Mid-century American bathrooms were in love with pattern and color. The 1940s saw suburbs filled with bubblegum-pink bathroom floors, mint-green countertops, and even tubs, toilets and sinks in vibrant colors. The bold bathroom trend lasted into the 1970s — and many older homes have the avocado tiles to prove it.
Then, in the 1980s, we suddenly got sick of bathrooms that had something to say. Ever since then, we’ve been covering our bathrooms in safe, quiet choices such as beige, gray and plain white. A neutral bathroom isn’t all bad. But these gorgeous, graphic tile treatments make us want to kiss quiet bathrooms goodbye.
A small space like a bathroom is a great place to try out bold colors and finishes that might not work in larger areas. We’ve rounded up 17 colorful bathroom tile ideas to show you how. Whether you want to plaster your bathroom with stripes and ombré or just make your beige a little less blah, these ideas will give you some inspiration to pump up your space’s style.
1. Cool Ombré
Lay geometric tiles in an ombré pattern to bring a modern edge to a room with industrial elements.
Image: Sabo Project
2. Brilliant Watercolors
The cobalt blue pattern on these tiles evokes the soothing watercolor feel of Japanese shibori, painting the wall with subtle texture.
3. Organic Stripes
Lay not-quite-square tiles in three or four complementary colors for a quirky pattern that goes great with organic finishes.
4. Switched-Up Subway
Turn classic subway tiles on their side by choosing them in dark green glass and laying them lengthwise.
5. Bright Orchid
Give a plain bathroom a sassy twist by tiling a half-wall in a saturated color such as fire-glazed orchid.
6. Unexpected Splashes
Make a boring white bathroom exciting by laying tiles in a herringbone pattern and layering in a touch of color.
7. Geometric Tromp L’oeil
Triangular tiles laid in a 3D cube pattern trick the eye into seeing more depth and keep a tile half-wall from looking monolithic.
8. Curvy Classic
Give a modern bathroom a touch of vintage softness with shell-shaped deco tiles. A curvy vintage mirror, sconces and brass fixtures finish the classic look.
9. Moroccan Spa
Floor-to-ceiling patterned tile paired with terra cotta-colored grout creates a spa-like escape that pairs well with Turkish cotton towels and a relaxing bath.
10. Subtle Texture
Love one color, but not sure you can deal with a room full of it? Keep it to the shower enclosure, and lay a pixel pattern of small tiles in three or four shades of the same hue.
11. Boho Meets Deco
Pair square white tiles with a warm-toned encaustic concrete floor for a relaxing vintage vibe that still feels sophisticated.
12. Blue and White
Give your bathroom the same classic feel as vintage china with square mini-tiles in French blue and creamy white.
13. Nouveau Classic
Pair paneled walls with chrome fixtures and black-and-white floors in a circle star pattern for a look that’s as fresh as it is versatile.
14. Soft Sophistication
Banish boring with complementary colors and patterns like these mauve, coral and dark burgundy tiles.
15. Warm Gold
Raise the temperature in a black-and-white bathroom by adding warm metal fixtures and a glass mosaic tile floor in opalescent shades of gold.
16. Ocean Vibes
Use large textured tiles embossed with a pattern for rich texture that’s not overwhelming to the eye. For an especially cohesive space, match floors, shower enclosure and console counter in the same color and material.
17. Colorful Contrast
Combine two contrasting patterns (such as stripes and triangles) with one accent color (such as sky blue) for a stylish space that pops.
Are you a fan of the colorful, graphic bathroom tile trend? Or will you stick to neutrals for now? Let us know in the comments below!