10 of the best bathroom tile ideas for your home
Date Published: 20 January 2021
Ah, the humble bathroom. One of the most in-use rooms in our houses, the bathroom is more often than not given the ‘function over form’ treatment, with many people considering it a bottom priority when it comes to home renovations.
Bathrooms are so much more than simply functional, though. Whether you’re looking to create bold impact with the design of your home, or you want to create a peaceful haven to inspire relaxation on the regular, your bathroom should be given equal treatment when it comes to interior design choices – it’s also the ideal place to experiment with new styles.
Read on to discover our top tips for choosing the right bathroom tiles, and get inspired with ten of our very favourite, tried-and-tested, designer-approved bathroom tile ideas.
Where to start when choosing bathroom tiles?
When it comes to designing your bathroom, knowing where to start can be the trickiest part. Thankfully, we have a few top tips to kick you off.
Assess your space
First and foremost, the space in your bathroom will dictate what kind of bathroom tiles will look best. Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes, with some proving more complicated to decorate than others, but starting off by assessing the size of your space can be helpful.
- Large bathrooms
If you have a large bathroom, lucky you! Larger bathrooms open up a plethora of design ideas that smaller bathrooms can’t carry off, so your choices are pretty open here.
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for bathroom tiles ideas for large spaces, though.
The main danger is the room feeling cold or stark, especially if it’s particularly large and your bathroom furniture is spread out. Opting for pattern and colour can remedy this, and bring a sense of wholeness to the room.
Balance is another key point to consider when decorating a larger bathroom. Too much pattern can overwhelm, whereas too little can look bland; look for designs that strike a good balance between colour, pattern and plain finishes and you’re on to a winner.
- Small bathrooms
Smaller bathrooms can be harder to decorate, but can be just as rewarding a space when done right.
So what colour tile is best for a small bathroom? There are no hard and fast rules to say you can’t go for darker colours in a small bathroom (in fact, they can add a lot of drama and moodiness to the space) but we find lighter shades to be more popular. Opting for light hues in your bathroom tiles can make a small space seem larger and airier overall.
Another top tip for small bathrooms is to go for large format tiles; small format tiles can look overwhelming in small spaces, and are best used in select areas and small doses. Going for large format tiles and patterns can trick the eye into thinking a small bathroom is much larger.
If you want to use patterned tiles in your small bathroom, but you’re afraid it will be too much, stick to only applying them to the floor and keeping the walls plain.
Define your style
Of course, your personal interior design style will have a huge influence on your bathroom tiles.
Minimalists will naturally be better off choosing clean-cut, simple options like a classic marble or a subway tile bathroom design, whereas maximalists can run wild with colour and pattern.
Geometric, boho-chic tile patterns can work well if your home has boho vibes throughout, and if you’re more of a traditionalist, a black and white checkered pattern will bring those vibes to your bathroom.
If you’re not sure what your interior design style is, you could start by taking a look at what you already own – is it primarily simple lines and neutral hues, or have you naturally collected some geometric shapes and bold shades?
If you’re just getting started on a new home and have no existing furniture, browse sites like Pinterest and discover which images you gravitate towards. Save them all, then look at them all together and see which styles are in the majority.
There you have it! Now let the bathroom tile ideas flow.
Look at your fixtures
If you’ve already chosen your bathroom furniture but have yet to choose any finishes, allow the former to influence the latter.
Whether a classic bathroom suite, kitsch pastel colours or even a slick black toilet and sink, you can use these pieces to start you off when looking for bathroom tile ideas.
Search for images with similar bathroom furniture and see which of the surrounding finishes makes your heart sing.
Choose your zones
Large and small bathrooms alike can benefit from a ‘zoning’ approach to tiles.
Using tiles to create specific areas of focus within your bathroom is great for both design impact and creating different mindsets as you use the room.
Choose a specific tile for your shower area for example: it can instantly bring you from everyday home to all-out spa experience.
Identify how you’d like to feel when using your bathroom, whether there are any areas you’d like to emphasize (or play down) and go from there.
Our top ten bathroom tile ideas for you to try
In need of some extra inspiration? Here are ten fantastic bathroom tile ideas to try now.
1. Opt for monochrome
Not black and white, as many people believe – to design a monochrome bathroom tile scheme, all you need to do is select multiple shades within the same colour family. Take pink, for example: go for shades ranging from light baby pink to deep blush tones. Alternatively, for a really eye-catching result just choose one shade throughout.
If you decide to go for monochrome bathroom tiles, make sure to introduce some black, white or metallic elements alongside some texture to stop the design from falling flat – think different tile textures, a bronze toilet roll holder… the list is endless!
