Tile is more popular than ever in bathroom design, and not just for your floors. Contemporary bathrooms are frequently covered head to toe in tile, and the selection of tile is more varied and affordable than ever. Mosaic tile is especially popular, and not even just for your backsplash. Easy to install mosaic tile sheets have become a common choice for your walls, floor detail, shower accents, and more – but there are more than a few styles to choose from, and it’s important to stay informed about current bathroom tile trends to help match the size, shape, and type of tile to your space.
When mosaic tile sheets first started becoming popular, the most common type – tiny, one inch square tiles – were practically their own revolution in bathroom design. But in the last few years, these small squares have started to lose popularity to a certain extent. The colorful patterns can look a little busy when applied to a larger space, and with bathroom tile trends moving towards larger format tile with smaller grout lines, these tiniest tiles have fallen a bit by the wayside. That said, if you like the look, some versions are still quite popular – especially sheets of tile done in a single solid color, which has a simpler finish, and tiles with an opalescent finish which add a little shine to your space.
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If squares are out, rectangles are in in a big way. Rectangles of all sizes, shapes, and dimensions are at the forefront of bathroom tile trends right now, with subway tile making an especially big comeback. Maybe more notable is a whole slew of subway tile spinoffs. Traditional subway tile is made of white porcelain, but many manufacturers are starting to offer the same size and shape tiles (and slightly larger ones) made of everything from colorful glass to white calacatta marble. This offers a great way to put your own personal twist on a simple, clean, traditional style.
Subway tile might be at the forefront of bathroom tile trends, but that doesn’t mean they’re being installed in the traditional horizontal configuration. In fact, I might be so bold as to say that, outside of a traditional design, subway tiles are being used in almost every configuration but the conventional brick-style installation. From stunning herringbone mosaic tiles to complicated crosses and even simple, straight stacks, subway tiles are not only getting new life through type and color of tile, but also through unique, innovative installation patterns.
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I feel the need to mention these separately, because you might not immediately associate long, thin, line or bar type tile with “rectangles.” Once again, unlike the small square tiles, thin rectangular tiles have only been showing up more prominently in bathroom tile trends in recent years, and are commonly used in everything from a small backsplash or wall divider up to a full sized accent wall. Like other mosaic tiles, these can be installed in one foot square sheets all at once and either horizontally or vertically, making it easy to get a custom design with minimal effort. Glass is far and away the trendiest material, but more recently it’s become possible to find pre-assembled stone tile sheets as well, for a more classic style.
Saying stone tile is popular in bathroom design is practically like saying the sky is blue. As long as there have been bathrooms, stone tile has been being used there. But usually that means large format tile – sweeping floors and stunning bathtub mounts. But in terms of bathroom tile trends, I’m starting to see a lot of smaller format stone tile – especially unpolished tile specifically designed to create a raw, unfinished stone texture. These are often placed in patterns that stand different distances out from the wall, creating another twist on the white-on-white style of traditional bathroom design, this time adding the tactile element of ancient architecture.
In the past, mosaic tiles have most often occupied one of two different spots in the bathroom. Either they take the traditional meaning of the word to heart in the form of a large, artistic wall or inset made of small colorful tiles, or the more conventionally popular application, the backsplash. But lately I’ve been seeing a lot of mosaic tiles used in other areas of the bathroom -from colorful racing stripes on the walls and floor to more creative applications, like setting off a built-in shelves inside your shower or even surrounding a simple frameless mirror. This is another application where small square mosaic tiles especially shine, as they can be cut to size much, much more easily than any other type of tile while still being installed in a single piece.
What bathroom tile trends are you drawn too? Are there any mosaic tiles you’d like to try for your bathroom?