9 Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms

Doing renovations on your bathroom can be really exciting, but it can also be really stressful trying to decide on paint colors, fixtures, and the most important (and permanent) element — tile. Especially when dealing with a bathroom on the smaller side, the tile will either make or break your design. Shape, size, and color are all important factors to take into consideration. And while it may seem like a big decision, finally settling on tile will make designing the rest of the space a breeze. From accent walls, patterned tiles, and tile that goes from floor-to-ceiling, here are 10 ways to use tile in your small bathroom that will leave a big impression.

1. Arrange subway tiles in an unexpected herringbone pattern to get the most from basic materials.

Don't feel like you have to lay your white subway tiles horizontally. Change things up and stack them in a herringbone pattern, like this space by Dayka Robinson Designs, to add an extra dose of visual interest to your small bathroom. Keep things simple with dark gray grout to maintain a modern minimalist vibe that will flow with the rest of your house.

2. Opt for small scale tiles to make the bathroom feel bigger.

Follow in the footsteps of the blog The Happy Tudor and stick with smaller tiles to make your tiny bathroom feel larger. The multiple grout lines between the black and white penny tiles trick your eyes and make you think there's actually more square footage in front of you.

3. Save the more expensive tiles for the small details.

If completely outfitting your bathroom in marble tile is out of your renovation budget, use those tiles as accent pieces instead. This bathroom uses them as a backsplash for a built-in shower shelf, but they'd also look just as chic covering the floor of your small shower. This is a classic example of less is more.

4. Choose black-on-black floor tiles to put a modern spin on a classic design.

Update your tiny but timeless bathroom by opting for black floor tiles and equally dark grout that will help ground a mostly white palette. Choose a fun shaped tile, like the hexagons in this bathroom by Simplified Bee, for a modern spin that won't overwhelm the small space. Add other touches of black through accessories like curtains and toothbrush holders to give the bathroom balance.

5. Create an tiled accent wall behind the vanity.

If you don't have a lot to work with in your bathroom, it's important to make a big impact where you can. Take advantage of the ample empty space behind your bathroom vanity to create an eye-catching accent wall that you'll be able to design the rest of the room around.

6. Go for a high-impact design with floor-to-ceiling tile.

Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms
credit: Home Depot

Use your limited square footage to your advantage and go big with floor-to-ceiling tile. Pick a lighter and brighter tile with variations to reflect light, like this room by Home Depot, to avoid making your windowless bathroom feel drab and dark. This is the one time you'll be glad your bathroom is small.

7. Patterned tiles add depth to a small bathroom.

Even though your bathroom is small, you can still rock the patterned tile trend. Select something on the smaller side to add depth and make the space appear longer. Keep the paint colors within the same neutral tones as the patterned floor tiles for a cohesive look.

8. Extend the tile to include the outside of the tub for a built-in look.

When purchasing materials for bathroom renovation be sure to pick up enough tile to also include the outside of your bathtub, too. By outfitting your tub in the same tile that's on your walls, like this bathroom by Claire Cousins Architects, you'll give the space a custom built-in look. Stick with a classic tile and grout combo for a timeless look you won't be sick of in six months.

9. Accentuate your bathroom's architectural details with eye-catching tile.

Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms
credit: Jean Stoffer

If your bathroom has any interesting architectural details, make them stand out! Accentuate your small bathroom's quirkier features with bold tile to make it the star of the space. Soon you'll be searching for fun details to highlight in every room.