One of our favorite ways to decorate a space, our gray bathroom tile ideas combine practicality with a subtle chicness.
Tiles are the go-to option for bathroom walls and floors – and for good reason too. Being hardwearing, water-resistant and with a huge variety of designs to choose from, bathroom tile ideas can reflect your own style no matter how much space you have to work with.
Gray, meanwhile, is an extremely versatile, neutral shade that works in classic and contemporary homes alike, so it’s no wonder that gray bathroom ideas are a popular choice today. Pair with pops of color, or make it monochrome – the final look is really up to you – quite frankly, there are so many bathroom ideas to choose from.
Gray bathroom tile ideas
Explore our top 16 stylish gray bathroom tile ideas for some serious design inspiration.
1. Use a palette of varied shades
If you are unsure on what shade of gray to pick for your bathroom tiles, why not use a pretty palette of varied shades to create a stand out space.
Senior Designer Jo Sangster from Ripples London states, ‘gray is a timeless choice when it comes to bathroom tiles and with so many shades, patterns and textures to choose from it needn't look dull or clinical’.
In this bathroom, the beautiful herringbone patterned wall tiles in a mix of cool and warm gray shades, form a stunning, intricate design that truly celebrates the color gray. The dark, brown-gray floor tiles enhance the warming tones of the wall tiles, creating an inviting space that feels very much like a glamorous spa.
2. Combine different shapes and sizes
To create an atmosphere of subtle contrast in your bathroom space, using gray tiles of different shapes and sizes will create a visual delight, full of inviting texture and tactile interest.
A heavily tiled space, this bathroom sees a beautiful mix of traditional brick tiles in the shower and on the bath, and a smaller, intricate patterned tile design on the floor. United by the same pale gray color palette, the open and inviting design is perfect for wet room ideas.
3. Keep it traditional
Depending on your home and style, keeping things traditional with your gray bathroom tile choices will ultimately create a timeless look that can grow with your bathroom space for years to come.
In this bathroom, the dark gray tiles have been mounted halfway across all four walls in a traditional brick pattern, with the linear design creating a clean and classic look that is both elegant to look at and easy to clean.
Senior Designer Jo Sangster from Ripples London states when using dark tiles, ‘if chosen correctly, dark grey tiles can work well, even in smaller bathrooms, as they can add depth to the space and draw the eye in; a feature wall is often a good way to incorporate a dark grey hue without it looking to overwhelming’.
Here, the dark gray tiles are complemented by the light gray paint used on the walls and larger, warm gray tiles on the floor, creating an inviting and relaxing bathroom space that incorporates traditional techniques.
4. Pick a patterned tile
Picking a patterned tile is a simple way to enhance your bathroom with visual interest and personality, with a gray color choice ensuring the overall scheme is relaxed and elegant.
The geometric gray and white patterned floor tiles used in this bathroom create a beautiful contrast with the white square wall tiles, adding a statement appeal. Accessorizing with different textures and materials, such as the woven baskets and vintage, metallic wall lights, adds warmth to the white and grey scheme, resulting in a sophisticated and inviting bathroom space.
5. Create a subtle mosaic effect
In this bathroom, the collage of subtle mosaic patterns and shapes creates a truly unique, vintage feel. A great way to add texture and pattern but in an understated way, the relaxing gray color palette enhances the classic mosaic look.
Complemented by larger, warming gray tiles, the white mirror and black and white basin adds a modern edge, whilst perfectly coordinating with the gray scheme.
6. Use a gray marble
Enduring and luxurious, marble bathroom ideas will always create a beautiful and practical scheme. The natural qualities of marble make it a perfect choice for the bathroom, with it being both extremely durable and water resistant.
Opting for gray marble tiles in the bathroom will create a long-lasting, timeless appeal, as they can easily match and coordinate with an array of other tiles, colors and textures.
The gray marble tiles used throughout this bathroom make the room feel light and spacious, enhanced by the light paint shade used on the walls. The darker gray floor tiles ground the whole scheme, with the metallic fittings and wooden accessories creating a stylish contrast and inviting texture.
7. Add interest with bold mosaics
‘Gray need not be used as a solid color when tiling.’ explains Rob Whitaker, Creative Director at Claybrook.
‘Mosaics are a great way to bring movement and visual interest into a space when utilizing more neutral shades. Marble mosaics are a case in point – the natural material means even within one shade there are variations in tone.’
8. Scale up
Large format tiles are ideal for bathrooms and wet rooms – if you're looking for shower tile ideas.
