The humble tile is and always has been among the top choices for finishing a bathroom. The fact that they are entirely water resistant makes them superior to any more porous materials, and just how easy it is to clean them is a further key feature in the context of bathrooms. Archaeologists have dated the oldest known tiles to 4700 BC, which means that we’ve been building with them for almost the entire history of civilization.
This post won’t follow design trends from over 6000 years ago, but we will cover the hottest design trends of 2021 when it comes to popular bathroom tiles.
Matte Finishes Are All the Rage
The idea that many of us have in the back of our heads when we think of bathroom tiles is the shiny green or orange ones that our grandparents had in their bathroom (if they didn’t mix both colors!). Today, however, few people passionate about interior design are behind the idea of bright, glossy tiles that reflect lots of light.
Instead, more restrained tiles with matte finishes are becoming very popular bathroom tiles. A white, gray, or black tile that doesn’t shine gives off a much more refined vibe than an older style. They’re able to elevate just about every bathroom to one that looks like it could be in a luxury hotel.
Matte tiles have all the advantageous properties of a glossy tile in terms of being easy to clean and water resistant, so you aren’t losing out on any functionality by choosing a nonreflective finish.
Graphic Tile Patterns Are Blowing Up
As we’ll see a few times in this blog post, you don’t need to choose just one color for your tiles. Tiles that feature a few complementary colors that come together into a striking pattern are in demand these days. They can bring a ton of personality and positive energy to a bathroom and allow you to express yourself.
A matte black and white pattern will keep that restrained mood that, as we saw in the last section, many people are going for right now. However, patterns that feature dark blue and white, or even red or orange, can also work very well so long as the color scheme fits with the rest of the decor.
Brick and Subway Tiles
Another trend prominent in bathrooms lately gleaned inspiration from elsewhere in the house: brick and subway tile styles.
Using the aesthetics of exposed brick in creative ways has been a mainstay of interior design for years now, but people are just beginning to realize that it can be extended to the bathroom. If the rest of your house or apartment already features brick, then putting it in your bathroom as well can lend an appealing visual consistency to your entire home. Paired with large mirrors and modern, metallic fixtures, brick tiling is a real winner.
Subway tiling also first took off as a tiling option for kitchens, but they’re now extremely popular bathroom tiles. The small rectangular tiles create an atmosphere that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still looks very stylish. Once again, if you’ve already renovated your kitchen and fitted it with subway tiles, you can consider unifying the aesthetic across both rooms.
Why Not a Colorful Mosaic?
Like tiles with graphic patterns, mosaics provide an opportunity to add some contrast to the colors of your bathroom tiles. The effect that mosaics give off is different from tiles with patterns because each small tile is just one color. Therefore, the colors blend in an intriguing way precisely because they stay separated.
A restrained palette is a style that most people are choosing for their bathroom mosaics nowadays. Deep blues, burgundy, and burnt orange, for example, can all work together to contribute to a visually stunning backdrop to your shower without becoming overpowering. Mosaics have been one of the most popular bathroom tiles for millennia—the ancient Romans, in particular, loved baths with mosaics in them.
The diversity of popular bathroom tiles on the market means that you have many choices to consider when retiling yours. It’s crucial to think about the entire bathroom decor—from shower curtains to faucets—while searching for tiles that you love because even the most beautiful tiles can look awkward in the wrong surroundings. But when everything works together, the tiles in your bathroom can help it make a real statement.