How to Pick The Perfect Bathroom Accent Tile

Choose Accent Tile for Bathroom

Picking the perfect accent tile for your bathroom can add a unique element and establish the style you want to create in your space. 

Choose a bathroom accent tile before you decide on the main tiles for your bathroom. The accent tile should reflect the ambiance you want to create. Follow the rule of proportions, making 10% of the bathroom tile the accent tile color.

Accent tiles allow you to break up colors and patterns or simply add a focal point or feature to the bathroom space. Are there any tricks you should know before choosing the perfect accent tiles for your bathroom? Read on and see!

And if you’re planning a bathroom tile project, be sure to download our free Bathroom Tile Calculator. It will help you figure out how much tile to order and how to stay within your budget. Just fill out the form below.


What Exactly Is the Purpose of Accent Tiles?

Accent Tile Behind Bathroom Toilet

Accent tiles brighten up and personalize any space. Accent tiles are designed to add to the patterns, designs, and color to your existing or base design in the space. Adding accent tiles to your space can add an extra element to the overall design, carry a theme from one room to another, or create something unique!

While accent tiles are traditionally used in the bathroom and kitchen for decoration or as a feature, more and more designers are using them to brighten up any room or area in the home, the office, or outdoor spaces.

With accent tiles, your choice of design is endless! Create your own work of art using bold tiles with a border of accent tiles with a simple design. Or, create an exciting backsplash around your bathroom faucets to brighten up a dark space! 

An incredible, personalized design can turn an ordinary bathroom space into an elegant sanctuary for relaxing at the end of the day or a comfortable, happy, magical place!

Before deciding on a bathroom tile style, read through the post 11 Designer Secrets for Choosing Bathroom Tiles. You’ll get tips from a bathroom designer on how to simplify the process and emerge from your project on budget with a space you love.


The Rule of Proportions for Accent Tiles in a Bathroom

Bathroom with ceramic shower tile

The easy answer to this question is, yes, accent tiles are perfect for use in the bathroom space. Bathrooms are generally smaller spaces in the home, so adding a display of accent tiles could brighten and lighten the room while creating the illusion of a bigger space.

As with any tiled area, accent tiles enhance the space creating a fresh environment that is easy to clean and maintain!

The general rule for adding accent tiles to any space is the 60-30-10 rule:


  • 60% of the room should be the dominant color


  • 30% of the room should be the secondary color


  • 10% of the room should be the accent color


Accent tiles are perfect for adding a bit of color, style, and elegance to a room often forgotten by many homeowners. A lovely decorated bathroom space will add value to your home, so if you are thinking of ideas for sprucing up your home for resale, revamp the bathroom and add a few accent tiles!


Where to Use Accent Tiles in the Bathroom

Bathtub - One of the Best Locations for Accent Tile in the Bathroom

When choosing accent tiles for a bathroom for a newly decorated space, most people would choose the color and style of the main tiles first – makes sense, right?

But what if you reverse that: decide on the color and style of the accent tile you like and then decide which tiles to use in the space around the accent tiles. 

As accent tiles are available in so many designs, it would make sense to find an accent tile that appeals to you and then design the rest of the space around what you really like!

Accent tiles can be used just about anywhere in the bathroom. They can be used to create unique designs in different spaces in the bathroom. For example, a solid white tiled bathroom could be up-styled using a few simple methods:


  • The bathing area could be decorated with checkered blue mosaic accent tiles around the tub


  • The shower could have a stylish silver and black wavy border accent tile around the faucets


  • The wall behind the handwashing area could have a grey and red mosaic wall with a solid black border of accent tiles

Accent tiles allow you to create new and original designs that you haven’t seen everywhere else! Have a look at our ideas of where and how to use them in the bathroom. For help choosing your bathroom tile color palette, be sure to read my post Tricks to Pick the Best Color Tiles for Your Bathroom and THIS Color Tile Is Easiest to Keep Clean.


How to Choose Accent Tiles On the Bathroom Walls

Wall Accent Tile for Bathroom

There are many ways to use accent tiles to break a solid wall of color in the bathroom. Add different colors, styles, or shaped accent tiles to create the effect that you are looking for. 


