Remember the craze for small mosaic tiles? Now the top tile trend is for petite hexagonal or penny tiles. Here’s why
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For a bathroom to remain timelessly fashionable, it’s usually a good idea to stick to tiles that are fairly neutral and won’t date. But that doesn’t mean they have to be boring: small-scale hexagonal tiles add texture, pattern and a touch of glamour. Penny tiles are the softer-edged sister to this style and can give such a similar effect that both are included here.
Play with scale
This bathroom is all about scale-play and clever use of tone. The tiny hexagonal tiles give the bathroom floor the satisfying texture of a deep-pile carpet while complementing – but not competing with – the larger, marble-effect tiles on the walls.
The black tile border around the edge? A neat, eye-catching detail, just like a tailor might use with a contrasting thread on a hem.
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Build the perfect backdrop
There aren’t quite enough words to describe how perfect this bathroom scene is: a statement basin shown off by the subtly stylish background of a wall of hexagonal tiles.
What to match with it? A plain, toning floor that doesn’t vie for attention, black taps to add a bespoke, contemporary edge, and the simple, frameless mirror that echoes the shape of the basin.
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Fashion a style clash
At first glance, this is a fairly traditional-looking bathroom, but just check out the floor: these tiny hexagonal tiles are pure 21st century style.
If you’re considering creating a similar look for your floor, heed this warning: you need a lot of grout – and the best advice is to use one in a darker colour, because white won’t stay white for long.
Add a glimmer of glamour
There’s something particularly appealing about hexagonal tiles with a dash of mother-of-pearl or glitter about them, but if you’re going to use them wall-to-wall, ensure you match them with plain surfaces that don’t compete for attention.
This vanity console is the perfect companion for the tiles, its glossy surface standing up to – but not out-shining – the tiles above it.
Plump for period style
Hexagonal tiles are fabulous in an industrial, 1930s-style bathroom. Here, they’re the perfect foil for the larger, plainer, metro-look tile pattern, the Crittall-alike shower screen and the factory-feel basin. And the way they’re divided to create a faux shower tray is subtle genius.
As for the gold taps and shower fittings? They make a clever, contemporary clash with the otherwise utilitarian feel.
Just as you might introduce fabrics with patterns and motifs in different scales to create interest and layering in a living room or bedroom, you can do the same with tiles in a bathroom, the smallest of which are these hexagonal tiles. And you needn’t use them in swathes – a small splash here or there can have more impact.
Want a clever way to make a narrow shower look much more interesting? The answer is to use tiles with a tiny scale. Doing so will add texture and pattern that recedes rather than advances (like actual patterned tiles would), a neat space-stretching trick. These also contrast beautifully with the smooth sheen of the storage unit.
Tiles aren’t the only material that suits hexagons – they work on wallpaper designs, too. So why not match the two, to double the effect? If you’re going for this look, keep the finish contemporary – and committed – by choosing plain tiles and a strong accent shade for the woodwork to complement the wallpaper.
If you’re worried about splashes from the basin, do as these homeowners have done and install a barely there glass or Perspex splashback so as not to detract from the wallpaper.
Like a nautical feel in your bathroom? This tiny shower room, with its wall-to-wall and floor tiles – all hexagons –has a cabin-like feel.
If you’re trying this look – along with the grey grouting – at home, invest in effective lighting, break up the tiles with a large mirror and paint the ceiling bright white to reflect the light.
Create a feature wall
We’re all familiar with focal feature walls in living rooms and bedrooms, but they’re often overlooked in bathrooms, where they’re very useful for creating defined zones.
Here, shiny hexagonal tiles transform what could be a plain shower area into one that’s as pretty as a picture – even the dividing wall has a touch of glamour.
Which is your favourite way to use these teeny tiles? Share your pick in the Comments section.