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Penny tile can give any bathroom a polished look. Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

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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, kitchen or any other room in your home.

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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A bright and cheery penny tile – specifically, the SomerTile Penny Vermilio Porcelain Mosaic Tile – sets the tone for this welcoming kitchen. Image: Overstock

Using penny tile at home

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 or kitchen.

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A penny tile backsplash in RoomMates Classic Marble Penny is easy to keep clean, helping this type of tile regain popularity. Image: Amazon

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 rooms that use penny tile to get your creative wheels turning.

11 more rooms with penny tile

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You can use penny tile to create an interesting pattern, or buy it pre-patterned, like this SomerTile Victorian Penny White with Black Flower Porcelain Mosaic Tile. Image: Overstock

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Penny tile in multiple sizes, like the Posh Bubble Random Sized Porcelain Pebble Tile, can add a fun and interesting texture. Image: Wayfair

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White-hued penny tiles, like the Penny Round Random Sized Porcelain Mosaic Tile, can give a kitchen a clean look without feeling too stark.Image: Wayfair

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Or, if you want an austere feel, you can pair a solid-colored penny tile with grout in the same color. Image: Dana Menussi/Getty Images

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Who says tile is just for the kitchen and bath? The dining room gets a pop of visual interest from this Value Series Porcelain Mosaic Tile. Image: Wayfair

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This Retro Random Sized Porcelain Mosaic Tile‘s warm tone and hexagonal shape give this kitchen an inviting upgrade. Image: AllModern

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If you want to give your kitchen a modern-yet-retro feel, try a penny tile backsplash like MSI’s Penny Random Sized Porcelain Mosaic Tile. Image: Wayfair

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If you’re looking to give your home a beach house vibe, the ocean-inspired Shore Penny Seashell Mosaic Tile is just the thing. Image: Joss & Main

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A kitchen looks crisp and clean thanks to white penny tile, like the Sail Ceramic/Porcelain Mosaic Tile. Image: AllModern

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Give your kitchen a modern, sleek feel by matching black Daltile Penny Round Tile to your black appliances. Image: Amazon

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