White tiles in the bathroom are not boring

Let’s figure out what is good about white tiles in the bathroom, what form of tiles to choose, and how to combine with other finishing materials.

The decoration of the bathroom should be practical, universal, and meet the features of the room. Light tiles are a win-win classic that will fit into any style and make the room spacious and airy. In this article, we will tell you how to choose white tiles for the bathroom, what to combine with, and what ideas to adopt from design projects.

Pros and Cons

To understand whether light tiles are suitable for your interior, you need to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of such a finish.


  • It visually enlarges the space, fills it with air, and reflects light. Therefore, it is an ideal solution for small rooms where only a few square meters are available. In addition, city bathrooms usually do not have windows, so it is important to compensate for the lack of natural light.
  • Universal in every sense. The snow-white finish is suitable for a room of any size and shape, fits into all styles, and goes equally well with different colors, textures, and materials.
  • Contamination is not as noticeable. It is believed that such a surface is more stained, but it is in the context of the bathroom that the rule works the other way around: limescale, soap film, traces of powder, and detergents, as a rule, are light, so they will be less noticeable.
  • It’s the perfect base. It is not for nothing that in art galleries the walls are made light and monochromatic — the snow-white background does not distort the perception of other colors and emphasizes their depth. And if you want to quickly update the interior, it will be enough to add a few bright accents in the form of décor – and you will not have to make repairs.


Compared to the pros, such a design solution has almost no disadvantages.

  • Too simple and boring is the main argument of opponents of light ceramics. Indeed, if you lay out the walls and floor with standard square snow-white tiles, you will get a flat “hospital” interior. It is easy to avoid this: it is enough to add a couple of other shades to the palette, use several textures, play with the size, shape, and method of laying tiles. And, of course, don’t forget about accents.
  • In a monochrome space, boundaries are erased – some people may feel uncomfortable in a white interior, especially if the surfaces are lined with the same plain material. Texture differences, contrasting dark details, and ornaments will help to add volume to the space. You can also lay a rug on the floor.

White Bathroom Tile Design Options

In order for the bathroom design to look stylish and relevant, it is important to choose the appropriate size and shape of the tiles, as well as know what to combine it with.


The classic shape is a square or rectangle. The former went out of fashion as a relic of Soviet interiors, but in recent years it has begun to return to popularity. Matte snow-white or milky squares look stylish, and you can add a graphic touch to the walls or floor with black or colored grout.

Rectangles can be laid out horizontally, with an offset, diagonally. The vertical layout looks interesting, especially if the parts are elongated or small in size. By the way, rectangular tiles can visually change the proportions of the room: horizontal laying will expand the space, and vertical laying will add height to the room. A separate subspecies of rectangular shape is the “hog”, which is a light convex brick. This finish has long passed into the category of classics and looks best in white.

The hexagon also remains relevant. It can be combined with other shapes or finishing materials, and the so-called honeycombs – small hexagonal tiles – look especially fashionable. It is suitable for any size bathroom, but it is best not to lay all four walls from floor to ceiling with it, so as not to ripple in the eyes. Classic square mosaics also have a place, but in order for the interior not to look old-fashioned, it is better to choose plain matte details.


There are three main formats.

  • Standard – 60×60 or 60×120 cm. The largest selection in stores, suitable for a room of any size.
  • Small – squares or hexagons with a side of up to 1.5 cm. Suitable for small and medium-sized rooms, they can get lost in a large room. Good for facing corners and other complex shapes.
  • Large – slabs with a side of up to 3 m. In this format, as a rule, porcelain stoneware is sold, but there are also ordinary tiles. Contrary to the belief that large details only look good in large spaces, such slabs can also be used in small rooms. In order not to draw attention to the size, it is better to choose seamless models that fit closely.

Combination with other finishes

Ceramics does not have to be the only finishing material. There are several successful combinations of finishes for white tiles in the bathroom.


The most frequent companion. It must be moisture-resistant, and not afraid of temperature changes, as well as the effects of steam. The upper part of the walls and relatively dry areas, such as where the sink, toilet, or storage system is located, are usually given over to painting. This combination makes the interior more interesting and allows you to save on building materials.

You can paint the surface in a rich color or in a more restrained pastel tone. In the first case, you will get a juicy bright accent that will add colorfulness to the space, in the second – a more restrained design, close to monochrome.


