Bathroom walls: four solutions to the same question

The ancient Romans (of the time of the Empire) believed that the place where a person takes ablutions should be not just beautiful, but downright luxurious. Let us recall at least the famous baths of Caracalla.

Nowadays, the question “how to decorate a three-meter bathroom?” seems much simpler, but still it must be solved…

Plastic and tiles

I will not recommend the cheapest way to finish – wall cladding with plastic panels. The construction markets are full of them, and the color can be matched to any granite-malachite-marble. But your bathroom will look just like the reception (or toilet) of some office. You need it?

The cheapest way is followed by the classic way – ceramic tiles.

The range of prices here is somewhere from 200 to 900 rubles. per square meter. The most expensive tile is Spanish, the cheapest is domestic. However, as personal experience has shown, cheap does not mean bad. My husband and I bought on the market a very stylish white tile with a texture that resembles either corduroy or some other textured fabric, for only 240 rubles / m2 (manufacturer – the Ekatirinburg ceramic factory). The workers then praised her, they said, soft, well cut.

The only thing I don’t like about most domestic tiles is that if there is a drawing on it, then it is stencil on each tile, that is, the same “marble” vein will be repeated a hundred times at the same angle. But imported tiles most often come with a pattern offset, but it also costs more – from 400 rubles / m2.

The most widespread toilet-bathroom design is “with a border”, that is. a narrow horizontal strip of small contrasting colors or simply elegant tiles. Usually, a darker tile is placed below, then at a height of 80 centimeters from the floor there is a strip of border, then a light top with a couple of decorative inserts. This is how 90% of modern bathrooms are decorated. In fifty years from the photographs of these walls it will be possible to easily determine the era. “Canary, Ficus and Guitar”. “Sliding wardrobe, bar and toilet with a border”.

It was these considerations that made my husband and I refrain from this typical tiled fashion. But what can you offer in return?

In profile magazines-catalogs, basically, all the same idea: lower tier, edging, upper tier. Or just edging.

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Only once a funny picture flashed somewhere: the spines of books were painted on the tiles, and it turned out that the tiled wall resembled a library. Once again I saw the mirror tiles. Well, also an idea: it will serve as a constant reminder that it would be nice to finally sign up for a fitness center…

In general, with tiles, everything is somehow rather boring. Well, the fact that there are not enough texture tiles, you can still understand – it is more difficult to wash them – but why not release, say, hexagonal, triangular tiles, or some other with non-standard geometry?

The only interesting thing that has now appeared on sale is floor tiles in the form of a parquet board with imitation of wood texture. It can be laid with a herringbone or other “parquet” way. The price of such a ceramic parquet is from 600 to 850 rubles per sq. meter, but since the floor area in the bathroom is not the same as the area of ​​the walls, anyone can afford this little luxury.

Now about the issue price. Tiling costs $ 9-10 per m2, plus grouting can be added here ($ 0.5 per meter), or they can be included in the total cost.

By the way, about grouting, I must say that it can be of two types – cement, for example, Sopro (about 250 rubles per package), and chalk, for example, Atlas (it is cheaper, 100 rubles, but quickly crumbles). Let’s add tile adhesive to the list of costs – a good brand “Yunis plus” or “Yunis XXI century” (120 rubles a bag). You may also need to level the walls – $ 7-10 per m2 price of work, plus plaster mix and putty.


This, perhaps, will be more interesting than tiles. IKEA reminded us of the existence of glass mosaic (glass mosaic), and it even became something of a fashion. There are even certain tendencies here. At first, finishing with simple colors or so-called mixtures containing several shades of color was popular. They were replaced by geometric decors, scenes from manufacturers’ catalogs. Then it came to creating complex author’s panels.

In terms of price, the entire mosaic can be divided into two main categories: the so-called elite and economy class. Expensive exclusive mosaic (from 25 euros per meter) is, of course, first of all Italian Bisazza.

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“Bisadza” has a wide color palette (over a hundred colors), and there is a so-called. aventurine mosaic with small golden splashes. Economy class mosaic can be viewed from Chinese companies Super Glass and J&J. The price for a Chinese mosaic is lower (from $ 15 per m2) – as they say, “due to macroeconomic reasons” – but in general it is not bad. Although the palette here is not so rich – about forty colors. J&J, like Bisazi, there is also an aventurine mosaic.

There are several techniques for making mosaics. The most difficult and time consuming is called “Roman mosaic”.

It is completely manual, and is used where a mosaic panel is supposed to be viewed from a close distance, or if the image is saturated with small decorative elements. First, a sketch is drawn, then a life-size base is marked out on it, and a panel is laid out on it. In order to lay out all the elements, standard modules – 2×2 cm tiles – are pricked into halves, quarters, or even smaller pieces. This is a rather painstaking work: the mosaicist lays out 0.3-0.4 meters per day.

A cheaper way is computer graphics, or, as it is also called, matrix assembly.

The meaning of this technology is that the sketch is passed through a special program that breaks it into square modules – that is, into a certain color scheme – and the image is laid out according to the computer set.

Mixed media, as you might guess, involves a combination of computer graphics and Roman mosaics. For example, if small elements are planned in a computer sketch, then they are performed manually in traditional Roman technique, as if embedding into the overall picture. As a result, an interesting result is achieved: what is done in computer technology looks more blurred, as if creating a background, while what is laid out by hand looks very clear, as if protruding to the front. Thanks to this, the effect of volume is created, as well as the impression of an expensive author’s work..


Humanity’s latest invention for bathroom furnishings is a new design material called agglomerate. It is used as floor and wall coverings.

For those who have not yet come across it, we give a note: an agglomerate is a combination of minerals bound by a cementitious substance. Externally, the agglomerate is a shiny, dense, rather large and rather thin slabs of various colors. As a filler, the agglomerates may contain pieces of glass mosaic and inclusions of aventurine.

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There are a lot of agglomerate varieties – marbled, granite-like, made of glass chips, all kinds of colors, with various fillers … The trendsetter and prices in this direction is the same Bisazza. She specializes in agglomerate interspersed with pieces of glass mosaic and aventurine.

For all its drawbacks in the form of a high price (in the Bisazza office they did not even want to give me any numbers for publication: “This is expensive. Whoever needs it, they will find out themselves”), the agglomerate has one advantage – it is flexible. By heating the slab to a temperature of 650 C, it can be bent and covered with curved walls and other complex surfaces. For example, revet a bathtub ramp around the perimeter, accurately repeating its contour.

It is convenient that the agglomerate can be used in new buildings without fear that cracks will appear in the material after the house shrinks. However, this property obliges the careful storage of the agglomerate: it is recommended to keep its plates flat, not to put them on the edge – otherwise, under its own weight, it may deform.

No additional wall or floor treatment is required to lay the agglomerate. All that is needed is a flat surface.

Any construction team familiar with the installation of ceramic tiles and similar coatings should be able to easily cope with the installation of the sinter. Agglomerate sheets can be cut into smaller parts of a given shape and laid out from them a geometric ornament, a plot panel, an inscription … But in order for the elements to match perfectly, they must be cut out on special machines for cutting solid materials using a water jet.

Manufacturers insist that the agglomerates will work well with shiny surfaces, as well as mosaics related to them in origin and characteristics. The proximity of these materials should emphasize their decorative qualities and give the interior a solemn, downright “ruble-Uspensky” sound.

However, in my opinion, the “high sounding” that the agglomerate gives to the interiors still gives off a certain plasticity – synthetics, whatever one may say.

Text: Elena Popova

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