4 Ways to Think Big with Tile in Small Bathrooms

September 28, 2018

4 Ways to Think Big with Tile in Small Bathrooms

We all know the phrase, bigger is better. Heck, at Architectural Ceramics, we wrote a blog about it featuring our large-format tile. But, what if you're not big on space? Inside the District, square footage often comes at a premium. For those of you looking to maximize every inch in your home, check out our tips on how to think big with tile in small bathrooms.

1. Focus on a Feature

Ati Williams, real estate entrepreneur and owner of DC Home Buzz, partnered with Architectural Ceramics on this powder room feature wall.
AC's Batik Collection. Photo courtesy of Ati Williams for AC's Houzz Project Page.
AC's Flora pattern in the color Indigo, from our Batik Collection.
The glass tile, from our Batik Collection, reaches from wall-to-wall and from the vanity top to the ceiling. The dark rich tones of the natural wood vanity work well with the rich fabric-like texture of the tile. The back-painted glass tile uses a powder technique to achieve the hand-printed effect. The 6"x12" glossy field tiles come in two "prints" and three colorways. One is more floral, while the other is a geometric ikat pattern, typical of fabric block-printing. To view the full Batik Collection, visit our Product Page or download a Data Sheet here.

Related Links

Love our Batik Collection? Read our blog, Indonesian Inspiration: AC's Batik Collection, that features the glass tile.

Looking for more feature wall inspiration? Visit our blog, Making a Statement with Shower Accent Walls for more projects and ideas.

2. Keep It Clean

The color palette that is. When working in a small bathroom, avoid a kaleidoscope of color. Rockville Showroom Senior Designer Ginnie Schielke, and her client, Architect Rebecca Mann of Edge Mann Studio, kept her bathroom clean and clutter-free with our City Hall Collection.
AC's City Hally Collection featuring a 4"x12" white ceramic. Photo via AC's Houzz Project Page.
Mann's DC bathroom may be short on floor space, but its walls are tall. Mann was up for the design challenge. Whether designing for other clients or herself, Mann says she "strives to create designs that are simple, flexible, functional, and beautiful." Instead of installing the 4"'x12" white ceramic tile vertically to accentuate the already tall ceilings, she chose to go horizontally. The lines are simple and in keeping with the rectangular floating sink, compliments of Duravit, or the thin-profile lighting above the mirror from WAV Lighting. Our City Hall Collection features the 4"x12" field tile shown above, as well as a 3"x6" subway tile, a penny round mosaic, and coordinating trims like a pencil liner and base molding. For more information or inspiration from our City Hall Collection, visit our Product Page, or download a Data Sheet here.
AC's City Hall and Kiln & Penny Collections. Photo via AC's Houzz Project Page.
" I strive to create designs that are simple, flexible, functional, and beautiful." --Rebecca Mann, Edge Mann Studio
AC's Kiln & Penny Collection, porcelain penny round in the color Petrolio.
The crisp white ceramic wall tile carries into the shower area. The shower floor, however, uses a small area to add big contrast to the overall design. Our Kiln & Penny Collection in the blue-green color Petrolio, contrasts the adjacent walls and polished concrete floor. AC's Kiln & Penny Collection is unique because it is a porcelain that looks like ceramic. The benefit is that it has the softness of a ceramic tile but the durability of a porcelain. The collection features the penny round mosaic, shown to the right, as well as a 3"x12" field tile and quarter round for making transitions at an outside corner. To view our Kiln & Penny Collection's full range of color options, visit our Product Page or download a Data Sheet here.

Related Links

For more from our City Hall Collection, or to learn more about ceramic tile, visit our blog, Back to Basics: AC's Ceramic Tile Collections.

When in doubt, keep material selections clean and simple. See how an unnatural choice in natural slate can have a clean and contemporary look by reading our blog, A Clean Slate: How Rough Slate Can Have a Clean Aesthetic.

