If there is one thing that can really make a Kitchen or Bathroom design, its the TILE! Gone are the days of being limited to what you see at Home Depot or a Tile Store. Thanks to the excellent boutique tile companies out there, you have endless options in handmade, unique shapes, textures, colors and patterns.
So where do I start, you say? When I am thinking about a bathroom remodel, tile is actually the first thing I start with. After I get a feel for the clients personality, I start looking for one standout tile to build the room around. Sometimes its a pattern, sometimes its a shape, sometimes its a texture or color.
Once you have "the one" then its time to add complimentary tile. I like to vary my shapes and sizes, so for instance if you do an 8x8 square on the floor, maybe go with a 4" hex or a smaller rectangle on the walls. I feel like I always reference this, but think of pairing tiles like you would pair clothing. A natural pairing is an oversized top with a skinny bottom, a ditsy floral with a large stripe, its all about balance and creating a focal point and you can't do that if everything is the star!
Depending on the size and space of the bathroom, I stick with 2 different (one for the floors and one for the walls) but sometimes if the space calls for it you can bring in a a third style of tile.
Trends, follow them or stay away? I say do what you LOVE and what INSPIRES you, if you can't stop thinking about something, go for it, but definitely don't just do something because it is trendy (sorry Ultra Violet, I probably won't be using any of you for tile this year). Keep your ultra trendy items in your accessories or your textiles, those things are less expensive and can be rotated easily!
Maintenance, you ask? So that is tricky to answer, as it depends on the type of tile you have. If you go with a ceramic tile, you are in luck because there is little to no maintenance outside of regular cleaning, if you go with cement or a natural stone, things get a little trickier. Cle tile has an excellent guide for caring for your cement tiles (click here) but truthfully, I think there is something really beautiful about how a tile ages. I love seeing the little imperfections because that just shows that a person created it, not a machine.
Below are a few of my favorite tile installations, click the link to find out where it came and if I left you with unanswered questions (as I am sure I did, this is a loaded topic) please comment below and I'll do my best to steer you in the right direction!