What Types of Tile are Best for Bathroom Walls?

In the bathroom, wall tiles set the tone. Small or big, discreet or assertive, the tiles have become a true deco asset from the shower to the sink.

Wall tile for small bathroom: which size and which shape to choose?

To choose the most suitable wall tile for your bathroom , it is important to follow these tips to avoid making it look even smaller, accentuating the tightness of the space.

  1. Choose a quadrilateral tile
    Regarding the shape of the tiles, we will favor the quadrilaterals (square or rectangles) and we will forget the quirky tiles (except for the floor) to make originality.
  2. Choose a big tile
    The size of the tiles that you will choose to dress the walls of your bathroom is essential. “Small bathroom” does not mean “small tiles”, on the contrary! The larger the tiles, the more they will give an impression of continuity of space .

For square tiles, choose dimensions 40 x 40 cm to 60 x 60 cm .

For the rectangular size, choose a minimum of 30 x 60 cm to give a more luxurious and spacious impression of your small bathroom.

Colors and finishes: what to choose for the tiling of my small bathroom?

To give a feeling of space to your bathroom, you must favor a wall tile of light, neutral and uniform colors such as white , cream or pastel colors . We forget the colors too dark or garish that will give the opposite effect of that expected.

Good to know enlightened

Failing to choose a dark tile on the walls of your bathroom, you can choose it for the floor. The contrast between the two will increase the effect of room depth.

Regarding its finish, prefer a bright tile to reflect the light and offer a sense of extra volume.

For joints, make sure they do not attract attention and make them as unobtrusive as possible in a shade similar to your wall tile.

Laying direction of the tiles: enlarge my little bathroom

The way you place your tile will help you feel great in your bathroom.

For best results, put your rectangular tile horizontally and not vertically , you will increase the perception of space. The horizontal installation of your wall tile and even more recommended if your small bathroom offers a high ceiling.

Optimize the space!

Apart from the choice of your wall tile, to make your bathroom look bigger, there are many other tips to optimize the space of your small bathroom. These solutions include lighting, furniture and storage space or a clever layout!

How to combine floor and wall tile in your bathroom?

Tiling is the ideal coating for a bathroom, as it is the material that best resists splashing and moisture. Durable, easy to maintain and decorative, it is suitable for both floor and wall. However, it is necessary to harmonize the tiled floor and the wall tile to obtain a result both aesthetic and practical. Here are tips for a good marriage of colors and materials.

Bathroom tile: all fantasies are allowed

Tiling has all the qualities required to adapt to the bathroom, the wettest room in a home. Its strong decorative potential allows all fantasies for a personalized bathroom.

Tiling: a coating suitable for all bathroom styles

Bathroom tiles come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, reliefs and finishes. This wide range of choices gives you the opportunity to customize the place to suit your tastes and desires.

Look for modern bathroom design inspiration

The first step in selecting the wall and floor tiles for the bathroom is to define the atmosphere and style of decorating that you would like to give to the place. Would you like to give a retro look or bring a touch of design to your bathroom? Do you prefer a style that is both sober and elegant, minimalist, vintage, classic or a zen atmosphere? You’ll be spoiled for choice in collections of wall and floor coverings that can be associated with decorative notes such as friezes, listels and mosaics.

Wall and floor tiles in a bathroom: playing on formats

Floor tiles can usually be used for the walls of a bathroom. However, total uniformity could create a stifling atmosphere in the premises.

You can opt for a single color palette or a single type of tile for the floor and walls. Just play on the different formats available to get a personalized result. In case the bathroom is small, it is recommended to adopt a classic style and use tiles 30 x 30cm. On the other hand, if you have a large enough bathroom, you can choose large tiles 60 x 60cm or 60 x 120cm. In addition to the many possibilities they offer in terms of geometric effects, this type of tile requires only a few joints.

A subtle marriage of colors of wall and floor tiles

The coating is a decorative element in itself. Tiling must be consistent with all equipment and furniture in the bathroom. You can give your imagination free rein to choose the color of the tiles, but think about creating a harmony between the walls and the floor.

Tile manufacturers continue to innovate and currently offer a wide range of colors, such as orange, lime green, royal blue, purple, etc. If you choose an anthracite gray tile for the floor, choose a soft shade for wall tiles (almond green or pale pink, for example). On the other hand, if you prefer a light shade for the floor, a more sustained color (navy blue or fuchsia pink) for the walls will brighten the whole decoration.

Bathroom tile: Choice and installation
Resistant, easy to maintain and aesthetic, the wall tile is the essential coating in a pond. Considered the “skin” of the bathroom, it comes in a wide range of formats, materials, colors and finishes, and can easily adapt to all styles and desires. To find the perfect wall tile and recreate a unique bathroom, follow the guide!

A coating that can be adapted to all tastes

In terms of tiles, the offer is rather broad, whether in terms of formats, shapes, reliefs or patterns. Some tiles reproduce perfectly concrete, natural stone or wood. They are offered in a beautiful palette of colors, ranging from white to black, through all the bright colors and pastel, and with a glossy or matte finish.

In addition to earthenware, which is specifically designed for wall installation, the walls of a bathroom can accommodate porcelain tiles, cement tiles, mosaics or natural stone.

Unique materials to your image
The offer in terms of appearance is plethoric: concrete, wood, natural stone, tiles, cement …, mingle to help you create a totally unique universe to your bathroom. Choosing the right tile nevertheless requires to see it and touch it, this will allow you to realize the actual rendering of the different models. Hence the importance of moving in the store to select it.


