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Penny tiles are delightful circular wonders that will breathe new life into your bathing sanctuary. Often associated with retro and vintage styles, they have a nostalgic charm that harkens back to mid-century design aesthetics.
Penny tiles gained popularity during the early 20th century and were commonly used in vintage bathrooms and kitchens.
Their small, circular shape and intricate patterns evoke a sense of nostalgia and classic design.
While penny tiles can certainly be used in modern and contemporary spaces, they are frequently sought after by those looking to recreate or pay homage to retro styles.
In the bathroom, they can add a touch of old-world elegance, whimsy, and character to a room, reminiscent of a bygone era.
With their timeless appeal, penny tiles continue to be a popular choice for anyone who wants to infuse their spaces with a retro flair while maintaining a sense of charm and sophistication.
If this sounds like you, let’s dive in and explore different ways to use penny tiles in the bathroom!
Are Penny Tiles Good For The Bathroom?
Yes, penny tiles are indeed a fantastic choice for bathroom applications, from bathroom floors to shower walls. Below are several reasons why they are well-suited for this space:
1. Penny Tiles Offer Excellent Water Resistance
Bathrooms are prone to moisture and humidity, making it crucial to choose materials that can withstand these conditions just like these tiles.
Penny tiles are typically made of ceramic, porcelain, or glass, which are known for their durability and ability to resist water damage.
2. Penny Tiles Provide Excellent Traction
Bathroom floors can become slippery, especially when wet.
The small size of penny tiles means there are more grout lines per unit area compared to larger tiles.
This increased number of grout lines can provide better traction, making the floor less slippery when wet and enhancing safety in the bathroom.
Thanks to the reduced risk of slipping, penny tiles become a safer option for bathroom floors, particularly in areas such as showers and wet zones.
3. They are Relatively Easy to Clean & Maintain
Because of their smooth surface, penny tiles then become generally easier to wipe clean and are less prone to trapping dirt and grime.
Hence, they are more hygienic and straightforward to maintain, especially in a space like the bathroom where cleanliness is crucial.
Regular cleaning with mild detergent and water is usually sufficient to keep them looking pristine.
4. Penny Tiles Offer Versatility in Design
With their small size and circular shape, penny tiles allow for intricate patterns, mosaic designs, and creative layouts. This helps add visual interest and character to your bathroom.
You can explore various arrangements, colors, and finishes to achieve a personalized and unique look for your bathroom.
Whether you prefer a classic vintage style or a contemporary twist, penny tiles offer endless possibilities to express your creativity.
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Where to Install Penny Tiles in the Bathroom
In the bathroom, there are several areas where you can install penny tiles to create a stunning and unique look, including:
1. The Bathroom Floor
Penny tiles can cover the entire floor surface, bringing a delightful touch of charm to your bathroom.
Their small size allows for intricate patterns or mosaic designs that can transform a plain floor into a captivating work of art.
You can go for a uniform color scheme or an eye-catching mix of hues with penny tiles to personalize the floor and make it a focal point of the space.
NOTE: Because bathrooms are prone to water exposure, it is important to apply a waterproofing membrane or use a waterproofing system to protect the subfloor and prevent water damage.
This is especially important for wet areas like showers.
2. The Shower or Bathtub Surround
Installing penny tiles on the walls surrounding your shower or bathtub adds a touch of elegance and personality to the space.
You can create a border, a feature wall, or even cover the entire shower area with penny tiles.
The curved shape of the tiles beautifully complements the flowing lines of water fixtures and adds visual interest to the bathing area.
Additionally, their water resistance makes them an ideal choice for these wet zones, ensuring durability and longevity.
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3. As an Accent or Backsplash in the Bathroom
Installing a strip of penny tiles as a decorative accent in a shower niche, along a vanity mirror, or around a backsplash area can instantly elevate the overall design.
The small, circular tiles create a visually appealing contrast against larger tiles or other materials, adding a touch of whimsy and character to the space.
4. On Bathroom Walls
For those seeking a unique touch, consider incorporating penny tiles on the bathroom walls.
This unconventional approach can create a striking feature wall that becomes the focal point of the room.
Whether you opt for a subtle design using neutral tones or go bold with vibrant colors, penny tiles on the walls can transform an ordinary bathroom into a visually captivating and memorable space.
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Penny Tile Installation in the Bathroom
Unless you are a DIY expert, we always recommend employing the services of a professional like Made Renovation to handle all your installations.
You always want to start by gathering all the necessary tools and materials for the installation, including the penny tiles, thin-set mortar, grout, trowels, spacers, grout float, tile adhesive, grout sealer, and tile cutter.
Once that is done, plan the layout of the penny tiles, considering the pattern, design, and placement. You may want to use a chalk line or a level to mark reference lines on the surface to guide your installation.
Then, follow these steps during the installation of penny tiles in your shower:
1. Prepare your Work Area
Ensure that the surface where you’ll be installing the tiles is clean, dry, and properly prepared.
This may involve removing any furniture or other objects from the area where you will be installing the penny tiles.
Sweep or vacuum the area to remove any dirt or debris, and if the area is not level, you may need to add a layer of plywood or cement board to create a level surface.
2. Apply a layer of Adhesive or Mortar.
Using a trowel to apply a thin, even layer of adhesive to the prepared surface. Be sure to follow the directions on the adhesive label.
Instead of a tile adhesive, you can also apply a thin layer of thin-set mortar onto the surface using a notched trowel.
Now, work in small sections to prevent the mortar from drying too quickly.
3. Start laying the penny tiles
Start in one corner and work your way out while spacing the penny tiles evenly apart. Use a rubber mallet to tap the penny tiles into place.
4. Fill in any gaps
Once the mortar has set and the tiles are firmly in place, it’s time to apply the grout.
Prepare the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and use a grout float to apply the grout, working it into the gaps between the tiles.
Remove any excess grout from the surface of the tiles using a damp sponge or cloth.
NOTE: Grout is available in a variety of colors, so you can choose one that matches your penny tiles.
Once the grout has dried, you can seal it with a clear sealant to help to protect the grout from stains and damage.
Enjoy your new penny tile surface!
Here are some additional tips for installing penny tiles:
- Use penny tiles that are all the same size. This will make the installation process go more smoothly and the finished product will look more uniform.
- If you are installing penny tiles on a wall, you may need to use a backer board to provide support.
- Be sure to clean the penny tiles before you install them. This will help to ensure that the adhesive bonds properly.
- If you are using a grout color that is different from the penny tiles, be sure to test the grout in an inconspicuous area before you start the installation process. This will help you to make sure that you like the way the grout looks with the penny tiles.
30+ Stunning Bathrooms That Incorporate Penny Tiles
Overall, penny tiles combine functionality, style, and durability, making them an excellent choice for bathroom applications.
Their water resistance, slip resistance, design versatility, and visual appeal make them a popular option for homeowners and designers looking to create a beautiful and practical bathroom space.
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