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Tile School: Bathroom Wall Tile Height, How High Should You Go?

Image: Whit Preston; Design: Hello Kitchen

The bathroom is one of the only spaces in your home where you can pretty much tile any surface you want, and with each surface there are a number of decisions to be made.  Here we'll cover the basics of shower wall tile heights, and how to choose which height will work best for your project.

Almost to the top

The bathroom above chooses an unconventional tile height, covering a little over 3/4 of the wall.  This look works best in contemporary and modern bathrooms, where tile height is part of the design.  By not having the tile go all the way to the ceiling, the designers prevented the space from becoming too dark.  The darker tile colors against the crisp white walls remains open looking, while the glass doors reflect the natural lighting coming in through the windows.

Floor to Ceiling

For you tile lovers a floor to ceiling tile installation in the bathroom is the way to go.  The look is fresh and modern, and can be done in every shape, size and color there is.  We love the clean look of the straight set tile in the bathroom below.  The design feels clean and contemporary, and the floor to ceiling installation, with its saturated blue hue, becomes the focal point of the space.

Glass shown: 2 x 6 in Island Flower and 2 x 6 in Powder Blue; Image: Erik Pawassar; Design: Design@100%

Classic Wainscotting

Wainscotting is a classic choice for bathrooms that border on the traditional side.  The classic design feature is usually between 34 and 54" high, with 36" being the medium height.  A classic offset or straight set pattern in a standard field size tile works best for this wall height.  For a truly classic look, finish the top with a decorative trim.

Tile shown: 3 x 6 in White Wash and Star & Cross in Turquoise; Image: Malcolm Fearon Photography

Contemporary Wainscotting

For a more contemporary take on the traditional wainscotting style, try using a less tradition material, such as our glazed thin Brick in a cool Dark hue.  Leave the border unfinished (no trim) for a clean and modern design detail.

Image: Twist Tours Photography; Design; DeWitt Architects

A little of both

Can't decide how high to go?  Why not try a full wall and a wall with wainscotting?  This look works best when your shower walls are completely covered floor to ceiling in tile, and the tile is extended to the remaining walls but only as wainscotting.  This allows you to show off more tile, without overwhelming the space.  We suggest painting your walls a crisp white or other neutral hue to complement the tile.

Design: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Ready to start your bathroom tile project?  Order free samples now.  Need some help?  Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.