I'm having the same concerns about the guest bathroom, which at the moment has no bathtub (or wall behind the former bathtub), so it needs some serious work. My thought is to do the permanent parts of the bath in white/cream/tan/brown-y colors, which then can be dressed up with a wide variety of colors in a number of ways. That way, I can pretty easily change the look if I get bored, *and* it's a nice, neutral slate for any future home buyers.
I found a tile that I really love--it's $4.69 a square foot:
I could stretch my renovation dollars farther by putting a more inexpensive tile on the floor, like this:
That one is $1.99 a square foot... but it kinda looks like vinyl, doesn't it?
Then there are always the Lowe's and Home Depot options, which tend to run from $.98 to $1.99 a square foot, but I haven't seen anything that I particularly like. I could always, again, go with plain white (or cream?) tile. ???
Here's one from Lowe's that's about $.98 a square foot:
I also want to tile the bathroom halfway up (and the bath/shower area all the way to the ceiling), and that obviously increases the cost of materials. Plus, Grandma has requested a walk-in shower, so I'm trying to find a way to do that, but they all look cheap and yet cost a lot. I would love to do a tiled shower, which would be expensive, because it requires some special base building, and because the tile increases the cost of the materials. But it would look so much nicer...
So do I go basic shower/tub combo (or ugly walk-in shower) with nicer, pretty floor tile and probably a nicer wall tile and backsplash? Or do I go for the tiled shower and do pretty basic tile on the floors and walls--with maybe a nice backsplash for a little pizazz? (Note: backsplashes are expensive, so I would use it sparingly.) Or... something else entirely?