Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Adventures in tub tile: Fun with shapes and accent pieces

Photo by Jim Bessey
tile tub surround uses FOUR tile types!
Four distinct tile sizes and types combine for a stunning design
 Late last fall we tackled a tricky bathroom filled with interesting tile, including the tub surround pictured above. The central design uses 13"-square porcelain tiles with some rather aggresive shading and swirling. The designer added the same selection in a 6"-square for accent, then went even farther by including a gold-metallic border rope surrounding a 2-by-2 mosaic band. Next, above that accent band is the final touch -- the same 6-by-6 tiles laid diagonally.

Is this design too busy for your eye? The homeowner loved it, and was pleased with my attempts at both random and small-pattern layout. This is demanding work, using so many sizes and placements of different tiles in the same small area. You have to be careful doing this sort of design because you know that people will be looking closely every time they shower! (One of the 6-by6 tiles actually had to be chiseled out and replaced due to a minor but noticeable spacing issue -- that wasn't fun at all.)

Photo copyright 2010 Jim Bessey * Reprints with attribution, unaltered.
Want to know more about ceramic and porcelain tile for floors, walls, tubs and showers? See my DIY Tile Zone hosted on


  1. I think it's gorgeous, Jim! So bold and different. Not boring at all!I'm going to show it to Tommy....then bug the heck out of him til he agrees to do ours like that!

  2. Thanks, Glory. Tommy's gonna be thrilled with this idea, isn't he? LOL

  3. Anonymous4:27 PM

    Wow, that is beautiful!