Tips for Choosing Bathroom Tile

Beth Asaff
Porcelain and Glass Tile Bathroom

Coming up with bathroom tile ideas is easy when you consider style and function together at once. Your bathroom gets a lot of use, so make sure it holds up for years both visually and functionally.

The Function of Tile

Tile is a fantastic floor and wall covering for your bathroom. Not only does it help keep moisture out of walls and subfloors, it can help stop you from slipping and provides a ton of visual interest to the space.

Before you begin selecting tile for your bathroom, keep these things in mind:

Slip Factor

When you are selecting your bathroom floor tile, make sure consider the slip factor or how slippery this tile will be when it's wet. While a sealer can be applied to any surface to help increase its slip resistance, there are a few products that are naturally slip resistant, including:

  • Natural stone
  • Mosaic tiles
  • Textured porcelain tiles

Maintenance Factor

Think about who's using this bathroom and what their habits are before you purchase tile. Natural stone tiles require sealing and care that may not make them appropriate for a child's bathroom. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand clean up easily with just a damp mop, making them perfect for high traffic spaces.

Style Factor

Never feel that you have to sacrifice style for function. Tiles today come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, textures and styles which range from high to low maintenance. Look for glass tiles, leather look tiles and even pre-sealed, waxed stone tiles to complement any space.

Some Bathroom Tile Ideas

If you're stuck for inspiration, or just don't know where to begin to design the bathroom of your dreams, try some of these ideas on for size.

Small Bathrooms

If your bathroom is small, think big. Large tiles have fewer grout lines than smaller ones, which helps to visually widen the room. Pair up a 12-inch floor tile with a matching color tile on the walls to further help open up the space. Using one color throughout the room helps draw the eye upward in an unbroken line, visually enlarging the area.

Kid's Bathrooms

If you're designing a bathroom for children, keep two things in mind. Children don't stay children forever, and they tend to make a mess with water, toothpaste and soap. So stay away from cutesy images and decorative tiles that can tie the room to a small child, and keep the tile as low maintenance as possible.

Look for brightly color glass tiles, or porcelain mosaic penny tiles in fun shapes and colors. Bright colors can keep the space looking young without looking childish, while glass and porcelain will ensure only a quick mop is required to clean up the space.

Bathroom Tile

Modern Bathrooms

If you're hoping to make a statement in the bathroom with contemporary design, you're in luck. Tile manufacturers have embraced modern trends in design, taking their cues from Italian designers. Look for tiles that mimic fabric, glass, leather and metal, and hot new shades of bright red and lime green. Don't be afraid to mix materials either; a leather look floor tile can be paired with a deep red glass wall tile for magazine worthy style. Complete the look with some colored fixtures to make your bathroom as stylish as the rest of your home.

Formal Bathrooms

Have a formal master bathroom or powder room? Take polished marble to the next stage with some new color combinations in mosaics. Instead of traditional black and white basketweaves, look for cream and white marble or honey onyx set with a rosso laguna accent. Pair a polished mosaic floor with a 12-inch polished marble wall tile by picking up the floor's accent color for formal design with a modern twist.

Large Bathrooms

If you have a large space, why not select an area to highlight? Create mosaic rugs in the floor in front of the shower and vanity. Mosaics are inherently slip proof with their many grout lines, so placing mosaic rugs in strategic areas can do away with the need of a bath mat.

If there is a freestanding tub in the bathroom, choose mosaic wallpaper or a mural to put behind it. Large tubs tend to draw the eye, so give the viewer something else to look at as well.


Bathroom tile ideas are endless when you combine the style of your home with the function of the space. Look to the user along with the overarching style to ensure your bathroom suits all your needs.

Tips for Choosing Bathroom Tile