Need some tile advice for a master ensuite

August 22, 2019
last modified: August 22, 2019

I thought I had the tile selection for my master bathroom nailed, but now I am questioning one of my choices. Basically, I have picked my tile for the floor and for the shower/tub walls. But I'm second guessing is the tile that will go around the built-in tub. I planned to use the wall tile but I'm wondering if I should use a different third tile? Maybe a wood-look tile? And if I use a third tile, maybe it would make sense to use it in the back of the niche.

Here is a photo of the glass wall tile against the gray floor tile.

Here are photos of the bathroom from different angles. Sorry it's a bit distorted but I had to use the panoramic mode on my phone and that distorts the image, but you get the idea. Floor is lighter gray like the photo above, not as dark as it appears below.

This is the Jacuzzi tub that's going in, it's hard to make out in the photo but there is a dark wood frame around the tub.

Thoughts on what to use around the tub and niche? You guys always have great ideas and suggestions!

Comments (41)

  • KK1000

    I think it’s the wrong choice ,maybe something more like natural stone mosaic tiles would suit better. There is lots of them in the shops.

  • uscpsycho

    Mosaic? Not what I envisioned here. The tile on the wall has a lot of movement. I'm afraid pairing that with a mosaic would be too busy. No?

    I'm envisioning something in a plank format. If not wood look (hesitant to go that route because I used that in another bathroom) maybe a simple black to tie the walls and floor?

    Or perhaps seamless sheets of back-painted glass or acrylic? Just thinking out loud here.

    Would it be a good idea to tile the walls first then figure out what would work around the tub? Or should I stop over-thinking this and just use the wall tile around the tub?

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  • siriuskey

    I would have loved to see a taller window, how would the spa go tiled the same as the floor, less is more.

    uscpsycho thanked siriuskey
  • uscpsycho

    A bigger window would be great but the window was already there so I had no control over that.

    Using the floor tile isn't an option because I don't have enough and can't get more of the same tile. So tub surround has to be the wall tile or a third option.

  • Kate

    Brave choice. I would have used that tile as a feature only but you have seem to have a large room and on the bath it is limited in view once the capping goes on. So as long as you are happy with it on so much wall go for it. In relation to the floor tiles it wouldn’t matter if the tile for use on the wall was from a diff batch or is a diff size than the floor as the change from horizontal to vertical will disguise any minor diff.
    Good luck and enjoy the spa when it’s done

    uscpsycho thanked Kate
  • uscpsycho

    I'm not sure I can even get the same tile from a different batch at this point, but you make a good point about the change of plane.

    What do you mean by capping? I'm not doing anything that would limit the view of the tile.

    Speaking of the tile, it is a bold move but it is really special when you see it in person. The concave pattern in the glass makes the tile look as if it is floating off the wall. When you touch it you get the sensation of putting your hand through the wall, like a hologram. Never seen something like that. Glass tile isn't cheap (and probably harder to remove) so I better like it just as much after it's up.

  • legendaryflame

    I think black would look great with your wall tile. As soon as I looked at it I thought black, then I read your comments.

    uscpsycho thanked legendaryflame
  • uscpsycho

    So here's what I'm thinking today. Large format tile in gray or black so that I can cover each side of the tub with a single piece of tile for a monoblock look. But not sure if a polished or honed finish would look best for that. Maybe honed since the walls are going to be shiny?

    Then I'd like to use that same tile for the drawer faces of my floating vanity. Not sure what's involved with using tile as a drawer face but I have seen it done in photos. In my head that would be a nice, clean modern look.


  • me me

    That wall tile is very busy, so I wouldn't go with any more pattern. I agree with the others who say use the floor tile around the bath. As it's not available, why not visit the tile shop today and ask for their advice, there may be another plain tile that will fit in.

    uscpsycho thanked me me
  • uscpsycho

    Yes, that's the plan, to use a very simple tile in gray or black. And hopefully very large format tile so I don't even have grout lines around the tub. It's out there, just gotta find it.

  • PRO
    N.B. Interiors

    Hi, uscpsycho,

    I can't see the tile in reality, but it looks like it's quite busy. I realise that you love it now, but I feel it would be very overwhelming if you used it on every wall, and would also "date" quite quickly. I'd suggest that perhaps it would be best to just do a small amount of that ie. the back wall with the niche, and maybe the tub surround. I would definitely not suggest a third tile, other than a rectified matt white, large format, wall tile. I hope that helps!

    uscpsycho thanked N.B. Interiors
  • PRO
    N.B. Interiors

    Apologies, realise you didn't intend to use the glass tile on all walls. However, I still feel it would be best to keep it simple and on the rear niche wall only, and perhaps tub surround. Once the vanity, tapware and other fittings are in, the room will not look so large. A natural timber vanity would add an organic touch to the room, if paired with matt white wall tiles.

    uscpsycho thanked N.B. Interiors
  • KK1000

    Sorry I didn’t understand where is glass tile supposed to be. On the walls or bath surround .??

