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Half Tiled Bathroom - Everything You Need To Know

Half tiled bathroom design

Half-tiled bathrooms have been around forever. In fact, fully tiled bathrooms have become more prevalent during the 20th century when tiles became much cheaper. With that said, tiles are still relatively expensive.

Even more so if you're on a tight budget and really need a bathroom renovation. In that case going for a good old half-tiled bathroom is a great option.

In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about half-tiled bathrooms - from pros and cons and how they compare to fully- tiled ones. And as a cherry on top, we included a handy tutorial on how to install tile.

Fully-Tiled Vs Half-Tiled Bathroom Interior Design

Bathroom wall tile with a tub

When it comes to jazzing up your bathroom, choosing the right ceramic tiles and where to put them can feel like navigating a maze. But fear not! We're here to demystify the age-old debate between fully-tiled and half-tiled bathroom designs.

Get ready to dive into the pros and cons of each option, whether you're a tile aficionado or just dipping your toes into the world of bathroom renovations. Let's find the perfect tile solution to make your bathroom pop!

Fully Tiled Bathroom Pros

Fully tiled or half-tiled bathroom ideas

If you're leaning towards fully tiling your bathroom, you're in for a treat! Here are the main pros for installing tiles from the top to the bottom:

  • Adds Luxury - Transform your bathroom into a luxurious sanctuary with fully tiled walls, especially if you go for elegant natural stone like marble or travertine. It's like having your own spa retreat at home!
  • Makes a small bathroom more roomy - Wondering if you should fully tile a small bathroom? Well, it depends! Light or glossy tiles can work wonders by reflecting light and creating the illusion of a larger, airier space. Perfect for cozy bathrooms, they banish that cramped feeling. But watch out for dark or textured tiles, as they might have the opposite effect. Choose wisely!
  • Superb waterproofing properties - Fully tiled walls, when installed correctly, provide excellent waterproofing. Ideal for family bathrooms where splashing is the name of the game, especially if you have little ones splishing and splashing in the tub.

Fully Tiled Bathroom Cons

Before you commit to fully tiling your bathroom, here are a few downsides you should consider:

  • High Maintenance - More tiles mean more grout lines to clean. Grout and silicone can trap dirt and grime, requiring regular deep cleaning. If you're not a fan of frequent scrubbing, a fully tiled bathroom might not be the best choice for you. Consider alternatives like wallboards for easier maintenance.
  • Increased Cost - While bathroom tiles come in various price ranges, fully tiling a bathroom can significantly increase costs. From the price of tiles to labor expenses for installation, the budget for a fully tiled bathroom can quickly add up. Be sure to factor in both material and labor costs when planning your tile budget.
  • Limited Design Options - The best fully tiled bathroom designs often feature simple tones like white, grey, or beige. While colorful or patterned tiles can be eye-catching, they may overwhelm a fully tiled bathroom, making it feel busy. If you're aiming for a bold design, consider a half-tiled approach or incorporate pops of color strategically.

Half-Tiled Bathroom Pros

Fully tiled or half tiled bathroom inspiration

In half-tiled bathrooms, only a portion of the wall, typically the shower area and basin splashback, is tiled. This approach offers unique advantages and considerations:

  • Creative Freedom - With half-tiled bathrooms, you have the opportunity to unleash your creativity by incorporating striking colors or patterns. You can balance bold tiled sections with plain painted walls, or vice versa, allowing you to personalize your space according to your taste.
  • Visual Depth - The combination of tiled and painted surfaces adds visual interest and depth to your bathroom. This dual design scheme can create the illusion of elongation in smaller spaces, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.
  • Cost-Effective - Opting for a half-tiled bathroom design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also budget-friendly. By tiling only a portion of the walls, you'll save on both tile costs and installation expenses, making it a practical choice for those looking to renovate on a budget.

