DIY Network

Making Tile Selection Simple and Fun

Discover which tiles work best for a bathroom by basing your flooring choice on the clothes and shoes you love. Designer Heidi Karpa shows you how.

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Put your Best Tile Forward
Want to make tile selection simple and fun? Try looking at your bathroom like you look at an outfit — then imagine that adding tile is similar to adding accessories.

The first step is to create a personal preferences list. Take stock of what you wear and what you love. Evaluate jewelry, shoes and clothes. Do you prefer silver or gold? Delicate heels or wedged soles? Neutrals, strong colors or patterns? These items provide clues about your design preferences. Detail what you discover in your personal preferences list.

Tile comes in many different sizes. In the same material, 1"x1", 6"x6" or 12"x12" tiles create different visual statements. Let your jewelry be your guide. If you love large, strong pieces, you should choose larger tile. If you prefer delicate chains and stud earrings, then focus on smaller tile or interesting borders.

Evaluate your bathroom with your personal preferences list and a few of your favorite clothing pieces in hand. Consider your cabinetry and fixtures the top and bottom of an outfit then ask, "What's missing?" If you like strong colors and patterns in your clothes, you'll enjoy strong colors in your backsplash. Live in neutrals? Take a subtle approach by keeping colors consistent and shifting materials.

Let's review two examples.

Personal Preference A: You like bold colors, large-scale pieces and natural/handmade textures.
Your Tile: ANN SACKS Kibak — The vibrant colors and pattern of the Gold Damascus tile create a dramatic visual statement that suits you perfectly.

Personal Preference B: You prefer neutrals, delicate details and gold jewelry.
Your Tile: ANN SACKS Robert Kuo Cloisonné — Use the 1" x 6" Webb tile as an accent border in an all white bathroom for a look that's stylish without being overwhelming.

Bathroom trends, like runway trends, must work for you. Detailing your personal preferences lets you confidently navigate the overwhelming variety in tile stores by giving you specific language with which to communicate. With your personal preferences list, you can target new materials and trust your decisions.

Now go shopping! Ask to see tile that meets your criteria. Sales professionals will gladly pull materials that meet your requirements. Have fun and don't be afraid to strut those tile showroom runways.