Dressing a Bathroom with Tiles and Lighting

Bathroom tiles and lighting to me are like the jewelry and scarves that set off an outfit. You can take exactly the same bathroom when it comes to fixtures and alter it completely in tone and feel by changing up these two items.

In keeping with my “save money wherever possible” mentality, I like to look for bargains. I’m a big fan of bigbox stores for lighting, a little less so for tiles, as their tiles are inexpensive but often thinner than the more expensive stuff.

But luckily, most of the higher-end tile shops in Ottawa carry discounted tiles. Often, they have only a few of these in stock, but the nice thing about a bathroom is that you don’t need a lot because the spaces tend to be small.

My first stop of choice is always Emerald Tile, where the friendly staff can find discount tiles for you to choose from that aren’t in their showroom. I’ve redone bathrooms for as little as $1 per sq. ft.  with great porcelain tiles valued at $12 regularly.

When it comes to wall tiles, it’s a little harder to find bargains, and honestly, the wall space in a shower or above a tub or around a sink  is so small that I usually splurge.

I put a lovely cream-coloured crackle subway tile in my own downstairs bathroom reno, in the glass shower. The crackling is so subtle you can’t even see it until you are showering, but that’s what I like about it — the fine detailing.

Here are some ideas for pairing lights and tiles, whether your taste is traditional or more modern. All these suggestions are from Home Depot’s online catalogue.

The first light that appealed to me was this one, at $ 69.99. I can see this working in a lot of different bathrooms because it’s clean and sleek but also has a traditional feel. The brushed pewter appeals to me as well. (As does the price!)

Now imagine that light in a bathroom with these tiles. They are 13″ x 13″ and only $2.34 per tile.

Take the same tile, and pair it with this lovely little Tiffany fixture in a powder room. The  light fixture is $ 129. Isn’t it a gem?

Here’s another tile with a little more dramatic impact with its pops of blue. In a larger bathroom, I’d probably go with something simple for lighting, and let it be the star. This one’s slate, and 12″ by 12″ at $ 1.99 per tile.

I’d pair it with this light fixture by Hampton Bay, priced at $ 100.

But in a smaller bathroom or powder room, imagine that same tile with this gorgeous little blue chandalier, priced at just under $ 110. Talk about dramatic impact!

I love chandaliers in almost any room. Here’s one that would work well in a bathroom and get this — it’s only $49.

Now put that in a bathroom with this tile, (6″ x 6″ at $ 1.29/tile) and you’d have a gorgeous little room, don’ t you think?

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