17 – Day 10: 14 Days To A New Bathroom

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bathroom tiles

On today’s episode,

Bernadette is now on Day 10 of the mini-series 14 Days To A New Bathroom. This episode will focus on tiling. And because it is the most expensive element of bathroom renovation representing a large portion of your bathroom and thus setting the tone of the room, Bernadette will provide valuable tips on choosing the right tiles for your reno by making sure of their longevity.

This episode is a part of a 14-Day mini-series on Bathroom Renovations.

Listen to Day 10: 14 Days To A New Bathroom

Podcast: Download (Duration: 08:55 — 18.15 MB)

Bernadette covers,

  • Tiles and their shape, colour, material, and how they’re laid
  • Why she prefers porcelain tile material over natural stone
  • How the shape of your tiles and how they are laid affects the concept of space in your bathroom
  • Why you should consider tiling up to the ceiling of your bathroom despite the added effort
  • Her preferred type of tiles to use on bathroom walls and featured walls
  • Compromises you can make to stay within your budget
  • How to deal with external corners
  • Which among the many variations of floor tiles she prefers and has been using for her recent reno projects
  • Why it’s essential to make sure that your tiler is able to manage your floor tile preference
  • How to achieve floor tiles that look even and perfectly laid
  • Knowing what you should be supplying and what to leave for your tiler to supply

Episode highlights:

00:20 – The tiling represents the large portion of the bathroom renovation

01:00 – The shape, the colour, the material and how they’re laid

01:19 – Porcelain or ceramic and or natural stone

02:00 – In terms of the shape

02:48 – I like to tile to the ceiling

03:12 – I definitely think that’s worth the effort

03:50 – How you’re going to deal with external corners

04:10 – Two main ways to do that: Aluminium and Mitred

05:40 – It’s a mistake to put border tiles in

06:00 – Go for a feature wall

06:35 – Materials, there is so much variations in terms of tiles these day

07:18 – I think terrazzo was a very traditional material

07:30 – The size of the tiles matter

07:45 – Work with your tiler

07:55 – Think about how those tiles will lay out

08:30 – Start in a way that the finished product is perfect

08:40 – What materials your tiler will supply


Well hello! It’s Bernadette, back with the 10th episode in our 14 Day mini series. 14 Days To A New Bathroom.

And today we are going to be talking about tiling. So the tiling represents a large portion of the bathroom renovation and it really is what sets the tone of the room. It’s an expensive element as a rule of thumb. I work on around a $100 a square metre for tiles and labor. And so you want to make sure that, if this is in your own home that it has longevity, and that in 3 or 4 years, you’re not going to be over your tile selection and looking to do something about it.

Now in terms of tiles. So there is the shape, there’s the colour, the material, and also how they’re laid. So in terms of the actual material, the tile, there’s a multitude of choices, but I’ll boil it down to porcelain or ceramic and or natural stone. And for a bathroom, I’d have to say natural stone does create a maintenance issue and it does need to be sealed.

So for most of the bathrooms we do, we don’t, in fact I’d say all the bathrooms we do, we don’t use a natural stone. If we want to go for stone, we go for a porcelain version.

So we’ve done a porcelain version of marble which has come up beautifully. Because I just don’t want to have to deal with the staining and the issues that you have with natural stone.

So in terms of the shape, if you’re going for a rectangular tile, the way it is laid will have any impact on the sense of space in the room. So if you have a rectangular tile that is laid vertically, it will make the ceiling look much higher if it’s laid horizontally it’ll make the room look wider. So you need to look at what it is that you want to achieve in the room.

If it’s space challenged, then you may go for laying them horizontally. I like to tile to the ceiling. I really think that tiling part way up the wall sort of breaks the continuity of the wall. And so what I like to do is take the corners off and tile straight up to the ceiling. So you have what looks like a square set joint with the tiles going right up there. Sometimes that will mean some patching, because the corners was covering a gap, where the ceiling didn’t meet the wall exactly, but I definitely think that’s worth the effort.

