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13 Tile Tips for a Better Bathroom

When choosing tile for your bathroom, planning is essential. Before you start, take a good look at your bathroom. Is it big or small? Do you want dark bathroom tiles or light tile? Are you OK with lots of cleaning or do you like to keep scrubbing to a minimum? Here are 13 tips to keep in mind when choosing bathroom tile.

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Think Light ColorsArtazum/Shutterstock

Think Light Colors

Light colored subway bathroom tile is an extremely popular home trend right now. Plus, white, off-white or light colors can make the room feel spacious. When it comes to grout colors, be sure the grout doesn't contrast too sharply with the tile (i.e., white tile with black grout).
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Feel Appeal Bathroom TileKristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Feel Appeal Bathroom Tile

Think about how the bathroom tile will feel. Will you have a shower bench? When using tile in a shower, a slab or larger piece of tile feels nicer to sit on than smaller tile. Add safety to your shower and learn how to install bathroom grab bars.
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Think Diagonal Bathroom TileRodenberg Photography/Shutterstock

Think Diagonal Bathroom Tile

If you have a smaller bathroom, tile placed in a diagonal pattern can give the illusion of a larger room. Believe it or not, you may be able to tile your bathroom floor without tearing it up.
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Go BigSvet_Feo/Shutterstock

Go Big

When going with large bathroom tile, you must maintain a minimum grout joint width of 3/16-inch. Also, be sure there is at least 90 percent mortar contact below the tiles as their large size makes them more prone to cracking. Though tile is really easy to clean, we'll show you how to clean tile floors the best way.
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Grout LinesFamily Handyman

Grout Lines

Thinking mosaic bathroom tile? You'll have more grout lines. One way to minimize the grid-like feeling mosaic tile can create is to use a grout tinted to resemble the tile's color. Try these grouting tips and techniques.

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More on Mosaicbogdanhoda/Shutterstock

More on Mosaic

When choosing mosaic bathroom tile, find one that offers at least 95 percent contact from the tile to the backer board. This contact is needed to keep the tile from slipping on the wall and glue often isn't strong enough. Here are some tile installation tips from a tile expert.
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Rule of ThreeTracy ben/Shutterstock

Rule of Three

If you're looking to create a unique tile pattern, stick to no more than three tiles that share the same color palate. Using more bathroom tile colors can become a distraction to the eye and also become more difficult to place. Be careful not to make your bathroom tile too gaudy.
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Think UpkeepJodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Think Upkeep

If you're looking for a bathroom tile that doesn't require much maintenance, think porcelain or ceramic. Tiles made from natural stone require more upkeep since they are more porous. Regrout wall tile with these tips.
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Slip Factorketteimages/Shutterstock

Slip Factor

While glass bathroom tile is pretty and makes for a great wall or accent tile, it becomes extremely slippery when wet. Avoid glass tile on floors, especially in bathrooms with a shower or bathtub
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The Glass Debatealexandre zveiger/Shutterstock

The Glass Debate

If using glass bathroom tile in a shower, be aware that some clear glass shower tiles can show moisture trapped behind them. Instead, try smaller colored glass shower tiles. You can also use glass tile to decorate a frame.
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Go Universalfotoplan/Shutterstock

Go Universal

Want a bathroom tile look that will look great for a long while? Here's a tip: Pick one larger neutral color tile for installation throughout. Not only will this be easier to maintain, but it will make the room look much bigger. Learn some modern tile installation tips.
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Pick a Single Accent PieceArtazum/Shutterstock

Pick a Single Accent Piece

Take a risk with a fun color or pattern, but don't go overboard. By choosing just one design or color of bathroom tile as an accent. And it will give your bathroom a timeless look. Too many bold colors and patterns will compete with each other. Accent pieces can also be used in kitchen backsplashes.
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Have a Sloped Ceiling?Sven Ritter/Shutterstock

Have a Sloped Ceiling?

Use smaller bathroom tile when covering a sloped ceiling. Smaller bathroom tiles will make the slope appear less choppy.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.