Another of our series of Blogs called “Ask the Experts” and this one is by Susannah Hutchinson (Houzz Contributor)

Choices, choices… from shape to size, colour to finish, which tiles will work best in a contemporary bathroom scheme? If you’re struggling to narrow down the options, see if any of these ideas could be translated into your own space.

Keep it simple

Using basic tiles teamed with more high-end fixtures and fittings is a good way to achieve a cool, contemporary look on a more limited budget.

Here, the plain white square tiles take on a whole new feel when teamed with matt black accessories and dark grout.

Work in some texture

If glossy surfaces are not for you there are lots of different tile finishes to experiment with, from matt to mottled, corrugated to coarse. 

This panel of gently wavy tiles provides an immediate point of difference in the room without the designers having to introduce a new colour to the all-white scheme. 

Lighting above a wall of textured tiles, as here, is a good way to highlight the design and add depth to the scheme.

Take the long view

There are no rules that state which way tiles have to be laid, and metro ones like these work in either landscape or portrait format. Running them vertically as here increases the feeling of height in the room and creates a more elegant look.

The pale sea-green colour is toughened up when teamed with the dark basins, black taps and speckled vanity unit.

Mix up styles

Can’t choose your favourite style or shape of tile? Don’t be restrained by convention and instead use a combination of colours and finishes for a unique look. 

Here, matt charcoal hexagonal tiles on the floor and shower walls (seen in the mirror) have been teamed with shiny white rectangles laid in a herringbone formation on the basin wall. 

The key to mixing designs while keeping a calm look is to restrict the colour palette. So while there are three tile styles here – with penny mosaics around the window joining the herringbone and hexagons – there are only two colours in the room for a harmonious feel.

Add some colour

It’s not all about monochrome, though, as this lively scheme proves. Mustard is the sophisticated cousin of sunshine yellow, packing a punch without overwhelming the senses when you brush your teeth in the morning. 

Creating a mural-like, almost 3D effect on the tiled wall here has added depth to this compact space.

Feature a chosen few

There’s no need to tile the whole space and, if you’re tempted by a strong colour, a narrow strip of tiles can be very effective. These deep-green, handmade lava tiles add warmth and interest to this simply styled room. 

Tiling a small area is also a cost-effective way to experiment with more pricey tiles, as only a few are needed.

Think pink

For a less edgy take on the contemporary look, these mottled pink tiles give a softer overall effect than tiles that are one solid colour. 

The slight sheen of the tiles also works well with the gold fixtures and fittings, which are enjoying a revival in modern bathroom schemes.

Play with pattern

Tried-and-tested metro tiles are paired with a dynamic patterned design to add flair to this contemporary scheme. 

Green is always a popular choice of colour in a bathroom, with its echoes of the natural world providing a gently refreshing start to the day.

Go Halfway

Large-format marble tiles give a contemporary-classic finish to this bijou bathroom. Tiling halfway up the wall is a good solution to ensure a small space like this doesn’t feel overwhelmed by one material. 

There are lots of marble-effect porcelain tiles on the market if your budget doesn’t stretch to the real thing.

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