Wood is good friends with snow-white ceramics. Natural wood is rarely used in the bathroom, as it is afraid of water and requires a high-quality protective coating. Much more often, designers resort to various imitations: from MDF panels to the same ceramics with a wood texture.

Depending on the general style, wood, and its imitation can be used in decoration, furniture or decorative elements.


Moisture-resistant wallpaper in the bathroom is usually used as an accent. Most often, they mark one wall or part of it, for example, behind the sink, by the door or in the storage area. A win-win combination: plain white tiles and multi-coloured wallpaper with small or large contrasting ornaments.

Case Studies

Finally, let’s look at photos of several projects, in which designers approached the use of light tiles in the design of the bathroom in completely different ways.

1. Playing with textures

More and more often, in the design of bathrooms, they are moving away from mono-finishing and using several materials, textures, and colors. This project is a prime example of such a combination. Three main elements coexist in the room: painting of a deep gray-blue shade figured light tiles, and a pronounced texture of wood.

Moisture-resistant paint is used in dry areas and in the upper part of the walls, below along the perimeter there are small white tiles. Here, the authors of the project used an interesting technique: instead of laying out a fairly large area with the same hexagon, in some places it was diluted with a chevron. Due to the partial similarity of shapes, an original effect was obtained: the finish seems to stretch upwards, smoothly changing its appearance.

Otherwise, a large amount of white visually enlarges the space and balances the rather dark color of the paint. And wood, due to its naturally warm texture, adds coziness to the room. It is complemented by precious metal fittings.

2. Graphic Design

White tiles in the bathroom don’t necessarily mean a completely light palette. For example, in this project, he acts in an unusual role of accent and works as a zoning tool. In total, there were three types of decoration in the room.

  • Mustard-colored wall panels, behind which communications are hidden (the toilet bowl is matched to them).
  • Large slabs of porcelain stoneware that cover the walls and floor of the spacious shower box.
  • Small rectangular tiles in the sink area.

Despite the neutral color, the wall in the part of the bathroom where the washbasin is located turned out to be an accent due to small tiles, vertical location and contrasting grout. It is echoed by textured black details that unite all types of finishes.

3. Monochrome and Neon

The design of the bathroom with white tiles, the photo of which you can see below, proves that the monochrome palette can exist as an independent unit. You don’t have to dilute it with other shades — you can work with lines, contrast, and textures, and also add an unusual technique, as the authors of this project did.

The designers designed the combined bathroom completely in light colors: ceramics on the wall, installation to match it, floor and ceiling, and plumbing. This abundance of snow-white is diluted by the black color, which adds volume to the space and creates dynamics, drawing lines and boundaries of planes.

There is also a third color here, but it does not manifest itself in the decoration or facades of the furniture. LED lighting with a neon purple tint, which is combined with accessories, acts as a colorful accent. As a result, the mood of the room changes literally at the snap of your fingers: a bright, almost sterile bathroom turns into a bright, futuristic space as soon as you change the lighting mode. This technique is also good because at any time you can change the color of the bulbs and create a completely different atmosphere in the bathroom.

Such tinted lighting is not the easiest to implement. To avoid the darkroom effect, you need to think about several different lighting scenarios and textures on which the light will fall. So, in this bathroom, the designers used mirrors and transparent glass surfaces that reflect light and make it three-dimensional. In this case, the finish is monochromatic, without contrasting elements, and as neutral as possible, since it performs the function of a blank canvas.

4. Bright accents

Here is an example of how light ceramics work in a small bathroom as the main finishing material. Thanks to this solution, a space of only 4 square meters looks bright and spacious – the effect is enhanced by light floors, ceilings, and plumbing.

At the same time, the interior does not seem empty and boring. This is achieved through a few tricks.

  • A contrasting dark grout echoes the black fittings and small details.
  • A combination of tiles of different shapes and sizes.
  • Warm wood texture is used for furniture facades.
  • Bright yellow and orange accents that enliven and refresh the space.

The floor is lined with patterned ceramics a few shades darker than the rest of the trim – this simultaneously marks the boundaries of the planes and does not sharply divide the overall light palette. For the walls, the authors of the project chose simple shapes (square and rectangle) without ornaments, so as not to split the surface and visually enlarge the available area.

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