HGTV's Erin Napier Introduces A Stunning Bathroom Feature You'll Want To Replicate

HGTV's Erin Napier is known for her unique and homey transformations on her popular series "Home Town." While Napier usually tends toward more vintage, cottage, and farmhouse design aesthetics in her remodeling plans, one homeowner asked for a more modern and contemporary look for his 1970s home remodel. One signature move by Napier to accomplish this goal was to incorporate a design element that instantly presents a more streamlined look. By using a waterfall edge for the tiling, Napier brings the home's bathroom firmly into the 21st century.

Waterfall edge refers to a format that continues the chosen material over an edge without any separation or trim. Typically found in kitchens with a waterfall countertop, in the episode, it's done with the tile In the new bathroom. Large hexagonal tiles in a charcoal gray wrap around the shower enclosure and onto the floor, creating a continuous, unbroken surface. A similar dark stone on the vanity continues the dramatic look, broken only by the vanity's wood beneath. The effect is a flowing dark grey river descending down the walls and onto the floors.

The design can be done with any tile or stone material, including marble, porcelain, and clay. It is typically found in more modern bathrooms and spa-like settings, where its clean and contemporary look complements a feeling of minimalism and simplicity. The choice is a strong departure from Erin Napier's usual home projects. She says in the episode of "Home Town," "We've never done anything like this before. But it's just on the nose for this modernism look that he likes."

Pros and Cons

Waterfall edge is a popular design element in many new and remodeled bathrooms with several benefits, including a more free-flowing sense of space and a cohesive look. The finish also can highlight beautiful materials like gorgeous tile and statement marble by simply including more of them. By using the same tile material throughout, a bathroom may also be easier to clean since the surface is uniform.  

Budget benefits for using this technique may vary by material and installation costs. While you will require more of the material in question, it is only a single material versus multiple ones, which, in the case of tiles, may save money by purchasing in bulk. Whether you are DIYing and looking to save time or paying for a professional, the size of the tiles will affect the cost, as large format tiles are harder and more expensive to lay. 

Keep in mind not all tiles are ideal for floor use and some may not be able to withstand the wear. Many wall tiles are too thin, particularly ceramic and clay tiles, and not durable enough for floors. Floor tiles are thicker and more durable, but some varieties may be too weighty for the walls. For a true waterfall design, you'll need to choose a tile that can function both on the wall and floor, and that could be more costly than buying the tiles separately. 

Getting the look

The waterfall approach works just as well in various design and home styles and aesthetics, which will be skewed toward different looks by the materials you use and the size of your tiles. Porcelain or clay tiles can create a vintage or cottage style in a bathroom while larger and more geometric shapes will give a contemporary feel. Popular options range from large blocks and geometric shapes to smaller tiles that create a greater sense of patterning. Great options include gray hexagonal tiles similar to the ones Erin Napier uses from Floor & Decor for $3.99 per square foot or white subway tiles from Lowe's. Both are large enough to prevent the continuous tiling from looking too busy. 

If you like the idea of a waterfall edge but don't want to cover your entire bathroom in the same tile, you can incorporate the design without fully committing to it. Instead of a whole room, some homeowners opt for the same tiles to flow down a segment of the wall spilling to the floor, like a single strip in the shower that continues into the shower floor tiling. Whether you choose just a hint of the design or fully embrace it, as Napier did in the "Home Town" episode, a waterfall element adds sophistication and elegance to any bathroom.