To­day’s bath­room is more than a mere func­tional space. It’s a room you can re­treat to, a place of quiet sanc­tu­ary in an in­creas­ingly noisy world.

Homes+ (Australia) - - INSPIRING CHOICES -

A great bath­room is easy to main­tain, has enough stor­age for ev­ery­thing you need, in­cludes good-qual­ity fix­tures and feels lux­u­ri­ous to use. The bath­room and laun­dry are spa­ces that al­ways ben­e­fit from be­ing de­signed from the floor up. Prac­ti­cal­ity takes top billing when it comes to de­ci­sions about your bath­room and laun­dry floor. Tiles, be­cause of their abil­ity to stand up to splashes and mois­ture, are clearly the best choice for bath­rooms and laun­dries (though they’re not the only op­tion). Laun­dries some­times suf­fer the fate of be­ing over­looked, but they can be just as stylish as any other room in the house. The tiles you se­lect for your floor can pro­vide the per­fect launch­ing point for the rest of your de­sign. Large-for­mat tiles, typ­i­cally 300x600mm or larger, have been em­braced by home­own­ers in re­cent years and for good rea­son. Larger tiles mean less grout and there­fore less clean­ing. They also look fan­tas­tic! As counter-in­tu­itive as it may seem, us­ing large-for­mat tiles on the floor of a small bath­room or laun­dry is a smart idea. The fewer vis­ual ‘breaks’ the eye en­coun­ters, the greater the per­cep­tion of space, and that’s ex­tremely valu­able in, say, a 2x3m space. If you fancy a dark tile but worry that your space is too small, stick to us­ing it on the floor and opt for a white or soft neu­tral tile or paint colour on the walls. Large-for­mat tiles may be the most pop­u­lar floor and wall choice for bath­rooms, but don’t rule out mo­saics. They’re time­lessly stylish and su­per-prac­ti­cal. Not too long ago, a tim­ber floor was con­sid­ered off lim­its for bath­rooms and laun­dries. Now, thanks to leaps and bounds in dig­i­tal print­ing, things have changed. To­day’s tim­ber­look tiles and lux­ury vinyl planks pro­vide a time­less foun­da­tion and are so ex­pertly printed you won’t be able to tell they’re not the real thing. Some are so well de­signed there’s no give-away re­peat in the wood­grain print, and they even feel sim­i­lar to tim­ber un­der­foot. De­spite the in­evitable shifts in fash­ion, there are many great-look­ing tile op­tions that are sure to stand the test of time (im­por­tant when you con­sider the av­er­age bath­room and laun­dry is only ren­o­vated ev­ery 10 to 15 years). Mar­ble and stonelook tiles will al­ways be a win­ner, as will a crisp white sub­way tile. In the past year or two, penny-round mo­saics and hexag­o­nal tiles have ex­pe­ri­enced a surge in pop­u­lar­ity. Hexes are par­tic­u­larly hot. Used large or small, this trend is not go­ing any­where soon.

Sarah Pick­ette Fea­tures Editor, Aus­tralian House & Gar­den

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