When it comes to bathroom tile ideas, there are so many options out there that it's relatively easy to create a space with its own unique personality. With a creative application, even a simple tile can be turned into something spectacular.
The bathroom is a small space. However, it's a space where you can make a big impact if aren't afraid to take some risks. For stylish bathroom ideas, pay attention to color, size, and shape when choosing wall or floor tiles.
If you're in the mood for a bathroom reno and are looking for cool, new ideas, then read on for 19 of our favorite bathroom tile ideas.
Hebe is an experienced homes writer and editor. She has written hundreds of articles helping readers make the best home design choices, and spends her days interviewing interiors industry experts to bring the latest ideas to her readers. For this piece she spoke to the world's best designers who have created colorful bathrooms in the most inspiring ways, ideal for compiling this article.
19 bathroom tile ideas that will elevate your space
There are two ways you could approach using creative tiles in a bathroom. The first, use a statement color, pattern or texture alongside a relatively simple scheme, allowing these feature tiles to become the stars of the show. The other is to combine creative tiles for a more dramatic look. This can be effective, but also trickier to do. 'We have seen bathrooms where people try to cram in five different tiles they fell in love in one single bathroom,' says Brooklyn brownstone designer, Jarret Yoshida.
1. Get creative with colorful bathroom tile ideas
People spend hours thinking of fresh new color palettes in the living room and bedroom but why should the bathroom be left out? If you're unsure of paints, a great way to induce hue is through colorful tiles to change the vibe of your modern bathroom.
'This house has a post-war structure, a contemporary extension, and a walkway that eases the transition between old and new,' says Ian Wrightson, principal architect at Wrightson Stewart (opens in new tab). 'In its familiarity and warmth, the residence becomes an expanded and contemporary home, connected and openly engaging with its context, climate, and history. The girls’ bathroom is located in the original house and to celebrate its retro heritage we incorporated lively green, grey and gold floor tiles that are a colorful and playful surprise. We selected Pittorica tiles by Studiopepe, a tile collection inspired by Joseph Albers, an American-German artist, known for his iconic color square paintings.'
2. Bring in tiles in interesting patterns
Just the way you introduce fabrics with patterns to add layering to a living room or bedroom, you can do the same with tiles in your master bathroom, with different shapes and styles of tiles. And you needn’t use them in swaths – a splash here or there can be more striking.
'This tile is a Carrera and Nero Marquina marble mosaic in a basket weave pattern,' says Reena Sotropa, founder of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group (opens in new tab). 'This particular tile was selected to support the classic black and white color scheme. I also thought that the scale and regular geometric pattern was a nice juxtaposition to the organic pattern of our feature wallpaper.'
3. Checkered tiles are still in vogue
If checkered floors sound too '50s to you, it's time to rethink. Sure, they have a retro look but their style is like no other. The pattern is versatile; it can look elegant, rustic, or contemporary. Bring this monotone bathroom floor tile idea back, and make this space the heart of the home.
'This bathroom was a full gut-rehab,' says Sanda Stojakovic, principal designer at Stojakovic Design Studio (opens in new tab). 'It was a tiny bathroom that could barely fit two people and the layout was very awkward. We demoed a few walls and got rid of an old tub and linen closet to fit a double vanity and a walk-in shower. One of my favorite design elements is the classic black and white checked floor tiles laid out diagonally. They not only add visual interest but also make the master bathroom feel a lot bigger. The black and white harlequin floors are bold, high-contrast, and go with just about anything. I knew I wanted bold pops of lipstick red throughout the room but I wanted to pair it with something classic and this tile was an easy decision.'
4. Give the bathroom a Hammam vibe with tiles
Did you know that with the simple magic of tiles, you can create a spa bathroom vibe?
'Our loft bathroom is a small space with a window in the dormer, leaving the area under the sloped ceiling the only possible space to fit a shower,' says Jasmin Robertson (opens in new tab), home renovation and interiors expert. 'To make it work, we pinched a few extra inches from the adjacent room giving enough width for a shower tray to fit under the sloped ceiling. This created a neat little walk-in shower section which I wanted to highlight with a fun tile to make a statement. These tiles are from the Archivo range at Topps Tiles. They're inspired by handmade terracotta tiles with uneven-aged edges, giving them a more rustic and artisan feel, accentuated by the pink grout. Wrapping the tile around the ceiling gives the space definition and slight hammam vibes.'
