Opinions Please on Wainscot & Paint Plan in Small Full Bath

enduringMarch 17, 2012

Hello, I have a 9.5x6.5 ft bath that I am going to remodel. What do you think of my tile wainscot plan? The tile will be white shiny 4x4 stacked, above a white tile baseboard. Following the 4x4s, will be a white pencil. Then 3 rows of whitish, grayish, lavenderish, blueish marble in a running bond pattern. This all topped with a chair rail in white shiny. Total height of tile will be about 4ft. The height of the ceiling is around 7 or 7.5ft. The tile layout I've drawn up is in scale. Will this simple white color plan - but sort of complex tile plan - overwhelm my small bath? I think it should be ok but would like others thoughts.

Second, I plan to paint a very pale periwinkle gray above the wainscot that blends with the marble tile colors. I don't know if the ceiling should be whitish or the same color as the walls. the ceiling height is low. My DMI thinks that white is the way to go. I think painting the ceiling the same color as the walls might be best. I don't want to have a lot of changes from white to color to white again. My other thought would be to paint the ceiling in the lightest color on the color strip. My planned wall color is the second to the lightest.

My floor is a black slate. I will have blackish soapstone counters and sink. Cabinets painted light to blend with the wall color.

I would be thankful for your thoughts regarding this plan.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just my two cents, but there is way, way too much going on here. If you're going to put that much tile size variety in, I think they should at least be mathematically related to each other. You see how the grout lines on each tile set falls at a different place relative to the tiles below? The result is a scattered-but-not-in-a-planned-chaos sort of look. You might be able to get away with three different tile sizes by making the bottom ones twice as wide as the squares, and the top ones exactly as wide as the squares, but start the bottom row staggered to the squares to establish your visual difference immediately.

I realize this makes little to no sense typed out, so I will try and doodle something up for you real quick.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Personally, I think even this is too busy. I would get rid of one shape of tile.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I actually like your original plan. The one cloudbase drew up is too static in my opinion.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We painted the walls one color and the ceiling either 30% or 50% of the wall color. The percentage depended on how dark the wall color was. This is similar to going to the lighter shade of the color on the color strip.

I don't see a problem with your original layout except for the baseboard. I thought the baseboard was usually only one tile tall.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks *Cloudbase & *Catbulder for your feedback. I have misrepresented my tiles:) Though Cloudbase, you may still feel there is too much going on. And that is what I was asking, if this is too busy of a pattern for a small room.

I lay it out on the floor and I really like it.

To clarify the tile a bit, the bottom one is a 8x6" skirting tile that I tried to draw from memory. This new image is more accurate. It is white, as are the 4.25x4.25" field tiles, pencils, and chair rail. The skirting, pencils, and top chair rail are all 8" wide. The skirting is 6" tall, the chair rail is 3" tall, and the field is 4.25" tall. I would have prefered to have the field tile be 4" but I got a nice tile dirt cheap off Craigs List. As I edited the tile layout I reallized that I did not have my 8" tiles laid out at 8", sorry.

Layout of the elements with the shadow lines drawn in, in scale, honest. I did not include the listello in this drawing.:

Layout with still incorrect sizing of trim pieces but better shadow lines:

The lines in all of the skirting and chair rail are put there for shadow lines. They are totally white glossy ceramic tile. Same with the pencils. The field tile is flat and glossy. The 2x4 is a subtile whitish-blue flat marble mosaic that I like, to liven up the all white area.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think your tile is too busy at all -- being a fan of elaborate tile layouts... We did something similar in our latest guest bath -- elaborately molded baseboard tile, herringbone subway wainscot, cigar rail, mosaic border, then cap rail. Only the mosaic was different, which is what you're proposing, right?

As for paint, I'm a recent convert to having the ceilings match the walls, assuming the paint is in the light-to-medium shade range. I think it's especially effective where ceilings are low as it de-emphasizes the break between walls and ceilings.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 10:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By the way, the ceilings in this bath (same size as yours - 9 x 5 with 8 foot ceilings) are painted in the same aqua blue shade as the walls, though they somehow look lighter...

