The Latest Bathroom Tile Trends

From affordable basics to high-end custom designs, today’s tile possibilities can be overwhelming. Here, we spotlight fresh tile trends that represent the best of what the market has to offer.
By: Lisa Frederick

Photo By: Patrick Edmiston, Photo courtesy of Everitt & Schilling Tile Co.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Bisazza

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Nemo Tile Company

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Nemo Tile Company

©Stuart Watson

Photo By: Karyn Millet ©Karyn R. Millet

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Daltile

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Daltile

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Armstrong Flooring

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Daltile

Reclaimed Wood

We’ve seen leather, metal and other nontraditional surfaces storm the tile world in recent years. Now wood gets its turn in the spotlight. The Horsetooth tile collection from Everitt & Schilling Tile Co., with staggered dimensions and natural variations in color and grain, lends a note that’s at once organic and modern.

Graphic Mosaic Treatments

Instead of scattering mosaic tiles across a backsplash or shower stall in a random pattern, try a more intentional approach. Carlo Dal Bianco's Windows design for Bisazza anchors the bath with a grid motif that reads strong but not severe.

Faux Marble

Stunning as it can be in a bathroom, true marble also has several strikes against it. It’s delicate, care-intensive, prone to staining and astronomically expensive. Enter the Marvel porcelain tile collection, which, thanks to today’s tile-making technology, recreates the intricate veining and depth of marble so faithfully that it’s hard to tell the difference. For a luxe look on a smaller budget, this is the way to go.

Three-Dimensional Effect

Think you’re seeing things? You’re not the only one. These tiles from the Materia Project collection take on a raised, cobbled look that gives the space an appealing visual texture. Tiles with a relief design, either real or trompe l’oeil, add a tactile element that engages the eye.

A Little Moroccan Vibe

Graceful silhouettes. Move over, subway tile and square glass mosaics. The newest tile styles sport gentle curves and undulating, elegant shapes that seem to ripple over the walls. This Arabesque tile from Walker Zanger’s new Tuileries collection showcases a decidedly feminine form, set off to optimum advantage by the high-gloss finish.

Honed Finishes

Gloss and glitz, from shimmering mosaics to shiny metals, usually get all the attention when it comes to tile finishes. But matte, honed finishes — quiet as a whisper, yet with their own distinctive presence — deserve a turn in the spotlight as well. Use them to enhance the softness of a traditional bath or warm up a modern one.

Wood Look

Here’s the opposite side of the coin: porcelain, ceramic and other materials crafted to mimic the appearance of natural wood, which isn’t always as durable in high-moisture spaces. These tiles, from the Daltile Travertine collection, resemble wooden planks, thanks to careful graining and shading.

Large-Format Tiles

Penny tiles and tiny hexagons have their place, but today’s tiles are living large. Overscale versions, such as this collection from Daltile, create a smooth, sleek look, thanks to fewer joints and grout lines. It also feel less busy than smaller tile installations, and it makes for an easier transition into an adjacent space.

Engineered Materials

It’s hard to improve on nature, but today’s engineered surfaces just might have done it. This tile collection from Armstrong Flooring, made of a composite that contains crushed limestone and other materials, is extra-durable, not to mention comfortable underfoot and warmer to the touch than real stone. Even better: It maintains a natural look.

Restrained Accents

Not sold on all of the bolder tile options that flood the market? Cloak your bath in neutral field tile, and add just a hint of color and pattern. Accent tiles from Daltile run in a narrow strip around this bathroom, breaking up the solid block of white tile without shouting too loudly.

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