So you’re about to renovate and re-tile your bathroom. How do you bring new life into a tired old shower area? With the right touches, and the right shower floor tile, you can make it look like a bathroom from an exclusive spa.
Spa-style Shower Floors
The key to turning your bathroom into a miniature spa-retreat is to choose the right flooring. For the shower or bath area, choose a ceramic shower floor tile with a color and look that mimic natural stone. Why ceramic? It’s durable, non-porous, easy to clean, and easily the cheapest option.
You may use real marble or travertine as a natural shower floor tile. But while these types of flooring are undeniably beautiful, bear in mind that these require a “sealing” layer and special maintenance, as these “soft” materials are easily stained or damaged with prolonged use.
If you have the budget, the more luxurious yet logical choice would be a natural granite floor. The most expensive but the most beautiful shower floor tile is made from riverbed stone. To keep things simple, use the same tile or stone for the shower area’s walls.
Other Floor Spots
Once you have the shower area’s floor right, the rest of the bathroom’s floor area must echo the “nature resort” vibe. This is one area where traditional “hospital bathroom” tiles are out of the question! These are spots that don’t get wet as often as the shower area, anyway, so make the most of that fact by using natural stone floor tiles, preferably in a different yet complementary color and texture to the shower floor tile you plan to use.
You can use marble with a “tumbled” finish or travertine. Nearly any natural stone will do, as long as it’s in a rough, pebble washout finish, to bring that natural “outdoors” feel into the bathroom.
But if you’re on a budget, try this instead: have some of the non-wet areas made into slightly lower concrete floors (lower by a few centimeters). Then cover the concrete flooring with actual pale-colored beach sand or dry pebbles. The layer of sand or pebbles should be compact yet high enough to be at the same level as the rest of the bathroom’s floors (i.e., sink area and shower area).
For the rest of the bathroom’s walls, use a mix of two natural stone tiles. Note, however, that one of these two should be the same tile you use in the non-wet area of the bathroom. Use one type to cover most of the walls, and the second type to create a natural “color band” running across the bathroom (either spanning the entire perimeter, or down two lengths of wall).
As final finishing touches, trade most of your harsh bathroom lights with softer, dim ones. (Concentrate any “harsh” light onto the bathroom mirror alone.) Add shade-friendly potted plants, woven baskets as hampers, a few scented candles, and—voila!—you’ve created your bathroom-sized spa retreat.