  • Add a border around the walls on the floor or below the ceiling. Choose your shape – spiral, curved, waves, rectangular; there are many styles to choose from!


  • Add a rail around the walls at chair height to demarcate different areas in the space. Adding accent tiles allows you to use two designs on the walls – you could add rectangular tiles below the rail with diagonal tiles above. The accent tiles used for the rail could be bold, while the wall tiles are shades of the same color – stunning!


  • Add a custom-designed mosaic design with surrounding white accent tiles on a plain wall.


  • Add accent tiles to create a picture frame around a window, a wall, or a mirror. 


  • Add accent tiles around the doorway or bathroom arch – create a sense of wonder as you enter the space!

Read How to Pick the Best Bathroom Wall Tiles for help choosing the right tiles for your space!


How to Choose Accent Tiles on the Bathroom Floor

Bathroom Floor Accent Tile

The floor is a big space in the bathroom and is often overlooked, but it can be transformed into a wonderful feature with a bit of planning!

  • Add a mosaic floor with an accent tile border. Use a darker mosaic with shades of the same color as an accent border – beautiful and practical!


  • Create a tiled throw rug on the floor using lighter diagonal tiles. Add an accent tile border in a darker color around the rug’s edges.


  • Add a path along the floor using accent tiles to lead the way to the different areas. Choose a design to complement the wall tiles.


  • Break up the floor space by using accent tile squares around the different areas in the bathroom space. Add flower designs to bring the outdoors in!


How to Choose Accent Tiles Behind the Bathroom Sink

Sink Accent Tile for Bathroom

Water and soap (or toothpaste) are often splashed onto the wall behind the sink, creating a grubby mess! Accent tiles can keep the area looking neat and organized while making it super easy to clean!


  • Add accent tiles as a fat border above the sink. Use a mixture of shades and colors to create a work of art – the accent tiles don’t have to only be functional; they can be stylish too and create an eye-catching feature!


  • Add a mural design using accent tiles on a plain wall


  • Add detailed accent tiles as scrolled borders with textured tiles around the faucets


  • Add a border around the cabinet. Accent tiles can be cemented onto a bathroom cabinet. Research the correct methods before you try this!

Top Tip: Be careful how you use accent tiles for a backsplash. This space is a focal point in the room, so the tiles should be big and bold or elegant! Don’t simply use a strip tile or two!


How to Choose Accent Tiles in The Shower

When choosing bathroom tile, pick an accent tile that adds personality to your bathroom

There are many ways to use accent tiles in the shower. Let your imagination run wild!


  • Add a backsplash border using accent tiles around the baseboard, the walls, or simply around the faucets. Ribbon and wavy designs, rectangles, long and thin or bold and wide, accent tiles are made for the shower space!


  • Add a few single accent tiles as a focal point on a single wall – design something unique!


  • Coordinate herringbone accent tiles with the floor tiles.


  • Create a niche in the shower by adding accent tiles to the wall and building waterproof shelving around them


How to Choose Accent Bathroom Tiles Around the Tub

Bathtub Accent Tile for Bathroom

For those who love to relax in the tub, this is where your design style shines!


  • Add accent tiles to create a border all around the tub. A great space for toiletries and a glass of wine while bathing!


  • Use accent tiles around your freestanding tub to create a stylish centerpiece in the space!


  • Add a vertical backdrop behind the tub using accent tiles


  • Try a wide accent tile stripe around the walls housing the tub


  • Create a mosaic display rug on the floor in front of the tub


How Much Do Accent Bathroom Tiles Cost?

Dark Accent Tile Wall for Bathroom

While not as pricey as full-sized tiles, some accent tiles do have bespoke designs which can influence the price. Here’s what you can expect to pay:


Marble$5.00 -$10.00
Terracotta$1.00 - $15.00
Stone$8.50 - $17.00
Ceramic$1.25 - $10.00
Glazed porcelain$7.00 - $12.00
Glass$9.00 - $18.00
Stainless Steel$13.00 to $30.00


Save Big When You Choose Accent Bathroom Tiles at Wholesale Prices

Mosaic Accent Tile in Shower

You can shop Stone Tile Depot for wholesale prices on your accent tiles. This outlet has a wide variety of tile materials and styles. 

