Yes, stripe tile layouts are trending – but are they timeless enough to commit to in your bathroom? We asked designers

Here, we take a deep dive into the best ways to work with striped tile layouts in your bathroom

striped tile bathroom trend
(Image credit: Mandarin Stone / Studio Duggan / Mosaic Factory / Lizzie Green / Photography Chris Snook)

In your quest to give your bathroom a shake-up, you might have started considering color scheme, sanitaryware, chrome vs brass hardware – the decisions feel endless, but the one thing we tend to forget in bathroom design is pattern. 

From wallpaper design to tile trends, bathroom ideas can feel somewhat overwhelming. If you're wondering what's on trend for bathroom design in 2024 we have one word for you: stripes. Whether you're drawn to a subtle ticking or an all-out circus stripe, the one way to prove your design kudos this year is to introduce this timeless pattern into your home design.

Here, we take a deep dive into the best ways to work with striped tile layouts in your bathroom – as told by design and bathroom experts alike. 

How To Use Striped Tiles In Your Bathroom Design

vintage style bathroom with striped tile floor and a yellow painted freestanding bath tub

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

You might have noticed, but trends in interior design tend to follow on from fashion trends. Something hits the catwalk in say, September, and by February we're all coveting it in our homes, too.

Just like the unexpected red theory and our sudden obsession with decorating with animal prints, stripes are big news in 2024. You might already be on board with decorating with stripes, perhaps with a striped wallpaper or accent chair. But have you ever considered including a striped tile in your bathroom?

From the walls to the floor, whether you're looking to maximize space or create a statement, the striped tile offers something for every design aesthetic. Here are 7 ways design experts are using stripes to infuse personality and charm into the bathroom.

1. Enhance small spaces with vertical stripes

striped blue and white shower with wooden vanity unit and rattan blind

(Image credit: Mosaic Factory / Interiors Lizzie Green / Photography Chris Snook)

When designing a bathroom with a smaller footprint, maximizing space while still remaining tasteful is paramount. That's where the vertical decorating trick comes in to visually push the room up and out.

By drawing the eye upward, vertical stripes can create the illusion of higher ceilings, instantly making the space feel more open and airy. When selecting tiles, opt for lighter hues like soft whites or pale blues to amplify this calming effect.

'Striped tile designs have followed on from the chequerboard revival as a fun, yet smart alternative to using two colors to create clean, classic designs,' says Louisa Alice, creative director at Mosaic Factory. 'Used in small bathrooms, it visually elongates the space giving a sense of amplitude which is further enhanced by continuing the tiles on the floor. Striped tile designs are not limited to square tiles but can also be conceived with different zellige shapes for a more playful look,' she adds.

2. Try to create a focal point with stripes

green tiled bath with a striped bath panel

(Image credit: Ca' Pietra)

Stripes can also play a role in defining focal points within the space. Consider incorporating a bold, contrasting stripe as a feature wall behind the vanity or shower, or take it one step further with a tiled bath panel. This draws attention to specific areas, diverting focus away from the more functional items in the space.

Grazzie Wilson, head of creative at Ca’ Pietra, says: 'There’s a lot to admire about this bathroom [seen above], from the border art and multi-directional metro tile layout, but we’re here to talk about stripes. To jazz up the tub, the tiles have been laid vertically in alternating colors along the front of the bath panel. The result? A bath that is seriously upgraded and earning its stripes. Just when you thought a bath couldn’t get more inviting!' 

Note: just be sure to get your tiler to include an access panel in case you ever need to get the bath panel off for plumbing maintenance underneath. Whether you're
drawn to monochromatic bathroom tones or are looking to experiment with textures for added drama, a striped tile will create a centerpiece for your bathroom. 

3. Combine vertical and horizontal stripes

pink striped bathroom with freestanding tub

(Image credit: BC Designs)

Stuck between horizontal or vertical stripes? Why not try both? By strategically balancing these contrasting stripes, you can cleverly manipulate perceptions of space and proportion in your bathroom. It's all about optical illusions.

'Don’t be scared to combine both horizontal and vertical stripes in the same room, think of it as stripes on stripes,' suggests Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. 'Vertical stripes are big business right now, as they push up your ceiling height drawing the eye upwards – an interior design trick that just doesn’t get old so can make a great addition to walls.'

'Add in a horizontal stripe on the floor, even using the same tiles to create a rug effect and zone areas of a bathroom – like this one [above] where the bath has been framed through a creative way of using stripes,' adds Barrie.

