Your bathroom should reflect your personality and be a place of tranquil relaxation. By knowing a bit about color, you can choose the best color tiles for your bathroom to achieve the atmosphere and design you desire.
Bathroom tiles are available in a myriad of colors, shapes, and designs, allowing you to choose according to your style. To choose the best color tiles for your bathroom, pick three colors from the same palette.
What are the best color tiles for a bathroom? Color is all in the eye of the beholder, so mix and match according to your own sense of style. Colored bathroom tiles can transform a plain space into a rainbow!
To help you plan your bathroom tile project and stay on budget, be sure to download my free bathroom tile calculator.
And be sure to check out 21 Tips for Perfect Bathroom Tile, where I cover everything from bathroom tile materials and finishes to sizing, sealing and more!
What Are The Best Colors for Bathroom Tiles?
Before you choose your bathroom tile, ask yourself these questions:
- What mood do I want to create in my bathroom? (e.g. relaxed, inspired, playful)
- Am I trying to make my bathroom appear bigger or smaller?
- How much time am I willing to spend cleaning the bathroom? (e.g. daily vs weekly)
- Will I be selling or renting my home in the next five years?
Now that you have the answers, you’re ready to move on.
How to Use Colored Tiles to Create a Mood
Even if you choose a white or neutral-colored tile as your primary tile, you can use a secondary tile, or accent tile that contains a color.
As you probably know, numerous scientific studies have proven that different colors make us feel different ways—and advertisers use this knowledge to sell us products.
But you can also harness this color knowledge to create the vibe you want in your bathroom. Whether you want to create a Zen space or a passion palace, use color to your advantage.
White is the most popular color choice for bathrooms. It is a neutral canvas that allows you to easily change the atmosphere by updating the accent color. You could, for example, simply change the color of the towels and the bathmat for a new look. Whites and neutrals can also make a small bathroom feel bigger.
Greens have an earthy, natural feel to them. Some people believe that opting for greens, particularly olive greens, help keep a consistent tone with a plant-filled home. (And by the way, you can add bathroom plants to your space even if you have no natural light.)
Wooden tiles have become more popular in the last year or two. Some people love natural tones to their rooms. Wooden tiles are styled to look like wood grain and create a Zen bathroom feel.
Blues are reminiscent of water and associated with serenity and peacefulness.
We wouldn’t suggest that you use black for the entire room. When you do, it can make the room seem small and dark. However, blacks can have a luxury feel. When utilized in the right locations, black becomes a great accent color, making lighter areas of the room appear even brighter
A pop of red can give a passionate or romantic feeling to your bathroom.
This color is associated with royalty and can give a touch of luxury when used sparingly in an accent tile.
Using Tile to Create the Illusion of a Bigger or Smaller Bathroom
Be mindful that the colors and shades you choose can make your bathroom appear larger or smaller than it actually is.
Make a Small Bathroom Feel Bigger
Smaller bathrooms appear larger with white floors and walls – mix and match shades of white for an extra stunning effect! A small bathroom might not be appealing to a new homeowner, but it can look and feel larger by making a few adjustments to the space!
Neutrals and light colors that are not whites can also achieve the same enlarging effect:
- Creamy ivory
- Light grey
- Light pastels
Be sure to read 18 Small Tile Ideas to Make a Small Bathroom Feel Bigger.
Make a Big Bathroom Feel Smaller
If you have a large, cavernous bathroom that you want to feel cozier, consider going with a darker color palette. Dark colors condense the space. But there’s a risk of going too dark and getting a cave-like feeling.
Consider using dark, light and lighter tones of the same color. For example, navy blue wall tiles, royal blue vanity backsplash, and baby blue and white accent tiles.
Using the right tile size for your space can also help you create the illusion that you are striving for– a bigger or smaller bathroom. For much more information on how to pick the right size tiles, be sure to read my post What Size Tile Is Perfect for Your Bathroom.
Keep in mind that it’s not just the color of the bathroom tile that makes for a lighter, brighter and larger-feeling space; it’s also the tile finish. Glossier finishes are more reflective of light and will create a roomier feeling, while matte finishes can make a small bathroom feel even smaller.
For more on how tile finishes impact your bathroom decor read 12 Tile Finishes to Make Your Bathroom Design Pop!
THIS Color Tile Will Look Cleanest
You might find a type of tile that you fall in love with, but before you buy, remember that it’s important to stop to consider that some tiles may require you to scrub the bathroom every single day.
If you like to do other things with your time, then before you make your final bathroom tile choice, you will definitely want to consider which color tiles are easiest to keep clean and which color tiles require more cleaning.
There are a couple of factors that go into how easy a bathroom tile is to maintain. One of these factors is color.
Solid Colored Tiles
While any solid color tile is going to need regular cleaning, darker tiles won’t show dirt and marks like fingerprints quite as much as lighter-colored tiles. And if you have blonde hair, it will show up more against dark tile while brown or black hair will show up more on white tile.