If, as someone said, your 4x4's and mosaic don't relate to each other logically, you could always lay the 4x4 on the diagonal. Your layout would be a little more complicated, but hey, that wouldn't bother me any ;-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like your layout as well, but had the same concern as Dekeoboe about the baseboard being more than one tile tall. Now I think I see from your second drawing, that it is only one tile? I think I'm having trouble picturing what the base looks like, although a 6" high base tile does not seem too tall.

Overall, I don't think it will be too busy, assuming you match the grout to the tile. A contrasting grout color may make the pattern look too busy, in my opinion.

If you have 4' of tile, that will only leave 3-3.5' of painted wall above. This may just be a matter of taste, but I would lower the tile height a bit (maybe from 48" to something like 42"). Does the 48" take grout joints into account? I wonder if lowering the tile will also make the room appear larger by making the ceiling appear a little higher.

As far as paint, I really like the idea of doing the ceiling a lighter shade of the walls. Hope this helps!

Sweeby, I remember your lovely bathroom when we were renovating one of ours. It's very pretty and I think I still have those photos saved.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

*Sweeby, yes your bath is just about like what my layout would look like. Your bath is very pretty and soothing, a goal of mine. Your base tiles and cigar rail is way more elaborate than my pencil & base. I like the idea of painting the ceiling same as walls. Another question, do you think since the 4.25 sq tiles will never line up with the 8" trim that it wont look good? If so what if I did a running bond? I wanted to use the stacked because of the historic context of my existing walls. I just assumed that since it was a field tile that it would read as a large surface. How was it done back in the day? I think today I will take my camera to work. I work in a hospital with some old tile work. I will take pictures to help me with my interpretation. Of note, one room I work in used to be one of the old original surgical suites. It was built in 1918 I believe (it might go with the Steampunk theme on the kitchen forum:) It is now a group therapy room. Until recently even an old light switch was still in place that surely had to be original. The ceilings are probably 12 feet. All the walls are faced in marble and they are matched. It is quite impressive. Thank you so much for checking this post out and helping me.

You too *Kichenkrazed! I like your thought about lowering the wainscot to accommodate the lower ceiling. I haven't measured too much yet. My original thought was to go with the height of what is there now, which is 4 feet. But the wainscot is a very understated, all painted one color (walls and ceiling), embossed into plaster, 4x4 stacked tile pattern, that was put in when the shed roofed addition was built in the 30's? The walls are needing replaced around the tub and all the fixtures are very worn.

This bath gets used hard. It is time to redo and update materials. I want to make it lovely and durable. It is next to my newly outfitted kitchen. The BR accommodates everyone on this working farm. It sees the occasional vet supplies, steel buckets - even some emergency livestock care has taken place in this bath. The BR will continue to service in this capacity on the rare occasion.

Again thanks to the both of you for your thoughts that have been so helpful.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I do think a running bond pattern would mitigate the 'not lining up' issue, though not as much as a diagonal layout would. But as to 'how bad would it be?'? One of our other baths has straight-stacked 6x6s on shower the wainscot below a 10" pencil, and the 'never matches' aspect doesn't bother me at all. However, those tiles are not the same color or brand, so they don't look like they're supposed to match either. Your idea of looking at the hospital's tile work is probably the best way to see if it would bother you or not...

For wainscot height - in our baths, I found there were always architectural considerations that dictated things... For example, window ledges, the height of pedestal sinks or countertops, toilet heights, etc. I don't think there's any hard or fast rules about how tall the wainscot 'should' be, and it will be pretty at any height.

One other consideration on the ceiling paint colors -- It is SO EASY to just keep going with the same color. No painful cut-ins at the ceiling line! So if you're on the fence, you can always just try it and see if you like it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The embossed tile is currently at 4 ft. I may or may not replicate that after considering the size of wall height and the architectural features that Sweeby points to. My trip to the tiled restrooms around the hospital was not particularly helpful for my situation. But it was fun. I love my old hospital. I grew up next to it and now decades later I am still haunting the halls.

