It can be very overwhelming if you're choosing bathroom tile for the first time. Tile stores can offer a huge selection which can lead to some very unsure decisions. A full bathroom may include a floor tile, a wall tile and possibly a mosaic for the shower floor if custom built. Of course, you can always get creative and add accents, inserts, niches which usually just adds to the confusion and makes people even more indecisive.
Follow this 5 step process for a simple way to get to your end result.
STEP 1: Start with your must have.
Pick a tile that you absolutely love that you want to build your palette around. It can be the wall tile, the floor or an accent or even the countertop. This will simply give you a great starting point in a store with endless possibilities.
STEP 2: Pick basic coordinating tiles.
The rule of thumb in any room with fixed finishes is to have only one showstopper. Just like you wouldn't want a busy countertop to compete with a trendy backsplash in a kitchen, the same applies for bathrooms. If you end up going with an intricate mosaic on the floor, keep the rest of the space more toned down.
STEP 3: Repeat the same tile.
Don't feel obliged to pick 5 different tiles for the floor, wall, shower floor, niche and accent. Repeating a tile will create a flow and will be easier to coordinating than choosing different tiles. When you have too many different finishes in one space, it will look too busy and if you're doing this on your own, you have a greater chance of picking something that will not match. Stick to not more than 3 different tiles in one bathroom.
STEP 4: When in doubt, go with the same tile everywhere in different sizes.
I do this all the time and I promise that the bathrooms I design don't end up boring or too simple. For example, I would use a 6"x24" tile laid in a herringbone pattern on a floor, the same tile in 12"x24" on the wall and the same tile in a mosaic pattern on the shower floor. The key to doing this right is to play with different sizes and pattern. This creates a texture that gives depth to the space. This is a good option for someone who will be installing a showstopper countertop or for someone who doesn't have the eye to coordinating the colours in multiple tiles.
STEP 5: Ask yourself two questions to confirm that you've made the right choices.
Will the plan I've put together work with the flow of my home? Or will you be walking into a completely different style/era? Unless, you plan on slowly renovating the rest of your home, I wouldn't do an ultra modern bathroom in a country style home. It's important that the design aesthetic for the bathroom you're renovating flows with the design and architecture of the rest of your home.
Will I be able/willing to maintain the tiles I chose? If you love marble and plan on putting it everywhere but don't ever want to seal it or worry about toothpaste or water stains, than maybe marble isn't for you. You may want to consider using it as an accent instead or maybe look into porcelain replicas.