There are also some fun and fanciful collections. My favorites include the Crystal Sea Glass Pebble Collection and the Just Dance Ceramic Collection. What are yours?


What Materials Should You Choose for Accent Tiles in the Bathroom?

Shower Border Accent Tile in Bathroom

There are a huge variety of tile materials you can choose from. (For more information, read my post on the 20 Best Bathroom Tile Materials.) Remember, any tiles that are exposed to humidity may need to be sealed. And the grout in between the tiles definitely needs sealing. 

Read my post Don’t Forget the Sealer for details.

Once you’ve picked your basic tiles, you’ll choose a bathroom accent tile. follow these suggestions for choosing accent tiles for your bathroom walls and floors, backsplash and shower:


How to Choose the Best Accent Tiles for Walls and Floors

Ceramic Tile - Wall Accent Tile for Bathroom


All bathroom tiles are exposed to moisture, so the tile that you choose for the walls and floors should be able to stand the humidity without fading or cracking! As the floors do see a fair amount of traffic, all accent tiles should be scratch and wear-resistant, easy to keep clean, and non-slip.

Try these accent tile materials for the bathroom walls and floors:


  • Glazed ceramic
  • Marble
  • Terracotta
  • Stone
  • Mosaic

It’s important for floor tiles to be non-skid. That’s why you want to pick the right tile finish. Textured tiles have anti-skid properties. Read my post 12 Tile Finishes to Make Your Bathroom Design Pop for more information.


How to Choose the Best Accent Tiles for a Backsplash

Sink Backsplash Accent Tile for Bathroom

A backsplash in the bathroom is a great way to make a statement, but the accent tiles that you use should be able to stand the heat, the humidity, and the wear and tear of constant cleaning!

Try these accent tile materials for a backsplash in the bathroom:


  • Glossy Ceramic 
  • Porcelain
  • Terracotta
  • Stainless steel
  • Glass


How to Choose the Best Accent Tiles for the Shower

Accent Tile for Shower

Because accent tiles used in the shower will be exposed to water, water, and humidity, they’ll need to be water-resistant, stain-proof, non-slip, and easy to keep clean!

Try these accent tile materials for your shower:

  • Glazed porcelain 
  • Matte Ceramic
  • Terracotta
  • Mosaic
  • Glass
  • Resin


Should You Choose Glass vs Ceramic Accent Tiles for Your Bathroom?

Accent Tile for Wall in Bathroom

If you’re debating between glass and ceramic for your accent tile material, keep in mind that glass tiles need to be installed professionally. They are also more durable and easier to clean than ceramic and come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Ceramic tiles may not be uniform in their color or design. See the chart below for more information:


Water-ResistantYes, imperviousYes, but with 0.5-3% absorption
Varied Shapes, Sizes & ColorsYesYes
Uniform from One Tile to the NextYesNo
Easy to CleanYesYes
Requires Frequent CleaningYesNo
Stain ResistantYesNo
Easy to InstallNoYes
Budget FriendlyNoYes


So How Do You Choose Accent Tiles for Your Bathroom?

Border Tile - Accent Tile for Bathroom

Choosing the correct accent tiles for your bathroom space depends on you! While budget, the size of the space, and the existing décor should be considered, the accent tiles’ size, shape, and style are all up to you!

Be creative and daring! Create a bathroom that reflects your personality and creates the feeling you want—whether festive and fun or relaxing and rejuvenating. Don’t be afraid of color and mix and match as much as you want! 

Quite simply, pick a wall and a color and decide what you would like to add to the space to make it your own. 

Also, be sure to read my ultimate guide on how to choose bathroom tile! I cover everything from the best bathroom tile size, to how to waterproof your shower walls, what color tile is easiest to clean and everything in between.

Are you planning a bathroom remodel? If so, download our Save Big $$ Cheat Sheet. You’ll get designer hacks that can literally save you thousands of dollars. Fill out the form below and we’ll send it straight to your inbox.



Tags: accent tiles, accent tiles for bathroom floor, accent tiles for bathroom walls, accent tiles for behind bathroom sink, cost of bathroom accent tiles


Shana Burg is a bath enthusiast, content strategist, and award-winning writer. She is the founder of

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