8 cloakroom tile ideas for a WC with wow factor

If there’s one room of the house you can go all out with your tile choices, it’s a cloakroom. Because while anyone who has ever bought a new-build knows this smallest of rooms can be an afterthought, design-wise, its size and position in the house actually opens it up to myriad decorating possibilities.

As a cloakroom is often off a hallway and detached from other rooms, it’s a great spot for style experimentation. Your cloakroom tile ideas can be more adventurous without impacting a pared-back look elsewhere. And because you only need to cover a limited surface area, your budget may stretch to those fancy tiles you couldn’t afford in a larger kitchen or bathroom.

And as it’s a room that your visitors will use more than most, it’s a place to impress. You may therefore want your tile choices to reflect your approach to design – be it smart and sophisticated, cute and cosy, whimsical or downright daring. Need more tile inspiration? We’ve literally got your cloakroom covered.

1. Juxtapose different styles

If you’re looking to go big in your small loo, this maximalist cloakroom tile idea is for you. “I’m all for pattern clashing,” says Grazzie Wilson, head of creative at Ca’ Pietra. “You do you. Just aim to have a thread of the same shade for the best result.”

Geometric tiles paired with blue tiles and cream vanity unit
Kaleidoscope Skipper and Preen Plumeology Verdigris tiles by Ca’ Pietra

In this striking space, Ca’ Pietra’s bold geometric Kaleidoscope Skipper tiles on the wall and floor clash beautifully with the curved, scalloped Preen Plumeology Verdigris design above. Because the darker blue of the latter is colour-matched to detail in the former pattern, the look is bold but not confused.

2. Smarten things up with herringbone

As we’ve also pointed out in our latest stair carpet trends rundown, there’s something eminently sophisticated about herringbone – whether in jacket form, carpet form or here, as a cloakroom tile idea.

Blue-grey cloakroom with grey marble-look herringbone tiles
Here, grey wood-look herringbone tiles are paired with the Riviera Cloakroom Basin by Burlington

In this dark and handsome bathroom, pale wood-effect tiles are positioned in a chevron pattern to mimic the weave of fabric, softening and brightening the space, and highlighting the basin. It also chimes with the parquet wood floor, tying everything together.

3. White tiles let a wallpaper shine

If you’re looking to use a bold bathroom wallpaper, tiles are the perfect companion, protecting the walls and floor from splashes where needed.

Feature wallpaper and chevron white tiles are paired with the Alo Cloakroom Unit in Sage Green, £500, Crosswater

Using a simple white tile will allow a bold paper design to pop. But we love how the floral motif has also been echoed in the choice of floor tile. “Combining bold patterns in a downstairs cloakroom is a great way to add interest in what can be a dull room,” says Jo Oliver-Singh, director, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. “Don’t be afraid to use dark colours to create drama and have fun with quirky wallpapers.   

4. Play with pastels

Last year’s Barbie movie did a fine job of feeding our obsession for all things pastel – and it seems we’re not tiring of that ‘Miami Beach’ vibe any time soon. Also, according to Ca’ Pietra’s Grazzie Wilson, it’s a colour scheme that works wonders in a cloakroom.

“If you prefer a more pared-back, light and airy approach to your cloakroom, then choosing pastel colours and tiles can be a great option, adding an understated simplicity that is hard to match,” she says. “Our favourite combo is mixing pinks and greens together as they naturally work so well when paired and you create interest by having more than one shade adorning your walls and floors.” 

Cloakroom with toilet, pink basin and shelves and green tiles
Pumice tiles in Off White and Tunstall Fluted Plain tiles in Fern, Ca’ Pietra. Image courtesy of Spaces by Design.

When it comes to bringing these colours into your bathroom, you can choose tiles, paint or a combination.

“To go really big on the décor idea, look to see if you can purchase tiles of the same size and shape but perhaps with a contrast, either with added texture or a different finish,” Grazzie says.

“This nifty idea is a great way of bringing an unexpected but sophisticated aesthetic to the room without having to add in further colours. See how this owner has used our Tunstall tile in both a fluted and plain finish and alternated by row. Pink shelves and a pink basin bring in the additional pastel shades.”

5. Embrace monochrome

Our next cloakroom tile idea is this writer’s personal favourite – a maximalist take on monochrome. There is always a danger that working in black and white can lead to a finish that’s flat and sterile. The trick to avoiding this? Using pattern and texture –  ideally both.

Chevron tiles in monochrome cloakroom
Zebra Black White Striped Tiles, £34.95, Walls and Floors

In this bold look by Walls and Floors, a striking chevron is juxtaposed with swirling marble on the other walls and countertop. Another great thing about this look is that it’s really easy to add a pop of colour when you feel like it through accessories like towels and plants.

6. Match walls and floors

Continuing your tiles from the floor and up the walls is a great way to make a small cloakroom feel more spacious. “You could instantly make your cloakroom seem bigger still by having your basin and toilet mounted off the floor, as then there is nothing to break up the flow of your tiles,” suggests Grazzie.

White bathroom with pink patterned wall and floor tiles
Folly and the Garden Flamingo Tree Cabana tiles, Ca’ Pietra

“For the floor, hardwearing porcelain is the best bet,” adds Grazzie. “Make sure to find a tile that has an R rating of at least R10, which signifies it is slip resistant and suitable for bathrooms. For a wet room, you’ll need R11 to be extra safe.”

7. Try terrazzo

Terrazzo finishes have had a renaissance in recent years, and if you’re looking for an Italian-inspired designer look, they’re perfect for a cloakroom. Terrazzo is traditionally made from concrete with marble, stone and glass added to create those distinctive flecks, though companies like Hyperion Tiles have faithfully recreated the look in more affordable and practical porcelain.

Terrazzo tiles with orange pedestal basin
Minoli Viceversa Veneziano 80×80 tiles, £77.95 per sq m, Hyperion Tiles

When thinking about the wall colour to use with such a design, we’d always suggest picking one shade seen in the flecks and matching to that. Matching to the background colour also works, but doesn’t have quite the same impact.

8. Choose large format tiles for practicality

Using the same tiles on the walls, floor and countertop will enhance the feeling of space by creating a continuous look. And by picking a large-format design, such as this marble-effect porcelain slab tile by Stone & Ceramic Warehouse, you can simplify your cleaning routine, too.

Cloakroom with marble tiled countertop and black herringbone tiled walls
Coliseum Arabascato honed marble-effect porcelain slab tile, from £156 per sq m, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. Image courtesy of Kallums Bathrooms

“Large-format designs mean fewer grout lines, and therefore less maintenance and cleaning,” says Jo Oliver-Singh. “Slab tiles are ideal for creating a striking, high-end look, and can often make smaller rooms appear larger thanks to their seamless appearance.”