Bathroom tiling ideas might often be seen as a final flourish in your overall bathroom design scheme, but the role they play should not be underestimated.
With some careful planning, bathroom tiles – both floor and wall – have the potential to create some amazing visual effects, as well as performing a practical role in protecting the surfaces they cover from water ingress.
Your bathroom tiles should not be an afterthought — they deserve just as much of your attention as your bath, shower, taps and bathroom lighting given that they usually form the backdrop of the entire space.
Here, we bring you some of the most stylish and ingenious bathroom tile ideas around to give your creative flair a kick.
Initial considerations for bathroom tiling ideas
Before getting started, it is really important to think about your individual space, taking into account its limitations and how you will be using the room.
For example, if you are working with a compact space, you will want investigate bathroom tile ideas for small bathrooms — not all designs will do bijou bathrooms justice. Likewise, you need to consider you bathroom design as a whole, just as you would with any other room, selecting your sanitaryware in tandem with your tiles.
You will also need to keep the proportions of the bathroom in mind — sloping ceilings, awkward alcoves and so on should all form part of your tiling plan.
And, finally, don't neglect to give some thought you your budget. Those keeping a close eye on the purse strings shouldn't feel they have to skip past some of the more extravagant tile options on offer, but instead think of more creative ways of using them — for example for just one small area of wall or floor. It is also well worth choosing tiles which you will be able to fit on a DIY basis if cost is a concern.
1. Paint a picture with wall tiles
If you hadn't before considered creating a mural on your bathroom wall then perhaps now might be a good time to start. Using tiles to form a beautiful picture to cover your bathroom walls is the perfect way to ensure your bathroom feels like the ultimate spot to escape everyday life and really can transport you to another place.
Here, Original Style Living Murals English Garden Mural Tiles from Hyperion Tiles have been used to create a tranquil countryside scene.
2. Create a feature wall with stand-out tiles
Just as you might have thought about using a bold or contrasting paint shade on just one wall in your living room or a bedroom in order to create a feature wall, why not consider doing the same with tiles in the bathroom?
If you are asking how much does it cost to tile a bathroom, you might like to consider that a feature wall not only makes a beautiful focal point, but is also a great way to introduce colour or pattern through tiles in an affordable way, as less tiles will be needed to make an impact.
In this bathroom, the eye-catching pink wall tiles are well matched with the tiny hexagonal mosaic tiles used for the bath surround and floor.
3. Inject hotel luxé with marble-effect tiles
Marble is a surface material that rarely seems to fall out of fashion — plus it is easy to pair with lots of other finishes. That said, there is certainly nothing plain about marble thanks to the range of shades, patterns and finishes it is available in.
This bathroom has been tiled from floor to ceiling with Onyx Turquoise Wall And Floor Tiles from Tile Mountain for a highly glamorous look. Made from porcelain, the range comes in a wide choice of colour options as well as sizes.
4. Use wall tiles to highlight a sloping ceiling
If you have created a loft conversion bathroom or are working in a space with a sloping ceiling, then you can use your wall tiles to really draw the eye to the interesting angles of the room.
This stunning bathroom features zingy orange rectangular wall tiles that have been laid to follow the lines of the ceiling. Painting the ceiling a dramatic black has further added to the drama and warmth of the whole space.
5. Combine wall tiles with wallpaper
Tiles and wallpaper actually make a brilliant combination in bathrooms — plus both are relatively easy to fit on a DIY basis (just be sure to familiarise yourself with how to tile wall first.) Make sure that you choose colours and patterns that complement one another and opt for a wallpaper designed for use within spaces prone to high moisture levels.
Here, Chic Pink Metro Tiles from The London Tile Co. have been used. The baby pink shade makes a statement without stealing the show, making them a good paring with the colourful wallpaper they have been combined with.
6. Use horizontal stripes in small bathrooms
If you are after small bathroom ideas, there are lots of tricks you can use to make a space feel bigger than it really is, such as including plenty of large mirrors and reflective surfaces, opting for wall hung sanitaryware and surfaces and choosing frameless glass shower screens.
Your choice of tiles can also help stretch the proportions of the space. Using linear blocks of colour within your tiling scheme, such as has been done here, can draw the eye over the entire space they cover as opposed to focussing it on the spacial limitations of the room.