5. Give carpet-style tiles a go
Of course, laying out a carpet in the bathroom may not always be possible or practical but this is where tiles come in. To give the space movement and a touch of uniqueness, consider laying out patterned tiles, in the middle of the room, like a long carpet – a popular bathroom tile trend.
This will not only double up as a standout element in the room but also highlight the length of the room. Go for mosaic, colorful porcelain, or handmade ceramic tiles for a stylish feel.
6. Add vintage vibes with a tiled mural
Give a modern bathroom a vintage twist with a tiled mural. In this gorgeous blue and white bathroom, the traditional design adds an elegance and depth to the otherwise quite minimalist space. By keeping the rest of the space simple and paired back use bathroom wall tiles to give a chic, contemporary feel to the room. Just that pop of yellow in the sleek wall light and the simple silhouette of the stool is enough of a nod towards modern design.
7. Clash patterned bathroom tile ideas
Gold, deep emerald green and marble are always going to look gorgeous when paired together, as this bathroom proves. But there's more to take from this space than its inspiring bathroom color ideas. See how the green runs through both tiles creating a cohesive feel, but the patterns create a glorious clash?
8. Go half and half
Loving the vintage, quirky feel of this small powder room, the decor really packs a punch, despite the tiny dimensions.
Be inspired by this bathroom tile idea and add some extra height to a small bathroom by splitting the room with tile and paint. In this space for example, bring in subway tiles in white and use a light-toned paint color to create intrigue and make the small space stand out.
9. Opt for larger tiles in a small bathroom
Small bathroom, small tiles, right? Wrong, small, fussy tiles with lots of grout lines can actually make your space feel smaller. Instead, opt for larger tiles that won't visually break up the space. And if you have fallen for small tiles, just choose a grout that's a close match so you'll still get that lovely texture but your wall tiles won't be so busy they totally overwhelm the bathroom.
10. Combine tiles with wallpaper
Excuse us while we go and copy this exact bathroom tile idea in our own bathrooms. Wallpapering ceilings is nothing new, it's been a popular trend for years now, but there's something about the meeting of those glossy green subway tiles and palm print bathroom wallpaper that we cannot resist. Pair all those lovely lush greens with white floor tiles to create the perfect amount of contrast and choose brass or gold sanitaryware to add a touch of warmth.
11. Embrace the trend for mosaic bathroom tile ideas
Between the cute monochrome penny tiles, the rustic marble subway tiles and the addition of greenery and wooden accent, what this bathroom lacks in color it's more than making up for in texture. The intricacy of the mosaic bathroom flooring adds the perfect amount of interest to this minimalist bathroom – and while we are loving the hotel vibe of the flower print, you can create so many shapes with these tiny tiles from dramatic stripes to letters.
12. Expand a small bathroom with wall to wall tiles
Floor to ceiling tiling might sound a bit... clinical but in smaller space, using the same tile on all four walls can stretch space visually, plus it's of course the most practical choice for a wet room or walk in shower.
As this bathroom proves, you can't go wrong with a metro tile if you are tiling all over. Pick a glossy finish over matte, as they will help bounce more light around the room and combine them with a bold patterned floor tile to give the room some depth.
13. Create drama with shiny black tiles
Nothing adds drama like a glossy black tile. Keep it simple and let the finish be the focus by choosing a simple square tile and grid layout. If you want the tiles to appear like statement pieces, go for interesting tile and grout combinations like a black tile with a contrasting white grout.
Can we also acknowledge those floor tiles too? You just can't go wrong with a black and white chevron.
14. Add warmth with natural stone bathroom tiles
Bathroom tile ideas don't always have to be about creating a bold feature in your bathroom. In this bathroom, the orange-tined stone wall tiles aren't the focal point but they do add a lovely warmth to the space and work perfectly with the brown tones of the bath, rug and brass accessories. There's a really cozy, cocooning feel here that you don't often find in modern bathrooms, but it's a scheme that would be perfect if you are after ensuite ideas.
