5 Tips to Help You Choose the Perfect Bathroom Tile [+ Our Tile Choices!]

5 great tips to help you choose the perfect bathroom tiles! Great design tips for any bathroom renovation! Long subway tiles, wood grain tile, and black hexagon will make for an amazing combination here! Choosing tile for a space is simultaneously my favourite and worst favourite part of a renovation. I love roaming through all of the different aisles dreaming of possibilities, but I worry constantly about my design choices.  So I’m sharing a few tips that will hopefully help you avoid some of the tile anxiety I had.
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1. Start by choosing a colour palette for the space. This Colour Palettes Pinterest board has some of my favourite colour palette ideas to get you started. There are three important things to keep in mind when choosing a palette: the size of your space, your design style, and the style of your fixtures. It is often advised to use softer, more neutral colours in a small space, and darker ones in a large space. But, there are always exceptions, like this beautiful dark powder room from House of Hipsters.

Or this dark walled Powder Room from Fresh Crush.

2. Consider the looks and functions of different tile materials. Materials like stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile could be a good choice if you’re installing tile on counters or floors. Ceramic is ideal for damp environments, easy to clean, and less expensive than porcelain, which is also great for damp bathrooms. Glass tile could be great for a wall or backsplash. It is a more expensive tile,  so it’s wise to use it in a space where you only need a small amount.

I love the ceramic tile choices in this beautiful bathroom by Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.

3. Choose one statement tile. Those bold patterns or bright colours certainly draw your eye into a space, but they can also get pricey, or overwhelming. Sticking to one bold statement tile will keep your budget down, but still give your space that big impact.

I LOVE the way the bold patterned tile was used in this bathroom floor by Place of My Taste.

Or the way that The Weathered Fox put a line of accent tile in her shower.

4. Consider the size of the tiles. If you are doing the tiling yourself larger tiles can be more cumbersome to place, but there is a lot less work in back buttering the tiles, and grouting between them. Minimizing grout lines also keeps the space more waterproof. If you are choosing a grout that will stand out, like a grey grout against white tile, you may want to choose smaller tiles to have a larger visual impact, but those smaller tiles are a lot more work to lay.

These small tiles probably required a lot of time and grouting, but the tile choices on the shower walls and floors by Love & Renovations really speak to my sleek modern style!

5. Stick to three or four tile choices. I would recommend choosing three or four of tiles that fit in your design and colour palette and stopping there. For example, this could mean one tile for flooring, one for shower walls, and one for your backsplash. A fourth tile choice could be a coordinating floor tile in the shower, or an statement tile in the shower. I would always recommend taking a sample of the tile home to see it in your space. For this bathroom renovation, we actually rejected one tile after seeing it in the space, and decided to change our wall colour to suite our palette better after seeing everything together.

But of course there are exceptions! Kristina Lynne kept her Master Bathroom to two tile choices (one larger and one smaller) and it looks phenomenal!

After I wrote this post, I realized that almost all of my bathroom examples had subway tile somewhere, lol. Sorry about the lack of variety! Can you guess one of the tiles we are putting in our space is?! lol


Here’s what we are using in our Master Bathroom Renovation:

    1. Shower  Walls and Walls Behind Tub –  4″ x 16″ White Ceramic Tile (Brooklyn) [similar classic size]
    1. Shower Floor and Niches in Shower – 2″ Black Hexagons (Classic) [similar in white]
  1. Floor – 6″ x 32″ Wood Grain Tile (Amazonia) [similar]

If you are local to Northern Alberta, I picked up all of my tile at Tile Ideal – which also has amazing customer service! You can see all of the tiles here. Sorry friends, I absolute could not find any links to online stores with the exact tiles we chose :( I guess they were too unique!


Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4
Week 5 / Week 6 / Week 7 / Week 8
Week 9 / Week 10 (Final Reveal!)

What do you think of our choices? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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18 thoughts on “5 Tips to Help You Choose the Perfect Bathroom Tile [+ Our Tile Choices!]

  1. If you choose a larger format tile for the walls you may need to hire out the install. Installing the larger format tile on walls is really tricky and not at all forgiving. While it may take more time, smaller tile on the walls is an easier install for a home owner.

  2. Hey Lindi,

    I appreciate that you took a simple, how-to article by explaining the process step by step and how one can look for the various tile options.Selecting the best bathroom tile layout and more importantly, the correct bathroom tile is critical. And it is quite amazing to look for the different and unique tile designs for your bathroom.

    Thank you so much for great sharing.

  3. Great tips! I hadn’t thought about the effect of dark/light palettes depending on the size of the room – that’s especially helpful, thanks for sharing!

  4. I love these examples. I think the contrast in these photos between dark and light is really interesting and beautiful for tile. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Wow, it’s interesting that you mentioned using neutral colors for a small space and darker ones for a large space. My aunt is looking to get some tile in her master bathroom so she can have a change with the new year. I think I will talk to her about considering where dark and light tiles will look the best.

  6. Great list! Currently planning for our home as well for the interior designs. So as of now, trying to imagine what will our bathroom look like. And seeing this list surely gave me some inspiration. Thank you for sharing them!

  7. I am very glad that you mention types of materials along with the other tips in this piece. Not only are the size and space a huge part of renovating the bathroom but, if you use brick or tile instead of another stone then it could change the overlook of the room.

  8. Thank you! This is super informational, In next month we’re thininking about to start buidl our home and there are SO many decisions to make! Love your tile pics!

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