From time to time, I get emails from readers with technical questions. Often it's a "What color should I put in my hallway?" type of question which is very difficult to answer without seeing the home.
But on occasion I get a question I can answer. Here's the email Q & A with Victoria. Thought it might be helpful info to someone out there.
I was admiring your beautiful design work on the This Old House Website. We are deciding on tile for our only full (and quite small) bathroom in our house and I was intrigued by your recommendation to tile up to the ceiling.
I am considering the look of a natural colored 12 x 24 tile and then using a 12 x 12 of the same tile color on the bathroom floor and the ceiling of the shower.
Do you think that it is too big a tile for a small space that is measuring 58'' x 89''? Do you think going up to the ceiling with this type of tile would be too much?
I appreciate your advice. I have been going back and forth with tile directions and this one seems a little different than the classic subway tiles that are very popular right now. It is so hard to make a decision and pick a direction.
Any feedback about if I am making a big mistake with those large tiles would be appreciated.
I would be weary of a 12 x 24 on anything other than new construction. It's not always possible for 24" to work. Spaces often settle or have sags in a floor and there's no give with a 24" tile. I might talk a client out of this.
That scale is a bit large anyway for a bathroom of your size.
Are you using stone, ceramic or porcelain. The large porcelain is usually too thick/heavy for walls so the install is a bear… all the more reason to avoid.
If your shower is tile on the floor, keep it to 2 x 2 or less. For safety reasons. I am not sure if you have a tub or a stall with a tile floor.
I have done longer tiles on floors sometimes. If you go to Cambridge Renovations you'll see some planky floors.
Thanks for the important feedback!!!!!! The tile sample seemed really thick and I am sure our walls are not the straightest in town. We are far from new construction with a 1914 build date.
We fit a full tub with shower in our space so no worries on the the floor.
Back to the tile showroom I go with this new info in hand.
Again, thank you as I would not have considered this–I wish the showroom rep had as I almost placed the order on the spot.
My final response:
They will sell you ANYTHING!!!
Some porcelain is not appropriate for the walls due to the weight, well it's doable but you have to put a board up below each row of tile and wait for it to set…then move the board. You get the drift. It's really labor intensive and quite frankly not worth it.
With a house from that ilk, I'd stick with something smaller.
Best of luck on your project.