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penny tile

Penny tile can give any bathroom a polished look. Image: Hisbalit

Tile in the bathroom might sound as original as florals for spring. But like any good floral print, the wow factor of the tile all comes down to the one you choose. Don’t be square! The penny tile (also known as a penny round) is a small tile in a round or hexagonal shape that can help you make a visual impact in your bathroom.

Penny tiles are often spotted in historic homes, but we’re also starting to see them in the hippest coffee shops and hottest bars. Why? They add an interesting aesthetic, they’re extremely versatile and – like any good tile – they’re also easy to maintain in even the wettest areas.

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Find this tile in a metallic finish for a sophisticated feel. Image: The Yard

Using penny tile in the bathroom

Let’s talk more about the versatility of these tiny tiles. You can find them in traditional ceramic or porcelain, but they’re also available in more interesting materials like glass or metal. And before you despair about the work involved in laying what is essentially a low-key mosaic, don’t worry. You can buy penny tile already arranged on a mesh backing so all you have to do is grout around the established pattern. It’s a little trick that will have people thinking you invested a lot in establishing a high-class look for your bathroom.

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The penny tile backsplash is easy to keep clean, helping it regain popularity. Image: Modwalls Tile Company

The resurgence of the penny tile

This isn’t the penny tile’s first time in the sun. The tile – especially the hexagonal variety – was popular in homes across the country in the early 20th century. That’s while you’ll often spot it in historic homes, or in homes where people are trying to create a vintage feel.

That doesn’t mean this tile style only works if you’re going for a retro feel, though. Choosing a single color of penny tile can deliver a clean, minimalist look. On the other end of the spectrum, choosing a broad range of colored tiles and arranging them in interesting patterns delivers maximalism. Clearly, this is a versatile design feature. Let’s take a look at some more bathrooms that use penny tile to get your creative wheels turning.

12 more bathrooms with penny tile

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You can use penny tiles to create an abstract pattern. Image: Design Platform

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White-hued penny tiles can give a bathroom a clean look without feeling too stark. Image: L. Thibeault & Assoc.

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You don’t have to limit yourself. You can mix and match tile styles to create your dream bathroom. Image: Kitchen Design Concepts

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Choose penny tiles in a moody hue to give your bathroom a retreat-like feel. Image: Студия Антона Базалийского

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If you’re looking for a classic feel in your bathroom, penny tiles are just the thing. Image: Brennan + Company Architects

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Choose tiles in multiple shades of the same color for a textured look. Image: bg architecture

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Rounded penny tiles give a bathroom a clean, polished look. Image: Kelly Scanlon Interior Design

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Contrasting tiles can add an interesting element without overwhelming a small powder room. Image: Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

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Marry penny tiles and wood for a refined sauna. Image: Hufft

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Play your penny tile against other patterns for a fun feel in your bathroom. Image: Embracing Space

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These small tiles are perfect for lining smaller areas, like this wall nook. Image: USi Stone & Tile

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There is no limit with this tile. Any pattern you can envision, you can create. Image: Nicole Migeon Architect

What do you think of penny tile’s return to popularity? Would you use it in your bathroom? Let us know what you think in the comments.