Selecting the perfect tile for a bathroom is a little bit like selecting the perfect shoe for an outfit. There is an art to accenting an outfit without overpowering it. And everyone knows that just because a shoe looks cute in the store, doesn’t mean it will look good on you or paired with your outfit! The same rules loosely apply to picking out tile. The sizes, colors and styles available these days are mind boggling. And just because you think you’ve selected a great color combination or pattern in the store, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to look great in your bathroom or function well with your lifestyle. But fear not, we’ve consulted Houston designer, Chandos Dodson of Chandos Interiors, to give specific, fool-proof guidelines on selecting the perfect tile. Get your pen and paper ready…this is noteworthy!
BACKGROUND: Chandos Dodson Epley has been working in the field of interior design for over a decade. Her firm, Chandos Interiors, was established in 2000. The firm is predicated on the belief of timeless design, modern or traditional. Chandos Interiors approach to the interior design process is always deliberate and thoughtful. The firm strives to be attuned to our clients lifestyle and sensibilities when creating each space. Chandos Interiors works on a diverse range of products-from urban contemporary to high-style traditional to low-key weekend retreats. They are noted for their expertise in interior architecture, elegant offices, art consulting and art management.
Chandos Dodson Epley began her 14 year career after graduating from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design. She honed her skills working for several of the nation’s top interior design firms; Dan Carithers, Naomi Leff and Assoc., and Greg Jordan Inc.
Chandos Interiors was selected by House Beautiful Magazine as one of the “Next Wave” of Interior Designers in 2010. In 2012, Chandos Interiors was recognized as a “Star on the Rise” by the Decorative Center of Houston.
Chandos Interiors has won many ASID Awards ranging from Best New Construction of 10,000 sq ft 2010 to Best Overall Residential Design in 2008.
Selecting the Perfect Tile
When selecting a tile for a bathroom I always consider the function of that bathroom first. Knowing if I am designing a master bathroom, child’s bath, or powder bath for example will dictate the materials I choose. The level of durability of a material is critical for certain types of bathrooms, like a child’s bath.
Typically in a master bath I prefer natural stones such as marble or limestone. I use a variation of sizes based on whether I am working on traditional or modern house. I might choose a classic brick tile, 3 inch x 5 inch, for traditional shower walls and run the tile in an offset brick pattern horizontally.
For a modern look I would go with a larger scale tile such as a 9 x 18 and run the tile vertically. My personal taste tends to run towards the classic and streamlined in bathrooms. I like neutral, timeless tile. I am also not a fan of mixing more than two different materials in a bathroom such as Cremal limestone with Calcutta marble.
It is always safe to use the same material in different shapes and patterns as the example shown here in a master bathroom. The whole bath was done in the same Lagos Azul material from Waterworks. The pattern is what adds interest in this space. I used a mosaic 2” x 2” grid pattern on the floor in order to reduce slippage. The more grout lines the better on a shower floor. A honed versus polished material helps too.
In secondary baths, I typically go with a ceramic or porcelain tile which requires less upkeep. This type of tile can also withstand things like spilled nail polish and hair products better than natural stone. One of my favorites is by Walker Zanger, Xilo White. It is shown here in a very modern bathroom. I selected a grid pattern and used metal inserts to delineate the pattern on the walls.
Putting tile on all the walls in the bathroom floor to ceiling can create a very Zen spa-like atmosphere and the room is bullet proof from water spills and splashes.
Another one of my favorites by Walker Zanger is Metal Tech in Titanium. This tile looks like suede when installed. It is chic, masculine, and very well-priced with a lot of look.
For powder rooms when I want the look of tile, sometimes I will use textured wallpaper instead; since this is not a particularly “wet” room, I can get away with it. One of my favorites is Maya Romanoff’s Mother of Pearl series. This paper comes in many different patterns and colors and can be very glamorous or subdued.
What wonderful information! We have been furiously taking notes. Thank you, Chandos, for speaking with us today! For more information about Chandos Dodson, please read below.
2422 Bartlett Unit E / Houston, TX 77098
Office: 713-942-9350 X 302
(Images: All courtesy of Chandos Interiors. Photography by Julie Soefer)
Houston Interior Design Blog