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Half Tiled vs Fully Tiled Bathroom: Pros & Cons

Did you know that a simple decision about tiling can drastically affect your bathroom’s style, budget, and cleaning routine?

The dilemma of whether to fully tile or half-tile your bathroom walls has puzzled homeowners for years, each option offering unique advantages and drawbacks.

This comprehensive guide explores the key points to consider for each choice, helping you make an informed decision for a bathroom that’s both beautiful and functional.

half tiled vs fully tiled bathroom

Half Tiled Bathroom

A half-tiled or partially-tiled bathroom has tiles in the wet areas, such as the shower enclosures, floor, sink, or bath.

Tiles can also be placed as a backsplash.

half tiled bathroom
Half Tiled Bathroom

The tiling goes up a certain height on the bathroom walls, while the other parts of the bathroom that are not tiled are either painted or wallpapered.

Here are the pros and cons of a half-tiled bathroom.


  • Cost-effective

The main advantage of a half-tiled bathroom is that it is affordable.

You do not need to buy more tiles and spend more time on the installation.

If you are tight on your budget, then this would be the right choice for you.

  • Flexible decoration

There is more flexibility with decorating and painting when you have a partially-tiled bathroom.

You can either paint or put wallpapers on the untiled surfaces.

You have more options in styling your space as well.

You can hang art, light fixtures, and other accessories.

You can also easily swap them now and then.

  • Inexpensive renovation

The renovation of this kind of bathroom will not cost you an arm and a leg, because you don’t need to overhaul the entire room.

Since the tiles are only in select areas, renovation should not take much time either.

If you don’t want to remove the tiles and just want to spice up your space, you can easily repaint the walls to freshen up your bathroom.


  • Imbalance

When you only tile certain areas of your bathroom, it can be too easy to get an imbalanced look.

This happens when the tiling is awkwardly situated compared to the rest of the bathroom.

Do keep an eye out for this and ensure that you have a balanced and symmetrical tile layout.

  • More materials needed

Although you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the tiles, you may need to add skirting boards to wall-floor joints that aren’t tiled.

You may also need to pay for skimming before painting the walls.

This can add to the costs of building or renovation.

  • Mold problem

Maintenance can be challenging when your bathroom is partially-tiled.

You might get mold on painted walls over time if not maintained properly.

To prevent this from happening, invest in mold-resistant paint and install extractor fans.

It is important to keep your bathroom well-ventilated to prevent mold development.

Fully Tiled Bathroom

With a fully-tiled bathroom, the walls (and even the floor and ceiling) are fully covered in tiles.

fully tiled bathroom
Fully Tiled Bathroom

Many modern bathrooms are now going for this look.

Floor-to-ceiling tiling is becoming a trend in bathroom interior design.

This style can also make your space look classier and more formal.

Here are the pros and cons of a fully-tiled bathroom.


  • Creates a spacious feel

The great thing about a fully-tiled bathroom is that it does so much to the space.

It makes a small bathroom feel more spacious.

It is effective in bouncing light around which makes it feel bigger.

You can add interesting light fixtures to make the room even brighter and wider.

  • Easy maintenance

Fully-tiled bathrooms are easier to clean.

Since you’re only dealing with tiles all over, you can just wipe it with a wet cloth to clean it.

For deep cleaning, you need a tile, grout cleaner, and a sponge to wipe and scrub the surface.

You also don’t have to deal with mold or mildew in this kind of bathroom.

It’s easy to keep your bathroom in tiptop condition.

  • Unique designs

Fully-tiled bathrooms are not boring.

There are quite a lot of interesting designs that you can go for.

You can go for a herringbone style for your floor and a horizontal style for your walls.

You can create separation in your bathroom by using different tiles in certain areas.

You can also mix and match tile designs, textures, colors, and shapes to create a unique style for your bathroom.

  • Save on painting and other costs

Although you do spend a little bit more on a fully-tiled bathroom, you can save on certain costs such as skirting boards, painting and skimming.

These are expenses that you can remove from your budget.


  • Expensive

The drawback of a fully-tiled bathroom is that it can be more expensive to tile the entire space, especially for larger bathrooms.

If you are also going for more expensive tiles, then it’s going to cost you even more.

However, don’t fall for the inexpensive tiles to make up for the expense, as these tend to be of low quality.

Make sure you strike a balance between quality and the cost of tiles.

Furthermore, smaller tiles will cost you more in terms of installation since it’s more time consuming, so you will also have to pay more for labor.

  • Tiling considerations

You cannot easily install tiles right away if you decide on a fully-tiled bathroom.

Before renovations, you need to consider if your walls can support tiles.

The walls should also be flat and straight so the tiles can be installed properly.

For example, plaster walls are not suitable for tiles.

Your contractor should be able to discuss this with you before starting the project.

  • Decorating can be difficult

Since your walls are covered in tiles, it can be challenging to hang frames and decorate your space.

You might be limited when it comes to styling your bathroom.

You also cannot just easily repaint it.

Remember that it’s much harder to replace tiles ever so often.

To make sure that your bathroom doesn’t go out of style, it might be best to stick to neutral tile colors and designs.

  • Expensive overhaul

When you already have a fully-tiled bathroom, renovating it would call for major work.

You need to fully revamp your space. This means that the renovation would be costlier and more time-consuming.

Wrapping Up

After looking into the positives and negatives of both a half-tiled bathroom and a fully-tiled bathroom, this makes you well-equipped in making your decision.

There is no right or wrong choice.

At the end of the day, choosing between a half-tiled or a fully-tiled bathroom boils down to personal preference.

It also depends on your style and budget.

The kind of look that you’re going for is a factor in your decision.

Do you want a classic wainscotting with tiles only going up to 36 inches in height or prefer a modern and sleek floor-to-ceiling style?

You need to think of the focal point in your bathroom and figure out what you want to achieve.

If you are working with a tight budget, it might make more sense to choose a half-tiled bathroom.

When you’re after a more stylish bathroom and you are comfortable spending a little bit more, you can explore your options with a fully-tiled bathroom.

It’s important to make up your mind about the design and finally check with your budget.

These should be your deciding factors when tiling your bathroom.

James B. Parker

At a young age, James' father taught him carpentry, and he was pretty much destined for a career in the construction industry. He worked as a professional remodeling contractor for some of the most prominent construction companies for several years, before deciding to pursue his passion for writing.

A vast amount of construction experience allows James to provide practical advice for those considering a bathroom remodel.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

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