5 Ideas for Great Bathroom Tile Design

  • 01 of 06

    5 Bathroom Tile Design Ideas

    Woman standing on bathmat in tiled bathroom
    Tile can be as beautiful as it is functional. Sean Justice/Getty Images

    Bathroom tile design illustrates one unique property of design: it's worthless from a practical standpoint, yet valuable from an aesthetic standpoint. Tile is a functional flooring option for bathrooms. Compared to carpet or hardwood flooring, tile is ideal for a room that's constantly subjected to water. But tile isn't just functional, it can provide additional aesthetic appeal. Here are five great tile design ideas to inspire your dream bathroom.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Tip #1: Add Medallions or Focal Points

    Bathroom Tile Design Picture
    Tile Focal Point. © American Olean

    This bathroom tile designer did something quite easy here (and easy for any DIY tile installer to do). The designer laid out a floor field of one color and size (12" x 12").

    Then, the designer punched out a focal point just in front of the shower. The focal point is constructed of 4" tiles of a darker color, with a border of 4" tiles of an even darker color.

    It's a simple bathroom tile design tactic that accomplishes two things:

    1. Breaks up the monotony of the otherwise all-light-color floor field; and
    2. Focuses interest on a key aspect of the bathroom--the shower.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Tip #2: Add a Tile Surround on Walls

    Bathroom Tile Designs
    Add a Tile Surround on Walls. © American Olean

    Again, from a bathroom tile design perspective, what's the practical purpose of installing this tile surround on the lower section of the walls?

    What you're looking at is ten courses of 4" tile. With grout width added, it's about 42" high.

    In some small sense, tile does help to better protect walls especially in areas of high moisture content, namely bathrooms. But a simple course of 4" tile as a baseboard would achieve the same thing. Raising that single-course tile base to what you see here will better protect the wall against the occasional bump or ding.

    And it's a ready-made backsplash for that pedestal sink.

    Mainly, it's a bathroom tile design device that adds visual interest to the walls.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Tip #3: Lay Accent Wall Tile

    Bathroom Tile Design Ideas Pictures
    Lay Accent Wall Tile. © American Olean

    Here's a tile design idea that makes perfect sense, but one that you don't see frequently.

    You already know that you need the tile in the bathtub area to protect the walls against moisture. Since you already need to tile that area, why not give the wall some zip? The checkerboard pattern shown here is a bit hard to stomach over large expanses (i.e., floors), but limited to an accent wall; it's a perfect touch.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Tip #4: Learn to Love Grout

    Bathroom Tile Designs
    Learn to Love Grout. © Armstrong

    Instead of an afterthought, tile grout should be considered a key bathroom tile design tool.

    We paired up these two images from Armstrong's tile design tool (see link below) to show you the dramatic transformation that grout can make. Merely changing from a light gray grout to a black grout gives you an entirely new floor. This helps to better define the floor and make it stand out.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Tip #5: Mix Up the Tile Patterns

    Bathroom Tile Design Pictures
    Mix Up the Tile Patterns. © American Olean

    This bathroom tile design pattern is diamond-shaped. The red line indicates the direction of the tile had it been installed in a conventional matter: tile edges parallel to the walls.

    Just consider the dramatic effect this diamond pattern has on the bathroom.