Design of Bathroom. How to Lay Tile?

Most often the interior of the bathroom is decorated with the ceramic tiles, however when the moment of its installation comes, the question arises how to place the tile: horizontally or vertically. In fact, this question only at first glance may seem insignificant. But in practice, how you place the tiles, will depend on at least the visual perception of the bathroom. Thus, the vertical tile makes the room elongated; visually increasing it in height, but the horizontal tile expands the room. Let us provide you with the bathroom projects, in which we will carry out an experiment with tiles with the help of interactive prototyping.

So, a standard bathroom with square size (including the lavatory, a ceiling height − about 8.2 ft. and a floor area − about 7.9x7.9 ft.). In our experiment will be used a tile from the one Italian well-known collection. It is a rectangular tile with a size of about 7.9x19.7 in. of the orange and white color. And the floor paved with square ones with the size of about 13x13 in.

1) Vertical and horizontal Stacking of Orange Tiles

So, the left photo depicts a bathroom with vertically tiled. You may think that visually this bathroom looks a little higher than the one on the right in the photo where the tiles lay horizontally. However, these differences are not significant, so for the following experiment we will be using the white tiles.

2) Vertical and Horizontal Positioning of White Tiles

The difference between these variants is already more visible. Particularly evident, as the bathroom looks with the white horizontal tiles wider. And the thing is in the tile's seams. There appeared a more noticeable contrast on the white background, and it means that the seams began to play a role of guide strips. Thus, in the bathroom with vertical tiles where the seams are directed up and in the bathroom with horizontal tiles they are diverged, i.e. in width. Thus, the stronger the contrast, the brighter the visual effect is.

3) Guide Strips on Contrast

In the left photo it shows the bathroom with horizontal tiles of the orange color without contrasting guide strips. But in the right photo the tiles also remained vertical, and there appeared a contrast that makes the room wider without any saying.

4) Horizontal Contrast or Vertical Coating

As you can see in one photo, the bathroom is with the vertical tiles, so this room seems elongated. In the second photo there is the bathroom with tiled horizontally and the contrasting guide strip made out of the white tiles. Undoubtedly, the right room visually appears much larger. Apart from the contrasting visual guide strip, a lighter color worked itself – the white tiles on the orange background.

5) Light Enhances Space

Check this statement and compare the photos.

These bathrooms are practically the same, but in our experimental photos of the bathroom the one with the white tile seems a little more than a bathroom in the orange color.

And now draw a horizontal guide strip from the orange tiles in the white bathroom.

6) Contrasting Guide Strips of Dark Color

So, in the middle of the bathroom with horizontal white tiles it was paved the guide strip of dark color. What has happened? If you compare it with a bath of white tiles, it seems that the rooms are identical in size. This occurs for the following reasons: the white color and the guide stripes in fact increase a visual space, but the dark color on the white background visually narrows the space. So, these mutually exclusive facts led to the identity of our experimental spaces.

7) Vertical tiles and Vertical Guide Strip

In the photo there are bathrooms with vertical coatings, but the right bathroom is decorated by a border, which is also located vertically and not in the center. Visually, it seems to us that the room is a little higher. However, if we compare the result with the horizontal strip, then the result is not significant. But the fact is that the vertical border takes visually less space in the bathroom.

8) Vertical Coating with Strip in Comparison with Horizontal Coating

In these photos we can see the comparison of the bathroom coated with the horizontal tiles with the bathroom having the vertical coating with the border. The result is: the bathroom with the strip in the right photo definitely looks higher. To enhance this effect, it is necessary to make the strip even more contrasting, e.g. white.

9) Contrast Enhancement

So, the stronger contrast, the better is result. In such case, in one of the bathrooms there was the tile's replacement on one wall with the contrasting strip vertically. By increasing the contrast and adding the white color the bathroom in the right photo; definitely it seems to be visually larger.

10) White Tile against Vertical Border

Bathrooms are minimal, so we can say that they are identical. Again, here played into the hands of the fact that white color in the interior has its advantages.

11) Horizontal White Tiles Compared with Vertical Ones (with Stripe)

Here, the result is ambiguous because the bathroom with horizontal tiles – wide, and with vertical strip – high. So this result is in both pictures.

12) Border at Top of Bathroom

Placing the border at the top of the bathroom we visually emphasize the height of the room. Actually, the experiment photo confirms this.


Vertical coating makes the space above, and horizontal one makes the room wider. The same rule applies to ascertaining the guide strips. To emphasize the height of the room even more decor (borders) should be placed in the upper part of the bathroom.

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