When a bathroom needs more than a coat of paint to help refresh its design, tile can be a good option to add color, style and texture to the space. Tile accounts for around 8% of the cost of a full bathroom remodel, which is a relatively small percentage for the high visual impact tile can have. To get an average cost, multiply the square footage of the area that needs tiling with the material costs, and add $5 to $10 a square foot for installation costs.
When choosing tiles for the bathroom, it’s important to look out for materials, designs, and tile orientations that are fresh and on-trend yet still look timeless and classic for years to come. This can allow for the bathroom design to last longer and have more staying power.
To uncover the top tile trends for bathrooms this coming year, we reached out to experts in the home design field to get their take on the most popular options. Below are 7 top bathroom tile trends predicted to dominate in 2023.
1. Geometric and Patterned Designs
Tile comes in many shapes, sizes, and patterns. But other than for a few specific styles and designs, most people tend to stick to traditional shapes like squares and rectangles - until now. Homeowners are beginning to gravitate toward geometric and patterned tiles for 2023, including hexagons, chevrons, herringbones, and more.
Geometric patterns can be used to create a vintage or retro-style floor such as an octagon dot pattern, or they can make a fresh, bold design with endless possibilities. Villy Nelson, Interior Designer at Nelson Cabinetry explains, “Geometric tiles can be used in a variety of ways and are a popular choice because they add interest and texture to a space.”
You can choose to use one or the other - a patterned tile or a geometric-shaped tile - or mix them together such as using hexagons that create flower patterns on the floor. Geometric and patterned tiles can also lean towards color trends, such as black and white designs, which are very popular in bathrooms right now.
2. Different Tile Orientations
In addition to differently shaped tiles, another trend that is hot right now is to use traditional tiles in different orientations. While in kitchens we are seeing square tiles turned on a diagonal to form a diamond shape, bathrooms are seeing rectangular tiles taking on a fresher, more updated look on this classic design.
According to Interior Designers Eric Drozd and Anna Swierk from Renovation Sells, “We’re seeing a lot of vertical elements, whether that's a vertically stacked subway tile, or a large scale reeded tile. This detail draws the eye up, and makes smaller spaces look larger and taller.”
Another popular trend is to take the typical herringbone pattern and turn it at an angle so it creates 90-degree turns, rather than 45-degree. Turning long oversized tiles vertically can also have a similar effect.
3. Large Tile Format
Large format tile was one of the biggest trends for walls last year. This year, it retains its popularity and is growing in usage on the floor as well. Large format tile is defined as any tile over 12” in size, with many reaching 24” or 36” in size. Rectangular large format tiles can be 12” x 24” or 18” x 36”, and there are also long format tiles as well that can create the look of planks for walls or floors.
Large tiles have a clean, minimal appearance to them that makes a space feel larger. They have fewer grout lines than smaller tiles, so they’re easier to maintain as well. Nelson agrees, “Large tiles are becoming more and more popular because they make a room feel larger and they are easier to clean.”
Interior Designer Lindsay Joyce of 3F Living believes that, “For floor tiles, large format tiles with tight grout lines (1/16") will be a trend for 2023 bathroom design. This concept helps create a monolithic and clean surface that serves as an ideal backdrop for any bathroom design.” Keep the long tiles running horizontally for a classic look, or run them vertically for a more updated appearance. Either way, large and long format tiles will help the bathroom capture a clean and minimalist appearance.
4. Marble Tiles
Natural stone, including marble, has long been a popular material for bathrooms. Marble in particular has a classic, elegant appearance to it that can add luxury and beauty to a bathroom design. As Stacy Lewis, Interior Designer at Eternity Modern explains, “Natural stones such as marble or granite can add a luxurious touch to a bathroom.”
Marble comes in many different colors and patterns. For 2023, black marbles with contrasting white veins like Nero Marquina will be very popular, as well as classic white marbles like Bianco Cararra and Calacatta Gold. If you’re trying to capture some of the other popular bathroom colors of the year including blues, greens, and earth tones, consider using marbles like Azul Celeste, Ming Green, Verde Sultan, or New Emperador.
These materials can be used anywhere in the bathroom, but be aware that some marbles like Bianco Carrara may stain in the shower, and that green marbles containing serpentine should not be used in wet areas, as they have a tendency to become flakey with exposure to water.
5. Natural Stone
In addition to marble, all natural stones are incredibly popular for bathroom spaces right now. Natural stone can include marble, as well as slate, granite, travertine, and limestone. For the bathroom, you can capture many different trends including the currently popular Japandi and Wabi-Sabi designs using natural stone. You can also incorporate many different color trends, such as earthy finishes like tan, cream, taupe, brown, and gray.
Nelson explains, “When it comes to bathroom materials, natural stone is a popular choice. It can be used for flooring, walls, and even countertops.” This allows the homeowner to create a very cohesive-looking design in the bathroom. Use one type of stone or layer a few together to capture the desired look.
When opting for this trend, be sure to properly seal any natural stone used to reduce its susceptibility to water damage and staining, and avoid soft and fragile stones like Lagos Azul as well as green marbles in the shower.
6. Terrazzo Tiles
One of the hottest trends for bathrooms in 2023 is a new take on an old material. Terrazzo has been around for decades, used primarily as a slab-style floor made of concrete with chips of marble embedded in it. But now, terrazzo is showing up in a tile format for bathroom floors, walls, and countertops.
This unique material is durable, easy to clean, and can come in many different colors and hues, so it can capture a wide range of different color trends. Stephen Jacobs from Proximity Mills feels that, “Terrazzo and granite tile floors will be a big hit. Color trends will reflect nature's inspiration and include sand, cream, and warm wood tones.”
Terrazzo tiles are definitely making a comeback for bringing texture and interest into contemporary spaces. Choose a popular bathroom color for the chips to pull for wall colors and accents, or opt for a blend of shades to get more versatility over time.
7. Wood-Look Tiles
The look of wood in bathrooms will also be a very popular trend for 2023. Incorporating real wood in the bathroom is not ideal as it can get damaged by water and moisture, which is why wood-look materials like porcelain planks can be a popular alternative. They offer the warmth, and natural look of wood without maintenance or wear and tear.
Wood-look planks can be used on the floor or on the walls, and even in the shower. Lay them in straight layouts like a wood floor, stack them on the walls, or create patterns like herringbone or chevron for added interest. Because wood-look tiles are long-format, they also help fit other trends as well; stack them vertically on the walls to capture a soothing and unique effect.
It’s also possible to use vinyl wood-look planks on the floor of the bathroom as well. Just be sure to avoid laminates in wet areas, as they can warp or swell easily.
Popular Bathroom Tile Designs with Staying Power
If you’re thinking about renovating the bathroom this coming year, you may want to consider adding one or more of these tile trends to the space. Top trending bathroom designs in 2023 include Japandi and Wabi-Sabi, both of which have emphasis on natural materials, clean lines, and spa-like elements. Nelson agrees; “Contemporary design is always a safe choice and is bound to remain popular. Japandi, which is a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian design, is another style that is expected to gain traction.”
Whatever style you decide to choose for the bathroom, these tile trends are sure to hit the right note in 2023 and beyond.