Your bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home. It’s a space where you start and end your day, so you want it to be an oasis of calm and relaxation. An easy way to give your bathroom an instant style upgrade is by focusing on your tile. With so many tile options available today, you can transform your bathroom into a spa-like retreat that reflects your personal taste. In this article, we’ll explore tips on choosing tile colors, patterns, materials and layouts to create a beautiful and functional bathroom that you’ll love.

Selecting Tile Colors and Patterns

Color and pattern can make a huge impact in your bathroom. Be bold or understated, traditional or modern – the options are endless when picking tile. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Neutral Tones

Stick with light natural tones like white, ivory or beige on the walls and floor to open up a small space and create a relaxing spa vibe. Grey is also popular for a soft, sophisticated look. Accent with bolder colors and textures in the shower or as a border.

Earthy Hues

Warm earth tones like tan, brown, terracotta or sand can create a nature-inspired, organic feel. Extend the color upwards by choosing matching grout. Contrast with cool blues or greens.

Bold and Vibrant

Make a dramatic statement with deep, saturated hues like navy, emerald or crimson. Use sparingly on walls or floor – a little goes a long way. Tie it together with neutral tiles in other areas.

Patterns and Texture

Inject visual interest with subway tiles, mosaics, Moroccan fishscale tiles or handpainted ceramic. Use as an accent wall or a border. Geometric, arabesque and floral patterns also add depth. Mix and match with solids.

Complementary Colors

Choose two contrasting hues like blue and orange or green and red for an energetic, playful bath. Use one color for the walls and the other for accents. The opposites will really make each other pop.

Monochromatic Palette

For a soothing, seamless look stick to a single color family like all shades of blue. Vary textures and patterns for dimension. This creates harmony and Makes small spaces appear larger.

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

Keep these tips in mind when selecting a color palette and tile patterns for your bathroom. The options are endless so embrace your inner artist!

Choosing Bathroom Tile Materials

You’ve picked the perfect color scheme. Now it’s time to choose the right materials for your tile. Bathroom tile comes in a diverse range of natural stones, ceramics and composites. Consider factors like durability, texture, maintenance and cost when selecting materials.


A classic choice, ceramic tile has a huge variety of colors, designs, shapes and textures at affordable prices. Use on floors, walls, showers and backsplashes. Easy to clean.


Denser and less porous than ceramic, porcelain is more water-resistant and durable. Withstands heavy use. Ideal for high moisture areas like showers. Can mimic stone, wood or concrete.

Natural Stone

For a luxe, Old World feel try marble, travertine, slate or limestone. Each has unique veining. Requires sealing. Use sparingly due to high cost. Avoid dark polished stone on floors, slippery when wet.


Glass tile adds brilliant color, shine and visual depth. Use for accents and mosaics, not flooring. Textured glass is slip-resistant. Eco-friendly and easy to clean.


Clusters of small glass, ceramic or stone tiles form intricate mosaic patterns. Provides texture and artistry. Flexible accent option for floors, walls, showers and backsplashes.


A trendy, modern choice, concrete tile looks sleek and industrial. Durable and water-resistant. Use indoors and outside in showers or patios. Needs yearly sealing.

So many choices when selecting bathroom tile materials! Let the look you envision and practical needs like moisture-resistance guide your decision.

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

Mixing materials creates visual interest. Combine porcelain, ceramic, glass and stone tiles in your unique bathroom design.

Laying Out Bathroom Tiles

Now for the fun part – deciding on a tile layout to bring your design vision to life. The tile format, orientation and placement make a big impact. Follow these tips when mapping out your bathroom tile design:


On the floor, square, rectangular or hexagonal tiles can be laid in a basic grid or arranged in patterns like herringbone. Extend tiles into the shower for continuity. Larger tiles like 12″x24″ make small bathrooms appear bigger.


Think outside basic subway tile. Try horizontal planks, vertical stacks, diamonds or interlocking geometric patterns. Use accent tiles, mosaics or medallions to tie the look together.

