Bathroom Tile Tactics

A bathroom provides opportunities to create a true getaway – the place where you can feel pampered and get pretty, every single day. With that in mind, what do you want your personal retreat to look like?

Whatever your answer is, chances are that it will be expressed most significantly through tile.

There are so many things to consider when it comes to the material that will cover the floors, walls – even ceilings – of your bath, so keep some of these things in mind before you visit one of our consultants at your local showroom.


Calculate how much in total you want to spend in the bath, and what you need to spend it on. That will inform what tile styles your designer will show you. Exotic stones such as Kathmandu Pulido will be at the top of the price spectrum, while ceramic tile tends to be more affordable, and can replicate the pattern of much pricier materials, such as Calacata Gold.

Shown: Kathmandu Pulido and Calacata Gold

Plan Out Your Space

Take pictures and measure your bathroom so you can give the images and dimensions to your design consultant. That will help develop the best design within your given budget.

Shown: XTONE Carrara White Nature


Are you into classic Carrara? We have many versions, such as the new XTONE Carrara White Nature. Do you lean towards a wood look? Several tile collections expertly mimic natural wood without the maintenance, like the streamlined Lexington Maple or the chunky Taco Oxford Cognac. That look can also get more sophisticated with the woven Essential Net Silver Wood. Maybe a shot of color is your calling card, such as the saturated Rhombus Navy or the sweet and subtle Touch Linen? Have a look at our inspiration galleries to determine where your taste should take you.

Shown: Lexington Maple, Rhombus Navy, and Touch Linen


Depending on how you answer above, the best place to start choosing tile might be the accent area. That could be the backsplash over the vanity like Colors Aluminium Olive, which contains greens, grays and silvers. For a decorative strip around the shower wall – try a watery bubble theme like Glacier Moon Metallic Cremas. Create a pattern in the middle of the floor to highlight the tub area, like you see with our Barcelona C tile. By choosing the most remarkable pattern first, you’ll have the rest of the palette figured out, because every other choice – from tile and paint color to cabinet and hardware finishes – should complement the hues of that accent. A good place to start looking for your accent is in the mosaics collection.

Shown: Colors Aluminium Olive and Barcelona C

Bath Size

Our signature large-format tiles look especially good in bigger bathrooms, and can be seen with our XTONE Ars Beige Nature. Smaller baths and powder rooms look great with mosaic patterns or smaller-format neutrals, such as classic subway patterns. You can even add interest to the subway tile by arranging it in an hounds tooth pattern for added interest, such as you see with the Medite. Calpe Nieve.

Shown: XTONE Ars Beige Nature and Medite. Calpe Nieve

Pattern Play

Bathrooms offer a great opportunity to choose multiple types of tile for all the different surfaces that demand it. But the general rule is that there should be no more than three distinct patterns to avoid your bath looking too cluttered. A good example is combining a marble basket weave with a larger-format marble pattern, like Victorian Trenzado Marmara Negro. The bold-minded might go for dimensionally patterned tile – which might be good in a showstopping powder room with a product like Skyline Pyramid Dark.

Shown: Victorian Trenzado Marmara Negro and Skyline Pyramid Dark


With all of these details in mind, think about the type of tile you might want to use, and where. With neutral walls, for example, a darker, patterned floor with a mosaic like Virtual Square Black can make a dramatic statement. Splurge on a luxe accent tile such as Rhomboid Black or Sydney Gold, or a metallic or crystal profile piece that can be used as an accent, so that you’re not buying that much of it. Make sure your floor tile won’t lead to any slip-and-falls. Check our floor tile collections specifically, which will ensure your choice will be safe. Think about maintenance. Small-format and mosaic tiles with lots of grout lines will require more cleaning. Natural stone will as well, which is more porous than ceramic or porcelain and thus will require regular sealing – especially if it’s in the shower. Porcelain and ceramic are by far the most popular types of tile used in the shower. See our previous post on the differences between the two to determine which type you might prefer. As a rule, ceramic tends to be more budget friendly, but porcelain is far more durable and will last forever. Glass tile like Glass Blanco lends an ethereal luster to your bath; just remember to avoid it on the floor.

Shown: Rhomboid Black and Sydney Gold

Finally, there can’t be tile without grout. As you peruse our tile collections, each option you click on will generally include a recommended grout color to complement it. However, you can also use grout as a decorative element. Choose a dark color for light tile, or vice versa. You can also choose narrow or wide spaces between the tiles: wider grout lines can make a bold statement, while narrow lines tend to disappear and let the tile speak for itself. The latter option—along with a large-format tile—is also ideal for those who prefer low-maintenance bathrooms, because grout is generally the hardest to keep clean, and large tiles are easiest to wipe down.

Check our latest Home Collection catalog for more tile inspiration, and as always, consult personally with one of our designers at your nearest showroom to determine which tile will bring out your perfect bathroom design.