Bathroom renovation is a major undertaking, even for experienced homeowners. Between plumbing fixtures and much-needed storage solutions, it’s easy to lose sight of the details. If you’re installing the first tile you see and calling it a day, you’re missing out on the chance to give your bathroom the style and personality it deserves.
Tile protects your bathroom floor and walls from water damage. It’s much easier to keep clean of mold and mildew than other home design materials. Most importantly, though, your bathroom tile design is the groundwork for the space as a whole.
Whether designing a powder room or master bath, finding inspiration can be the hardest part. Check out these bathroom tile ideas to get started creating the bathroom of your dreams.
1. Accent Wall Bathroom Tile Ideas
With an accent wall, you can go big and bold with your bathroom tile ideas in ways you’d never dream of doing with your entire bathroom. Deciding where to place an accent wall is often the hardest part. Your bathroom’s back wall (the one furthest from the door) is a great candidate.
There’s a common misconception that an accent wall must be dramatically different from the surrounding decor. But in fact, a subtle accent wall can be just as impactful.
Don’t just think about color when designing your accent tile wall. Incorporate interesting patterns and textures that contrast with the surrounding walls.
Of course, there’s no rule saying you need to cover the entire wall. For example, use floor-to-ceiling accent tiles to differentiate your shower enclosure from the rest of your bathroom design.
2. Backsplash Bathroom Tile Ideas
When it comes to backsplash tile trends, we’re normally talking about kitchens. However, creating a tile backsplash above your bathroom vanity is an excellent way to bring some color and variety to the space.
Install wall tile all the way to the ceiling or limit your backsplash to a few inches. The smaller your backsplash, the bolder you can be with your tile choice.
If your idea of great home decor involves thinking outside of the box, don’t limit yourself to a traditional tile layout. Use geometric tiles for an intriguing backdrop to your modern bathroom sink and faucet.
3. Contemporary Bathroom Tile Ideas
There’s no shame in staying on top of the biggest trends, especially when it comes to your own home. While not everyone’s cup of tea, contemporary bathroom tiles are guaranteed to leave an impression on your guests.
For a bathroom tile idea that’s undeniably contemporary, go big. This goes for your floor tile as well as your walls.
Tiles mimicking organic materials are extremely popular. Natural stone tiles will always be in style. But you’ll also find plenty of great examples of wood grain tiles used in contemporary bathroom design.
Contemporary bathroom design includes lots of variety. Try using multiple styles of tile in your bathroom to bring dimension to the space. To really help your bathroom tiles shine, incorporate built-in lighting throughout the design.
4. Dark Bathroom Tile Ideas
Amateur designers are often terrified of using dark colored tile in their home decor. It’s true that these shades can make a small bathroom feel even smaller if used the wrong way. But you can strategically use dark bathroom tile to make the space feel multidimensional.
You shouldn’t be scared to incorporate dark colors into your bathroom remodel. Covering some surfaces in shades of navy, gray, and even black will only make the light colors in your bathroom appear brighter.
Your bathroom grout can make or break your bathroom color palette. White grout contrasts beautifully against black tiles. Matte black grout gives a different look but is just as gorgeous.
If you’re still unsure about laying down dark tiles in your bathroom, look into patterned designs. Penny tile in several different shades of charcoal is a simple yet effective way to liven up this trend.
5. Floor Tile Ideas for the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the only spaces you’ll find tile elsewhere than the floor. But it would be a shame to neglect your bathroom floor tile and all its inherent potential.
Patterned tile flooring is one of the simplest ways to elevate your bathroom design as a whole. Black-and-white tile is one of the most popular color combos. If full-scale patterns aren’t your taste, play around with unique tile shapes and contrasting grout.
Avoid installing the same tile on your floor and walls. Instead, choose shower wall tile that complements your bathroom flooring in color, texture, or pattern.
For a true conversation-starter, mix ceramic tile with hardwood flooring. Laying contrasting tile around your tub or shower will help protect the natural wood planks from water damage while making your bathroom look like a million bucks. Hexagonal tiles, in particular, give off an organic, always-there aesthetic.
6. Gray Bathroom Tile Ideas
Gray is an incredibly “safe” color in the world of home decor — it’s neither too bright nor too dark. Plus, like other neutral colors, it goes with nearly everything.
Stone is an obvious choice when selecting gray bathroom tile. Many types of stone boast beautiful gray tones and patterns. The natural variations found in these tiles can keep an all-gray bathroom design from feeling overly monochromatic.
