How to choose the right bathroom tiles

12 December 2019

When it comes to your bathroom, deciding on the look and feel you want is largely determined by the tiles you select. Frequently used by both family and guests, the bathroom is one of the most important spaces in your home, so it’s vital that it looks great and functions well. The endless choice of tile colours, sizes, styles, shapes, finishes and materials can be overwhelming. So let’s take a look at five handy tips to help you choose the right bathroom tiles.


When choosing bathroom tiles, it’s important to understand the different materials available and what they’re most suited for. Here are the most common types of tiles used in bathrooms.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are the perfect tile surface for bathrooms and other moisture-prone areas. Ceramic tiles are commonly made with red, brown or white clay that’s fired in a kiln and finished with a durable glaze, which carries the colour and pattern on the surface of the tile. Ceramic floor tiles are suitable for bathrooms that have a light to moderate traffic but can be prone to wear and chipping. Ceramic tiles come in matt, satin, gloss and polished finishes, giving you endless options for your bathroom. They’re easy to clean and maintain, and they’re one of the longest-lasting products on the market today.

Porcelain tiles

Porcelain tiles carry colour and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile, making them much harder and denser. Porcelain tiles are suitable for any wall or floor application and are ideal for very high traffic areas in your home. Porcelain floor tiles are great for bathrooms in terms of wear and tear, and their hard-wearing surface is stain and scratch-resistant. Plus, they’re easy to clean and maintain!

Stone tiles

If you prefer a natural, earthy feel, you make like to consider tiles made from natural stone. Natural stone tiles come in an array of colours and styles including marble, limestone, travertine, slate and granite. It’s important to note that natural stone tiles are porous, which means they’re prone to absorbing water, lubricants and stains. Sealing your tiles will keep them looking good and guard against staining, but this process needs to be repeated every 3-4 years. The beauty of natural stone’s unique patterns will vary from tile to tile, so keep in mind that no two tile surfaces will be the same. And steer clear of bleaches and harsh chemicals as they may eat into the surface of natural stone.

Mosaic tiles

Mosaic tiles are fabulous for creating a unique feature in your bathroom. There’s an endless array of colours, styles and sizes to choose from, and there’s no denying how fabulous mosaic floor tiles can look, but they can be quite slippery when wet. So make sure you check the slip rating standard before you buy. Most mosaic tiles are small, which means there are a lot more grout lines – and the more grout lines you have, the more cleaning is involved!


Some tiles are smoother than others and may not be as suitable for wet areas where they may become slippery. Slip ratings have been designed to make it easy to decide whether a tile is suitable for different areas like bathrooms, kitchens, outdoors or around pools. The key is to choose a tile that has a high slip rating. Tiles are put through a slip rating test that assesses the frictional characteristic of the surface to detect what is best suited for different environmental conditions. The test measures the long-term wear throughout the life of a floor, taking into consideration, the installation process, wear characteristics, cleaning maintenance and anticipated traffic. So make sure you ask about a tile’s slip rating before you buy. The last thing you want is to choose a floor tile that becomes dangerous when wet!


When choosing tiles, it’s important to consider the size of the room. Large-format tiles look stunning on both walls and floors to give a large bathroom a flawless finish. However, for smaller bathrooms, it’s a good idea to give your bathroom a feature such as penny rounds or mosaic tiles. If space is limited, an oversized diamond pattern on a bathroom floor can create diagonal lines that give the eye a longer path to follow from one side of the room to the other, so the room feels bigger than it really is. It might seem contradictory, but choosing larger tiles for a small bathroom works because you have less grouted joints which give the illusion of more space.


One of the most exciting things about choosing tiles is picking a colour that suits your style and personality. Colour also plays an important role in projecting a warm and inviting ambience, or a cool and tranquil retreat.

Dark colours not only add warmth and hide dirt in the bathroom, but they can tend to make a space feel enclosed. So it’s important to go easy on darker colours. Consider adding a gloss wall tile to enhance and create an illusion of space. A glossy tile has a reflective quality and tends to look brighter and lighter when paired with darker colour schemes.

Neutral colour tones are great for keeping the design simple, while lighter neutral colours are perfect for small bathrooms, making tight spaces feel more spacious and open.

If you’re thinking about using a patterned tile in your bathroom, you’re not alone. The use of traditional Moroccan and other patterned tiles in bathroom design is still very popular. And this trend is set to continue in Australian bathrooms throughout 2020. So if you’re looking to make a statement, be bold, be brave – colour and pattern are going nowhere!


Laying wall tiles vertically 

If your bathroom is small and narrow with low ceilings, it is recommended to lay your tiles vertically to subtly emphasise the height of the space. Opt for 300×600 or larger tiles, instead of small feature tiles – the more grout lines you can see, the more confined the space will feel.

Laying wall tiles horizontally

If your bathroom has limited floor space with tall ceilings, laying your bathroom floor tiles horizontally will create the illusion of width, making the space feel more open. Any rectangular tile will accentuate the space because your eyes are drawn to the horizontal lines, making the space appear wider and longer than it really is! The continuity of running a horizontal floor tile on the walls will make a wrapping effect. And if you use the same tile on the walls and floors of your bathroom, it will create the illusion of space, making it look wider and more open.

Create your dream home at Select by Hallmark

At Hallmark Homes, we know that creating a cohesive look for your new home is vital, as it can add enormous value to your greatest asset. And we look forward to assisting you with this exciting process.

Our expert Selection Centre Consultants will personally guide you through all your colour selections, ensuring that everything you choose works together seamlessly, both inside and out. They will also help you with all of your choices when it comes to appliances, finishes, fixtures plus much more. Our Selection Centre, Select by Hallmark, is exclusive to Hallmark Homes’ clients, and entry is by appointment only.

When it comes to choosing the right tiles for your new home, you have the choice of visiting one of three National Tiles stores for your tile selection appointment – Arundel, Newstead or Warana, where you will be expertly guided through the process by your own personal consultant, making what can be a daunting process a breeze!

Thinking of building a new home in South-East Queensland? The friendly team at Hallmark Homes is ready to help. Come and check out one of our display centres for yourself. If you have any questions about our home designs or house and land packages, please contact us today.

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