15. Match tiles to bold paint colors
Use bathroom tiles to add vibrancy to a simple sleek bathroom by opting for color on the walls, while keeping it simple on the floors. And rather go all over with bold tiles, create some contrast with all that texture by painting a wall or a section of a wall to match the tile.
We love the deep green bathroom with colored tiles, and how green is brought onto the adjacent wall using paint rather than more tiles. It makes the wall of tiles stand out as a feature, complimenting it but not drawing away attention.
16. Choose brick tiles to create a rustic look
Brick tiles or brick slips are wonderful things, they mean you can achieve that lovely textured, rustic effect of exposed brick without having to pull away layers of plaster. And brick isn't just reserved for walls, in this bathroom brick tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern complete the rustic, dark bathroom feel. But, that's not to say brick tiles wouldn't work in a more modern space, we can so imagine how gorgeous they would look in an all-white bathroom paired with large marble tiles.
17. Go for a twist on traditional
A total classic, the checkerboard floor has a long, varying history in the world of interiors, gracing the floors of everything from elegant Victorian hallways to American diners. And while they may have had a bit of rap when they went through the vinyl phrase, checkerboard flooring can be a stylish additional to ant style of bathroom.
Just look at this white bathroom. Paired with simple white metro tiles and a leafy wallpaper, the black and white colorway adds the perfect amount of pattern.
18. Take floor tiles up to dado height
Fallen hard for a patterned tile that you just don't think your bathroom can cope with on all four walls? Try out this bathroom tile idea and just tile a third or halfway up your bathroom vanity wall. Keep the upper half neutral so the tiles are still the focus and keep the floor tiles simple too.
19. Pick metro tiles for a classic look
There's a reason metro tile ideas are so popular, they are so versatile, work with any style and are endlessly fashionable.
As Colin Roby-Welford, creative director of Fired Earth says, 'Brick-shaped metro tiles never go out of fashion but you can ensure that they look fresh and modern by using layouts such as basketweave designs or herringbone patterns as alternatives to a more traditional brickbond format. Think about using the tiles across countertops and bath surrounds too – as well as walls and floors – to create a seamless and contemporary wet-room effect.'
How to choose the best bathroom tiles for a bathroom
One of the most exciting things about a bathroom renovation is picking out tiles, but with so many to choose from, it can be daunting to decide.
'When choosing bathroom tiles, think about the experience you want to create in your bathroom.' advises Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe of 2LG Studio (opens in new tab). 'For example, whether you want to have a spa-like setting or a practical space that sets you up for the day in a positive mood.'
Colors have a big effect on your mood – and while subdued hues are a safe option as they are easier to live with, brighter colors create impact and can leave us feeling energized. Explore tiles in different shades, formats and finishes to find the perfect combination for your bathroom vision.
To see if the tiles you’re drawn towards work for your space, bring home several full-size samples and set them out in your bathroom, against your chosen paints and other testers, so you can judge how the format works in your room as well as appreciate the finish and color under your bathroom lights. If you have enough, you can also play with the layout to find the best pattern for your space.
On a practical note, don’t forget to check that the walls will take the weight of the tiles and enquire with your retailer about weather sealing is required and the tile’s suitability with regards to slip rating and underfloor heating.
Trends-wise, although we’re seeing an increase in the use of coloured tiles, light, neutral and muted shades are still the most popular choices. Amanda Telford, marketing manager at CTD Tiles (opens in new tab) advises, 'As we enter 2021, we will continue to see lots of unusual textures and patterned tile designs making bold feature walls and floors. Wood and stone effect tiles are popular, with the latest designs perfecting the look of the original material while experimenting with a more decorative approach. Texture is a also big trend with textile-like woven finishes and nature-inspired grains and concrete-effect surfaces.'
What is the most popular tile for bathrooms?
Recent data shows that metro tiles remain the number one searched for a keyword when it comes to bathroom tiles, and it’s hardly a surprise. They are a real multifunctional choice, and can add a stylish touch to bathrooms or kitchens.