  • uscpsycho

    N.B. Interiors You had it right the first time. I think. The plan wasn't to use the glass tile on every wall but on all the wet walls, so the entire back wall plus the left and right sides where you see cement on the walls. I originally intended to put the same tile on the tub surround as well but now I am thinking that is too much. And perhaps it is also too much on all three wet walls.

    You advised using a "small amount" on the back wall plus the tub surround, but maybe the photos make the room look smaller than it is. The back wall is 11' wide so I'm not sure if you consider that a small amount. If I'm understanding your recommendation, it's to put the glass tile on the back wall and tub surround and then a large format white tile on the side walls. Correct?

    I kind of want it on the right side of the tub because when you see this tile you want to touch it because of the effect I described above. It's really something to have the sensation that the pattern is floating off the wall and put your hand through it. On the left side the tile will be blocked by the shower glass so you can't touch it. The right wall is the only place where someone can "interact" with it.

    Perhaps the opposite of what you recommend would work, having the glass tile on the left and right wet walls, and something simple on the back wall and tub surround?

    I'm not too concerned about the tile becoming dated. If this type of tile is "in" right now I wouldn't know it and I wouldn't care. I am not one to care about trends or follow them. All through this remodel I've purposely been ignorant of whatever is trendy so that I can just do what I like without those kinds of influences. By the same token, I don't want to do anything that I love today but might tire of quickly, I am conscientious of that.

    Even though I tend to march to my own drum I have come to Houzz many times when I've not been sure of a choice, like this one, and have received great advice. Sometimes I have trouble envisioning how the finished product will look and thanks to the great people of Houzz I've avoided making some mistakes so I'm very appreciative of people's feedback.

    Here is a large display of the tile. This is what first drew me to this tile.

  • uscpsycho

    What the heck? I just noticed the title of this thread is Need some tile advice for a master ensuite.

    When I started the thread my title was Need some Master Bathroom tile advice. How on earth did it change???

  • KK1000

    Maybe best to use it on bath surround and one wall of your choice and something plain for the rest of the room.

  • Kate

    Thought u might like this as an example

    uscpsycho thanked Kate
  • uscpsycho

    I think what I'm going to do is put the glass tile on the left and right walls, plus the tub surround. And then put a large format tile that matches the floor on the main wall. Seems like a good middle ground that is balanced?

    Question then is what to do with the niche? Same gray as the rest of the wall or use the glass tile?

    I just looked at my last post and I wrote a novel! I get carried away sometimes! lol

  • uscpsycho

    Not getting much input on this one lately, but here's a great update.

    I was actually able to find the exact same tile as my floor tile today, so I can put it on the walls. But I'm not sure what size I should get, I would either use 24x24 or 18x36. If I do as I described in the previous post with the glass tile on the left and right walls, those glass tiles are 18x36. So I can stick with 18x36 grey tiles on the back wall to have consistency and so the grout lines match. I am sure this is what people will tell me is the right choice, and I also feel like this is probably the way to go.

    But I generally prefer the look of 24x24 tiles. Would it be so bad to have 18x36 tiles on the side walls and then 24x24 on the back wall?

  • KK1000

    Use the same size 18x36

    uscpsycho thanked KK1000
  • hillgoodwin

    The floor tile looks like it has a very slight hint of brown/dark beige...l love the tile you’re considering to go on the walls but l think they might be the wrong colour to go with the floor. Obviously it’s hard to tell from photos but l guess It’s one of those jobs that you really need to nail first time so it’s worth consider all options at this stage.

    l recommend you bring in a few more wall tile options home to try next to your floor tiles before you make a final decision, the spa has a dark brown surround so you need something that works with this and the floor tile

    uscpsycho thanked hillgoodwin
  • pottsy99

    I love the style and colouring of the Jacuzzi . However I wouldn't use the glass tile around the 'outside' of that .

    Just me , I'd do a gloss black tile up to about 1.2 metre ( except for the shower area -- I'll explain in a sec ) . This includes all around the jacuzzi -- the wall and the frame .

    I couldn't work out if your tile measurements are cm or inch , but if the glass tiles are 18cm tall , I'd cut them in half , and do a 9cm 'freize' above the black , although I would do all the shower area to the floor in the glass tiles -- up to that 1.3metre mark ( approx ) .

