It’s all in the details with the latest bathroom finishes and materials. Give your bathing space a sophisticated makeover with durable colour, texture and pattern.
Offering up texture and tone in a head-spinning range of options, tiles are often the only choice for bathrooms. The most important thing to get right, however, is water resistance. Ranging from terracotta at the porous end of the scale, to virtually impervious porcelain, tiles can be glazed to ensure they are water-tight.
Narrow down your myriad options by thinking of your bathroom’s different zones and the amount of traffic the room sees. Matt-finish tiles reduce slip risk and work well for families with young children, but are harder to clean. Gloss-glazed wall tiles are recommended for sink, tub and toilet surrounds, while matt glazed or full-body porcelain tiles are easy to wipe clean.
Tiles are now manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes – from tiny hexagonal and penny-round mosaics to large format options – but be aware: the smaller the tile, the more you’ll notice the grout.
If you’re after precision and minimal grout lines (down to 1mm), rectified porcelain tiles are an excellent solution. Cut perfectly square, the finished result is streamlined and uniform. The exact nature of the dimensions requires extra time and effort in laying, however.
Although it takes up minimal space, grouting can have a huge visual impact on your pamper zone, whether you colour-match to your tiles or choose a contrasting tone. Several companies specialise in a wide range of coloured grout, so near-identical colour matching is a real possibility. Available in 19 colours, Ardex’s FG8 cement-based grout is flexible, mould-resistant and water-repellent, suitable for ceramic, porcelain, stone and mosaic tiles with joints between 1mm and 8mm; visit ardexaustralia.com for more details. Davco, another grout specialist, has a product called Sanitized Colorgrout which can be used for most ceramic and stone tiles, comes in 25 colours and is suitable for joints between 1mm and 6mm; visit davco.com.au.
When it comes to painting bathroom walls, moisture resistance is again the biggest concern. Large brands, such as Dulux and Taubmans, offer specialised kitchen and bathroom paints that protect from mould and mildew. Other paints can still be used – semi-gloss paint is a durable option as is low-sheen acrylic paint. Or try Bauwerk Colour’s ‘Mud’ range of muted coloured paints with natural antibacterial properties.