Floor-to-Ceiling Tile Takes Bathrooms Above and Beyond

by Houzz

Increased interest in European-style wet rooms may have kicked off the recent surge in floor-to-ceiling tiled walls. Designers and builders are paying careful attention to universal design, which includes an accessible curbless shower entry. A wet room is the best way to accomplish this in the smallest amount of space, and extending the same tile throughout a smaller space can help make it look bigger while reflecting light.

The look ranges from the plainest of white ceramic tiles with white grout to colorful mosaics, from vintage Victorian to futuristic. Here are a dozen dramatically different ways to try this savvy move.

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Go monochromatic. A 1- by 1-inch tile in a solid color adds texture in a subtle, clean-lined and contemporary pattern.

Cary Bernstein Architects, original photo on Houzz
Cary Bernstein Architects, original photo on Houzz

Emphasize one accent wall. The large cream tiles on this side wall support the small-scale green glass mosaic tile.

Pay attention to proportion and break up the tile accordingly. While using the same tile all over a bathroom can work, other spaces may need breaking up. In this case, the ceiling height is much greater than the width, so using a white tile overhead gave this room pleasing proportions. Bonus: Using a less expensive tile up high can keep the tile from breaking your budget.

ZeroEnergy Design, original photo on Houzz
ZeroEnergy Design, original photo on Houzz

Another way to save money is to use drywall and paint above the tile.

Bring in energy and color via a lively mosaic. Small-scale mosaic tiles energize this bathroom and are a wonderful waterproof wallpaper alternative.

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Take the classic subway tile and gray grout combination all the way up the wall. Break it up with mirrors, fixtures, windows and trim; play off its regularity with a river pebble tile floor.

Bathroom, original photo on Houzz
Bathroom, original photo on Houzz

Match a vanity to the wall tile's color, then add contrast via the floor and counter. I can't get enough of the combination of soothing greens with gray and white marble in this elegant bathroom.

Bounce the light around. In a bathroom that receives little or no natural light, light-colored tiles reflect it and make things brighter. Iridescent glass tiles are a good choice for this.

Jamie Herzlinger, original photo on Houzz
Jamie Herzlinger, original photo on Houzz

Tip: Think big when you see a big sale. Covering a wall in tile can run you a lot more than covering it with paint or wallpaper. When this bathroom's designer saw that the tiles he liked at the Home Depot Expo were more than half off, he snapped up enough of them to remodel all three of his bathrooms.

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Include the floor and the ceiling. There isn't much breaking up the dynamic pattern of this mosaic, making this bathroom an urbane jewel box.

Use similar tiles in different scales. Large tiles distinguish the tub and the wall behind it from the sink wall's tiny mosaic, while the floor's tiles are the largest.

Lizette Marie Interior Design, original photo on Houzz
Lizette Marie Interior Design, original photo on Houzz

Use clear glass on the shower door and a matching tile in the stall. This extends the tile color and pattern and makes the room feel bigger.

Go vertical. When you're extending tile up the entire wall, consider turning it sideways and emphasizing height and verticality.