This home project is from Pam in Utah. The home was built just a few years ago, and when Pam and her husband moved in last year, they decided to finish the basement. The basement includes two bedrooms, a living space, and the bathroom shown here.

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Bathtub during home construction

This first photo was taken during the initial construction of the basement rooms. You can see the studs, insulation, and pipes for the plumbing. I think it’s interesting to see the construction of the bathtub bench before drywall, plaster, and tile because it’s just a hollow frame inside, but it will look so solid and substantial when it’s finished.

All subway tile installed

When the contractor started tiling the bathroom, he installed only white subway tiles. These larger tiles go in quickly and the contractor assumed that this trendy, all-white look would suit any house, but Pam knew she wanted a more outstanding look. She has 1-inch accent tiles in her upstairs bathroom and saw how much they added to the look of the room.

So before any grout went in, Pam had her contractor remove some of the white subway tiles and install 1-inch tiles on the bathtub bench and in a border on the wall around the tub. She is so glad she did because of the huge impact those small tiles have on the look of this room.

1-inch tiles makes a statement

The 1-inch tiles have a beautifully smooth texture and sheen that make you want to touch them. And the colorful mosaic of the tiles gives a lot of choices in which colors to use in the room’s decor. The paint color on the wall even pulls from a color in the tiles. The tiles add depth to this room and personality.


The all-white subway tile look is so popular right now because the clean, uncluttered look works well in kitchens and baths, but only when there is another element that brings in color, texture, and visual interest. Subway tiles make a great background and allow the tiles bench and border to really pop. Without the small tiles, there would be nothing interesting to look at.


Adding 1-inch tiles not only made this a beautiful space, but it also ties this bathroom to the upstairs bathroom, making the house more unified and cohesive.