Bathroom tile ideas that are classic and timeless

Sometimes shimmering, always decorative, these miniature works of art can transform your surroundings.

Tiles are a popular choice for bathroom walls and floors. Available in a huge variety of materials, finishes and price points, there’s something for everyone – stone, ceramic, porcelain and glass are all popular. They are easy to clean and offer endless design possibilities. A relative newcomer on the market, another option is composite wall panels, which give a sleek, almost seamless look.

See our decorating section for more inspiration

Depending on what you choose, tile prices can vary quite considerably from simple ‘field’ or plain ceramic tiles at the lower end to glass mosaics and marble at the other. Settling on your budget first will help you to choose your material accordingly but don’t forget to factor in grout and adhesives costs and include a 10% contingency for breakages. Spares will be useful in case of breakages at a later date.

If expensive glass mosaics or hand-crafted tiles are a must-have but your budget is tight, then think about using your chosen tiles as a feature and tile elsewhere with standard format tiles. Decorative borders will add a cost-effective hit of pattern or colour or think about tiling one area, such as the inside of the shower cubicle.

Poor fitting will ruin even the most expensive of tiles while the cheapest can look fantastic if laid by an expert. If you’re a competent DIYer then invest in a good tile cutter and use ready-made grout if it possible as it is easier to use than powdered.

When choosing tiles, consider size, finish, even grouting. With modern tile technology creating exciting new designs all the time, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

1. GREEN SCREEN

Inspired by the colours of the ocean and with a 
crackle-glaze iridescent finish, these Ca’ Pietra Atlantis porcelain scallop tiles will add fresh impact to any showering space. Green is very much the colour of the moment, and we predict that it is here to stay.

Bathroom tile ideas

Ca’ Pietra Atlantis porcelain scallop tiles, 29.3×27.4cm, £135sq m, from Ripples, ripplesbathrooms.com. Image credit: Ripples

2. WELL CONNECTED

Bathrooms are where tiles really come into their own. The vast array of materials, colours, textures and designs can be used to create anything from a floor-to-ceiling scheme to a feature splashback or decorative design strip. Here, petrol blues and retro pattern bring this whole bathroom together to create a bold but orderly en suite. ‘We were looking for something striking and different – these tiles score on both,’ says Caz.

Puzzle tiles by Barber & Osgerby for Mutina, £177sq m, Domus, domusgroup.com. Walls painted in Off-Black estate emulsion, £46.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com. Image credit: Caz Myers Design

3. NOD TO THE CHEVRON

This striking motif gives schemes a refreshing graphic edge. Coloured tiles laid diagonally are all the more eye-catching against dark flooring and fittings. 

Bathroom tile ideas

Henley Chevron tiles in Seagrass, Flint and Dusty Rose, 20x6cm, £405 sq m; Henley Rectangle Field tiles in Flint, 20x6cm, £228 sq m; both Balineum. Image credit: Simon Brown

4. BOLD CONTRASTS

Beloved by ancient Chinese dynasties, the Moors and the Greeks, this enduring colour combination takes on a fresh, modern feel with the latest indigo textiles, shibori patterns and denim tones. An adjoining bathroom offers an opportunity for more adventurous decorating, as shown here with the strong wall colour and chequered flooring. Working equally well with contemporary and traditional interiors, encaustic tiles are a versatile product, and can be created using a myriad of finishes. 

Bathroom tile ideas

Encaustic tiles in Blue and White, 20cm sq, £174.90 sq m, Fired Earth. Image credit: Jake Curtis

5. VARIETY SHOW

Black and white can be rather austere, so the designers have incorporated a mix of materials to add another dimension to the space. The reflective qualities of the marble and the mosaic effect tiles work together to create a luxurious sanctuary. The hexagonal floor tiles provide a subtle pattern without dominating, adding a sophisticated feel that brought the scheme together. A frameless screen helps to achieve a luxurious wet room appearance and allows the tiles to come to the fore, with a neat niche for toiletries contributing to the elegant minimalism of the scheme. 

Bathroom tile ideas

Pyrenees chevron marble wall tiles, £205 sq m; Casablanca black hexagon floor tiles, £40 sq m; both Mandarin Stone. Interior design: Otta Design, otto-design.com. Image credit: Darren Chung

6. ITALIAN FLAIR

Classic and timeless, Arabescato marble with its striking veining embodies Italian elegance at its very best. Additional shades of grey on the blind and the wall ceramics bring cohesion to this simple, stylish look.

Bathroom tile ideas

Similar marble, Arabescato Cervaiole marble wall slabs, from £354 sq m, Lapicida. Image credit: Simon Bevan

7. PRETTY IN PINK

The devil is often in the detail when it comes to creating a striking bathroom. Keeping it compact, penny tiles are small but impactful. They add an interesting aesthetic, they’re extremely versatile and – like any good tile – they’re also easy to maintain in even the wettest areas.

Bathroom tile ideas

Bali Porcelain Penny Tile in Blush, 33 x 31 x 0.5cm, £13.20 per sheet, Artisans of Devizes. Image credit: Artisans of Devizes

8. REFINED ELEGANCE

Marble tiles evoke the refined sophistication of grand Parisian apartments. In this scheme a marbled floor was chosen for practicality as well as style. A smart black bath with ages brass taps anchors the look, reinforcing the classic aesthetic. 

Bathroom tile ideas

Calacatta Viola polished marble tiles, £89.98 sq m, Mandarin Stone. Image credit: Michael Sinclair

9. PLAYING WITH SCALE

Vinyl flooring has come a long way since its early days, and is now seen as sophisticated yet practical option for the bathroom. As well as being incredibly hardwearing, vinyl is also easy to clean and comes in a variety of styles. In this inviting bathroom, the block colour of the wall panelling and floor allows a wonderfully whimsical wallpaper with a strong motif to shine. 

Bathroom tile ideas

Softline vinyl tiles in Ink, 46cm sq, from £37.50 sq m, Amtico. Image credit: Chris Everard

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