Tile’s durability and cool, clean aesthetic have long made it a bathroom standby, but many homeowners go all-in with exclusive use of the material for these spaces. “The appeal of an all-tile bathroom is multifaceted,” says designer Morgan Farrow, founder of Dallas-based Morgan Farrow Interiors. “The look conveys luxury and is on trend right now.” All-tile bathrooms can also create depth and movement, with options like currently popular textured tile.
Here’s what to consider when creating your own all-tile bathroom.
Pick your look.
“I first consider how the space is being used,” says Tess Twiehaus, founder of California interior-design firm Tess Interiors. “A jack-and-jill bathroom shared by siblings should be treated differently than a primary bathroom used by adults, both in terms of materials and colors.” Ceramic and porcelain tiles, for example, are generally least expensive and easiest to keep clean, so they’re ideal for kids’ spaces, but porcelain can also be used to create stunning designs like in the photo above. For your own sanctuary, on the other hand, you might want to invest in higher-end materials that require more maintenance, like marble and travertine.
Whatever your decision, specialists like The Tile Shop offer a wide assortment of materials from natural stone to ceramic to porcelain in every shade so you can make the right choice for your style and budget. Each tile’s price and material is clearly listed on its website with accompanying photos, so it’s easy to find something for every project.
Mix it up.
“We love mixing tiles, and often use two to three in a single space,” Farrow says. There’s no need to worry about colors and textures clashing or becoming overwhelming, you just have to make sure the color tone in tiles that will be adjacent meshes, like in the four tiles used in the bathroom pictured above. You’ll also want to be strategic about your selection of grout color, since it’ll need to work with all your tile selections.
“The benefit is that mixing allows you to get layers of color and pattern,” continues Farrow. It can also help keep your project on budget: You can use a beloved but expensive tile for smaller sections, while going with more cost-effective options for the bulk of the room. Try browsing The Tile Shop’s selections, which are intentionally curated to work well together in an all-tile space, to find combinations that speak to your taste.
An accent tile can add intrigue—but isn’t required.
When well executed, accents can elevate a room just as much as bright colors and patterns. An accent can even be a functional piece of art, like in the above photo. But if you’re on the fence about a particular tile addition, remember that there’s no need to check every box on some imaginary design checklist. Twiehaus advises imagining your bathroom with and without the tile in question: “If the room feels special with it, then go for it,” she says. “But if the addition feels random, take it out.”
Don’t underestimate your order.
Figuring out how much tile you’ll need for your space can be tricky—after all, you don’t want any excess, but you also don’t want to run out mid-installation. Twiehaus offers up a simple formula: Order 20 percent more than you think you need. “I wouldn’t stress about it being too much. You will absolutely need extra tile in case you have discoloration or a few pieces break,” she says.
However, both designers advise confirming with your installer before ordering anything: “The coverage can change depending on the specifications of the tile or the installation you’re envisioning,” adds Twiehaus. If you do find yourself running short, you can easily order from the company’s website as needed, or get installation instructions and assistance at one of their many stores across the country.
Nikhita Mahtani is an NYC-based freelance journalist covering primarily health and design. She graduated with an M.A in Magazine Journalism from New York University and loves to debunk popular health myths. Her idea of wellness includes a sweaty spin class, wine with loved ones, and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.