Now if you don’t have it in your budget to tile from floor to ceiling, then look, do you need to do every wall? And that’s often the compromises we make, so we don’t tile every wall, but the ones that we do, go completely to the ceiling. Of course the other thing is that the tiling works with the waterproofing to contain the water in the room.

And when we get to the actual renovation, I’ll talk a bit more about that relationship. The other thing with the wall tiles is, you want to consider how you’re going to deal with external corners. So how you’re going to finish off, like the window ledge or if you’re putting in a niche. What you’ll end up with is the edge of the tile showing along the edge of that recess and there’s two main ways to do that.

The first way is by using an aluminium angle, which is in a matching colour to the tiles and I’d say that’s probably the most common way and the way. Unless your doing a very high end bathroom the way that you should go.

Otherwise you need to mitred the tiles and I’m telling you you won’t be making friends with your tiler, because it’s quite a tedious process. So the tiler has to cut the edge of the tile on a mitre. So when they join together, they’ve got a perfect edge. It’s very nice look, quite clean, but it is very fragile. Because basically what you’ve done is cut out the back of the tile till it’s paper thin, and if you knock it, it’s very easy to chip. So if you’re going that way, make sure there are spare tiles left behind like you would do that anyhow. But if you’re doing mitred edges, make sure you’ve got more spare tiles, so that you can repair any damage.

Okay. So the next thing we want to talk about, oh! Just back on the wall tiles. I actually really like white wall tiles although the old 600×300 gloss white tile gets a bit boring. So I’m mixing it up a bit with your shapes and whatever can certainly help. I really think it’s a mistake to put border tiles in. I think I talked about this in an earlier episode or putting any sort of design flair in your tiles because you will live to regret it. It will make the tiles age much quicker they’ll look dated quicker.
I think if you want to create a design flair, go for a feature wall, where, either with a different color tile or a different texture. Because if the time comes, and that wall has dated then you can easily tile over one wall.

However if you’ve got a border going all the way around or these strips going from floor to ceiling in a contrast color it becomes problematic. It’s hard to deal with if you want to change it.

The floor tiles. I guess of course will talk about materials as well. There is so much variation or so much available in terms of tiles these days, that you’re really spoilt for choice. We’ve been using terrazzo quite a bit. Some bathrooms, real terrazzo others, a porcelain version. Both have come up really well in our most recent bathroom. The floor was done in 900 mm square porcelain terrazzo and it looked fabulous. I think terrazzo was a very traditional material, so I really love to use it in another bathroom. We did use real terrazzo tiles, which were quite expensive and looked lovely.

So of course it depends a lot on your budget. When you are choosing the floor tiles I just want to reiterate the size of the tile matters.

As I’ve said before, creating that floor is really essential and you need to work with you tiler when you’re choosing the tiles. To make sure that your tiler is able to manage that tile to create the floor.

The other thing is that you want to think about how those tiles will lay out, so how they’ll look when they’re laid out and even do a practice run. Lay the tiles out on the floor and see how they work with the dimensions of your room. You don’t want to start with the full tiles one side and end up with like a fraction on the other, it’s a bad look.

So you might need to send to the tiles for that. So just work out how it’s going to end up and make sure that you start in a way that the finished product is perfect.

And lastly, what should you be supplying and what should you leave for your tiler to supply? Generally, I will supply the tiles and grout, because there are a very personal choice but I always leave the adhesive to the tiler. There are different adhesives for different applications and you want to make sure that it’s the right one. I’ve found that if I go and buy the adhesive it’s always the wrong ones, so I just leave it to them to do to make sure that the correct product is used.

Okay. So that’s it for tiles today. I hope you found this useful and I will look forward to presenting again on Monday and we’ll be on the homeward run next week. So thank you.

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Bernadette Janson

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