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Design details Bathroom tiles

Tiles aren’t just the practical choice for wet areas. They can also bring vibrant colour and pattern, and define the mood of the entire space – with something for all budgets, says Emily Brooks
Gleaming brassware stands out against monochrome geometric cement tiles running along the floor and up the basin wall in this project by Gunter & Co. The tiles are from Mosaic del Sur

The distinct personality and individualism that’s fairly unchallenging to attain elsewhere in a home can occasionally fall by the wayside in the bathroom, because of the need to prioritise safe, easy-to-maintain surfaces and products. Using tiles is one of the simplest ways to create character while still attaining a really high level of practicality. The wide range of colours, patterns, textures and materials available means that near-enough any look is achievable, from minimal, architectural-style bathrooms to a warmer traditional ambience or the period flavour of a classic Edwardian washroom.

Your choice of materials will come down to aesthetics, budget and ease of upkeep. Natural stone and cement will need regular sealing, for example, while glass isn’t suitable for wet floors because it will become slippery. Porcelain and ceramic are top choices for price, straightforward installation and compatibility with underfloor heating – and also for the huge range of patterns and colours available. The development of inkjet printing has led to an explosion of lookalike finishes on ceramic and porcelain tiles, from slate to timber to rusty metal, opening up lots of exciting design possibilities.

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About Build It

Find the advice & inspiration you need to build or renovate your dream home, including: - Cover house... a charming vernacular new home in the countryside - Specifying sustainable building materials - Design ideas for listed buildings - Can smart homes be hacked? - Self-building for profit ... and more!