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2018 Bathroom Tile Trends

Selecting bathroom tiles can be overwhelming. From synthetic and natural, shiny and matte, to large and small tiles, the choices and combinations are endless.

Diana Ribarevski, Head of Design Services at Uocmas sheds some light on the bathroom tile trends of 2018 and provides some invaluable advice for those designing or renovating their bathroom.

Uocmas Interior Design: Sydney East Residence

What are some of the bathroom tile trends of 2018?

1. Large format porcelain tiles and slabs (opt for 120cm x 120cm or 150cm x 300cm x 6mm thick) with a stone-look appearance are new to the market and a big trend of 2018. They are available in vein-matched and book-matched options which provide the luxurious effect of stone, but with the durable and lightweight benefits of porcelain.

Image: Design Feria

2. We will be seeing a lot more moody greys, whites and diluted nudes teamed with contrasting vanities, tapware, feature lighting and accessories as they compliment contemporary bathroom designs in a fresh and timeless approach.

Image: Tamizo Architects

3. Tiles with a matte or honed finish are here to stay. The appearance of matte tiles seems to work beautifully with any metal colour and finish, whether it be in a traditional or contemporary bathroom design.

4. The resurgence of geometrically shaped tiles is a continued trend this year, which is a result of tile manufacturers exploring current technologies and capabilities. Geometric tiles are being used not only as accents and features in bathrooms, but also with an enfolding technique, where floors and walls are all treated with the same tile to give bathrooms a holistic and textured look.

Image: Domus Tiles

5. Handmade tiles offer the opportunity to create a characterful finish to your bathroom, as each tile will have a certain amount of variation because they have been made by a person; they will have tonal variations in colour and vary in size and shape.

What do people need to consider when choosing bathroom tiles?

Firstly, they need to consider the look and feel of the bathroom. With a vast amount of styles, designs and colours on the market, selecting the perfect tile can be overwhelming. Bathrooms are messy and expensive to renovate, so it’s important to consider an aesthetic that will not date quickly and provide you at least 10 years of use, if not more.

The architecture of your home will influence the style of your bathroom, for example you may love the conventional subway tile if you have a period home.

Uocmas Interior Design: North Shore Residence

Also, the maintenance side of things which includes care and ease of cleaning should be something that comes into play when selecting a suitable tile for your bathroom. Selecting a natural stone or cement tile will need to be sealed and cleaned regularly with a non-abrasive cleaning product, so maintenance would be higher than say, having a bathroom which is tiled in porcelain or ceramic tiles, as these would not require sealing and can be scrubbed with unsympathetic chemicals.

Does the size of the tile matter?

Definitely. If your bathroom is small, it is recommended to use a smaller format tile such as mosaics to enhance the size of the bathroom, as opposed to using large format tiles and even slabs instead of tiles, if you have a large, expansive bathroom.

Also, the way that you choose to lay your selected tile can completely change the way the tile looks once it has been installed. Are you after a stack bond approach, or would you prefer to add some texture by laying your tiles in a chevron, herringbone, basket weave or stretcher bond design?

Uocmas Interior Design: North Shore Residence

Does grout change the aesthetic of the bathroom?

Yes. The amount of grout that you want to see (or not see), as well as the colour of the grout, can affect the end result of how your bathroom looks. Some tiles require more grout than others (for example handmade tiles which have uneven edges and larger gaps to fill once laid, as opposed to rectified tiles which can be laid without a gap at all).

Whether you prefer the grout colour to blend into the colour of the tile or not, considering the colour of the grout goes hand-in-hand when choosing the perfect tile for any bathroom.

Uocmas Interior Design: 88onRegent

Are there variances in price from large and small tiles?

Generally, larger format tiles are more expensive to lay, as they require skilled tilers to achieve levelled walls and suitable falls in the floor to prevent water pooling.

The cost to lay small, hand-glazed tiles which are individually laid can also attract high labour costs due to their labourious nature. Small tiles that are backed on sheets are much quicker and cheaper to lay than those that are not, and often stone tiles which tend to be thicker and heavier than ceramic tiles are considered premium on all fronts, including the cost to install.

Uocmas Interior Design: Sydney East Residence

Any final advice for people thinking of renovating their bathrooms?

The extent of tiling should be considered, not only to determine how many tiles you will need to buy, but also how much it will cost to install. Will you tile all of the walls from floor to ceiling, or will you only tile up to a certain height? All of these decisions affect the end cost and it’s important to consider all of the details upfront when making your tile selections.

From one room to an entire home or development, Uocmas Interior Design is renowned for creating innovative and timeless interiors, including bathrooms. Contact the team on or send an email to enquire about how they can transform your residence or development into a grand sanctuary. Or simply peruse the portfolio for interiors inspiration here.

Anastasia Hadjidemetri

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