From Tile to Tub: How to Build Better Bathrooms

– iStock 694552050 – From Tile to Tub: How to Build Better Bathrooms

How much thought do you put into the bathroom designs of your builds? Here are a few trends and hot ideas to make your bathrooms some of the most appealing rooms in your homes.

Tile, tile, tile

Nothing makes a bathroom more distinctive than its tile. The hottest tile trends are geometric shapes and iridescent tiles, which can add fairy tale touches to modern life.

Other hot ideas include:

  • Large-format tiles, which Frank Iaria from Mint Kitchen Group said are resonating with customers who want minimalistic spaces achieved through clean, straight lines afforded by the tiles that are uniform in size and have a seamless finish when installed. Large-format tiles on the floor and walls also can add continuity and create the illusion of more space in smaller bathrooms, according to another House of Home writer.
  • Three-dimensional tiles, which offer texture and other eye-catching design options.
  • Feature tiles, which add a pop of color on a single wall or in small spaces.

Materials and finishes

Natural materials, such as bamboo, can add an earthy element to a bathroom while still blending nicely with gleaming modern fixtures, and stone can add texture to floors and walls.

Concrete is not just for sidewalks. It can add great texture and color to bathrooms from floors to countertops.

Marble doesn’t have to be gleaming; matte-finish marble tiles behind the vanity can add a lovely touch of luxury, as can natural terrazzo or terrazzo-look porcelain tile.

Fixtures and fittings

Brass is always a trendy choice, but matte finishes like graphite also are growing in popularity. Matte finish fixtures create a clean, higher-end look without a lot of fuss or polishing required.

Square fixtures and fittings, including shower heads and towel bars, also are an emerging trend, according to Iaria from Mint Kitchen Group. He advises going square or curved, but not mixing the two shapes when choosing fixtures.

Added cabinet appeal

You can create cohesion by bringing vanity materials into cabinet handles, or add visual interest with thin handles with matte finishes. Painting cabinet interiors in a lovely contrasting color can add an extra and surprising touch of eye-appeal.

Thin is in

Thin benches, shelves, towel rails and vanity counters are a big trend that can be particularly appealing in smaller spaces. Thin surfaces allow more room for storage beneath.

More space savers

Adding a countertop basin, rather than an inset sink, also can up the vanity storage space. And recessed medicine cabinets that sit flush with the wall also can make a small space seem bigger, while still providing valuable storage space and functionality.

Sliding doors rather than traditional, hinged swinging doors can save valuable interior space, too.

For particularly small spaces, designers point to walk-in showers rather than bathtubs to make the most of the room.

The tub is at the heart of it all

For bathrooms with adequate space, the tub is at the heart of it all. Whether installed next to a wall or freestanding, they can be whimsical (think decorative brass feet) or high-tech (think LED lighting).


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