On the hunt: Bathroom tiles

All the demolition work is nice, but at some point you have to think about the things you want in your house when it’s done. Like: “a bathroom would be nice”.

This is the story of us shopping for bathroom tiles.

Our first design concept for the bathroom

I had it all figured out. I wanted to have something striking with a historic feel. Would I dare to go with a super bold pattern? I found out the specific type of tile I liked were called Castelo tiles and they come in a range of patterns and colors:

castelo tiles
Photo source: www.castelo.nl

I really loved the idea of these tiles in an otherwise very ‘clean’ modern bathroom. We looked at different patterns and orders the catalogue with all the available colors.

Turns out these tiles are not the ideal choice for a bathroom with a walk in shower. According to our builder at least. They are slightly porous and since our bathroom is on the first floor it might lead to issues later on. It could be done with a special treatment, but it wouldn’t be wise in our case.

All of a sudden a super easy choice became really hard.

I just didn’t like the ceramic equivalent to these tiles and the more I talked to people the more I doubted the patterns.

Back to square one

It was time to rethink the whole idea of the bathroom.

First we went to general kitchen/bathroom stores for new inspiration. Some of the options we ran into:

rusty chis tiles in a modern look
This is a very 2017-ish tile. Modern, sleek but I liked the rusty feel. A bit to neat for my liking though.
mozaic tiles with wood patterning
This wood-like mozaic would make a nice detail maybe?
Creme metro tiles with wonky edges
I like metro tiles a lot. Especially the ones with the bevelled edges. These ones with a wonky edge appealed to me because of the rustic feel.
Pebble mozaic tile
I really like natural materials. These pebbles are great because of the color and random pattern you get.

You can tell that our style is very consistent (not…) we ranged from super organic natural stone to super sleek modern design.

But none of these tiles were the right ones. We also struggled with what to put on the walls and which tiles were better for the floor.

Old building materials

In a new attempt to find tiles that would look nice we went to a specialised store that only sells old building materials. They salvage tiles from old buildings, clean them and sell them for a new life.


They had so many nice tiles. From lush patterns to small marble tiles and everything in between.

But we decided we wouldn’t go with the patterned tiles. We did run into these beauties:

checkerboard floor tiles
My husband loved these checkerboard cement tiles.
Grey used cement tiles
I liked these grey cement tiles best. They have a lot of imperfections and still look a bit clean.

We liked these cement tiles a lot, but we fell into the same trap: they are not that suited for walk in showers… They are very thick and heavy and would put a lot of strain on the wooden floors beneath.

Back to the drawing board…again.

We need tiles NOW

By now we’ve seen so many tiles and we didn’t know which ones to choose anymore.

But the bathroom would be the first room to be ready for tiling, so we needed to make a decision. All of a sudden we found ourselves in a rush.

These are the options we finally gave a last glance:

Black marble tiles.
These small (real) marble tiles are beautiful, but I wondered if the size was not too small for the room we had.
Colection of black and white floor tiles
We kept comparing different sizes and colors of black and white tiles.
Black limestone rectangular tiles.
This limestone looked super lush but seemed a bit to dark. Loved the shape of the tiles.
Ceramic natural stone look tiles
Loved the rugged edges on these ceramic natural stone look tiles.

A lot of these are non-ceramic (again), but we finally settled on an antracite floor tile and a large white wall tile.

We only needed to pick them up in the store…

The final decision

The wall tiles we picked are fairly plain. They are very white and very straight around the edges. I imagine this to be nice with very small tile joints. They look like this:

Then we went to order the floor tiles. We walked in, looked for the the tiles we picked out before (just to make sure).

But then we walked over a piece of demonstration tiling and we (my husband and I) simultaneously said “oh, that looks nice as well”.

This was the first tile we both felt good about, so we decided we should pick these ones instead. If you would have said these would be our new floor tiles I would have laughed, because it is not really my style. But somehow these just felt right.

The floor we will have in our bathroom will look like this:

Grey floor tiles with a random pattern and a silvery sheen
The tiles have a bit of a silvery sheen. We will have smaller grouts than shown.
Left: The floor tile. Right: the wall tile.
Left: The floor tile. Right: the wall tile.

These are just two small samples. I will update when the tiles are in the bathroom, so you can get an idea of size and pattern. Also, the floor tiles will have a different edge than you see here.

And that’s the story of us shopping, shopping some more and then shopping even more for bathroom tiles. Only to change our minds at the last minute.

Have you ever decided in the same way? Leave a comment below.