7. Embrace retro chic with burnt orange tiles
This year, expect to see plenty of warm, earthy shades being used throughout interior schemes — and a move away from all-white and grey décor.
In bathrooms, these warmer shades – caramel, burgundy, cocoa and burnt orange –are really welcome as they instantly make the space feel nurturing and cosy.
Here, these Luma Burnt Orange Decor Gloss Tiles, from Tile Mountain, tick several trend boxes at once. Not only are they a gorgeous earthy orange shade, but their curved, riven texture also lends them an Art Deco feel.
8. Create a cosy shower cocoon with dark shades
The colour green is thought to help relieve feelings of stress and to induce a sense of peace, calm, positivity and balance — making it perfect for bathrooms, where you should feel able to retreat for a restorative boost.
Using green wall tiles from floor to ceiling in shower enclosures is a great way of creating a sense of being cocooned in nature.
Here, they look brilliant combined with an oversized shower head and heritage-style brassware, along with black and white floor tiles.
9. Match coloured suites with terrazzo-style tiles
One of the biggest bathroom trends of 2024 is for coloured suites — and don't panic, we're not talking 'avocado' or 'champagne' here. Popular shades include orange, emerald green, navy and deep crimson.
It can be hard to know what to pair these coloured items of bathroom sanitaryware with to avoid the final look seeming too chaotic. Aim to keep wall tiles more on the neutral side of things or opt for a terrazzo-style tile featuring flecks of various tones.
Here, Minoli Viceversa Veneziano VV20 Brushed 80 x 80 tiles by Hyperion Tiles have been used on part of the walls and the floor.
10. Tie a scheme together by tiling a bath surround
Do remember that your tiling ideas don't have to be restricted to your walls and floors — other areas of the bathroom can be tiled too in order to create some striking effects.
In this unusually-shaped bathroom, both the wall that the bath sits against as well as the bath surround itself have been tiled in matching blue mosaic tiles. The opposite side of the room has been finished off with timber cladding which has the effect of visually widening the space.
11. Use traditional materials in a modern way
Marble may well be a very classic material, but that doesn't mean it can't be used in a more contemporary way for modern bathroom ideas.
Play with pattern and scale and do consider pairing it with other contrasting materials for an eclectic look.
Here, Ca' Pietra Santorini Ceramic Satin Tiles from Sanctuary Bathrooms mimic the look of marble and have been laid in a modern herringbone pattern.
12. Create a seductive space with dramatic wall tiles
Bold, dark and dramatic shades and patterns are big news in bathrooms as we step into 2024 and bathroom tiles are the ideal way to conjure up this feel. Whether you choose a strong pattern or a simple yet moody colour palette, there is a wide range of tiles out there to help create this trend.
Here, the striking shade and pattern of Ca' Pietra's Rainforest Lemurian porcelain tiles have been used on the walls while their Carpenter Porcelain Natural Flooring adds a nice neutral backdrop.
13. Be imaginative with laying patterns
Tiling doesn't have to follow straight lines or any kind of standard laying pattern — feel free to play around with ideas to suit your tastes and décor scheme.
Consider creating some eye-catching bathroom splashback ideas behind basins such as has been done here using interesting hexagonal-shaped tiles in an irregular pattern. Lithos White Hexagon Tiles from Tile Mountain have been used to create this effect — they can also be used as floor tiles.
14. Stamp your personality on the space
Your choice of wall tiles is your chance to really make your mark on your space, showcasing your personality and personal tastes. Don't be afraid of experimenting with colour, shapes and patterns here — particularly if you are going down the all-white sanitaryware route.
In this beautiful bathroom, the rustic nature of the space, with its exposed beams, has been drawn out through the use of Moroccan-style wall tiles and floor tiles that mimic the appearance of exposed brick. Both tiles are from The Baked Tile Co.
15. Welcome in the latest bathroom trends
Although no-one should feel they have to be a slave to interior trends, they can be a useful source of inspiration when it comes to choosing the decorative finishes for your home.
While everything Barbie-inspired now seems a little passé, remnants of the craze have continued, with softer pinks and peaches being an easy-to-live with point in case.
