I spend a lot of time looking at well-designed bathrooms. I'm not saying this to brag, because that would be a weird thing to find satisfaction in. I'm simply stating it as a part of my work life. At MyDomaine, we like to know how trends are evolving in this small-but-vital space, and so staring at photos of bathrooms is routine. Honestly, it could be much, much worse.
Over the first few months of 2019, the MyDomaine editors have noticed how bathroom tiles are slowly shifting away from what's become established—like, you guessed it, white subway tiles—and toward what's emerging as decidedly fresh. If you're considering an update to your bathroom before the year is up, we collected the eight bathroom tile trends we think will continue to gain traction from designers and DIYers alike. Read on to see which tired designs to skip and which ones to consider for a bathroom renovation that'll get current styles right.
Skip: White Subway Tiles
Try: Shaped or Textured Tiles
It's true that white subway tiles are timeless, but they're also so beloved that their look can be seen as overdone. To give your bathroom a twist on this perennial trend, think about choosing white tiles with texture or shape. Just a minor change can completely update the finish.
Skip: A Horizontal Layout
Try: A Vertical Layout
If a horizontal layout tricks the eye into thinking that a space looks longer, then a vertical layout gives the appearance of more height—and it's also a welcome adjustment. Vertical layouts make vanities appear taller, especially when paired with trendy floating sinks. And if a shower is tucked away into a nook, then vertical tiles will make it feel more spacious.
Skip: Staggered Tiles
Try: Stacked Tiles
There's a clean finish to stacking tiles rather than staggering them, as is usually the case with most traditional bathroom layouts. This also helps the space look more uniform so that other trendy finishes like brass fixtures and rounded vanities can complete a modern look.
Skip: Glossy Tiles
Matte tiles have been overlooked in the past simply because glossy ones have a way of making this typically small space sparkle. But we'd argue that matte finishes are actually a better fit for a relaxed mood. Its softness will complement the glow of candles, and make the room feel calm in natural light.
Skip: Rectangular Tiles
Try: Hexagon Tiles
The easiest way to put a twist on tile design is to change the shape, and hexagon pieces fit that mold. Since rectangles have become as predictable in bathrooms as faucets and mirrors, this option feels new without looking over the top. Spread them across the bathroom floor or use them on vanities and see how that aesthetic makes the room feel modern.
For those with bold design sensibilities, a bathroom can be the ideal place to experiment. So while you may have seen plenty of monochrome bathrooms in the recent past, now is the time to try a pattern. Pick tiles that have a graphic element, and as long as it's cohesive, it'll come off as looking sleek.
Herringbone tiles are a timeless design, but the crosshatch approach is yet another example of how a subtle switch can make a room feel fresh. Keep in mind that this look can appear busy if it's paired with too many competing features. As long as the rest of the bathroom is kept minimal, then the crosshatch will be a success.
Skip: Containing Tiles
Try: Carrying Tiles Throughout
It's common to choose one tile for a shower and yet another for the walls, but why not carry the same tile pattern throughout the room? This option makes it possible for a bathroom to appear more pulled together since the eye will travel more easily across the space. It also gives you a chance to be even more intentional with the tile you choose.