH is prone to vertigo. For that reason I wouldn't want a niche on the opposite wall from the shower head. I don't want to turn back and forth in a 60" shower because it's disorienting.

    You could put your niche in the center of the back wall and use that for an accent. I would line the back of the niche in the tile you select for the floor, and that could be hexagon. If you ran the accent to the floor, it would butt up against the hex and I wouldn't like them adjacent to one another.

    This is pretty busy and it's a much larger bathroom than yours. It doesn't have tiled walls, which adds even more pattern. Two tile patterns are enough for a shower.

    You could do a larger horizontal niche to make a bigger statement with your accent tile.

  • fatratboy
    My Four Sons, thank you! what shower floor tile do you suggest? do you not like the color of the hexagons or do you not like the shape?
    also how should you do the shower mosaic wall, should i just put a vertical line of mosaic down the center of the 55" wide wall?
    thanks for your help
  • kariyava

    fatratboy I think you could just frame the mosaic accent tile you already have if you like. I agree with others thought that you could find a better floor tile -- one with just one color (either the white or gray from your wall tile).

  • PRO
    Designer Drains

    The idea of the framed mosaic would be the best way..

  • fatratboy
    thanks so much! I like the framed mosaic suggestion and will look for a more neutral floor color, I think they had hexagonal in white but not sure (porcelaosa tiles are beautiful tiles but their selection of shower floor very limited).
    how does one do a frame for the mosaic? do I pick another border tile? is just a thin strip around the mosaic enough?
    any guidance will be very much appreciated. thank you
  • fatratboy
    Mayflowers, I just now am seeing your response. I like that wide niche, it looks really nice and maybe is a way of adding mosaic on my 55 wall instead of doing a frame mosaic. I wish I were better at visualizing things, it's hard to know what to do. the grab bar is a great idea that I think i would do with either the framed mosaic it the niche even though i guess would be very visible and maybe take away a little from the mosaic/niche.
  • mayflowers

    I have an entire Ideabook of shower ideas. Take a look via my profile.

  • kariyava

    I am not a tile pro, but I believe you have options for framing your mosaic, including a pencil liner and other trims. Talk to your tile shop and installer to see what will look and function best in your shower. I am picturing something like this:

    If you want to install a grab bar, you could do so underneath your mosaic -- just place your mosaic higher. Something like this:

  • Nancy in Mich

    I am with those who say that the floor tile is not a good choice. I see those small hexes as belonging with a different kind of wall tile, not the very large ones you have chosen. I do not like the beige, either. It would only work if your wall tile is one with gold/beige in the veining, and then I am not so sure this is the right color or the right combination of tiles.

    Your comment about Porcelana not having many smaller tiles to chose from confuses me. Is there a reason you must use that brand?

  • fatratboy
    kariyava, thank you, I love the tiles in that first photo!
  • fatratboy
    Nancy, thank you. the only reason for porcelaosa shower floor is that I'm getting the wall and bathroom floor from there so I'd prefer to get all at same place. also their tiles very well made, tho maybe doesn't matter where I get small tiles for shower floor. any suggestions?
  • fatratboy
    are plain small squares (white) better for shower? do you not like hexagonal shape or is it color you don't like?
  • mayflowers

    Porcelanosa tiles are very pretty. We were going to use Ferroker Platino. It has a slight silvery shimmer. But it's an expensive tile. My diagram on graph paper is based on their 17x26" tile and got an enthusiastic okay from one of the tile pros here.

  • Nancy in Mich

    I am not a professional, so this is just a gut reaction from a homeowner, but I would think that a more modern floor tile would be better, not a traditional hex size and shape. If you want hex, go to 3" size. I would think that a mosaic of squares would be good, too. For color, I would chose a color from one of the veins in the wall tile, maybe a medium gray. I don't like white floors with mostly white wall tiles because I believe that the eye needs the contrast of a darker floor with white walls in a place where people are not always wearing their glasses. It helps with orientation as we age. But then, I am nearsighted!

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