Written by Charlotte Luxford

Patterned bathroom tiles: 11 inspiring looks

Patterned bathroom tiles are a must-have for any modern renovation, thanks to the likes of Instagram and Pinterest. The constant sharing of innovative designs means we’ve become bolder with our choices for the home’s smallest room. Find out how to mix patterns, textures and colour to add wow to your scheme…

1. Geo mosaics

It’s often said that small tiles don’t work in a compact bathroom, as multiple grout lines look too busy. But if you’ve fallen in love with some beautiful mosaics, limit them instead to certain zones, such as a basin splashback, the shower area or in alcoves, reserving larger tiles for the rest of the space. Check out these Haven Mosaics marble tiles in Columbus from Claybrook (£199.94 sqm). The Lunar MarbleForm basin and Midtown wall-mounted basin mixer in Matt Black are also from Claybrook.

Patterned bathroom tiles on basin with marble worksurface

Photo: Claybrook

2. Contrasting recess tiles

Break up a shower wall and add further visual interest by tiling niche areas in a different design. Contrast the size, pattern and colour of your tile design for maximum effect – here, black hexagonal mosaics with white grout lines add a dynamic edge to the herringbone Avebury ceramic gloss tile in Milk White from Ca’Pietra.

white tiles shelves with bathroom patterned

Photo: Ca’Pietra

3. Diagonal striped tiles

Make a real statement by running bold diagonal striped patterned bathroom tiles from head to toe. Not only does covering both walls and floors in the same pattern have a seamless wet-room effect, it also creates the illusion of more space – something that can be particularly effective for compact bathrooms where you still want the wow factor. Green Bert & May Alalpardo porcelain tiles with Versailles large console, both Fired Earth.

Green and white striped patterned bathroom tiles

Photo: Fired Earth

4. Square tile patterns

Square tiles don’t have to be formulaic – be inventive by playing with pattern to create your very own bespoke tile splashback. Handcrafted Zellige tiles (a glazed terracotta tile originally handmade Morocco) are on-trend right now, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, it’s a great way to make budget-friendly off-the-shelf tiles look more expensive too. Check out the pearl-like sheen of Original Style’s Metropolitan Field ceramic glazed tiles, available in various colours.

patterned bathroom tiles in pastel colours over wooden bath

Photo: Original Style

5. Biophilic bathroom tiles

Biophilia is a huge trend in interior design at the moment, fuelled largely by the desire to reconnect with nature after spending so much time cooped up indoors during the pandemic. But the soothing, healing qualities of plants have long been known, making this a trend that’s likely to hang around for a while. Ca’ Pietra’s Mermaid’s Garden matt porcelain tiles come in an eye-catching hexagonal design featuring plants, seaweed and coral on a rich emerald green backdrop.

Ca' Pietra Mermaid Garden tiles

Photo: Ca’ Pietra

6. Victorian-style bathroom tiles

Heritage tile styles are ideal for period homes with original features. Classic looks include chequerboard, geometrics and star patterns. Its first collaboration with Europe’s largest conservation charity, the Amtico Décor x National Trust collection blends decorative geometric designs with traditional styling and a modern look. The Victorian Star flooring comes in four colourways (pictured below is Chester).

Amtico star bathroom tiles

Photo: Amtico

7. Mix up your tile styles

Bathrooms can feel one dimensional if you play it too safe, so keep it interesting by experimenting with tile formats, patterns and textures. A good way to help decide which tiles go where is to consider zones of the room, such as using crackle-glaze metro tiles for the shower wall and a plainer tile for the bathing area. Either keep everything in the same tonal scale or go for complementary colours. Here, Dyroy glazed ceramic tiles in Aqua are paired with Contrasti Tappeto glazed porcelain tile in Ottanio, both from CTD Tiles.

patterned bathroom tiles on floor and wall with freestanding bath

Photo: CTD Tiles

8. Monochrome bathroom tiles

Black and white bathrooms have made a comeback thanks to their touch of glam and striking style. Blend timeless and contemporary designs for a characterful look; here, on-trend terrazzo tiles add a contemporary, graphic edge, while large-format marble-effect floor tiles keep it calm and sophisticated. Mizuki Ink Terrazzo Effect ceramic tiles with Cappella Gloss Carrara Marble Effect porcelain tiles, both from Walls and Floors.

Mosaic tiles with white units

Photo: Walls and Floors

9. Matchy-matchy

Working with a tight family bathroom or small en suite? A clever trick to make the room feel bigger is to run the same tiles on the floor and up the wall to give the illusion of a larger surface area. Use tiles that are at least 60 x 60cm for a streamlined, fuss-free look. Milan Polished Porcelain Floor Tiles from Tile Mountain.

Marble white tiles on floor and ceiling with white freestanding bath

Photo: Tile Mountain

10. Geometric tiles

For a playful look, try an alternative to the ubiquitous square or rectangular designs. Geometrics such as hexagons have had a huge surge in popularity and it’s not hard to see why – they are great for creating zoned areas around showers, vanity units and bathtubs, and adding that designer finishing touch. Utilise the unusual edges to create half-height borders and allow them to cascade down the walls for extra visual interest. Sunburst matt porcelain tiles in Sea Blue from Verona Group

blue patterned bathroom tiles on floor and ceiling

Photo: Verona Group

11. Textured bathroom tiles

In the rest of the home it’s easy to achieve tactility by layering soft furnishings – in bathrooms it’s harder, which is why tiles play a key part. Choose textured designs, especially those with raised, embossed or on-trend ribbed surfaces, alongside polished, honed and hand-finished finishes to keep things interesting. Amalfi Gold Wave Decor tiles with Amalfi Gold Polished Floor tiles, both from Tile Giant.

white tiles with swirls on walls and floor

Photo: Tile Giant


Patterned bathroom tiles: how to nail the look

As a starting point, choose your ‘feature tile’ first – one standout design, whether it’s a bright colour, interesting shape or unique pattern – and then opt for one or two complementary ‘accent tiles’. These should be neutral, plain or textured, as too many bold designs in a room will distract the eye.

Mosaics are great for creating eye-catching borders or zoning areas of the bathroom, while textured or patterned tiles can be used in contrast with plain designs or smooth surfaces above and below dado rail height to add another dimension. A simple metro tile is an inexpensive and versatile option for creating a luxury look – chevron and vertical stacking have become popular laying patterns that add personality; use a skinny or ‘finger’ tile for an ultra-modern edge.

Don’t forget about the details. Coloured grout is an affordable and easy way to add character, but remember to choose a mould-resistant grout and seal it to keep it fresh. In addition, pencil border tiles and metallic trims not only look slick, they also protect the edges of your tiles to give you a professional finish.


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