If you pride yourself on your chic, contemporary home design, your bathroom should reflect it.
A small bathroom doesn’t offer much room for decor, but that doesn’t mean the space needs to be lacking in personality. Unique tiles are a great way to use vertical space and liven up your bathroom without adding clutter. We’ve gathered some chic, eye-catching small bathroom tile ideas to help point you in the right direction. Whether you’re looking to turn heads with an accent wall or bring the outdoors in with some natural stone tiles, read on to find your perfect bathroom tile design.
1. Accent Wall Ideas
An accent wall is an awesome way to add a touch of personality without completely revamping the whole bathroom. You could keep it subtle by using tiles in the same color as the rest of the room but with a different finish, like metallic or stone. Take it up a notch with a minimal pattern that brings a neutral or complementary color palette into play, or go all the way with a bold, striking design.
While you want to be strategic in placing your accent wall, the good news is that there’s no wrong answer. Play up the wall that holds your sink and mirror, or add a pop of color to an otherwise drab shower. If you like to take baths, it might be a good idea to accent the wall you face so you always have something interesting to catch your eye.
2. Black and White Ideas
Black and white tiles are an excellent, low-impact way to decorate your bathroom. As simple of a color combo as it may seem, varying the ratio and juxtaposition of black to white can have a surprisingly significant impact. A black floor adds visual weight to all-white walls. A mix of the two keeps black walls from feeling claustrophobic, and the split between the two can add visual interest.
As for the rest of the bathroom decor, you have the entire color wheel at your fingertips. Sticking with black and white maintains a sleek, cohesive space that looks enviably put-together. You could also bring another neutral into the picture, like gold or brown—try wood or jute baskets and floor mats to bring in some earthy elements. On the flip side, adding punches of color will brighten the space and add a little dimension.
If you pride yourself on your chic, contemporary home design, your bathroom should reflect it. Earthy elements and muted, neutral tones are right at home in this design style, so gray or brown stone tiles are the way to go. You could lean into the down-to-earth vibe of the stone with a little texture, or you could go for smooth, ultra-glossy tiles to amp up the luxe factor.
Since contemporary decor skews traditional, keep things simple with large square or rectangular tiles. Big tiles can make a small bathroom feel even smaller. Use grout that matches the tiles to allow the gaze to flow smoothly across the room without interruption.
4. Dark Tile Ideas
It’s common knowledge that light colors are a safe bet for opening up a small space, but you can make dark tones work as well. A clear shower curtain or glass shower stall lets the gaze travel all the way to the far wall instead of stopping at the outer edge of the tub. This allows the eye to take in the full space and keeps things from feeling claustrophobic.
A lot of natural light (if you have it) along with plenty of cool-toned artificial light, brightens the room and keeps the atmosphere moody and dramatic instead of shadowy and drab.
If you aren’t sure about bathing the whole room in black, simply tiling the floor or one wall in a deeper shade is enough to add visual weight and interest. Dark teal and deep cobalt blue are two excellent options for tweaking your bathroom without going completely dark.
5. Gray Tile Ideas
When white feels too stark, and black seems too intense, turn to the multitudes of gray that lie between. Dialing the saturation up or down gives you the best of both worlds. Light gray porcelain tiles give you the bright, airy vibe of a white bathroom while adding a little depth. On the other hand, dark gray ceramic tiles bring the drama of a black bathroom without completely swallowing all the light.
Another upside? Total freedom with the color of your decor. Keep things neutral with black fixtures and floor mats, or liven up the space with colorful shower curtains and funky wall art. A gray bathroom is a blank slate, making it the perfect backdrop for whatever decor you throw at it.
6. Marble Tile Ideas
If you’re looking for an elegant choice that will never go out of vogue, marble is the way to go. Big tiles in white or pale gray are timeless, and they exude luxury and class. With stainless steel accents, sleek fixtures, and white ceramic mirror frames, you’ll have a bathroom fit for a king.
To add unique character to such a staple of bathroom design, play around with the shape and size of the tiles. Small, rectangular options in the style of subway tiles can be a fun way to evoke industrial decor, while unconventional shapes like octagons or hexagons add some quirkiness to an otherwise old-school design element. Bringing in wood fixtures and plants in stone pots will create a unique, earthy atmosphere that complements the stone surprisingly well.
7. Mosaic Tile/ Penny Tile Ideas
You can arrange small round or hexagonal tiles called penny tiles to create beautiful mosaic patterns. If you’re looking for something a little more textured and structural than wallpaper, then this might be the option for you.