2. Go for traditional black and white
Bail Compass (Special Order)
Black and white bathroom tiles can also be impossibly stylish, especially in a period home. Look for square bathroom floor tiles in solid black and white, and create a traditional check pattern for a stand-out result, or go for wall tiles in geometric patterns. This proves to be one of the best bathroom floor tile ideas, and is the perfect way to add a little oomph to your small bathroom.
Classic subway tiles
If you want a simpler subway tile bathroom design, but still want to put your own stamp on it, play around with the layout of the tiles: herringbone and zig-zag patterns work excellently.
4. Go dark
If you want to bring drama and atmosphere to your bathroom, dark tones are the way to go.
Dark tiles can add instant impact and style to your bathroom, whether you go for forest greens, rich navy or pure, inky black.
Opt for tiles with some level of gloss: this will help bounce light around the room and stop your scheme from falling flat. If you’re not quite up for an entirely dark look, break it up with pattern or mosaic tiles.
5. Cool and cosy grey
Grey bathroom tiles are another perennial favourite, but there is often a danger of bringing too many cold tones into the space, especially in bathrooms that don’t get much light.
Opt for warm grey tones, from putty to greige, to keep things on the cosy side and make sure you don’t get the chills during winter morning showers. For a little extra softness, greenery and wooden accents sit beautifully against grey backdrops, so add them in where possible.
6. Patterned floor or wall tiles (or both!)
For a small bathroom, or for those who want to dip their toe into the world of patterned tiles but aren’t ready to commit, patterned floor tiles are the perfect choice. For the braver or more style-secure among us, bring pattern onto walls for maximum impact.
From traditional, to geometric, to completely out-there, patterned bathroom floor tiles or wall tiles add the perfect level of interior design flair whilst allowing you to keep the rest of your bathroom relatively simple. The best bathroom floor tile ideas are often born when searching through images online, so get searching and see which patterns grab your attention.
7. Play with heights
Dado or ceiling height?
Deciding how high to tile in your bathroom can be just as hard as choosing the tiles themselves. So why compromise? Play around with different heights: go all the way to the ceiling in the shower surround, and to dado height for the rest of the bathroom, for example. This creates an interesting line for the eye to follow when entering the room, and creates great interest in the space.
8. Add texture
Textured tiles are fantastic for breaking up neutral or monochrome bathroom tile schemes. From handmade finished on wall tiles, to roughly glazed bathroom floor tiles, texture can both add interest and create grip where it’s needed; this is particularly useful if you’re tiling a wetroom!
9. Classic marble
If you err on the side of glamour, marble bathroom tiles are for you. Marble effect tiles generally work best for bathrooms, as the real thing requires regular sealing and can be prone to damage and staining.
Marble tiles looks great in large formats, and work in bathrooms of any size, with almost any bathroom furniture. They’re a safe (and stylish) bet if you’re not quite sure what you want.
10. Try a tiled feature wall
If you don’t want to tile your whole bathroom, a tiled feature wall can work well.
Perfect for adding emphasis to certain features in your bathroom, tiled feature walls also function as protection for the more vulnerable parts of your bathroom walls, like behind the sink. Mosaic tiles are great for creating interesting feature walls in your bathroom.
Ask the experts
At Halo Tiles, our team knows tiles like nobody else. With years of experience and expertise at their fingertips, they have plenty of advice to pass on.
We asked Elaine, a Design Expert on our Sales Team, for some bathroom tile tips.
Should a bathroom be fully tiled?
This depends on a few things. First, the shower area should always be fully tiled in your bathroom; if you have a wet room, this should include any area of the room likely to get wet.
Second, personal preference: do you like the look of a fully tiled bathroom? For some, it creates a sense of harmony and completes the look, whilst others prefer a half-tiled wall.
Finally, price can also play a part in your decision. Fully-tiled bathrooms naturally cost more.
Can you mix tiles in a bathroom?
Absolutely. Playing around with different tiles sizes on bathroom floors and walls is a great way to put your own personal flair into the scheme. Try to find a good balance between large format and small format tiles – a simple, large tile on the floor and a smaller, geometric patterned tile on the walls, for example.
What is the most popular tile for bathrooms?
Subway bathroom tile and marble tile schemes have proved exceptionally popular in recent years, and continue to do so thanks to their versatility and calming, yet refined effect.
The bathroom tile checklist
You’re ready to choose your tiles: here’s your gameplan.
- Measure up your bathroom. Decide if you should go for small or large bathroom tile options.
- Take note of your existing bathroom furniture, or any features that will be staying put. Take pictures of these when visiting a tile showroom.
- Browse Pinterest. Jot down which tile shapes grab your eye: square, geometric, subway or something else?
- Also note which colours or patterns you’re drawn to the most.
- When visiting the showroom, pay attention to the finish of the tiles too. Do you prefer gloss or matte?
- If possible, get a sample of your chosen tile, and see if it fits your overall bathroom scheme.
Once you’ve chosen your favourite bathroom tile idea, it’s time to get down to business!