Tile is frequently used in bathrooms for many reasons. It's aesthetically pleasing, it reflects light, it's durable, it's easy to clean and it's a simple way to freshen up the space. And options abound for bathroom tile ideas, from material to implementation. Tile halfway up the wall to create wainscoting, use classic white subway tile, tile the entire wall, create a 4-6 inch border or combine multiple style elements using whichever material you like. Using tile is more expensive than painting, however, so if you're on a budget either choose an iteration that doesn't use a lot of it or just use paint. Make sure the proper additive is mixed in with your paint color in order to keep it from getting mildewy and if you're using tile, look for stain-resistant grout (more expensive but worth the extra cost). White and off-white are the most popular bathroom color ideas and neutral colors also help make the space feel calm and fresh. Choosing a monochromatic color palette, where you base the whole color scheme off of one main color, is another popular option and will make the space feel bigger.
Tile is another material that you touch and feel each day. While you can find quality options for $5 per square foot, super cut-rate tiles may have slight size inconsistencies. The results will be crooked lines that make a bathroom look shoddy. So where can you save? Light fixtures tend to perform the same across most price points—it's the high design that costs more. You might also find that opting for a basic finish on faucets and fixtures saves you hundreds of dollars without compromising quality. And you definitely don't need to blow your budget on a luxury toilet, like Kohler's $6,390 Numi, with its motion-activated lid and built-in bidet. Those are cool features, but toilets costing as little as $300 delivered the best flush in our tests.
Even if you don't incorporate every element of universal degisn into the bathroom now, it's worth putting in the structural framework, such as blocking in the walls for future support bars. Make sure your contractor makes a drawing of the wall so that you can find the blocking if, and when, the time comes. You may be the picture of good health today, but you can't predict the future. What you can do, however, is ensure that your bathroom will serve you and your loved ones regardless of your abilities by following the basics of Universal Design (i.e. aging in place). “It is absolutely coming onto people's radar, even younger clients,” says Alan Zielinksi, president of the NKBA.
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