    Then I would do the rest to the ceiling in white gloss tiles . Grouting would logically be in a grey or charcoal to suit all 3 tile styles .

    uscpsycho thanked pottsy99
  • ljrobson

    I'm not an expert, but I think what you are proposing is going to look amazing. I would stick to same size tile on all the walls and line up the grout lines. And I'd use your shimmery tile in the niche. Just close your eyes and try to imagine how it will all look if you need to convince yourself :) Good luck!

    uscpsycho thanked ljrobson
  • Kate B

    Sorry not a fan of the glass tile, I feel it would date very quickly.

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  • uscpsycho

    hillgoodwin - You probably think the floor tile has too much brown from the last photo I posted. But the lighting wasn't so great. If you look at the photo in the very first post of this thread you will see the glass and floor tiles together in good light. I think they pair well.

    pottsy99 - The tiles are in inches so that kind of kills one of your design elements. But with your proposal I'll have four different colors of tile, including the floor, and I'm afraid that's just too much.

    ljrobson - Thanks for the feedback. The more I let this percolate the more I agree, same size tile should go all across. But lately I have been going back and forth between having the glass tile on the back wall with gray on the left/right walls or the reverse, which I described above. That glass tile is a statement and I feel like it should be center stage. But it has that very cool holographic effect I mentioned, which you only notice when you are up close to it. So putting it on that right wall lets people see that effect, on the back wall you have to be in the shower/tub to really notice.

    Kate B - Appreciate that you aren't a fan of the tile. But I'm not sure I agree with you about the tile becoming "dated". It's not exactly trendy at the moment. Or if it is in vogue, I wouldn't know it. And I honestly wouldn't care. I only pick finishes that I personally love. I would never ever use something simply because it was trendy. So if you don't like the tile aesthetically, I'd be interested to know why. But if I'm going to worry about what is popular now vs what will be dated later, I will be making a lot of very bland "timeless" choices and I like things that make statements :-)

  • pottsy99

    Thanks for the feedback -- I'll try and explain my logic . Personally , I wouldn't do the light grey ( floor ) tiles on the walls , with the exception that I may do 1 tile high -- having said that , I'd limit it to say 12 inch , which may mean cutting tiles . That's not because I don't like the floor tiles , I just don't like a monotone , and also I don't feel the floor tile colour is 'strong' enough to carry too far up the wall . And even then , I personally think there would be a 'problem' around the Jacuzzi -- I suspect it would look best in a black surround , as per the promo photo .

    Having the shower done in the glass tiles 'lifts' it , and makes it a focal piece ( let's face it , most showers are bland and functional ) , while the Jacuzzi is a great feature in itself . By doing a 'freize' around the rest of the room looks like there has been thought regarding 'tieing' it all together .

    As far as the glass tiles being 18 inches tall , if you did want to create this frieze idea , I would suggest around 4 inch ( 100mm ) being a good height ( you can vary that slightly to suit the cut lines , but be consistent ) . 18 inch cut into 3 is 6 inches , but I feel that would look too wide -- like you are trying just too much to promote that tile .

    So while it would be 4 different colours/styles , the glass style is daring , but by making a shower feature and the rest reasonably subtle , it is more 3 and a bit colours haha -- and I suspect all white or all black walls would 'bore' fairly quickly ?

    Admittedly a different situation , I did 2 nightclub toilets ( male and female ) about 10 years ago , using white gloss seratone on the top 2/3rds , a frieze of yellow subway tiles horizontally around the 'middle' , black gloss wall tiles to the floor , and charcoal matt tiles on the floor ( non slip ! ) . All the cabinets were in white gloss , as were the toilets and individual urinals , with big yellow framed ( plasticated ) mirrors , yellow 'upcoming events' notice boards , and even big heavy bright yellow clocks very securely mounted on the walls ! Okay , different to a house , it had to be easy clean and hard to damage , but it was a mix of 4 ( even more diverse ) colours .

  • uscpsycho

    What I think you are suggesting is the glass tile only in the shower area (left wall and left half of the back wall). Then black tile surrounding the tub and a little above the tub. And finally white tile above the black up to the ceiling. Is that right?

    I'm not sure what you meant here "I wouldn't do the light grey ( floor ) tiles on the walls , with the exception that I may do 1 tile high -- having said that , I'd limit it to say 12 inch , which may mean cutting tiles ." Where would you put this 12" line of gray tile on the walls?

    I'd be interested to hear what other people think about this idea of splitting the wall in half with different tiles in the tub and shower areas. In the very beginning (quite some time ago) I had planned to do this exact thing, however with different colors. But then I feared having two tiles on the same wall might be weird so I nixed the idea. But your suggestion isn't as extreme since most of the tub walls would be white.

  • pottsy99

    Sorry , I have gotten you a bit confused .

    As a rule , I wouldn't do any wall and floor in identical tiles . Possibly , I may do white marble with a grey streak on both , but I'd be reluctant -- I'd probably do black marble floors with a grey and white streak on the floor , and the white with grey on the walls .