Half-Tiled Bathroom Cons

Half-tiled bathrooms offer a luxurious aesthetic upgrade without significantly increasing property value. However, they serve as a transitional update between full renovations, which can boost property value by 3-5%.

  • Vulnerability to Moisture - Unlike fully tiled bathrooms, half-tiled ones are more susceptible to moisture due to their open wall design. To prevent mold and residue buildup, it's crucial to use waterproof paint and ensure proper bathroom heating and ventilation.
  • Unforeseen Expenses - While purchasing fewer tiles may seem cost-effective, there are often unforeseen expenses associated with deciding what to do with the non-tiled space. Expenses such as paint or wallpaper, along with decorator labor rates, should be factored into the budget.

The Ultimate Guide to Installing a Half Tiled Bathroom

Wall and floor tiles installation

Half-tiled bathrooms offer a perfect balance of practicality and aesthetic appeal. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of installing a half-tiled bathroom, ensuring you achieve the bathroom of your dreams.

From planning and preparation to tile installation and finishing touches, let's dive into the world of half-tiled bathroom design.

Planning and Preparation

Half-tiled bathroom ideas
  • Assess Your Space: Begin by assessing your bathroom space and determining which areas you want to tile. Common areas for tiling include the shower enclosure, bathtub surround, and vanity backsplash.
  • Choose Your Tiles: Select tiles that complement your bathroom's design aesthetic and meet your functional needs. Consider options such as subway tiles, mosaic tiles, or natural stone tiles for added texture and visual interest.
  • Gather Materials: In addition to tiles, gather essential materials such as tile adhesive, grout, tile spacers, a tile cutter, and tools for surface preparation. Don't forget to invest in waterproofing materials to protect areas prone to moisture exposure.
  • Prepare the Surface: Ensure the walls are clean, dry, and free of any debris or existing tile. Use a level to mark guidelines for tile placement, paying attention to corners and edges for precise installation.

Tile Installation

White tile design ideas
  • Start Tiling: Begin by applying tile adhesive to the wall using a notched trowel, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Press the tiles firmly into place, using tile spacers to maintain consistent spacing between tiles.
  • Cut Tiles as Needed: Use a tile cutter to trim tiles to fit around fixtures, corners, and edges. Measure twice and cut once to ensure accurate tile placement and a seamless finish.
  • Focus on Detailing: Pay attention to detail when tiling around fixtures such as the bathtub, shower niche, and vanity. Use bullnose tiles or edge trim to create clean, finished edges and transitions between tiled and non-tiled areas.
  • Grouting: Once the adhesive has dried, remove tile spacers and apply grout to the joints using a grout float. Work the grout into the joints at a 45-degree angle, ensuring full coverage and removing excess grout with a damp sponge.

Finishing Touches

 Half-tiled bathroom ideas
  • Sealing: After the grout has cured, apply a tile sealer to protect the tiles from water damage and staining. Focus on areas prone to moisture exposure, such as the shower enclosure and bathtub surround.
  • Accessorize: Enhance the aesthetic appeal of your half-tiled bathroom with stylish accessories such as towel racks, mirrors, and storage solutions. Choose fixtures and hardware that complement your tile choices and overall design theme.
  • Final Inspection: Take a step back and inspect your half-tiled bathroom for any imperfections or areas that may require touch-ups. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure a flawless finish and cohesive look throughout the space.
  • Enjoy Your New Bathroom: Once the installation is complete, take the time to relax and enjoy your newly transformed half-tiled bathroom. Whether you're refreshing a small powder room or renovating a spacious master bath, your new bathroom is sure to elevate your daily routine and enhance your home's value and appeal.


Half-tiled bathrooms offer the perfect blend of style, functionality, and affordability. With their ability to add texture, depth, and personality to any space, half-tiled bathrooms provide a luxurious facelift without breaking the bank.

And if you need tiling tools that don't break the bank - why not check out our store? We have everything a DIYer or a pro tiler would need - from tile spacers and trowels to saw blades and hole saws!