Select tiles that share a common color palette or material to maintain cohesion throughout the space. Consider using vertical stripes to draw attention to specific features such as shower niches or vanity areas, while horizontal stripes can visually widen the room and create a sense of continuity. 

4. Create a transition with stripes

yellow horizontal striped tiles behind toilet and a wooden vanity sink unit

(Image credit: A. Naber Design)

For a more subtle take on the trend, try using stripes to delineate and frame various elements within the bathroom. This still allows for an infusion of color and pattern, while serving as a distinctive touch that ties the entire room together.

'Here, we chose to take the theme of a stripe but instead of relying on the stripe as a singular pattern, we also played with multiple tile sizes and solid colors,' explains interior designer Abbie Naber. 'We liked the idea of using the stripe more as a band as opposed to cladding the entire space in stripes. The custom colors we chose to be a bit softer since the pattern is bolder.'

Whether used to accentuate shower niches, mirror surrounds, or tile transitions, they add a layer of intrigue. Experiment with contrasting colors and widths to achieve different effects – from subtle accents to bold statements.

5. Use a single stripe to create impact

striped kitchen backsplash

(Image credit: Fired Earth)

Or, go even more simple with a band or border to create a singular stripe across the shower wall, or even your kitchen backsplash as seen above by Fired Earth. 

The key to successful border design lies in striking the right balance between proportion and scale. Opt for widths that complement the size of the tiles and the overall dimensions of the space – thin borders can create a delicate, understated look, while wider borders make a bolder statement. Additionally, look to align the border with architectural features such as vanities or windows to enhance visual continuity.

'Stripes have a timeless appeal, so they're completely at home in any style of interior. From alternating bands of simple metro-style tiles to a fresh and contemporary take, stripes are incredibly versatile,' says James Sirett, head of product at Fired Earth. 'If you're worried about bands of color looking a little too bold, think about combining two or more textures for an eye-catching but more subtle finish. The creative possibilities are endless,' suggests James.

6. Pair with panelling

striped shower in a neutral blue and white bathroom with panelling

(Image credit: Mindy Laven / Photography Hugo Landa Garcia)

If you're wondering how to add character to a bathroom, the answer will always be pattern and paneling. This bathroom, above, by interior designer Mindy Laven combines the two for the most successful of transitional bathroom ideas.

'I love this trend,' says Mindy. 'It's a nice, impactful way to add a subtle pattern without it taking over the room! In this particular instance at a beach house in Long Beach, we wanted to give a nod to the beach aesthetic without it being kitschy or too literal. These striped Highline Tiles from Zia fit the bill perfectly and I love that it adds a hint of whimsy to this bathroom.' 

The beauty of combining striped tiles with paneling lies in its versatility. Whether you're aiming for a coastal-inspired retreat like Mindy or a sleek, modern oasis, this pairing can suit a variety of design styles.

7. Pattern clash with striped tile and wallpaper

traditional bathroom with wallpaper and a striped tile shower

(Image credit: Ca' Pietra / Interiors Barlow & Barlow)

Bathroom wallpaper can often feel like a daring approach to designing a bathroom, particularly when paired with even bolder patterns like striped tiles. To achieve a good balance, opt for complementary tones or themes that tie everything together. For example, bold stripes with a geometric wallpaper, or more delicate stripes with a floral wall covering.

'Stripes are a maximalism dream that doesn't clash when used alongside more avant-garde decor and patterns,' says Ca’ Pietra's Grazzie Wilson. 'Tiling halfway up the wall helps to create further balance, while a row of border or pencil tiles will clearly section off the two patterns. Both busy, both beautiful, yet balanced and 100% happy in a room together.'

The key is to embrace the clash while maintaining a sense of cohesion. When pattern clashing in the bathroom, it's crucial to consider scale and proportion to prevent overwhelming the space. Choose one dominant pattern and always consider the scale of the patterns: pair larger-scale stripes with smaller-scale wallpaper motifs for a composition that doesn't compete for attention.

Striped tiles are seriously making a splash in bathroom design, emerging as the most on-trend and exciting way to bring color and pattern into an otherwise purely functional space. But will it endure as a timeless bathroom idea

From creating the illusion of more space in a small bathroom or powder room to tile and paper or paneling pairings that will transform a family bathroom; look to stripes as the most refreshing way to give your bathroom an uplift in 2024.

Charlotte Olby
Content Editor

Charlotte is content editor at Homes and Gardens, having joined the team the week before Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she found herself working at many women's glossy magazines including: Grazia, Stylist and Hello and most recently working as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with Charlotte's passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome