Bathroom Tile Patterns You Won't Get Tired Of
Choosing Bathroom Tile Patterns
When there's so much you can do with bathroom tile patterns, it seems a pity to waste the opportunity and just go for plain white. Even a simple band raises your tilework up from the ordinary.
Then again, some tile work is so complex and colorful that some people might see it as being over the top. It all depends on you - whether you want a subtle, soothing background to a relaxing soak in the tub, an invigorating, lively visual feast during your morning shower to help you wake up and face the day, or something else.
Find more ideas for your bathroom at Small Bathroom Designs.
Intro image: used under license from sxc.hu
Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr
This classic black and white hexagon flooring pattern was widely used in Arts and Crafts style houses and bungalows at the beginning of the 20th century, and further back in Victorian homes. Hexagon tiles were used in plain colors, with contrast dots, or (as has been done here) with contrast circles which look like flowers. The original historic tiles were flat, without the "pillow" effect that modern tiles usually have, and you can still get the flat ones if you want an authentic look or need to match existing tile.
Small tiles like this give very good grip on a bathroom floor not because of their own finish, but because of the frequent grout lines. Those grout lines also can mean lots of cleaning. You can use sealer or an off-white, beige or gray grout to help reduce cleaning chores.
Photo Credit: Shawn Allen on Flickr
This is another classic pattern which was very popular a few years ago (to the point of reaching the budget-vinyl-flooring ranges), though it seems to be less popular now. Fashion aside, it's a clean, crisp look which can work very well with the large tiles parallel to the main walls, or diagonally.
Books for Bathroom Tile
Photo Credit: qgil on Flickr
Wow - this beautiful tile is such a simple alternating color pattern but stunningly effective. It reminds me of being underwater in the shimmery tones of the green and blue, and the blue tile molding at the top is a great finishing touch. It looks as though these are quite large tiles - about 9" or 10" - and the narrow white grout line recedes into the background. It would be interesting to see this with a dark grout color, perhaps matching the blue or green.
Photo Credit: juhansonin on Flickr
Subway tiles - rectangular tiles half as high as they are long, usually 3" x 6" - laid in a running bond like bricks are another classic pattern that has become very popular recently. This white subway tile tub surround with dark green band hasn't been grouted yet and the grout color will make a lot of difference to the look. White grout to match the tile will make the pattern much less obvious, while a darker grout will make it stand out. A window in a shower surround like this often has the sill and reveals tiled to match the walls and keep water out of the structure. The window is another opportunity for use of color, as a band on the wall around the window, or on the sills and reveals.
Photo Credit: andybee21 on Flickr
A white mosaic tub surround like this is very simple, but again the addition of a colored mosaic band adds a lot of character. Other opportunities for pattern here if you wanted to add more, would be to use colored grout, or to add more of the blue tiles as used in the band, to the field - perhaps making them more frequent near the band and less so towards the floor and ceiling. Another band at floor or ceiling level would also look interesting, perhaps both. Vertical bands at the corners and beside doors and windows might be overkill, but then I do love that color of blue!
Photo Credit: michfiel on Flickr
Here's an older bathroom with a clawfoot tub and a historic style sense. The black diagonal-set floor tiles are large and elegant, the white walls simple, and the black band sets off the sudden burst of wild wall color above it.
Photo Credit: Giles Douglas on Flickr
This shower area seems to take up most of the room, with a floor drain in the middle, a great idea for a kids bathroom like this where you can get a production line going and shower several of them at once. The pebble floor is done with large enough rocks that they won't be uncomfortable to stand on, but still have plenty of grip and the "beach" look is very cool. This is a "work in progress" and I can't tell whether the tiles are grouted or not: if they are, I like the dark grout - it blends with the darker tones of the tiles so that the pattern does not jump out. Light grout would also look good but give a very different effect as the pattern would be much more emphatic.
Photo Credit: exfordy on Flickr
Here's a bathroom in pale blue and white which has quite a lot of variety in the tile used, but the strictly limited color scheme keeps the look clean and uncluttered. On the floor, large square pale gray tiles: then from the bottom of the wall up, one row of pale blue mottled rectangular tiles set portrait fashion, a narrow white molding, two more rows of pale blue tile, a wider blue-and-white molding band, then a transition row of tiles with blue pattern at the bottom and greyish white mottled background, then more rows of plain greyish-white tiles to the ceiling. The same pattern runs round all the walls and into and through the shower stall, tying the whole bathroom together.
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Photo Credit: JessyeAnne on Flickr
This mosaic tile wall detail shows flowers done in a way that looks like greatly enlarged greyscale pixels on a colored background. Fascinating. It seems this would work best in a larger room where you can step back and get the full overall effect, then go close up to look at the details. You could take this idea and use it for almost any kind of motif, not just flowers: you could also reverse the color theme and have colored motifs against a greyscale background.
Photo Credit: exfordy on Flickr
This example of black and red to white checkerboard is actually from a public washroom, but would look just as good at home where you want a lively pattern. I think it would work especially well in a barrier-less shower where the whole room is the shower, as in one of the examples up above. Varying the regular checkerboard might give an interesting effect too, either with variations in color or pattern.
Photo Credit: bigaila on Flickr
Lastly, something really funky - you'd have to be a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes to want these all over your bathroom wall, but they are a lot of fun. Maybe a few feature tiles instead of the whole wall! On the other hand, in a powder room where you want something intense and you don't need to spend long periods in there, maybe this would be just the ticket.