This bathroom combines both the trend for all things rosey-hued as well as that for fluted finishes.
16. Make the space welcoming with wood-effect tiles
It can be tricky to incorporate wooden finishes successfully into areas of high moisture, such as the bathroom, as solid wood has a tendency to warp, twist and swell when regularly in contact with water and fluctuations in humidity.
While this leads many people to look at bathroom flooring materials other than wood, that doesn't mean that have to give up on the idea of introducing the warmth of wood in your bathroom.
The Naturalia range by Original Style, available at Hyperion Tiles, mimics the look of timber planks yet is made from hardwearing and low-maintenance porcelain.
17. Introduce seaside chic with scalloped edges
Pretty scalloped edges are bang on trend throughout the world of interior design right now — in fact this is a trend that really has never fallen from favour. Including some scalloped details within your tiling scheme is a great way to introduce a ditsy, fresh and fun feel and is perfect if you want to breathe a breath of coastal chic into the space.
In this bathroom, Mizu Marble Mosaic Scallop tiles from Artisans of Devizes have been used to form a backsplash for the basin, set within a marble-topped vanity unit.
18. Go glam with shimmering metallic tiles
Rich metallic finishes work brilliantly well in bathrooms, where they add a touch of opulence as well as plenty of warmth and character. Metallic tiles can be either used sparingly, interspersed with plainer tiles for just a subtle shimmer, or all over one wall for a great big dollop of drama.
The snaking lines of this curved shower enclosure have been enhanced with Original Style Bullion Gold Rush Mosaic Tiles from Hyperion Tiles. Made from glass, they also look great when used as a backsplash. If you are thinking of tiling a shower, be sure you know how to achieve a watertight finish before you start.
19. Be unique with hand-painted tiles
While hand-painted tiles might not be an option those on a tight budget might immediately consider, there are ways of getting some truly individual style into your bathroom that won't end up costing you your entire project budget.
Even just a few hand-painted tiles, either scattered within off-the-shelf, standard tiles, or a collection used as a small splashback can really inject personality into your bathroom.
Abigail Edwards' Seascape in Summer Tile Mural consists of 12 hand-painted greyish blue tiles that feature wave design that results in a finished look of a choppy ocean.
The tiles can be bought as an individual mural to work as a backsplash, or they can be used in multiples for a really dramatic effect over a whole wall.
20. Highlight alcoves with contrasting tiles
Alcoves can come in very handy in terms of bathroom storage ideas, offering a space-saving solution to storing toiletries. Whether you are working with existing nooks and crannies, or are creating new alcoves with stud walls, do consider finishing off the interior of these areas in a tile that is different to that used on the walls. This adds a sense of depth and also just creates a nice feature to an otherwise plain wall.
In this scheme, Ca' Pietra's Brasserie Glass Mosaic Pink tiles have been used in the inside of the alcove, combined with their Avebury Ceramic Milk White tiles on the surrounding area.
21. Follow fashion with a fluted finish
Fluted finishes are set to continue to be a big trend in the world of interiors and you can expect them to be everywhere, from glass doors and shower screens as well as for wall panelling ideas.
Here, marble from Artisans of Devizes has been used to create an unusual and stylish fluted finish behind the black basin — another great example of a traditional material being used in a modern way.
What material is best for bathroom tiles?
Bathroom tiles come in many different materials, all suitable for different budgets and interior schemes. While natural stones, such as marble, offer a luxurious look, they can require a little more in the way of maintenance than other materials and tend to lie at the higher end of the price scale.
For many people the choice tends to come down to porcelain vs ceramic tiles, with both being excellent choices for bathrooms.
Can I fit my own bathroom tiles?
Many people choose to fit their own bathroom tiles and this is usually a job well within the capabilities of most DIYers. Plain, standard-shaped ceramic tiles tend to be the easiest type of tiles to fit, closely followed by porcelain, although these are a little heavier and harder to cut.
If you have opted for large-format tiles, particularly those that are made from natural stone, it really will be worth the extra cost to call in the services of a tiler. Stone tiles can be really heavy to handle and position, are prone to staining if not properly sealed and any mistakes will be very expensive to rectify.
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Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.