Design in bathrooms has changed considerably over the years. Once upon a time, feature tiles were considered a simple picture tile that was used sparingly, with a single tile placed strategically on one or two walls of a bathroom. Border tiles were commonly used to add character to a bathroom and were tiled in a single row that spanned the entire perimeter of the bathroom walls. Often listello tiles were used either side of the border tile creating a sculpted finish. I’m sure we all have memories of this style of bathroom. These tiles are still used in federation bathrooms, as this style mimics yesteryears decor.

In bathrooms of today, rather than using picture or border tiles, entire feature walls are how homeowners add character to their bathrooms. Including a feature wall in your bathroom renovation plan is a fantastic way to add some “WOW” factor to your bathroom. It is an ingenious way to turn an otherwise ordinary bathroom from “drab to fab” and it doesn’t have to break the bank in doing so. Read on for our tips to get the most out of this feature.

Floor tile colour used as feature wall with decorative niche.

Floor tile colour used as a feature wall with decorative niche – Bathroom renovation by Master Bathrooms & Kitchens.

Creating a feature wall is quite simple. A single wall is chosen, preferably a wall where the bath or vanity is placed, and a feature is created by using tiles that are different and therefore, contrasted by the remainder of the bathroom walls. There are a plethora of options when choosing tiles for your feature wall and you’re limited only by your imagination and personal taste. Here are some options for feature walls in your bathroom:

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic tiles come in a large array of types, textures, shapes and sizes. Often glass or metallic types are used for feature walls. There are more grout joins when using a mosaic tile, therefore the grout plays a large part of its finish. Coloured grouts are available to use instead of standard white grout. Using coloured grout makes the joins blend in rather than standing out as it does with white grout. It all depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. Some mosaics can be a little pricey, so some homeowners choose to create a decorative niche tiled with these mosaics rather than create an entire feature wall. More on this later. Regardless of your budget, both options create incredible features.

Geometric tile feature wall adding some wow factor.

Geometric tile feature wall adding some wow factor.

Geometric Patterned Tiles

Geometric patterned tiles are very on trend at present and there is no denying their appeal. Available in a range of neutral colours, these tiles definitely make a statement in a bathroom.

Stone Tiles

Stone tiles create a timeless appeal in the bathroom and are perfect for a feature wall. Care should be taken as to where the feature wall is placed when using stone tiles, as stone is porous, there are limited products that can be used when cleaning. Therefore, stone tiles in shower recesses or shower/ bath installations should be avoided. This type of tile is best used using on the wall behind your bath (excludes bath/shower installation) or built-in bath face and behind vanity.

Floor tile colour  feature wall with twin niches in shower and over bath - Bathroom renovation by Master Bathrooms & Kitchens.

Floor tile colour feature wall with twin niches in shower and over bath – Bathroom renovation by Master Bathrooms & Kitchens.

Floor Tiles

Using a wall tile the same colour as the floor tile as your feature wall is the most simple and effective way to create a feature wall in your bathroom. This works particularly well when wall tiles are white or a lighter coloured neutral tile and your floor tile is either black or a darker coloured neutral tile.  The contrasting of light and dark creates an amazing feature that will not date and negates the chore of having to choose another tile for your feature. Not only is it simple yet stunning, choosing a tile for your feature wall that is the same as your floor tile is the most cost effective option for your bathroom, keeping you well within your renovating budget as you do not have to go the added expense of a “feature tile’.

Textured Tiles

Feature tiles need not be of a contrasting colour. Using a tile of a different texture is a most effective way to add a feature wall without having a complete block of colour. This is particularly useful in smaller sized bathrooms where having the benefit of white walls increases the appearance of space.

Porcelain stone look wall & floor tile is a great alternative to natural stone.

Porcelain stone look wall & floor tile is a great alternative to natural stone.

Alternative Ideas

There a number of reasons some may look to an alternative to a feature wall, one being budget restraints, another personal taste and most commonly the size of the bathroom is too small to have such a large block of colour. That does not mean, however, your bathroom needs to be plain and have to forgo a feature altogether. An amazing way to create a feature in a bathroom, is to create a niche, tile it with a feature tile and add either down lights or LED strip lighting. This reduces the expense of the feature tile cost and creates a perfect spot for candles and/ or decorative lotions etc. Twin niches can be created; one over the bath and another in the shower. Creating a niche within the shower recess is not only decorative, it’s extremely practical as it provides shelving for your shower toiletries, avoiding the need for protruding shelves.

Stunning vertical feature tile adding character to this bathroom - Bathrom renovation by Master Bathrooms & Kitchens.

Stunning vertical feature tile adding character to this bathroom – Bathrom renovation by Master Bathrooms & Kitchens.

Another alternative to creating an entire feature wall, is to select your feature tile and have it laid in a vertical line that is strategically placed on a wall within your bathroom.

Related Articles:

How to create a Timeless Bathroom

How to Renovate your Bathroom on a Budget

How to avoid common bathroom renovation mistakes

Master Bathrooms & Kitchens is a bathroom and kitchen renovation company that is family owned and operated. We have been creating gorgeous bathrooms and kitchens in the Hills & Hornsby Districts since 1995. Be sure to peruse our website for more renovation inspiration and check out our Projects & Guides section for more valuable renovation advice.

See our video below of just some of our beautiful bathroom renovations: