For traditional baths large field tiles are usually chosen for walls while another size — often smaller — is picked for floors. But during the mid-20th century, the modernist approach was all over tiling — keeping tile size (and often color) consistent on walls and floors. That “all over” strategy tends to flatten out the room and unify the surfaces which is part of the aesthetic. In some mid-century baths, walls, floor, steps and even sunken tubs, accessed by steps, were tiled as if they were a single surface.
That’s why I was especially intrigued by two baths with a hybrid approach. Each is based on a single color and field-tile size. The white bath [top] features all over tiling on walls and the floor with 2- or 3-inch white hexagonal (or hex) tiles set in a continuous line — down the wall and then across the floor with no break. With dark grout helping to accent the shapes, the result is an overall honeycomb wall and floor pattern. Mixing an old-fashioned claw foot tub with an small but iconic Saarinen pedestal table is an eclectic approach with its own contemporary.
In Australia, designers Arent & Pyke used 1-inch mosaic tile for a wet-room-style bath. The tub wall, floor and the low wall (left foreground) supporting a glass partition are all clad in variegated raspberry mosaic that comes in one-foot square mesh segments. White grout ties the vivid hue in with white fixtures and helps keep it from looking like a pink smoothie explosion. Wall-mounted faucets are sleek and small it’s easy to almost miss the shower controls sticking out of the white wall. And because this is a wet room, the sink vanity is wall-mounted so it floats well above any area where water is likely to puddle.
In each bath, tile used on the floor is small enough in scale to create a surface that does not become ultra-slick when wet — an especially important factor in a wet room.
(Source: House to Home, James Morrison Constructions)
For more in this tile style, see Tiffany Blue Bath.
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