Often seen in luxury spas, oversized stone gray tiles add a sense of grandeur, but are also practical. With less tiles to work with, they are quicker to lay and minimal grout lines mean they are easier to clean too.
9. Mix your materials
When it comes to decorating the walls of your bathroom, you may want to consider using a combination of materials.
Tiles are sensible for wet zones – think around the bath, above the basin and in a shower enclosure. We have a handy guide on how to tile a bathroom wall if you need some help.
You could add some feature wallpaper elsewhere in the space. Water-resistant wallpapers are available, or ask your decorator to apply Decorator's Varnish for added protection in case of splashes.
10. Play with texture
If you plan to keep the color scheme neutral with gray bathroom tiles, you can add interest by bringing different shapes and textures into the design.
Look out for tiles with repeating patterns or unusual shapes that will work with the style of your space.
Play around with the options too. You can often create a variety of different looks simply by repositioning the layout of the tiles.
11. Use tiles to zone
Enhance your bathroom layout by using tiles to help zone the space.
Place a border of patterned tiles within a shower or around a bath to highlight these areas, keeping the rest of the bathroom neutral with a plain yet complementary tile.
And if you are looking to cover a large amount of floorspace, consider alternative materials such as Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT). They're worth considering if you're looking for bathroom flooring ideas, since they mimic the look of real stone, but are often easier to maintain and won’t feel as cold underfoot on those early mornings.
12. Consider your finish
Most bathroom tiles will come in two finishes – matte or gloss. Which you go for is really down to personal preference.
Matte tiles don’t show up marks and smudges as obviously, and tend to be less slippery. Gloss tiles, on the other hand, have a more reflective surface that enhances light.
These work particularly well when applied to the walls by making the room feel brighter, great if you're looking for small bathroom ideas.
13. Take an all-over approach
Using the same gray bathroom tiles throughout your space can create a sleek, seamless look.
Some tiles are more suitable for floors than others, so check if the design you like can be applied to both floors and walls to avoid any costly mistakes when buying tiles.
Keep an eye out for appropriate slip ratings, and if you wish to have underfloor heating make sure your tiles can sit on top of your system – most porcelain and ceramic tiles should be able to.
14. Create a two-tone effect
‘When it comes to gray bathrooms, why not mix two coordinating shades to add visual interest to your walls and floors,’ suggests Katy Black, Marketing Director at Verona.
‘For example, you could select lighter shades for walls and darker tones for floors.’ When deciding on a combination, try warm tones together for a relaxing feel, or cooler shades for a fresher look.
15. Use pops of color
Gray tiles can be a subtle backdrop that allow colorful items in your bathroom to shine.
Introduce pops of color to your design through towels and accessories, or go one step further and commit to bold brassware and statement sanitaryware.
If you love the bathroom above, you could even consider incorporating some of these pink room ideas into your scheme.
16. Find the right shade
While lighter gray tiles can create a softer, more feminine look, deep graphites and charcoals can instantly add a more contemporary edge to your bathroom scheme.
Where possible, request to see samples in person so you can visualise different combinations and scales of size to find what works for you.
What colors go with gray bathroom tiles?
‘Gray tiles are a blank canvas, so your accessory options are endless,’ says Katy Black, Marketing Director at Verona.
‘If your gray tiles have a softer, warmer undertone, try using earthy, organic bathroom colors such as dark greens or deep auburns with natural timber. For cooler shades, choose crisp white towels and mats with a strong matte black accent, or add a flash of color with teal or navy.’
Should gray floor tiles be darker than wall tiles?
It is a popular approach, but not necessarily the only option – in fact doing the opposite can create a strong effect.
‘Darker wall tiles add impact and mood to a space, and pairing them with a pale floor simply adds to the drama,’ advises Rob Whitaker, Creative Director at Claybrook.
Another idea is to use the same shade across both the walls and floors, as this can make the bathroom look sleek, seamless and bigger – a great tile idea for a small bathroom. Many tile ranges are now available in the same design but different formats to achieve this look.
Should grout be darker or lighter than a tile – and what grouts go with gray tiles?
Using a grout that is a similar shade to your tiles can help to create a premium finish, and matching your grout to your tiles will also help disguise any discoloration that inevitably occurs over time.
While white grout is often seen as the conventional choice, if you are aiming for a modern look then you could opt for a dark grout against light gray tiles. Just be sure the tiles have been appropriately sealed or glazed, otherwise excess grout may stick or sink into the tile.
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Zara joined Homes & Gardens in February 2022 as a Content Editor. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. Her role at Homes & Gardens unites her love, experience and passion for the world of design and desire to create inspiring written content. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.
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