terracotta tile and white bathroom

14 Bathroom Tile Design Ideas

Originally contributed by Mackenzie Stratton • last updated 4/1/2021

Tile is an important component of a bathroom’s design and there are a dizzying number of options available.

The good news is that we have created a guide for precisely this reason — to give you a fresh batch of inspiration and bathroom tile design ideas. You’ll find suggestions on tile materials, colors, shapes, patterns, and finishes, so you can easily drill down on the aesthetic direction you want to take. 

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Under The Sea

The bathroom is a fitting place for an ocean inspired design, but if a traditional coastal aesthetic isn’t your vibe, consider using a modern tile shape and a bright, beachy color palette, instead.

For example, this bathroom features scalloped tiles in a Mediterranean blue, contrasted with touches of gold and white to create its overall beachy effect. 

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Geometric Appeal

Among bathroom tile design ideas, a geometric pattern is a timeless option. What’s more, there are a bevy of styles to choose from so you can really have fun with it.

The splash of tile in this bathroom features a geometric pattern and bright orange color, which contrasts beautifully with the wave illustrations and the soft gray hue of the wallpaper that adjoins it.

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Something Old And Something New

The tile in this bathroom has a vintage feel to it thanks to the foliage pattern and minty green hue. That said, the minimalist style bathtub and faucet update the overall look so things feel fresh, not frozen in time.

One trick to mixing vintage and modern styles in your bathroom is to categorize items by their function and then decide which aesthetic they’ll embody.

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Mix Patterns

Mixing patterns is a great way to make a statement, so if you’re interested in designing a bathroom that feels unique, consider choosing two or more styles to mingle in your space.

Of course, ideas don’t always translate well in reality so it’s good to know that many tile companies will allow you to bring home a few samples, first.

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Get Creative With Finishes

Bathroom tile design ideas shouldn’t just encompass the basics like shape and color, but also finish. Take this bathroom, whose tile takes on a similar vibe to an impressionist painting thanks to its rippled surface.

There are also a range of other finishes to consider: matte, glossy, textured, and brushed, to name a few.

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Make A Statement

Sure, you can make a style statement in your bathroom but you can also make a literal one. The tile on this bathroom’s floor spells out a cheeky statement, and the block style font is nicely counterbalanced by the loose script on the poster.

If recreating this in your bathroom appeals to you, it’s best to choose a small tile with a simple shape so the silhouette of your statement reads clearly.

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Backsplash

Continuing your tile pattern onto a portion of your walls adds a touch of intrigue to your design. You could do it directly with the tile, like the bathroom in pictured, or repeat the shape of your tile by stenciling a similar pattern onto your walls.

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Marble And Tile

Marble has a sophisticated, almost ethereal appeal to it which when paired with tile, takes on a bit more of an inviting vibe.

The marble in this bathroom has a classic look and feel, but there are many different types of marble finishes to consider — from a nearly perfect white to a jet black with gold veining.

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Colored Grout

Some bathroom tile design ideas are about taking a detail that’s usually overlooked and putting a unique spin on it. Enter colored grout, which adds dimension to the look and feel of your tile with minimal fuss.

Even better, colored grout often wears better than a traditional cream colored one since it doesn’t stain from grime as easily.

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Matte Look

A matte finish is chic and easy on the eyes, since it absorbs and softens light. Typically, matte finishes look the best with colors that are either rich and deep or light and soft.

For example, this bathroom features a lilac-hued tile with a matte finish, but you could also go with other colors like earthy green, near black, or pale coral.

If you’re wondering what decor looks best with a matte tile, opt for textiles made from natural fibers, earthenware, and low gloss metallics.

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Terrazzo

Thanks to its whimsical mix of colors and shapes, terrazzo is a favorite for both interiors and exteriors. When selecting terrazzo tile, you can choose from a cement or epoxy resin base, which each infer unique benefits.

Cement is denser and more durable but it’s also porous, so you’re better off applying it to areas that won’t be directly splashed with water. Using an epoxy resin base creates a lighter, waterproof product, and what’s more, its transparent finish allows its color chips to shine.

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Experiment With Size

Another facet to consider when perusing bathroom tile design ideas is their dimensions, which range from bite-sized to large swaths of tile that nearly mimic the look of a painted wall.

This bathroom is a good example of the latter, which with its pastel colors gives off a fresh, springtime mood.

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The Blended Look

Mixing materials is a great way to create smooth transitions or to highlight particular motifs in your design.

For example, this bathroom uses a segment of tile to bring attention to the tub. If this style appeals to you, consider using honeycomb shaped tiles or slender ones to blend with panels of wood in a herringbone pattern.

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Add Dimension

Installing the same tile in several, similar colors creates an ultra-chic look that feels reminiscent of a pixelated image.

You can take this idea in several directions, like designing a modern, monochromatic look like the one in this bathroom, or using the concept to add a touch of dimension in an otherwise minimalist design.

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