There is a wealth of options regarding the color, size, and placement of mosaic tiles. Sticking to one color creates a bold wash wherever you lay it, while mixing up the shades can create a cool, pixelated effect. You can use them as floor tiles, put them up on the walls, or cover your entire bathroom.
8. Natural Stone / Slate Ideas
Natural stone is a versatile, down-to-earth material that lends itself well to any decor style. When paired with weathered wood and wicker accents, the rustic feel of textured stone tiles evokes a cozy, farmhouse aesthetic. You could take this decor style a step further with candles, pampas grass, and a lush bathroom rug.
Smooth, dark stone creates a sultry, contemporary mood, whereas warm brown tiles, when accessorized with tropical plants and brightly colored glass accents, make for an easy-breezy boho vibe.
9. Patterned Tile Ideas
Bold, graphic patterns make your floor tiles pop. Geometric designs with sharp lines and striking color contrasts add an art deco flair, elevating an otherwise minimal space or taking an already funky bathroom to the next level. On the other hand, an elegant, curling design brings in a touch of luxury. Pale green-and-blue tiles, dark wood fixtures, and neutral accents all work together to create a relaxing, understated vibe.
Small tiles with overly busy prints, however, can make a small bathroom feel cluttered and cramped. Combat this effect by sticking with larger tiles and prints with plenty of white space. Go for solid rugs, towels, and shower curtains to avoid clashing patterns, and accessorize with decor that matches one of the colors in your tiles if you decide not to go the monochromatic route.
10. Square Tile Ideas
Whether laid out in a classic grid or offset in running bond, there’s something to be said for the simplicity and class of a square tile. While it’s a common find in bathrooms the world over, that doesn’t mean it can’t be made unique. Playing around with the size, color, layout, and finish of the squares will help you find the bathroom tile design of your dreams.
Tile your shower in a grid of boldly colored squares and let it pop against a neutral background, or keep things simple with an accent wall of white tiles lined in black. Accessorize with plants, graphic black-and-white decor, and minimalist line drawings to create a chic, luxurious vibe.
11. Subway Tile Ideas
Originating in a New York subway station in 1904, subway tiles have been a staple and an indisputable icon ever since. As timeless and ubiquitous as they are, there is still a wealth of options when it comes to incorporating subway tiles into your bathroom.
Stick with sleek white as a backdrop to let colorful decor pop, or use colorful tiles to bring your walls to life. While you can’t go wrong with a classic running bond, laying tiles in a vertical, offset, or herringbone pattern can revitalize even the most basic color palettes.
12. Textured Tile Ideas
Livening up your bathroom will appeal to the eyes, but it can also appeal to the sense of touch. Textured tiles add dimension and depth to your walls, creating visual interest in an unexpected way. This is an excellent path to take if you’re drawn to monochromatic design but want a little something to keep things exciting.
Tiles designed to look and feel like raw wood or rough-cut stone give your bathroom an earthy, organic vibe. Dive into the rustic aesthetic with a warm color palette and natural elements like plants, wood fixtures, and linen towels. Or, create a sleek, contemporary sanctum with dark slate walls, minimalist fixtures, and neutral decor.
13. White Tile Ideas
Timeless, serene, and effortlessly luxe, all-white bathrooms are a classic for a reason. If you want to keep things monochromatic without falling flat, natural elements like plants or wood floors are a great way to add warmth organically.
Of course, you can add depth and pattern without sacrificing the cohesion of a white bathroom. Tiling the floor in black and white adds visual weight, grounding the room in a chic, sophisticated way.
You can also play around with texture. Porcelain tiles, a linen shower curtain, and a stone sink basin can all work together to elevate your bathroom’s look and feel.
Small Bathroom Tile FAQs
What size tile looks best in a small bathroom?
The general rule of thumb is that bigger tiles make the room look smaller. However, since smaller tiles necessitate more grout lines, which can also shrink your space, you’ll want to stick with medium-sized tiles and choose a grout color that blends in.
What is the most popular tile for bathrooms?
Subway tiles are far and away the most popular option. Whether you lay them in the classic running bond pattern or a chic herringbone, monochromatic, or full of color, these tiles are over 100 years strong, and you can find them just about anywhere.
What is trending in bathroom tiles?
As the retro vibes of the 70’s and 80’s are coming back into style, so are bathrooms washed in color. Bright blue, green, and pink bathrooms (often with a tub to match) are all over Pinterest and Instagram. Bold graphic designs are also taking the design world by storm.