How to Choose the Right Tiles for Your Bathroom

Picking out your favorite tiles is fun, but how do you put them all together into a successful bathroom project?

The key to an easy, smooth, and enjoyable remodeling project is to learn how to choose the right tiles for your bathroom while you’re doing the initial design choices. The choice of tile is going to determine many different things, from the mood of the space to how easy it is to clean.

Ultimately, most luxury homeowners pick bathroom tile designs that also accentuate their own personal style and make a grand statement. I can confirm that you can pick the tiles you love without fear that it won’t look good in the end or work for you if you follow a few simple guidelines below.

#1 Choose an Uncomplicated Color Scheme

The choice of color is highly personal, but some rules of good design still apply. Don’t use more than three colors unless you’re doing a themed art mosaic. You don’t want to put too many dark tiles in a small bathroom because it will make the room feel cramped. You may also have to decide if you’re tiling the entire bathroom or just a small part of it, like a single border or wall. If your choice of color is too strong and overpowering for the entire bathroom, opt for a smaller presence.

Depending on what else is in the bathroom, you may have to go with color choices that work with other existing design elements in your bathroom. For instance, you would not want to pick a white subway tile for a bathroom that has natural wood elements and earthy tones. Instead, match your choice of colors to make sure all the elements of the design work together, like in this wood floor and garden tub with ledger tiled walls. 

#2 Consider Textured or Smooth Tiles

Tiles come in a variety of materials, from super smooth marbles, to more textured natural rock or ceramic tiles. Using tiles with engravings or etchings can also produce a dimensional aspect to your bathroom that gives it a very tactile feel. You can create texture via etchings, like in this Tedor tile.

or you can also get it by sculpting features on the tiles with a waterjet, like this Dimension tile.

Consider both the dramatic impact and look and feel and try to imagine it in the final bathroom design, like in this Barroque etched stone bathroom design in black and white.

However, even choosing different types of tiles and layouts can create a "visual" texture.

#3 Mix and Match Your Favorites

Maybe you want to put bright pink in your bathroom because that happens to be your favorite color. There is no wrong or right in personal designs, but you don’t have to use it entirely throughout the bathroom. By mixing and matching tiles, you can include even the most personal choices without fear of bringing in a feature that will go out of style quickly. By choosing at most, three tile choices, whether in color, style, or size, you can bring variety and longevity to your bathroom design. These tiles can be different colors, or the same color with different shapes and sizes, or both.

Take a look at this Univo Blossom Japanese Cherry Blossom mosaic with pink flowers. You really can have the any color you want in your design, when you mix and match them.

This design uses two colors and two different types of tiles. The green soho strips are dramatic and colorful while the basketweave mosaics are mostly white with green accents.

#4 Understand How to Create Ambiance with Tiles

What is the ambiance you want in your bathroom? Do you want it to be Greek spa-like experience? How about going Zen? Some people even want their bathrooms to have some quirkiness to them. Your choice of tile will impact the ambiance you want to create. Materials like glass and ceramics tend to have a more contemporary appeal, while marble is classic and can be used in formal and spa-like designs.

Even limestone tiles can create a calm, muted, Zen-like ambiance when used properly.

#5 Go for the Wow Factor

Bathrooms without a statement piece can seem uniform and uninteresting. Sometimes the statement piece is the garden tub or the marble vanity. However, mosaics and waterjet technology make it easy to add unique statement pieces that really personalize your design and set it apart. Take a look at this scroll mosaic bathroom floor. The design is eye-catching and elegant and instantly upgrades the bathroom.

Or, add a waterjet medallion to create a real showstopper.

#6 Know How You Plan to Use Your Bathroom

Will you be using the bathroom as a guest or kid's bathroom? This can impact the type of tiles you choose. A master bathroom or an upscale business bathroom tends to be lavish, with a lot of marble, to create extra comfort and luxury for its users. However, a kid's bathroom may require simpler choices that are easier to maintain and even give you the opportunity to add some quirkiness to your design, like in this Studio Quad Lagoon Mosaic bathroom floor.

Know who plans to use the bathroom and its main purpose, whether business or home estate, to make the appropriate tile choices.

Be Confident in Your Choice of Tiles

Take your time looking over multiple tiles to get an idea of what you prefer and thus learn how to choose the right tiles for your bathroom. At first, just seek out what resonates with you and then after you’ve made a few choices, start to narrow down the sizes, shapes, and designs possible with the type of tile you’ve chosen to include in your project. I hope the gallery of bathroom projects I’ve provided has stirred some of your creative instincts and helped you to see how fun it can be to design your dream bathroom and make it all your own.

Which of the designs were your favorites? How would you use the different factors described here to create your own bathroom tile designs? Let us know in the comments section. Also, please like and share this article with your friends and followers on social media to get even more insight into how to build the perfect bathroom design using tiles.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.