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Bathroom Tile Patterns You Won't Get Tired Of

Updated on October 4, 2013

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

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.

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.

Looking for more decorating and remodeling ideas?

Find more ideas for your bathroom at Small Bathroom Designs.

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Custom Kitchen Islands at for lots more tips for creating a custom kitchen island, plus potential gotchas and difficulties to avoid as you plan.

Pantry Organizers and Shelving

Tile Patterns Photo Gallery - All photos copyright kevinw1

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What's your favorite bathroom tile style?

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    • profile image

      tech-hunter 4 years ago

      I like modern and light colors for the tiles.

    • MaureenCee profile image

      MaureenCee 4 years ago

      The strangest bathroom I've come across was one that was wallpapered. It was a nice foil paper, soft pinky brown, but it went all over the bathroom and toilet. I think if it had a slightly lighter shade on the ceiling it wouldn't have been so strange to me but they obviously liked it. I used to be a cleaner and this was one of my clients.

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 5 years ago

      Marble or travertine.

    • profile image

      Cremplates 5 years ago

      I love glass tile...looks so clean and modern

    • profile image

      arijitproul 5 years ago

      pebble flooring is gorgeous

    • Justinleon LM profile image

      Justinleon LM 5 years ago

      Renovation is good to create the real beauty and gives a fresh look.

    • profile image

      t2000q 5 years ago

      simple designs work best for me

    • SCArt LM profile image

      SCArt LM 5 years ago

      I love mosaics in a bathroom but living in a hard-water area it is so difficult to keep them looking good with all that grout so I have just used a mosaic border between very large porcelain tiles.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      I'd like a totally tiled shower room, titles on every wall, ceilng and floor.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      A simple white subway tile is classic and works with virtually any style of home. It is inexpensive to buy and easy to install. Dress it up with some fun accent tile or a pencil liner tile and you're all set! Great lens!!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens - thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Happy April Fools Day!

    • profile image

      BestLaminateInc1 5 years ago

      Great ideas and photos! I'm experimenting with a tile back-splash in my kitchen and love the results so far.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Great lens. I've actually been thinking of using Islamic tile art for my bathroom because of the ease at which it puts you in to contemplative states of mind. Just what you'd want while in there, lol.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 6 years ago

      great ideas

    • profile image

      massageguy 6 years ago

      @kerryhrabstock: Really? why?

    • kerryhrabstock profile image

      kerryhrabstock 6 years ago

      Like your patterns and your pictures. I'm doing my bathroom in a few months. Chose the white subway tile. Can't wait to do a report for Squidoo.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      nice lens thanks for sharing. Squid-liked

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love the intro photo you have. That's what I'd like to do with tile in my bathroom. I want to do a mosaic pattern backsplash in my kitchen too! Tile is so fun :)

    • markettrol profile image

      markettrol 6 years ago

      Some Great Ideas...Thanks

    • profile image

      SIALicenceUK 6 years ago

      Some very good styles, you have given me some ideas about my bathroom.

    • ClassyStuff profile image

      ClassyStuff 6 years ago

      These styles are nice, but I prefer more wainscott bottom and painted walls....great lens!

    • profile image

      mikeguerro221 6 years ago

      cool bathroom tile styles!

    • profile image

      crudeoilsystems 6 years ago

      Great lens, thanks

    • WildBilly profile image

      WildBilly 6 years ago

      I am a big fan of glass mosaic tile. Its hard for me to find new inspirations for modern tile themes. I really like the red and black you showed above. Great Lense

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      I needed some bathroom inspiration. Mosaic tile patterns are a great idea!

    • miacarter profile image

      Mia Carter 6 years ago from SW Florida

      Love the mosaic tiles for backsplashes. So hard to pick -- there are so many pretty ones!

    • e-xplorations profile image

      e-xplorations 6 years ago

      I like your underwater concept of a bathroom. Its very relaxing.Good job.

    • profile image

      CustomShowerEnclosures 6 years ago

      That gives the bathroom such a good feeling! Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 6 years ago

      I love the classic hexagon tile, so pretty.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens. Thank for this.

    • patriciapeppy profile image

      patriciapeppy 6 years ago

      you have some pretty funky stuff here. gives me some ideas

    • shandigp profile image

      shandigp 6 years ago

      my favorite is that very first picture. Thanks! (Do you have a kitchen tile lens? On my way to look now.)