Tile tiles are exclusively reserved for wall mounting. The offer, both in terms of colors and patterns, is vast. To maximize the brightness of the room, the ideal is to opt for a light color model with a glossy finish. Although it is common to see tiles of small format, large formats, inspired by floor tiles, are increasingly popular because they allow to visually enlarge the room.


Highly resistant, porcelain stoneware tiles perfectly imitate all natural materials: wood, stone, marble, concrete … They are also found with many motifs. Although originally intended to be laid on the ground, they are increasingly used to dress the walls.


It’s the star of retro style. It is available in the original sizes, from 10 x 10 cm to 40 x 40 cm, and a multitude of patterns and hues, which you can marry to infinity to obtain an original patchwork and customize the decoration of your room bath. Be careful, however, the porous cement tile requires the application of a water repellent treatment to be able to withstand water. If not, you can opt for imitation tile cement tiles, porcelain stoneware, which requires no treatment and whose rendering is substantially identical.


Whether in glass paste, natural stone or sandstone, mosaic is probably the best material to give style to your bathroom and customize it to your liking. It is indeed offered in all kinds of materials, sizes, shapes and colors, some models mixing even several materials.

Be careful, however, in a bathroom, it is better to put it by small touches: on the walls of the shower, above the vanity top, vertical wall strip … It is also possible to use it to make a frieze decorative that will give relief to the room.


Marble, quartz, travertine … the natural stone gives an undeniable charm and breathes a serene and organic atmosphere to your bathroom, thanks to its texture effects and its variations of colors. A noble material par excellence, it has an unequaled life span, provided it is properly maintained.

Play with the material for amazing mixes
The bathroom has become through the years THE room that we love to decorate and arrange according to his desires.

In wall tiles, everything is possible, especially in a bathroom. Even mix materials, colors and patterns, provided you ensure the harmony of the whole. Beware of very pronounced decorations that might tire you faster than you think …

In a bathroom, combining tiles of various formats and / or different materials (earthenware and cement tile, mosaic and natural stone …) can break the uniformity and give character to the room. You can, for example, punctuate your faience with mosaic made of transparent glass paste: this composition of materials will offer depth to your entire wall covering.

With this type of association, the calepinage is a step not to neglige especially since it will serve, in particular, to eliminate possible false notes before the start of work. And keep in mind that you will have to choose a dominant tile for the assembly to be successful.

For the little extra touch, the wall tile can be accompanied by what is called a “listel”, a small flat molding, which comes between two rows of tiles, to animate a uniform wall or create a transition between two models tiling. The listel is available in different materials and various chromatic finishes for very refined associations.

Be aware that it is also possible to create your own listels using mosaic tiles or tiles of another color or range.

Color to Beautify the Room

If you want a bathroom with a warm atmosphere or rather Zen oriented, the choice of colors will take all its importance here! Be aware that the light colors will significantly enlarge the room and illuminate it. The darker colors go for them, bring cachet and embellish all surfaces of the bathroom.

Once your tile is chosen, think of the joint. Here again, everything is a matter of style. If it is customary to use a gray joint on the ground (less messy than a white joint), it is also possible to opt for a color seal, coordinated with the color of the tile. The colored joints, available in an infinity of colors and nuances, have the wind in stern. This is the small detail for a perfect finish.

A special pose for a custom style

In a bathroom, large tiles give a feeling of space. The 30 x 30 cm tiles are perfect for creating visual effects by playing on colors and finishes. It all depends on the visual effect you are looking for the piece. There are also several types of laying for the floor tiles: straight, diagonally or staggered.

  • The straight pose is the most classic: the tiles, of the same size, are aligned along a line perpendicular to one of the walls.
  • The diagonal pose creates a perspective effect and gives the impression that the bathroom is larger than it is: the tiles are placed at right angles along one of the diagonals of the room.
  • The staggered or staggered pose gives rhythm: each tile line is offset, relative to the previous one, by half, or a third, of the width of the tile.
  • For the most complex poses, it is better, at first, to lay tiles without glue, in order to rectify if necessary. This is called “blanking”.

As for wallpaper, the rendering and calibration of a tile can vary from one production to another (there may be different baths). It is therefore advisable to order a little more than the necessary surface (5 to 10%). This surplus will allow to absorb the losses related to the cuts and to guarantee a good uniformity to the whole.

Security not to be neglected

If you want to put tiles on the floor of your bathroom, do not take risks and choose a non-slip model. There is a regulation to guide you in your selection. Non-slip tiles are in fact classified in 2 categories.

For shod feet, tilings are marked with an “R” index, from R9 to R13: the higher the index, the slippery the pavement.

For barefoot travel, it is a letter – A, B, or C – that will determine the performance of the tile, C corresponding to the best rating.

Specifically, rely instead on the classification with letters, which is the most relevant for the bathroom, and choose a floor tile rated “B” minimum.


You now know several tips to achieve a beautiful harmony of colors and reliefs of the floor tiles and walls of your bathroom. You now know how to combine colors and materials to achieve a personalized decoration of your bathroom.

Regarding the technical choices of the tiles (UPEC standard, absorption rate, …), always ask the opinion of the tiling craftsman. It will propose you the best choices and solutions for the preparation of the supports for wet rooms, as well as the products of installation and of appropriate finishes. You will have at the same time the best advice for the maintenance of your coatings.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

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