Bathroom floor tile ideas should be at the top of your priority list when you start to plan your bathroom remodel. There is a plethora of choices when it comes to bathroom flooring.
Of course bathroom floor tiles need to be both durable and easy to clean, particularly in busy family bathrooms, but that shouldn’t preclude them from being stylish, too.
Materials are many and varied, ranging from funky vinyl to luxury materials such as solid marble. Be aware, though, that although they are bound to add an air of elegance, many natural stone floors will need an element of maintenance to keep your bathroom ideas looking at their best.
Bathroom floor tile ideas
'Check when choosing your bathroom flooring, especially if it is natural stone or hardwood, that it is suitable for humid areas, as water damage is more likely to occur with natural materials,' advises Yousef Mansuri, Head of Design at C.P. Hart.
If you’re hankering after the look but want something that’s more hard-wearing, then faux-stone composites and porcelains are a good option. It’s important to pick non-slip bathroom tile ideas for extra grip, particularly if you’re planning a multi-generational space.
'When choosing from bathroom tile ideas for your floor, make sure that they are non-slip but not too textured,' advises Yousef. 'You want to make sure they have grip, but if they are too textured, lime scale can easily build up, making cleaning a nightmare.'
1. Create a new dimension with graphic bathroom floor tiles
Graphic 3D tiles are the height of modern bathroom ideas and contemporary design. Their unexpected use in a classic setting creates a welcome element of surprise, as Cuschieri Architects demonstrates here. ‘We used marble tiles from Drummonds to tone in with the more traditional fittings, but the floor still makes a powerful statement,’ says architect Paul Cuschieri.
2. Find your perfect match
‘When it comes to dynamic floor tiles, pick a pattern you truly love as it will be with you for a long time,’ says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director, Kelling Designs. ‘The key is to let the tiles be the main attraction, so pick something that will introduce a pop of color and pattern, then choose a paint that complements the rest of your bathroom color ideas to keep the look cohesive.’
3. Go all out with patterned tiles
Busy pattern can prove too intense, especially when embraced on both bathroom wall tile ideas and small bathroom flooring ideas. However, in this Parisian apartment LSL Architects painted the window frame and shutters in the tile’s base color – a calming duck egg blue – to create a tranquil moment amid the kaleidoscope pattern.
4. Lay down a terrazzo floor
Terrazzo is the joyful material of the moment and large format chips provide extra gravitas underfoot. ‘These tiles are actually terrazzo lookalikes made from porcelain, but they look great and the pink tones are just perfect in this space,’ says Justine Hodgson-Barker, director of Barker Interiors. They’re also very low maintenance, which is almost as important as style in busy family bathroom ideas.
5. Change direction with chevron floor tiles
Chevron pattern is guaranteed to make an impact, especially when used with confidence, in large format. Here, in Florence’s Hotel Calimala, Alex Meitlis Architecture and Design introduced a trio of black, white and green marble in chunky chevron compositions. Switching tile alignment on the back wall helps keep the zigzags under control and defines the floor area to give a clear reading of the bathroom’s generous size.
6. Add a touch of luxury with marble tiles
Beautiful Italian marble is a staple for luxury bathroom ideas. New interpretations and refreshing schemes keep this metamorphic rock an enduring classic – and make marble bathroom ideas a must for any wet room or spa bathroom.
Delicately veined marble will help to achieve a glamorous wall-to-floor wet-room look and is a great bathroom tile idea for showers. Marble is naturally water-resistant and adds a luxurious spa-like feel to a bathroom whether you have a modern space or a more traditional one.
7. Take a traditional approach with parquet
We’ve hit peak parquet in home designs, with originals of these floors much coveted. For bathrooms, and in particular wet-rooms, wood isn’t a hardwearing option and that’s where a durable, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) can provide the look of a grand country home bathroom without the hassle.
‘Vinyl bathroom flooring is a great and inexpensive way to add color, pattern and personality to bathroom flooring ideas without compromizing on safety or quality’, says David Snazel, hard flooring buyer at Carpetright (opens in new tab).
8. Scale up with large-format tiles – and a neutral color palette
A bathroom is a place of sanctuary and while the love for patterned tiles is growing, most of us are still opting for natural tones with relaxing properties.
'The most popular color palette tends to be light and natural,' agrees Yousef Mansuri, Head of Design at CP Hart. 'Create a soothing space with similarly toned large-format tiles, laid in a simple formation.'
Laying bathroom floor tiles – or indeed any floor tiles – that are scaled up in size means that the subfloor has to be absolutely flat. If there are lumps and bumps, the tiles will not sit level with each other.
9. Consider a handmade option
Another handmade option, encaustic (concrete) tiles introduce texture and individual variation to your floor. This fits well with the trend for eclectic style in bathrooms, mixing colored, plain and patterned tiles with vintage furniture, Victorian-style basins and some modern pieces.
Encaustic tiles must be sealed, but even so they tend to mark and age over time; patterned designs will be more forgiving than, say, plain white tiles. They are not a ‘perfect’ product like porcelain, but they have a vibrancy and depth of color and unique look that you simply don’t get in a printed patterned product.
10. Embrace the natural beauty of stone
If you prefer to use a ‘real’ material for its beauty and individual characteristics, consider natural stone, including marble, limestone and slate. Honed stone tiles tend to be less slippery than polished, and once they are sealed, they should wear well. Do be aware that, as with all natural products, stone tiles require a certain degree of care. Always check maintenance requirements with your supplier.
Prices start from around $80sq m; more for rarer stones and stone mosaics. Formats tend to go up to about 25x25inches; much larger than that and they become very heavy and hard to handle.
What are the most popular tiles for bathrooms?
When it comes to the most popular floor tiles for bathrooms, it seems there's real demand at both ends of the spectrum.
While there are numerous designs, shapes and styles for wall tiles, floor tiles have, on the whole remained fairly plain until recently, with many opting for a stone or stone-effect on the floor to counter a bold wall tile. 'Porcelain is currently our most popular material as it can be used on floor and walls and has, it seems, endless options,' reveals Yousef Mansuri.
However, a resurgence in Victorian and Morrocan-style patterned and colorful geometric floor tiles from companies such as CaPietra, Bert & May and Fired Earth has seen bathroom floors compete with walls for attention. Shape has become important, too, with many designs allowing for multiple configurations, helping to create highly individual spaces.
Should bathroom floor and wall tiles match?
As for whether your bathroom floor and wall tiles should match, there's absolutely no design law that says they must be exactly the same. In fact, some wall tiles are not suitable for floors and vice versa so it’s always best to check before you plan. However, to create a cohesive look, it’s important that they should work well together in terms of your bathroom color scheme and color palette.
Linda graduated from university with a First in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting. Her career began on a trade title for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and she has worked for Homes & Gardens, and sister-brands Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, since 2006, covering interiors topics, though kitchens and bathrooms are her specialism.
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