Tiles, the make or break of your bathroom

Tiles can be daunting as they are a permanent fixture in the house and its not like you can change them on a whim. Bathrooms are now becoming show pieces of the house, they are luxurious and one of the most functional spaces of the house. When it comes to tiles  you have a few considerations, but basically it comes down to:

  • Style
  • Colour
  • Budget

As a rule of thumb I try to keep the materials to a minimum when designing a room or bathroom. I would normally pair one or two tiles together.


The tone and size of the tile you use should in general relate to the rest of the house. You can have larger size tiles with fewer joins or smaller one. Do you want ceramic, terrazzo, marble, glass, stone, this is where you decide what material you like? Remember if you are using a natural material you will be subject to colour and tonal variation. Its a good idea here to get inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, Open homes and Magazines.

Part of the style is pattern, or direction.The way you lay the tile can have a massive effect on the overall look and they way a bathroom feels. There are a few different ways to lay tile, rectangle tiles can be laid in brick pattern, stack bond, herringbone. Do you want the lines to line up. Whatever happens they need to be level. If the floor and walls are out don’t try to fix it with the tile. Make sure you use a string line and understand what the cuts are going to do at the edges. You do not want a small slither of tiles up against a wall.


Once you have chosen the tile material and the sizing you need to choose the colour. I normally start with what I can see and like in other homes and bathrooms. This will give you an idea of how things go together. As tiles can be more difficult to change sometimes it can be a good idea not to be too on trend or to choose something that will not date. A blush bathroom might be hot right now, but…. could this be a trend or do you think its here to stay? In saying that, it’s important that the tiles you choose appeal to you and you love them!


Once you have your overall look, price the tiles you like. You can find tilers from $45+GST – $80+GST, now this is one are where I don’t like to scrimp as we want to ensure we have a good job. If the tiler isn’t recommended it can be a good idea to check their work and check their insurances. Make sure the tiler knows that tile and pattern you have decided to go with when pricing. Difficult pattern matches can be more labour intensive.

To work out how much the tiling will cost take each surface separately and work out the square metre quantity. If you have two different tiles work this out separately. Dependant on the size of the area and the tile you will need to include a factor of 10-15% for wastage on each type of tile. See the example below. You need to multiply the overall square metre by the dollar square metre rate from the tiler and then you have a budget for the tiles.

Top tips:

Waterproofing is essential in wet areas

Get the prep right and make sure your walls are plumb.

Water resistant linings are best used in wet areas.

Ensure that your plumber and tiler discuss the location of the  shower drainage point to make sure you can slope the floor properly.

Check if the tile quote includes caulking

The tiler is responsible for washing all grout and leaving the tiles clean on completion

Check out the nation construction code for the specific technical requirements. It is surprisingly easy to read and understand! I promise and if you need more info let me know and I’ll run a webinar…

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