One distinguishing aspect of mid-20th century bathroom design is the use of the same tile on the walls and floor. This may be for the sake of economy, or for looks. Small scale tile, such as the 1-inch mosaic dots used in a white bathroom in my Contemporary Bathroom Fireplaces post, can be very effective. And using a variety to sizes to create a gorgeous monochrome tile pattern like the one in my Gray Marble Bathroom post is something of an art form for traditional baths.
Then there are large-scale cement tile patterns which are appearing more often in bathrooms. Cement tiles are especially durable and long have been used for flooring throughout the world. They can be solid color but they are mainly used for the wide variety of patterns they provide in a various colorways. In the narrow loft bathroom of an apartment in Sydney, Australia, architect Jodi York chose an antique reproduction cement tile pattern with traditional quatrefoils and rosettes. Keeping to brown and white yields a neutral palette and but the visual boldness of the tile helps widen the appearance of the bathroom’s accent wall. The pattern continuing onto the floor creates a carpet-like effect. And the cement tile pattern marries nicely with budget-wise white subways on the adjacent wall.
Finding just the right cement tile pattern also supports the concept of bathroom-as-spa and offers opportunities for a design statement as memorable as the one in this bathroom.
Our post on All Over Bathroom Tile shows hex and mosaic tiless used in a similar way.