To tile all the way or paint?

alizacfFebruary 26, 2012

I am in the midst of a major reno. I am about to order my tiles after spending hours upon hours of choosing. My old bathrooms were fully tiled ( to the ceiling) and I was ok with that. That was 28 years ago. Now I am wondering has the look changed? Is painting part of the bathroom more stylish or is it simply a matter of saving $$?

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My personal preference is tile to the ceiling in a shower or tub surround. And even to tile the ceiling.

In the main bath, depends on the style of the room, but a tile wainscot can look mighty fine. Outside the bath if tile is to go to the ceiling, I prefer it to be just on a single wall, an accent or focal wall if that makes sense.

I mill all my own trim, so unless you need a sanitary cove, I do like the shadowlines of wood baseboard, wood door and window casing, and crown molding to go with that tiled wainscot.

I am a wainscot junkie though, in my own house, with the exception of my son's not-for-the-feint-of-heart teenage cave of a bedroom that has black trim and "pumpkin" cork on the walls (!!) every room in my house has wainscot of some sort.

I am in colonial-ish CT, if you have a slick contemporary house, obviously my preferences don't apply. ; )

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Thanks mongoct for your detailed answer. Will take your ideas into consideration.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Its truly a matter of preference and $$. I am Just finishing two bathrooms, In one I tiled only 4' up the wall, in the other I tiled every wall to the ceiling. In that bathroom I used a large format tile so I think that the combination of all walls tiled and the large tiles makes my 9x6 bathroom look enormous. My low ceilings look taller too.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:17AM
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We don't have a shower in the master bath. Tiles on wall are 13" topped with travertine railing and 2" glass tiles. Paint above. Same all around the bathroom. Not sure how high. Maybe 32-34"

Here is a link that might be useful: Master Bath

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:26AM
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I agree it's a matter of preference. Either can look great. i tiled all the way to the ceiling in my shower, but I could have ended the tile at my shower door height and that would have looked good too!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 3:15PM
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Tiling certainly solves the problem of choosing a good paint color.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Thank you all for your input. Renee, I agree not having to make more decisions re: paint is almost enough of a reason (for me) to go with all tile.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 7:23PM
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It depends how big the bathroom is, to me.
Ours is small and I noticed in photos where the tile stopped short
and the paint continued around the top of the room, the room looks bigger.
In other words, the wall color continues into the tub niche including it in the room.

Where the tub is totally tiled in, it appears to be a separate tiny room.
Besides, I do not embrace the idea of cleaning ceiling grout.

Not my bathroom, just an example:

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 8:22PM
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here are some recent picture of our tiled shower. We went all the way up in the shower and than over the toilet and sink.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 10:29PM
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rufinorox, thanks for the photos. Your bathroom looks really nice. I definitely am planning to tile bath niche to the ceiling .Biochem 101 thanks for posting picture to show what you mean ,I actually think paint in the bath niche chops things up and tiling to the ceiling looks better. Many thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:27PM
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You're welcome! I wasn't sure I wanted to go all the way up, but I'm happy we did. It looks great.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 10:28PM
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To the ceiling.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I like more tile and less paint, UNLESS it's a bathroom where you will be taking care of little kids (eg. bathing, supervising toothbrushing, etc.). Little kids can be LOUD, and in an acoustically hard room (all tile), all that loud bouncing back and forth on all that tile can really make your ears ring. You can offset this by having more soft materials: shower curtain instead of tub enclosure door, curtains on windows, lots of towel racks with towels hanging on them, throw rugs on floor; you get the picture.

Bathroom I will use alone: lots of tile, glass door, sleek surfaces.

Bathroom with kids: design with acoustics in mind.

Oh, and it doesn't get quieter as they get older. Two teenage sisters getting ready at the same time and randomly arguing is louder than two "terrible" (not so terrible, I now know) twos playing in the tub.

We're going to have a bath for every person in this house when I'm done with it! That, or we're going back to an outhouse by the lilac in the corner of the backyard, and a pitcher and bowl in every bedroom. Anything for a little peace and quiet!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 9:18AM
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