Shower Surround

Consider a full wall mosaic for the shower or a combination of decorative tile accents with classics like subway. Use tiles from floor to ceiling for a luxe hotel feel.


Make the backsplash area pop with eye-catching glass, stone or ceramic mosaics or 3-D tiles. Contrast with wall color. Insert metallic tiles for shine.

Accent Stripes

Add modern flair with slim contrasting stripes of mosaic or decorative tiles on walls or floors. Outline niches, bathtubs or showers. Perfect for a focal point.


Frame showers, niches, mirrors or walls with bands of accent tiles in a complementary color and material. Great for transitions between tile changes.

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

Laying tile in creative patterns and focal areas transforms your bath into a work of art. Wrap tile fully around showers and bathtubs for a designer look.

Grouting and Sealing Tips

Grout fills the spaces between tiles, anchors them and keeps water out. This finishing step impacts the overall look. Follow these tips for the best grout and sealant results:

Match Grout Color

Choose grout close to the tile color for a monochromatic look. Contrasting grout adds definition between tiles. Stay away from pure white, stains easily.

Consider Epoxy Grout

More durable and water-resistant than traditional cement, epoxy grout won’t stain or absorb moisture. Ideal for showers and countertops.

Apply Grout Release

Coat tiles with grout release before grouting to prevent haze and residue. Easier cleanup.

Grout Tile Edges

Run grout along cut edges of installed tile to finish properly. Removes sharpness.

Seal Natural Stone

Seal porous natural stone tiles before and after grouting to prevent staining and damage. Re-seal yearly.

Let Cure

Allow grout to cure fully (30 days) before sealing tiles. Check manufacturer instructions.

Pay attention to prep and technique when grouting to achieve professional-looking results. Your tile style will shine!

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

Grout lines should complement tile color. Contrasting grout can make a stunning statement.

Designing a Spa Bathroom

What’s your bathroom dream – a relaxing spa, sleek and modern, traditional elegance? Incorporating spa elements creates a bathroom oasis. Follow these tips for a soothing, salon-style bath:

Natural Tones and Textures

Use stone, travertine, marble, wood and glass tiles to bring nature indoors. Incorporate plants like bamboo and moss. Display rocks, shells or pebbles.

Counter and Sink

After the shower, a wide countertop provides ample space for towels, beauty products and decorative accents. Opt for two sinks if you can.

Free-Standing Tub

Make a sculptural statement with a curved standalone soaking tub placed by a window (consider privacy!). Add candles, bath oils and caddy trays.

Rainfall Showerhead

Install spa-like features in your shower like a rainfall or hand-held showerhead. Adjustable body jets add a luxurious massage element.

Heated Floors and Towel Bars

Radiant heated floors feel heavenly on bare feet. Warm towel bars pamper post-shower. Look for energy efficient options.

Minimal Visual Clutter

Hide all bathroom equipment like pipes, cabinets and recycling bins behind or within elegant tile. Freestanding tubs and vessels help minimize visual clutter.

Soothing Colors

Stick to soft, muted earth and water tones like beige, gray and light blue-green for Zen appeal. Add texture with natural materials.

Gentle Lighting

Install dimmable lighting on several circuits to set any mood. Wall sconces, accent lighting under tubs or over mirrors and natural light enhance spa ambiance.

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

Close your eyes and imagine your dream bathing experience, then design a bathroom retreat with elegant tile to match the mood.

Green Bathroom Tile Ideas

Eco-friendly bathrooms are a hot trend, with good reason. We all want to reduce our environmental impact. Luckily there are lots of green tile options to create a sustainable, healthy bath space:

Recycled Glass, Concrete and Metal Tiles

Tiles made from recycled materials like glass, concrete, aluminum and stainless steel divert waste from landfills. Durable and low-maintenance.

Natural Stone Tiles

Sustainably sourced natural stone like quartzite, limestone, travertine and slate last forever. Have each stone tile slab cut to optimize use.