    And as a similar rule , if I had say wallpapered walls , I may do tiled floor and the same tile at the base of the wall , up to say 300mm .

    What I envisaged in your bathroom ( just as an idea ) is black tiled bottom of the wall and around the jacuzzi , white tiled on the top 2/3rds , and the glass 'frieze' around the middle but also the entire back and side of the shower ( wet ) area -- basically , like doing a feature wall , but tying it in by doing a narrow band all around the room .

    I hope that makes it clearer ?

  • uscpsycho

    Yes, that makes it much more clear.

    I am not a designer but I don't mind the same tile on the floor and wall. I just did a Google search for "modern bathroom" and found quite a few examples of this. They didn't look bad to me.

    I think I still want the walls to be some combination of the glass tile and the floor tile. And I like your idea of a frieze. I think I need to make a final decision about the walls before I decide on that. For instance, if the left and right walls are gray and the back wall is glass, would the frieze be gray tile through the glass, or glass tile through the grays?

    I know some people advised against it early on, but I do still like the idea of black tile around the tub. That gets me up to three tiles but I feel like it's OK to let the tile have it's own color as long as it works with the other two. I don't love the idea of the tub having the same tile as the floor.

  • pottsy99

    I'm not an expert either -- I just do my own places ( I own some rental and commercial properties ) .

    The frieze I personally would do in the glass sparkly tile -- it is grey and silver , so it breaks up the black and white , and adds interest . It appears darker than the grey floor tile , but obviously it is darker than white , and lighter than black , so my worry is that if you did the grey floor tile partially up the wall , then the darker frieze , then a white to the ceiling , it may look out of balance . And if you did black or charcoal above the frieze , it would obviously darken the room , and look a bit top heavy ?

    Likewise , you like the idea of black around the jacuzzi ( and I agree ) but to have the rest of the walls in grey , and the jacuzzi surround in black I just feel would be strange -- almost a sore thumb !

    So in summary , if it was me using those tiles , I'd be white on the top 2/3rds of the walls , then the glass frieze below , then black or charcoal to the floor , including the jacuzzi panels , then the grey floor tiles -- and the shower back and side completely in the glass tiles . It basically has the same effect as doing a feature wall -- you make the shower a feature , while the jacuzzi is also a feature as there are white highlights in a predominately black 'box' .

    Just my very 'black and white' ( and grey ) ideas haha .

  • uscpsycho

    I got some renderings made showing the different options to help me visualize them. The quality isn't as good as I had hoped. The gray tile is the totally the wrong color and there should be grout lines on the tub, but you kinda get the gist.

    I'm going to get another one done with the glass tile on all three walls and gray/black tile on the tub.

    Anyone have thoughts after seeing these?

  • Graphic Glass

    I hope you will next consider Splashbacks Glasses to installing on the walls.

  • KK1000

    I like the last one with black

    uscpsycho thanked KK1000
  • amonymousanne
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><md>I like the last photo but I would like the jacuzzi in the glitter tile as well for a sumptuous vibe . I like the lighter tile on the window wall and opposite as it gives light to the room as it is a small window. I would find a modern glamorous pendant to add to the luxurious feel . Whatever you decide will be lovely. Make sure you post when it is done .
    uscpsycho thanked amonymousanne
  • uscpsycho

    What are Splashbacks Glasses?

    Here are much better renderings that are a lot more accurate. I only have one example with the black tub but I could make any of them have a black tub if you think it's worth seeing.

    What do you guys think???

    The first one was the original plan. I feared it would be too busy, as several people said at the start of the thread. It doesn't seem as bad as I thought it might. Still think it's a bad idea?

  • Liz

    3rd or 5th choice would be my pick... but I'm not a fan of the glass tile. Both of these choices only use the glass tile on one wall and make it a feature. To me it is rather overwhelming by having it on 2 or 3 walls and the tub surround.

  • mummagabz

    Agree, 3rd one. I also think its a very overwhelming tile, so its place would be as a feature only.

  • amonymousanne

    3 or 4 . 1 is overpowering and claustrophobic. 2 the focus is on the plain tiles. 5 the black is a distraction. I like 4 for a bit more glamour , but 3 is lovely and elegant with the feature wall a stunning backdrop.

  • purplekristi

    3 only. Rest are too busy or lose the effect of drawing the eye/person into the room. Have you thought of using tile on something like mirror surround, vanity, or even a mosaic table/plant pot/tray/etc that brings the tile forward but will not overwhelm the effect?

  • siriuskey

    3rd layout and would also consider moving the alcove to the side wall and make it longer statement, you don't want to look shampoo etc on a feature when you walk in

  • KK1000

    I agree with alcove comment,if you can’t have it on the side wall make a low nib wall for all the shampoos to be at easier reach.