I might just ignore the fact of 4.25" and 8" not lining up. They will be all the same color and surface texture.

Thanks for the feedback. I have some time before I get to the tile install. Everyone has been very helpful.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you tell me what program you are using to illustrate your tile layout? I am renovating bathrooms too, and it would really help to be able to see the layout in the right scale.
I'm sure your bathroom turned out beautifully!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well I used Adobe Illustrator to draw those tiles. I would not recommend buying this program unless you do graphics for other reasons. There is a bit of a learning curve. But if you like drawing and can get the Educational set, its not too expensive.

About the bathroom, I am only just now getting to the floor warming wire installation and self leveling compound installation. Then the tub needs to go in, etc. I am a DYIer and I am SLOW. I have made progress. The walls are primed and ready to paint. The floor is dead on level, and reenforced to accept stone tile. Subfloor all prepped and ready to go for SLC primer application. Got my hot glue gun to help secure the heating wires, so they don't float up in the SLC. I am hoping that I can get the plumber to install the tub by next week.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Enduring, I like your tile ideas. I did want to mention that you might look into wainscot height and proportion recommendations. I have read (and found) that going halfway up a wall is not desirable or aesthetically pleasing. The principle, if I remember correctly, is a little over 1/3 (or 2/3, for more of a Craftsman look). I think it has something to do with the Golden Mean. I equate it to the rather unattractive look of high-waisted pants; they don't do anything for the upper or lower portion and can make things look even shorter! You might check over on the Home Decor forum; they have some experts who might be able to guide you on adding or removing a few rows of the square field tile to achieve the perfect height.

I also agree with Dekeoboe about using the slightly lighter ceiling color. The ceiling always looks darker, so lightening up the wall color about 50% (or moving up one or two chips on the paint card) actually makes it look like the walls without giving that heavy feel.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Equest17, this thread is old but I am still working on this bathroom! I am only 2 months behind my plan:) Thanks for bringing up the issue about the lighter ceiling. I will keep that in mind. The color I will be painting this room is BM Bunny Gray. A very light gray. It may be too light. But the alternative choice I thought would be too dark. The paint lady said if I thought it was too light I could bring the pail in and she would tweak it with a touch of black. If that happens than my ceiling could stay lighter and I could just paint the walls with the darker paint. I have very little wall space to paint in actuality.

With regards to the height of the wainscot, I am going about 50 inches, not quite 2/3s (which would be 56"). It will leave 36 inches to the ceiling which is low at 7 ft. I need room to hang a mirror and enough tile area to mount my sink and wall mount facet. I have my light switches placed already for the 50 inch height. But if I ever do another wainscot I will remember this point. I agree with not dividing the room in 1/2, would look odd.

Thanks again both great points to consider.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:39PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Classic looking offset vanity top?
I'm planning out a bathroom remodel for a 1920s Craftsman...
Date on thinset
Someone mentioned they would help homeowners decode...
Final Decisions - Lighting and Countertop - "Spa-Like" or "Dreary"?
We have been in the middle of a very long & drawn-out...
Need advice on best mirror/sconce option in small master bath
My husband and I are FINALLY renovating our master...
Which Tile Color for DH's "Manly" Bathroom?
The vanity/sink is the only thing we've done so far....
Sponsored Products
Laundry Basket on Wheels
| Dot & Bo
Newbury Wire Baskets - Set of 3
$147.99 | Dot & Bo
Leslie Wire Storage Baskets - Set of 3
$149.99 | Dot & Bo
Travel Inspiration Pillow Cover
$29.99 | Dot & Bo
Steve Jobs Laser Engraved Framed Tribute
$499.00 | FRONTGATE
Laundry Crate on Wheels
| Dot & Bo
Easy Stand Alone DMX Controller
Newport Flush Ceiling Mount
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™