Factory-Certified Tile

Look for tiles certified “Greenguard” to meet indoor air quality standards or companies dedicated to environmental practices.

Solar Power Options

Consider solar-powered vent fans, tube skylights and even tiles with integrated solar cells to reduce energy consumption.

Low-Flow Plumbing

Use low-flow toilets, sink faucets and shower heads to conserve water. Look for EPA WaterSense-approved fixtures.

Non-Toxic Grout and Sealants

Many traditional grouts and sealers contain VOCs and toxins. Opt for eco-friendly, non-toxic alternatives.

Plants for Natural Air Purification

Add oxygen-producing plants like aloe vera, orchids, ferns and philodendrons to boost air purity naturally.

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

With so many green tile and bathroom options, it’s easy to reduce your environmental footprint one stylish, sustainable upgrade at a time.

Bathroom Tile Ideas on a Budget

Gorgeous bathrooms don’t have to bust your budget. With some savvy planning, you can get a totally fresh tile look on a tight budget:

Stick to Simple Shapes

Square, rectangular and subway tiles are most affordable. Avoid custom tiles and intricate mosaics to save money.

Use Accents Strategically

Splurge selectively on decorative mosaics, glass or hand-painted tiles. Use sparingly as accents to stretch your dollar.

Mix Old and New

Keep existing bathtub or sinks if solid. Just re-tile walls, floors and showers. A combo of old and new freshens up space.

DIY Installation

Major savings by tiling yourself! Watch online tutorials. Rent tile cutter. Focus efforts in high visual areas only.

Shop Discounted Surplus

Habitat for Humanity ReStore and flooring/tile outlets sell discounted remnants, overstock and discontinued tiles.

Choose Sheet Backsplashes

Peel-and-stick backsplash sheets cost under $10/sq. ft. Affix right over old backsplash for instant refresh.

Reuse Existing Subfloor

Unless damaged, you can add new tile right over top existing flooring, saving tear out costs.

Compare Materials

Get look of pricier natural stone with less expensive porcelain. Focus spend on design, save on materials.

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

With careful planning and selective splurges you can reinvent your bath with beautiful new tilework on a limited budget.

FAQs About Boosting Your Bathroom Tile Style

Still have questions about choosing the best tiles to upgrade your bathroom? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Which tile material is most water-resistant?

Porcelain and glass tiles are very dense and non-porous making them the most water-resistant options. Seal porous tiles.

Should tile go all the way to ceiling in shower?

Full-height tile in showers looks luxurious, easier to keep clean and prevents water damage. Take it to the ceiling!

How do I clean grout haze off tile?

Grout haze can be gently scrubbed off with an acid-based grout haze remover once grout has fully cured. Avoid abrasive cleaners.

What tile patterns make small bathrooms look bigger?

Larger tiles, neutral colors, minimal contrasting grout and extending floor tile into shower visually expand space.

Should floor and wall tile match in a small bathroom?

Keeping floor and wall tiles consistent and minimal color contrast helps maintain an open look in a small space.

Can you put tile over existing tile in bathroom?

You can add new tile over existing if old tile is solid and flat. This saves tear-out costs.

How long does it take DIY bathroom tile to install?

DIY tile installation generally takes 2-5 days depending on room size, layout and your skill level. Be patient!

Your Bath: Boost Your Tile Style

Carefully prep and install tiles to bring your design dreams to fruition! Focus time on key areas for super impact.

In Summary

There are so many options when selecting new tile to boost your bathroom style. Colors, materials, patterns, layouts – the possibilities are endless for creating your dream bath design. Focus on tiles with function and flair in areas like showers and backsplashes. Choose materials that work for your lifestyle and budget. Set a spa vibe with natural stone mosaics or make a contemporary statement with recycled glass. Take your time playing with tile arrangements. With strategic planning and creative tile choices, you can infuse your personal style into your bathroom for an everyday oasis.