5 Tips for Choosing Bathroom Tile

Lately I’ve been up to my ears in choosing bathroom tile.  We are smack in the middle of renovating the kids bathroom and I’ve also been helping my aunt who is completely renovating all 3 of her bathrooms at (almost) the same time.

That means that in the last few months I’ve selected tile for 4 bathrooms.  One in my own home and 3 in my aunt’s home.  Selecting tile for someone else has taught me a lot about how to explain how to select tile for your bathroom and I’ve come up with 5 tips that I hope will help you if you ever decide to tackle your bathroom.


So here are my 5 tips for choosing bathroom tile

5 tips for selecting bathroom tile

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1. Pick your must have tile first.

Typically when we start a bathroom renovation we have one tile that we dream of including in our design.  Sometimes it is a really special or unique accent tile and sometimes it is as simple as knowing that you want white subway tile.  Either way, take that dream tile and use it as the starting point for the other tile you will choose for your bathroom design.

2. Try to keep it to no more than 3 different tiles.

Taking your first (must have) choice as a starting point, use it to make the decisions for the other tiles you will include in your design.  If your must have is a really unique color or pattern and is going to be the focal point of your design, pull more subtle colors from it to use in your accent tiles.  If however your first choice is really plain (like a white subway tile) you may want to add an element of interest with a colorful accent tile or even a smaller scale white penny tile to change it up and add interest.

Typically you will choose a floor tile, a wall tile for the shower/ tub surround or even all of the walls in your bathroom, and an accent tile that will be used as a focal point.  This is just a guideline. Don’t be afraid to break the rules a little bit.




3. Stick to one show stopper.

There are so many beautiful tiles out there and a bathroom is a perfect place to show off some of your personality and take a risk with a fun color or pattern on your tiles.  However, if you are going to go for it, keep it to one show stopper.  This will make your look timeless and really create the wow factor that you are going for since it won’t be competing with the other elements in the room.  (Many of these super special tiles can be pricey, but if you are working in a small area like a bathroom, they might just be the splurge you need since you won’t need very many square feet.)

Your show stopper area can be big or small, it’s up to you.

The good majority of this bathroom is done in pretty basic white tile, but they added a wow factor with this beautiful tile at the top.

blue border up top


Again the colors in this bathroom are pretty neutral, but the focal point is definitely the back wall of this shower.focal shower wall



I love the idea of going with a really fun tile on the floor of a bathroom and keeping the rest of the space neutral.beatuiful floor tile


4. Take maintenance into consideration.

I don’t like to clean.  I especially don’t like to clean the tub and shower so when choosing tile for these very wet areas you will probably want to go with porcelain or ceramic tile since they are virtually maintenance free.  (You will want to double check to see if they need to be sealed.)  Tiles make from natural stone require more maintenance and do have to be sealed.  They are definitely more pours so they tend to hold on to dirt and grim more.  If you are wanting to add texture with stone, it may be a good idea to use it on the floor or in a less wet area.  Lastly, glass tile is so pretty and makes a great wall or accent tile.  It is super slippery, so it doesn’t work well on the floor.

5. Consider scale.

Large scale tiles are definitely on trend when it comes to bathroom floors right now.  If you choose to go that direction, you can use the same tile cut in smaller sizes in a different area of the bathroom.  For example if you use 12 x 24 tiles on the floor, you can use the same tile on the bathroom floor in 2 x 2s to continue the color across the entire floor, but creating a more slip free shower floor.

Our choice for the kid’s bathroom:

For the kid’s bathroom I wanted to go with something classic and something very light and airy.  There are no windows in this bathroom so I wanted something that would bounce around as much light as possible.  As soon as I saw this tumbled hexagon tile at The Tile Shop I knew we had to use it on the floor.  This was my must have tile and would also act as the show stopper since it is a little bit unexpected and has a lot of pattern.

I also knew that I wanted to do grey cabinets to keep with the color scheme of my home, so we ended up choosing a larger than normal scale (4 x 8) matte white subway tile for the shower surround.  It comes in both a glossy and matte finish and after getting both samples we are going to go with the matte.

We ordered all of our tile from The Tile Shop and the thing I loved most was that I could shop online, have samples delivered right to me and then place my order.

I plan to add color with paint and accessories and I’m excited to have a bathroom that my kids won’t outgrow.  Stay tuned for more on this renovation coming soon!

bathroom tile selection

A big thanks to The Tile Shop for sponsoring this post by providing product.  They were absolutely fantastic to work with and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an easy way to select quality tile.




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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home (formerly TinySidkeick,) where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

47 thoughts on “5 Tips for Choosing Bathroom Tile

  1. Truly extremely cool site. It is very important to choosing bathroom tile which are ceramic in nature. It is costly among the rest but the material is best for the use.

    Keep on working, great job!

  2. I really like your tip about making sure that you take maintenance into consideration when it comes to choosing a tile for your bathroom. My husband and I have been wanting to redo our master bath for a while now so installing new tile would be really great. We will have to keep these tips in mind so that we can find the right one, thanks!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You are so welcome, Aria! Happy you found some helpful tips and good luck with your master bath project!

  3. great piece of article,very informative. I believe it is important to choose to the right tile color as well I have kids in home, whenever we install white tiles or floor we end up getting stains every six months from the installation period, i wish there could be anti stain floor tiles in the market. we are going to have black tiles installed in home, particularly in bathroom area this year.
    thanks for posting nice tips

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks so much, Sara, for your comment. I know what you mean about the kiddos; mine make plenty of messes too!

  4. Thanks for providing such a great information on tiles .It is surely very helpful to peoples who are not aware of using tiles for there homes or bathroom .

  5. We’ve been stumbling around the internet and found your blog along the way.

    We love your work! What a great corner of the internet 🙂

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