Wood-effect tiles in the bathroom: how to use and combine

Tiles imitating a wooden texture are a stylish and modern solution for decorating a bathroom. We will tell you how to use it in different interiors and what finishing materials to combine.

One of the main trends of recent years is environmental friendliness. First of all, wood is associated with it, but not everyone will dare to use natural species in the bathroom due to strong humidity. There is a way out – tiles that imitate a wood texture. It is resistant to moisture, steam, and temperature changes, and externally is almost indistinguishable from natural wood. At the same time, you can find a quite affordable one, and such a finish will last a long time. In the article, we give all the necessary information about wood-effect tiles in the bathroom: photos, design examples, and interesting combinations.

Types of wood-effect bathroom tiles

Tiles are a whole group of materials that differ from each other in composition, appearance, and some properties. Let’s take a look at the options.


Ceramic cladding is the most common type of material. It is made of clay and sand with the addition of feldspar. Thus, tiles are environmentally friendly and, depending on the type – glazed or unglazed – wear-resistant. It is most often used to decorate walls. Ceramics imitating wood are sold in the form of rectangles (look like real boards), slats, squares, and mosaic elements. The surface can be both smooth, glossy and rough, matte.


Porcelain stoneware is also an eco-friendly material made of sand and clay, but it is already many times more durable than tile. Porcelain stoneware is sold in the form of rectangles and squares of different lengths and widths, from small (30×30 cm) to large-format (60×120 cm). Wood-effect porcelain tiles in the bathroom are used for cladding walls, floors, and individual areas, and visually such finishes are indistinguishable from natural wood.

Vinyl Quartz

Vinyl quartz, or PVC tiles, are another popular finishing material. The main difference between it and the previous options is flexibility, PVC is ductile. Some compare it to linoleum, but in terms of quality, it still surpasses it. In addition, it is sold already sliced, as a rule, in rectangles. This is not to say that vinyl quartz is completely eco-friendly, but it is also non-toxic. Usually, it is used to finish the floor, but, if desired, you can also glue the material to the walls.

Wall Decoration Ideas

Walls are rarely finished with wood completely. Quite often, designers use wood-effect tiles in the bathroom in specific areas. We offer different options.

Shower room

A shower enclosure lined in this way is an unusual design element. A shower tray can become an extension of the floor if it is lined with the same porcelain tiles. However, it is important to take into account that the pallet in the construction version is not approved in every city. For example, in Moscow, this decision is rarely approved, a removable pallet is needed. In the regions, the solution is still being practiced.

Wall cladding with clinker or ceramics in light beige or contrasting brown tones looks interesting. For balance, you can place additional wooden accents — a countertop, a wardrobe, a mirror frame — and combine different masonry directions to make the interior more interesting.

Bath Screen

Bath screens are often decorated with tiles or porcelain stoneware. The same cladding is sometimes chosen for the floor, or a wooden screen is left as an accent design element. In a tiled screen, inspection hatches are necessarily designed, and sometimes retractable storage systems for concealed installation.

The area behind the toilet

Pipe boxes or wall-hung toilet installations sewn into plasterboard can also be tiled with porcelain stoneware or tiles. In addition to the fact that such a design will hide from sight not the most attractive technical underside, it can be used as a useful storage surface.

Bathtub area

Another option for cladding is the tile above the bathtub. The rest of the walls can be decorated with contrasting white porcelain stoneware, waterproof paint, micro cement, or plaster. Complement the accent finish with the same screen, flooring, or bright area above the sink.

Sink area

The washbasin area is usually given a lot of attention. Designers recommend placing it in front of the door. With this layout, the washbasin area is the first thing that comes into view in the interior of the bathroom. That is why it can also be designed with an accent. The idea of naturalness will be complemented by a wooden tabletop, and an unusually shaped mirror and lighting will support the accent.

Wood-effect tiles on the bathroom floor

Due to their embossed texture and various sizes, porcelain tiles and vinyl quartz tiles can almost exactly imitate natural parquet or laminate flooring.

The problem of non-wood cold can be easily solved by installing a floor heating system or a simple soft mat under your feet. Like parquet, porcelain tiles can be laid on the floor in different ways: herringbone, checkers, deck, plaited, and labyrinth. For a small room, it is better to choose medium-sized fragments – large stripes will look disproportionately large, and too small ones will visually break up the space.

Color schemes

Most often, light shades are chosen for decorating the walls in the bathroom, following the rule: they increase the space, but dark ones reduce it.

But you shouldn’t rule out dark design. Interesting spotlighting and mirrors will help to visually enlarge the space. In the gallery below, you will find examples of the design of small bathrooms, made in both light and dark brown colors. By the way, in a dark color, the texture of wood is conveyed better, and with the help of contrasting grout, you can emphasize the shape of the tiles. If the interior of the bathroom is neutral, you can add brightness with 1-2 accent colors.

Material Combinations

The main principle of stylish finishing is a competent combination of materials and textures.

It is not necessary to put the same tiles on all walls, it is even considered an anti-trend. For example, wood-effect tiles on the wall in the bathroom look great in combination with stone textures. For any interiors with natural touches in the design, a combination of wooden masonry with an imitation of white brick (it is called a hog) is suitable.

Imitation marble is another undeniable trend in recent years in design. Combine wood-effect porcelain tiles with large marble-effect slabs. In the interior of the bathroom, this noble stone looks equally good in both black and white. Different laying methods change the overall look of the room: experiment with diagonal and vertical layouts.

Any type of finishing material can be combined with the wood texture (usually paint, decorative plaster or washable wallpaper), as well as tiles with patterns or different shapes: for example, rectangular fragments with square, hexagons or mosaics. The layout also matters, different ways change the overall look of the interior. Experiment with diagonal and vertical layouts, or combine them together. By the way, in order for long fragments, more than 110 cm, to look natural and the light does not emphasize imperfections, make an offset of no more than 30% from the previous one.

Application in different styles

Wood is a desirable material in any direction, so stylistically there are no restrictions on the use of such finishes.

Here are some tips on how to use tiles with a wooden texture:

  • In the Scandinavian and eco-style, light rocks with a non-contrasting pattern look especially good. They will be successfully complemented by white hog tiles or paint, textiles made of natural fabrics, and wicker accessories.
  • Classics and neoclassics involve the use of noble materials, so it is important to choose the highest quality imitation. The texture of exotic breeds like zebrano looks spectacular. And for a calmer interior, you can choose a classic restrained design.
  • A modern, minimalist setting is built around expressive textures rather than bright colors, so tiles, vinyl quartz or wood-effect porcelain tiles will be in their place here. You can choose a finish with a slight relief, which enhances the realism, or with a pronounced wood pattern.
  • The loft is characterized by rough textures and a contrast of cold with warm. Complement the “wooden” with marble or stone-effect porcelain tiles, micro cement
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