Zyra's website //// Bathrooms //// DIY //// Site Index
Isn't it funny how, when you go into a bathroom with those ceramic wipe-clean decorative tiles with innocuous patterns, there's something not quite right? At first glance the pattern seemed mostly random in some way but now you're seeing it and getting used to it, it becomes apparent that some of the tiles don't quite match up. In fact, it's quite annoying in a way, because the bathroom tiles have a pattern which isn't quite random, and yet they have been stuck to the walls on the assumption that they were actually random and it didn't matter which way round they went. Further examination reveals half a row of them one way, and then another set another way, and you can start to make intelligent guesses on the order in which the person fitting the tiles placed them on the wall before putting a bit of grout on the wall and then going and having some sandwiches, probably sandwiches with a bit of grout in. The person performing the craftsman's job of putting the tiles on had clearly not understood the tiles had a pattern. In a way it wouldn't have been so bad if the tiles had been randomly shuffled and placed in a truly random way, but no, they have been stuck to the wall in a manner which is as if it didn't matter. Well, to that person, it didn't matter, as they don't have to look at it for years!
When you look at a wide variety of bathrooms, it's amazing how MOST of them have the tiles placed in this "I didn't know tiles had a pattern" manner. We are not talking about amateur DIY dilettante would-be dabblers in the art of tile and grout; we are talking about professional builders whose trade it is to tile bathrooms. It is astonishing to think they haven't noticed the patterns in tiles themselves, or been taught by a previous master at the art, including the special knack of spotting the pattern and getting the tiles all placed neatly the right way around.
Don't just take my word for it. Observe in bathrooms you visit, the almost ubiquitous mismatching of the near-random patterns. That telltale little squiggly bit in the top right hand corner matches the same little squiggly bit in the adjacent tile, and the next one, and then... it's upside down, and the next few are that way up, plus an extra one sideways.
One of these days, one of these "craftsmen" is going to be tiling a wall with invisible Mona Lisa bathroom tiles which are plain in daylight but light up with the legendary DaVinci masterpiece on each tile when the UV light in the middle of the room is lit up. Imagine the character's shock, upon having fitted the tiles in daylight, when, towards clocking-off time, the owner comes along to inspect the work, turns on the light, and suddenly it's "oh no! I didn't know they had a pattern!", as it's there for all to see, whole rows of Mona Lisa tiles with some of them upside down, or sideways.
So, if you're the type of person who tiles bathrooms, and for years in the trade you never knew they had a pattern, don't worry; it's a forgivable mistake to make. But, now you know they have a pattern, please stick them to the wall all the same way round! (or, if you're of chaotic alignment, give the tiles a good shuffle before putting them up!). I'm not sure about this, but I would have thought bathroom tiles have a little clue marker on the reverse to show which way they are supposed to go.
Incidentally, this page is not written to poke fun at the expense of bathroom tilers, although perhaps the bit about the sandwiches was a bit jocular. The page was written to make observation about a common fault and to try to get it fixed in future.
Other relevant mentions: DIY and Home Improvement suppliers, and Bathroom stuff
By the way, there is an online shop called Bathroom Wall, but surprisingly, that's a T-Shirt Shop! Not a bathroom tile in sight, right-way-round or otherwise.