A Great Trick with Tile


If you want to capture the look of this gorgeous bathroom by Dallas Design Group Interiors, don’t overlook one of the most important elements–the tile on the walls. Applying tile part-way up to chair rail height, like wainscot paneling, is an affordable way to add the look of an expensive upgrade.

Linear bathrooms are a great place for this treatment. They can look unbalanced when all of the fixtures and elements are lined up along one wall and the opposite side is simply a blank sheetrock wall. The tile adds architecture, three-dimensional depth, and expands the look of the room. Adding tile wainscot to this one wall can often cost less than $100, but makes it look like you spent thousands more.

The height for this treatment is usually between 32” and 42” from the finished floor, depending on the size of your tile, the height of your ceilings, and other design details. Try to use whole tiles as you go up the wall with trim pieces as the top row, like a bullnose or chair rail to give a finished look. For example, if you are using 8 x 12 tile, you could do 4 rows of tile and finish at 32” high from the floor plus the width of your trim. If you are using 12 x 24 tile, you could do 3 rows of tile finishing at 36” plus trim from the floor.


If you are doing some sort of linear border or listel design in your shower or tub area, consider running your tile design along the vanity as your back splash instead of the usual 4” countertop back splash. Continue that tile all around the room at the same height. The height of your vanity plus the width of your design will determine the finished height of your tile on the walls. It will start at the vanity and run horizontally around the room, connecting the vanity with the walls, shower, and tub area for a great customized look.