With endless tile styles around, we’ve edited down some of the best suited to bathroom floors
Houzz Contributor. I’m a London-based journalist with years of experience writing… More
Deciding on the right tile for your bathroom floor can be a big decision. The design, material and shape you choose will make a big difference to the look and feel of your room, while issues such as cost, durability and day-to-day practicality will also undoubtedly influence you. But with a dizzy choice of tile styles out there, it can be hard to make a decision. To help you, we’ve narrowed down a few of the best options for stylish bathrooms everywhere.
Be beige and tasteful
Large fawn-coloured tiles create a classic look that’s neutral and restful. Bigger tiles not only help make small spaces look roomier, but light tones are also space-enhancing. And large tiles means fewer grout lines to maintain and keep mould-free.
Combine with matching wall tiles for an easy style that doesn’t ever seem to date. Look for tumbled limestone, travertine or porcelain tiles in pinky-brown or yellow-brown tones – and always make sure they are slip-proof and suitable for bathrooms.
Warm up with ‘wood’
Porcelain tiles that look convincingly like wooden planks are gaining in popularity and it’s easy to see why. Using real wood can be risky in bathrooms, as the moisture can cause damage. Wood-effect tiles, on the other hand, offer all the warmth and good looks of timber while being practical, water-resistant and sturdy. They come in a variety of shades, varying from grey tones to red-browns so choose something that works with the rest of your scheme or period of property.
Add some pretty pattern
We’re getting braver when it comes to pattern on our floors. A vintage- or Moroccan-style tile can look fantastic in a bathroom. It adds welcome contrast to an all-white suite, and means the rest of the room has to work less hard to look stylish. Here, a pretty vintage-look pattern has been matched with a black trim, which grounds the design and adds a traditional touch.
Handmade cement encaustic tiles look gorgeous but can be super-pricey, not to mention harder to care for, but there are lots of great ceramic and porcelain patterned tiles around that create a similar effect.
Go for graphic geometrics
There are some cool geometric tiles around these days and, like Moroccan-style ones, they can help make a bathroom feel instantly special. It’s always a good idea to call in a number of different tiles samples before you make your decision, and think about how patterns will repeat. This tile has quite a large diamond pattern, so needs a reasonable amount of visible floor area to be appreciated. A geometric black-and-white design also looks good teamed with colour, as they’ve done here with the glossy blue wall tiles.
Seek out a stylish slate look
Simple slate-look black tiles are a practical, timeless choice in bathrooms, as they hide dirt and are hard-wearing. They can also help make white sanitaryware and walls look more interesting .
Real slate is beautiful, long-lasting and slip-resistant, but it’s also expensive, and will need regular sealing to protect it. It’s also cold underfoot, which may be an issue in the winter – though most types of stone and ceramic tile work well with underfloor radiant heating systems. For a more affordable alternative, look at slate-style ceramic tiles, and choose one with a matt finish and riven surface to make it appear more authentic.
Say yes to squares
There’s been a subtle movement away from the ‘brick-shaped’ tiles that have dominated our bathrooms and kitchens towards squarer shapes with a Scandi feel. The small beige tiles here are quietly sophisticated – larger than mosaics and less busy. They offer a subtle contrast to the mosaics around the bath and rectangular tiles near the window. They could be a good look if you don’t want a tile that will date too quickly.
How to choose the right tile layout
Lay some honed limestone
A classic pale limestone is a beautiful look in a bathroom. The pale colour adds an impression of light and space. Real limestone also feels lovely barefoot when you’re getting out of the bath: smooth and not too cold. However, as limestone is porous it will need to be carefully maintained and sealed to stop moisture getting in. A porcelain or ceramic option in a similar hue could be an alternative if this is a concern. Check the limestone you choose has a textured rather than ultra smooth finish to avoid slips and slides.
Get creative with hexagons
Square or rectangular aren’t the only options for tiles – how about going for a hexagonal shape instead? A subtle honeycomb pattern on your bathroom floor can have a modern Scandi appeal, and if you choose a neutral shade it won’t overwhelm the room. Choose more than one tone to add interest, or alternate two colours for a fun effect.
Remember, too, that porcelain tiles are generally more water-resistant than normal ceramic ones.
Enliven your home with hexagons
Make some mosaic magic
Mosaic tiles have been laid on floors since ancient times. They can look extremely pretty on bathroom floors, though you will need a steady hand to lay them. Even though they often come in sheets rather than individually, this is probably still a job for a professional – add in a pattern and you have another level of care to take. As is the case with all tiles, your floor will need to be perfectly flat. This bathroom shows how mosaics can be combined successfully with other types and sizes of tiles, and how a simple black-and-white design can be effective. The overall style of mosaic tiles is also moving on – these have a geometric, rather than typically square, shape for a more modern feel.
Put some bricks down
Classic metro, or brick-shaped, tiles have been the dominant style for kitchen and bathroom walls, but they can also work on floors. In this bold black bathroom, they’ve been extended from the walls to the floor. The glossy black finish adds a slick, upmarket feel. Always check with your supplier that your tiles will be safe and suitable for floors as well as walls, as slips in a wet bathroom can be nasty.
What floor tiles have you used in your bathroom and why? Share your experiences and pictures in the Comments section.