    • profile image

      aweresort 6 years ago

      have picked lovely tiles only to have them ruined by inexperienced tile-layers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A good start if one is planning to work with tiles. The lens deserve the high ranking it is currently enjoying. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You talk like a true expert, giving details about everything and style suggestions. I really enjoyed this lens, even if I don't intend on redecorating the bathroom at the moment.

      The mosaic with small tiles is lovely, but I'm sure it takes a lot of time and skill to put up.

    • profile image

      djroll 6 years ago

      Interesting lens and tile layouts. Thank you for sharing.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      Some good ones here :)

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 6 years ago

      Very creative idea for a lens...great job!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago


    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      Great color and design ideas here. Nice job.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      What a great selection. It's a little hard to pick my favorite. I really liked the flower mosaic tile wall but don't know if it would become too busy after a while. Blessed by a SquidAngel. Featured on Home and Garden SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 7 years ago

      I love the blue and green pattern.

    • passionatehouse profile image

      passionatehouse 7 years ago

      I love subway tiles,as I am a big fan of Craftsman style. I'm also a fan of stone mosaics.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What great ideas! I am doing a very vintage bathroom - inspired by my grandmothers ;) I just installed those black and white hex tiles that come in white with the black flower accents- it looks adorable!

      I got them off and they were only $4.50 a sheet! Great deal! They even offered me free shipping & the customer service was so helpful! I ordered the Black and white hexagon tiles ( black flower accent) MYR2403 from in Philadelphia - and I received them here in Las Vegas in 2 days!

      Great ideas shown here! keep em coming!

    • mehulsey lm profile image

      mehulsey lm 7 years ago

      Check out for luxury discount tile ideas that are different than what you see everywhere

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      I prefer the simple and plain color tiles.

    • therealstig86 profile image

      therealstig86 7 years ago

      Some great ideas here. Definitely something I'm going to bear in mind for my projects.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Love the tips here! Especially love the picture of the tub surround! I have seen a lot of people using tile to create a vessel sink vanity. Seems like it would be a great material to use as it is so easy to keep clean.

    • Kevin Wilson 2 profile image

      Kevin Wilson 2 7 years ago

      @RuthCoffee: Thanks for the update - I won't be buying any of the suction cup ones then!

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 7 years ago

      Great information and wonderful tile patterns! BTW, thanks for stopping by my lens on bathroom safety products. It reminded me to make some changes. I do NOT recommend the suction cup grab bars. We had to give those up a few weeks ago actually... even in the case of my 77 lb mom, they aren't safe.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Nice lens,beautiful tiles!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Great ideas here. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      LarryRossdale 7 years ago

      Wow, great designs! I recently purchased a similar kitchen backsplash tile at They are unbelievable! My wife and I just purchased them and we couldnât be happier.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      We're finally finishing our bathroom redo and getting down to the tile decisions. Lots of inspiration here!

    • Petstrel LM profile image

      Petstrel LM 7 years ago

      Oooh, I love some of these patterns!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i love the Bathroom Tile Patterns for Walls

    • profile image

      Carpetonecanada 7 years ago

      Beautiful and timeless bathroom tile flooring! Love the black and white tiles. Great inspiration, thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Some great ideas for tile designs. If you're looking for even more tile character, check out the options available through handmade tile makers. We're a creative bunch that can help you create a completely unique look.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love the green and blue tiles...but I cannot locate anything even closely like it! Really would love to have that kinda tile in my shower!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 8 years ago

      Definitely the Sherlock Homes tile style but I don't think my wife would agree. It's a good idea though to place it somewhere more private so I could enjoy it more. 5*

      Hope you could visit my lenses and this fb page. Thanks

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed seeing and reading about these different Bathroom Tile Styles. I guess I am old fashioned. I kept going back to look at the one with the smaller diamond shaped tiles on all 4 corners. This is exactly what we have in our bathroom. I do like fun looking tiles, too but just don't have a place for them.

    • profile image

      palaceofglass 8 years ago

      Great lens! Much useful info. 5 stars


      and Art Glass

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Lots of great ideas! I like the Sherlock Holmes tiles. Maybe just a row would do.

    • profile image

      Manbiki 8 years ago

      This is wonderful!

    • profile image

      houstondavid26 8 years ago

      Very Good Lens. Awesome pictures on the lens. I love to use Flagstone Tiles. They are really beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      some great ideas. great lens.