3. Grow Up

Renovating a kids' bath and need access to the tub? Ditch the outdated sliding glass doors, and opt for a hinged glass door instead. Don't have room for separate sibling sinks? Consider a large vessel sink in their place. Just because your bathroom has a tiny footprint and occupants, doesn't mean you have to think small. Size up tiles and fixtures to help the bathroom grow up in visual space, and with its users.
AC's Tweed Collection in the color Ambleside Sand. Kids' bath designed by Holland Bath & Spa. Photo by Shon Eylon.
Architectural Ceramics and our client teamed up with Bethesda-based design firm Holland Bath & Spa to create a kids' bath that grows up with its pint-sized users. You won't find Peppa Pig tile here, but maybe a towel or two. The large glass hinged door opens into the room, allowing our client to easily kneel and reach over the edge of the tub during her children's bath time. The 12"x24" large-format porcelain tile installed over the tub and on the adjacent wall, comes from our Tweed Collection and is done in the color Ambleside Sand. The tile is accented by metal strips, called a Jolly, from our Schluter Collection. This small design detail ties in with the large stainless steel vessel sink.
Stainless steel vessel sink. Kids' bath designed by Holland Bath & Spa. Photo by Shon Eylon. Photo via AC's Houzz Project Page.
The wall behind the vanity is done is a stacked porcelain mini-brick mosaic sourced from another tile shop in the DC-metro area. Say it isn't so! As early as two years of age, we're told again and again to share. AC is happy to share our designers with other shops. We just hope we're your favorite.
AC's Cannes Collection in the color White Sands.
For a similar look, try our Cannes Collection, that features the same stacked mini-brick mosaic, but mixes glass and stone. Shown to the left, the Cannes mosaic in the color White Sands coordinates well with the bathroom's design. To view other color options from our Cannes Collection, visit our Product Page or download a Data Sheet here.
AC's Tweed Collection in the color Pure White. Design by Holland Bath & Spa. Photo by Shon Eylon.
Changing planes, the bathroom's design uses cream tones on its vertical surfaces and lighter whites for the horizontal countertops and floors. Our Tweed Collection continues underfoot, this time in the color Pure White. To view more size and color options from our Tweed Collection, visit our Product Page or download a Data Sheet here.

Related Links

We mentioned it before, as promised, here's our blog, Bigger is Better: Large Format Porcelain Tile. Why not go big when you can?

Curious to know more about Schluter or what goes on underneath your shower? Check out our blog, April Showers Bring May Flowers to learn more.

4. Opt for Luxury

If you're tiling a small bathroom, you're likely dealing with a few 100 square feet of tile, not a few thousand. Now's the time to spurge. Here, our DC client opted for natural stone in their shower-tub surround. The tile, along with the bathroom's design by DC-based firm Fajen & Brown, has a luxurious appeal.
AC's Calacatta Chablis Collection, featuring floor to ceiling marble subway tile. Photo via AC's Houzz Project Page.
From floor to ceiling, and from behind the vanity to the tub surround, the 3"x6" marble subway tile from our Calacatta Chablis Collection adds subtle color and movement to the space. The stone's natural color variation and veining move your eye around the room. The collection is diverse. It works well in a streamlined and luxurious space like this one. But, with multiple field sizes, trims, and mosaics like a chevron, basketweave and hexagon, the collection also adapts to more classically or traditionally designed interiors as well. To view the full Calacatta Chablis Collection, visit our Product Page or download a Data Sheet here.
AC's Calacatta Chablis and Copper Rowe Collections. Photo via AC's Houzz Project Page.
The floor's warm tones enrich the high-end feel of the space by way of the wood-look porcelain from our Copper Rowe Collection. Actual hardwood floors make a poor choice in a wet environment like a bathroom. But here, the 8"x48" porcelain tile, in the color Tronco, stands up to water and to real wood as a fooling faux-wood alternative. Our Copper Rowe Collection includes two field size options, the longer plank and an 8"x8" quarter-sawn parquet look; both available in three wood-look colorways: grey pine, honey maple, and dark walnut.
AC's Copper Rowe in Tronco, wood-look porcelain in an 8"x48" plank.
AC's Copper Rowe in Tronco, wood-look porcelain in an 8"x8" parquet.
To view the other color options available from our Copper Rowe Collection, visit our Product Page or download a Data Sheet here.

Related Links

It's not a secret that natural stone is going to have natural color variation and veining. Know what to expect from stone and other tile materials with our blog, Expect the Unexpected from Tile Variation.

For further questions about the tile featured here, or to place a tile order, please contact Want weekly updates about Architectural Ceramics and our product lines? Join our newsletter here.

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