Posted by Kerrie Kelly in Home Design

Too often floor tiling is used as a purely functional covering for floors and walls. Rarely is tiling used to add visual interest with fun and complex patterns, configurations, colors, and combinations.

Whether you’re looking to spice up a current space or want to create a brand new bathroom, using tile and matching accessories can take your home’s style from 0 to 100 in no time at all.

Here are some of our favorite ways to display tile in a bathroom space.

Use Tile as a Boundary

One of our favorite creative uses for bathroom tiling is as an underfoot partition. Separate a standalone shower from the rest of the bathroom using a pebble tile to outline the entrance of the space and add texture. Take it further and delineate each particular section of the bathroom, like the bathtub and vanity area.

Bathroom Floor Tile Boundary

Not only does using tile as a boundary help frame each space in the bathroom, it also adds dimension, breaking up the larger space while also unifying it with repeated materials and designs.

Use Tile as a Border

As a simpler approach, instead of framing each element in the bathroom, use tile to frame the entire perimeter.

In smaller spaces, a border can help draw the eye toward a certain object or furnishing, like a beautiful claw-foot tub or dramatic vanity. In a bathroom with more square footage, borders can follow the walls, jump into showers or toilet rooms, and skip around the front of vanities.

Bathtub Tile Border

Use Tile as a Rug Illusion

We often see tile being used in backsplashes and configurations in showers as a focal point with fun patterns like herringbones and check prints. The same framework can be done for tiling on the floor, too.

Arrange tiles on the floor in the center of the bathroom to create a design that mimics the look of a rug. Position mosaic floor tiles as a border and fill the space with more field tile. To kick things up a notch, fill the inside of the mosaic border with a secondary tile pattern, adding even more interest and texture.

Bathroom Tile Rug Illusion

Use Tile as a Focal Point

Using tile as a focal point adds an extra element to any bathroom without having to alter the space.

Use a combination of tiles, a fun pattern or interesting color scheme to create a focal point in the center of the bathroom and anchor the space. Some of our favorite patterns include anything geometric, like diamonds and squares, as well as combinations that mimic organic elements, like flowers, stars, or scenery.

Our favorite part about using tile as a focal point is that most designs come on a 12x12 mesh, so they are super affordable and easy to install—a win-win!

Bathroom Tile Accent

Have you tried using tile in an interesting and unique way in your bathroom?


Kerrie Kelly


Kerrie Kelly from Kerrie Kelly Design Labs is an interior designer who writes for The Home Depot about kitchen design. She loves to provide advice on a myriad of topics such as “how to make your kitchen feel more open.” To get some more inspiration and kitchen design ideas, visit

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