Solid-colored tiles that are beige, tan, or oatmeal-colored are going to be best at hiding dirt, soap scum and fingerprints.
But the ultimate trick for easy maintenance is patterned tiles that have multiple colors or multiple shades of a color.
If your tile is polished or glazed it will be easier to keep clean than a textured or unglazed tile. Read my post 12 Tile Finishes to Make Your Bathroom Design Pop!
What Color Bathroom Tiles are Best for Rental or Sale
White bathrooms are popular, so if you are thinking of selling or renting out your home, a white bathroom is a great selling point! (Read about what a bathroom is worth on appraisal.)
Since white is a standard color, vanities and tiles are generally already in stock at your local Home Depot or can be ordered quickly.
When selling or renting, you want to go with neutral-colored bathroom tiles so that you don’t put off a potential buyer or renter just because they don’t have the same color preferences as you do.
How Many Colored Tiles Should I Use?
If you are creating a tiled pattern in the space, never choose more than three tiles from the same color palette. Any more and the room could look busy and gaudy. Your eye will be attracted to the jumble of colors, causing you to feel overwhelmed!
If your bathroom is your tranquil space, busy colors will not add to a feeling of serenity; instead you might feel irritated and on edge!
Consider choosing a single neutral color to use throughout the space and then add accent tiles to complement the look and add interest to the space. (More on accent tiles coming up soon.)
The Color Planning Rule
There is a term used in interior design known as the 60-30-10 rule, and it is one that you should follow quite closely when it comes to the design of your bathroom:
- 60% will be the main color for your bathroom. Most of your walls, furniture, etc. will be in this color.
- 30% will be a color that contrasts with the main color, although it shouldn’t be drastically different. For example, if you used grey as the main color for your bathroom, then a dark blue contrasts, but is not dreadfully different. They should complement each other, without the secondary color taking attention away from the main one.
- 10% will be the main accent color. This will vary drastically from the first 2 colors, so you want to ensure that you don’t use too much of it.
A lot of people will roughly follow this rule when they are planning the color scheme of their bathroom. Think about the types of furniture that you want to add to your bathroom, or the types of fabrics (e.g. towels) and work from that.
For example, the towels could be the accent color of your bathroom, while the floor and wall tiles could be a patterned tile that follows the primary and secondary color.
Other people may want to inject a bit of their accent color into the tiling, and we are sure there are plenty of styled tiles that you can use here.
Pay Attention to Complementary Colors
Complementary colors are two colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. Used together, they create a dynamic, eye-popping combination. Examples would be orange and blue, or green and red.
While a blue and orange bathroom may not sound appealing to you, what if you use the rule of proportions that we just discussed? You could have 60% cream-colored tiles, 30% blue, and 10% (your accent tile) with a pop of orange.
Use a palette generating app to play around with all the possible color combinations for your bathroom tiles. (My favorite is coolers, but I have to warn you, it’s addictive – you could lose many hours of your life to generating possible bathroom color palettes with this free app.)
Accent tiles are the perfect way to add color, style, and even a dash of mystery to your bathroom space! Using accent tiles allows you to break up large areas of neutral colors simply by using smaller, condensed tiles in different shapes and patterns.
Create a feature or an eye-catching focal point in the space. Add tile strips or mosaics to the wall behind the washbasin, or add a funky design border to the floor!
As accent tiles are available in a myriad of styles, colors, and patterns, a few tiles can go a long way to changing the look and feel of your bathroom space without breaking the bank! How to Choose Bathroom Accent Tiles is full of great ideas on how to use accent tiles in your bathroom!
The color of the tile grout is often overlooked as a means of bringing subtle or vibrant color into the bathroom space.
Traditionally, the color of the grout was matched to the tile, but modern homes use a variety of colors to enhance or improve the look and feel of the space.
Grout can be used as a simple and elegant way to bring the color scheme throughout the space:
- Match wall grout color with the color of the floor tiles
- Pair dark floor tiles and white wall tiles with grout matching the color of the floor tiles
- Darker grout is easier to keep clean! Pale grey, instead of white, hides the dirt on your floor grout!
For great ideas on using colored grout in your bathroom, read through my bathroom tile and grout guide!
The Best Color Tiles for Your Bathroom
While white is the most popular and most often used color in the bathroom, now that you know how to use color, don’t be shy! Pick bathroom tiles that will help you create a haven in your home.
Choose what suits you and the mood you are trying to create in your space – the bathroom is your sanctuary and should offer you the peace you are looking for at the end of the day!
And if you’re about to embark on a bathroom remodel, be sure to download my Save Big $$$ Cheat Sheet. You’ll get designer hacks that can literally help you save thousands of dollars on your project. Just enter your info below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.