Bathroom Flooring Guide
While there are many stylish options for bathroom flooring, the rules remain the same. Bathroom flooring must be water-resistant, durable, easy clean and have a non-slip surface. Here you'll find style tips on how to choose the right bathroom flooring.
Bathroom Flooring Guide
Bathroom Flooring Guide
What to look for in bathroom flooring
Bathroom designs are always going to be a matter of taste, but unlike a lot of other rooms in your home, bathrooms are the sorts of spaces that are all for you, and you can get away with personalising them as much as you like.
So when you're thinking about what sort of style or design route to go down you can let your personality shine through. Nonetheless, it always helps to get a few tips in order to ensure your bathroom has a good aesthetic feel. Design, after all, is about making a space balance; you want to make sure things fit, even if you have very unique tastes.
We've pulled together a few simple points to bear in mind when it comes to making design decisions. Don't take our word as gospel, pick what you like best, but being armed with a bit of extra know-how might help you flex some design muscles you didn't even know you had.
We've started by looking at colour schemes because, in many cases, bathrooms can be very uninspiring when it comes to colour. Take your typical porcelain; it almost always has to be white. This is usually due to our inclination for things in a bathroom to feel clinical and shiny, after all, we want the place where we clean ourselves to feel clean to begin with.
Sticking to white porcelain doesn't have to be so boring through. White goes with anything, so you can be as creative as you like with splashes of colour. In bathrooms, blue is always very popular, not only because of the common water theme, but also because a watery colour adds to that clean and clear feel. When we think of pure water we always think of blue.
Before you pick your colour though, you might want to start thinking about lighting. A room with little natural light might benefit from lighter colours to help lift it or, on the contrary, darker colours to emphasise specific features with your own lighting. But the need to compensate with artificial light can change the look of the colours you chose too, so you need to be careful. Similarly, a room with a lot of natural light might look washed out if it's too light in colour, but with the right colour selection you can create a light airy room.
Colour can also affect the temperature feel in a room. Crisp blues might contribute to a clean feel but they can also be very cold. If your room gets a lot of natural sunlight this might not matter so much, but warmer reds and oranges can warm up a room if the lighting is particularly dull.
When picking your colours think of what goes best with what. One rule of thumb is that if you’re using any natural tones, like greens or earthy colours, or if you have woods or natural products in the room, you should generally stick with natural colours on your tiles and paintwork. The converse applies too: You can be more experimental with your colours if you stick to plain whites and blacks for your features.
Think of the space you're using as well. If you have a small space you might end up crowding it out with too many bright colours or too much of a dark colour. Dark colours tend to draw a room in, the absorb light and make everything feel closer. Light colours, of course, do the opposite. But a little bit of contrast is important to for creating layers and depth in a room. Think also about the features that you want to draw attention to. If the sink and mirror area is in the centre of the room you might want to make this your focus and you can use colour around it to do so. By having the features adorned with colour, with the space surrounding them being kept plain, you’ll help draw in the eye. The same goes for baths, which you can highlight with colours bath mats or towels.
Colour is one of the most versatile aspects of your design where it can really pay to think outside the box and it's important to take fully into account the space you are using.
Most of the visual lighting issues in a bathroom come down to the colour schemes you are picking. But it's not just about how cavernous or well-lit your bathroom happens to be. Whether you have an airy en-suite or a back-room water closet you can still use lighting features to make your bathroom as classy as possible.
With lighting it's worth thinking practically. Strip or spot lighting above a mirror doubles up the reach of your lights especially in an area that relies on a good light source. Where that’s less important, such as near a shower or bath, you can choose something a bit more subtle. Softer mood lighting set into the ceiling can look really cosy, especially if you have gone for a richer colour scheme.
Whenever you think of lighting in the bathroom however, the number one rule is safety. We know never to use floor lamps or lamps that need to be plugged in but we should also be aware that condensation build-ups are also a risk. There are lots of guidelines for safe bathroom lighting and, when in doubt, you should always seek the advice of a professional.
There's no way we could come up with an exhaustive list of bathroom themes, and, to be fair, a lot of designers will tell you that trying to have a theme in any room is little more than a gimmick. But we're not saying you should consider going full on nautical with miniature boat steering-wheels or rope decorations with blue and white stripes all over the place. Nor are we saying that a jungle theme, underwater theme, circus theme or seaside theme is a particularly useful design tip either.
What we mean is that you should seek to balance the look of your room out wherever possible. There's nothing to stop you linking things up with something a little more overt, but at the end of the day you want some sort of connection in the room. Whether the theme is to go for a moody romantic room with rich dark tones and soft line, or a light natural room with wooden fittings and plants for decoration it needs some sort of consistency.
So the main tip on themes for your bathroom isn't really what you should specifically be doing, but rather what you should bear in mind when picking your design features. Generally you shouldn't be using natural materials, like wood, alongside garish synthetics, for instance. Similarly rustic features like brickwork fit well with other solid details like metal or dark woodwork, but not so much with plastics.
Themes aren't just important in materials and colour. Marks of quality design work should come through in the lines you use too. Again a lot of this is down to not mixing up natural styles with synthetic ones. Clear cut straight lines probably won't work well with gradients or waves. And if you set things at angles in one place you should think about the angles things are set to elsewhere.
All this might sound rather complicated, but imagine getting a set of towels, one with a zigzag design, the other with waves or clouds, it just doesn't quite go.
As well as lines you also need to think about symmetry. If you are going for a very symmetrical room you need to make sure everything accords to the rules of symmetry. But if you opt for asymmetry the same need for consistency applies.
Finding stylised bathrooms to model yours on is a great way to ensure that your bathroom features are in harmony with the colour schemes and general design choices.
Getting involved with the design process itself is really important. For one you're going to have to live with the space you create. So there's no use plumping for a show room design if it's going to feel cold and sterile. You have to picture yourself there in a room that works for you day in, day out.
A good way to think about what you like and dislike about a bathroom is by starting to think about what you would change about your own bathroom. Are the towel rails at an annoying height? Do you resent the clutter on a shelf? Is the lighting too dim to see in the mirror properly? Go round making a list of all the things you'd like to have or like to change and then stick to it when it comes to designing your bathroom.
At the end of the day your bathroom is yours and no designer can tell you how you want it better than you can. But there is no substitute for good preparation so that you can ensure that when all the bathroom fixtures are fully fitted, you can be satisfied that you made all the right decisions.
Style tips for your bathroom designs - Darren Palmer