If you’re open to including some classic texture in your wall or shower tile ideas, look into zellige tiles. This antique clay tile has a gorgeous light gray color that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Even if you opt for ceramic or porcelain bathroom tiles, approach your color palette with an open mind. Including several shades of gray in your tiling is a great way to make the space more visually interesting.
7. Marble Bathroom Tile Ideas
Perhaps no tile material is as elegant as marble. Extra-large tile will preserve the natural striations and color variations in the marble. For this reason, though, uncut pieces of marble can be significantly more expensive than smaller tiles.
We tend to think of marble as pearly white, and it’s true that this is the most popular color option. You can also find marble in shades of gray, green, charcoal, and pink. Incorporating two or more marble varieties in your bathroom tile lets you play around with patterns and contrast.
Yes, marble tile is gorgeous. It also requires frequent maintenance to prevent scratches and water damage. If practicality is at the top of your list, there are better alternatives. Many other natural stone tiles mimic the look of marble without the upkeep, and faux-marble tiles are always an option.
8. Natural Stone Bathroom Tile Ideas
One of our favorite things about natural stone is its texture. While you can certainly find polished stone tiles for your bathroom floor (no one wants to walk barefoot across rough rock), this material really shines when left in its original state.
Use uniform stone tiles for a brickwork-inspired aesthetic. Or cobble together uncut stone to mimic the look of a cliffside. Pebble tile is an easy way to achieve a rustic river rock look on your shower floor or walls.
These textures look particularly great when used in a shower stall. Combine stone wall tiles with a waterfall shower head for an experience that feels like bathing in nature.
Since stone tile has so much inherent variety, it’s best to use these tiles as an accent wall or backsplash. Covering every inch of your bathroom walls with natural stone will likely suffocate the space.
9. Patterned Bathroom Tile Ideas
Bathroom tile offers more flexibility than any other wall or floor covering — even wallpaper. While your end result doesn’t need to look vintage, a ton of inspiration can be found by looking at historic buildings. After all, decorative mosaic tile has been used by several cultures for millennia.
You can create intriguing patterns with just two different tile colors. Use geometric designs in your tiles to map out your bathroom floor plan. Or lay out a contrasting border around the entire room.
Remember that your bathroom tile pattern doesn’t need to be high-contrast. Small tile color variations are all you need to create a beautiful pattern.
Creating patterns with individual tiles isn’t your only option. Look for ceramic or cement tile featuring colorful patterns for a stylish design that requires minimal work on your end. Just remember that you’ll need an installer with an eye for detail to ensure every tile aligns with its neighbors.
10. Subway Tile Ideas for the Bathroom
Subway tile has been around for decades. In the past few years, though, it’s become synonymous with farmhouse decor. But subway tile is just as stylish and versatile in the bathroom as it is the kitchen.
White subway tile is the most popular. But don’t let this classic image get in the way of ingenious design. You can find all different colors and materials to match your bathroom tile ideas.
You can also install subway tiles in non-traditional ways. Lay tiles vertically or diagonally to create unique patterns that are less trendy than standard subway tiles. Or mimic the classic white aesthetic with hexagonal or square tile for a twist on this contemporary trend.
Grout plays a big role in this classic tiling style. Whatever color tile you prefer, use a high-contrast grout color to really bring out the dimension in your subway tile design.
11. Textured Tile Ideas for the Bathroom
Tile naturally has a bit of texture — namely, where each individual tile meets the grout. However, textured tiles are a big trend in bathroom design right now.
While you wouldn’t want to use textured tiles on your floor, they can make an otherwise boring bathroom wall literally three-dimensional.
If you’re going to use textured tiles in your bathroom design, keep the color palette simple. Layering a pattern on top of the tiles’ existing texture will overwhelm the space (and defeat the point of using textured tiles in the first place). For this reason, textured tiles work great in otherwise monochromatic designs.
12. White Bathroom Tile Ideas
If you’re looking for a small bathroom tile idea, you can’t go wrong with white. Not only will this color scheme make the space feel larger, but it’s also clean and classy.
White natural stone often features color variations that are barely perceptible. When incorporated into your bathroom floor tile or wall-to-wall backsplash, though, these organic patterns will bring your design to life.
For a contemporary tile design, go with hexagonal tiles. This pattern can be installed anywhere. As long as your grout matches your tiles, the unique pattern will be remarkably subtle. Use any size tile you feel best suits the space. One of our favorite ways to utilize this trend is to leave the tiles’ natural geometric edge intact.
All-white tile and grout work wonderfully in a bathroom with dark design elements. Even a small segment of white tile on your bathroom walls or floor will break up the space and prevent it from feeling claustrophobic.