On Choosing Bathroom Tile

Shopping for tile just might be one of my favorite things. There are SO many great patterns, colors and materials out there! The only problem is that whenever I shop for tile at a design center I’m always blown away at the prices. It can really add up quickly!

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Then, earlier this year, when I started working on my parents remodel and we needed lots of tile, I stumbled into Floor & Decor for the first time. It took about 30 seconds of looking at their great marble tile inventory to realize that we were set! We literally bought every tile we used in the house at Floor & Decor! They had every style we envisioned for each of the bathrooms, the laundry room and the kitchen. And now I’m using their tile in a couple of client projects, too. It feels like my not-so-secret, secret source! :) The best part is they have all the tile in stock in their stores, so you can handpick the sheets or tile pieces you like the best (SO important when using stone, especially, with all the natural color and pattern variation!).

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Their stores are HUGE and they carry almost every style of hard surface flooring (including wood) and decorative tile you can imagine. They also sell all of the supplies and tools you’ll need for installation. It’s a DIYer’s (and designer’s!) paradise.

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Given how into Floor & Decor I’ve been these days, you can imagine how excited I was when they reached out to invite me to share some of my favorite tile selections with you! I’ve learned that because there are so many classic and on-trend options available, that’s a task easier said than done! But when it comes to choosing tile for a bathroom or kitchen backsplash, there’s a high likelihood I’ll be going with one of my three favorite tiling options: subway, penny and/or marble.

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Subway tile is just about as classic as you can get! And don’t feel like you have to go with the standard running bond installation pattern! Think outside the box! (Here is a great reference sheet for pattern ideas.) I’m completely in love with this version of a herringbone pattern, rotated just a few degrees to give it a more modern feel!

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Smitten Studio

Another way to make subway tile feel special is to make it more graphic with a really dark grout. I love the marble baseboard in this photo too.

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Domino

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Although, I will say that white grout is back with a vengeance! I think part of that is due to how far grout technology has come over the past few years. Floor & Decor carries a few great lines that don’t need to be sealed or re-sealed. Bring on the white grout!

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Mark Reilly

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Amber Interiors

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Design Sponge

One of the best things about subway tile is it’s super cheap – only 21 cents a piece! The beveled edge tile is a bit of an upgrade, but is still affordable at only 49 cents.

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The 4×4″ square is an absolute steal at 12 cents each!

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It’s surprisingly chic for such an affordable material! How great does it look with this black hex tile? I think that is the secret to making subway tile look special – pairing it with something a little more unique!

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Penny and hex tiles are another way to stretch your design dollar. These beautiful penny tiles are only $2.99/ft.

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Just like with subway tile, you really can’t go wrong with white penny tile and gray grout! If you’re feeling adventurous, black penny with black grout is super modern and so dramatic!

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Anna Spiro

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Studio McGee

Some people worry about cleaning so much grout, but it’s really not that bad! I use this beast of a scrub brush on my tumbling block floor tile and it works great! I actually love all the grout in a bathroom – it makes the floors much safer to walk on when wet.

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And don’t forget the idea of making your own patterns with hex or penny tiles!

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The marble tile section is where I spend most of my time shopping at F&D. The employees that work that section know me (and Margot) by name. :) We used this one in my Mom and Dad’s bathroom:

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And this one in their guest bath (after photos to come!):

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And this beautiful mosaic marble in their game room bath:

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And this sweet marble mini herringbone tile for their kitchen backsplash. I love the texture of this tile!

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I’ve been wanting to replace the tile in the studio bath and I’m toying with an idea my newest design team member, Megan, showed me on Pinterest for cutting down 12×12 marble tiles into smaller strips for a herringbone pattern. Wouldn’t that be a gorgeous look with these inexpensive honed carrara tiles?

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Enjoy Co.

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Amy Sklar

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Elements of Style

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Elements of Style

If that idea ends up being too labor intensive, my back-up plan is this gorgeous marble basketweave pattern. I am pretty obsessed with this one!

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Do you love tile as much as I do? Like consumes-your-every-waking-thought-and-dream amounts of love?? Which tile patterns are making your heart go pitter-patter lately? 
A big thanks to Floor & Decor for partnering with me on this flooring series! :) And if you’re interested in hiring our team to help you design your home, email me! We’re taking clients in Arizona and California.
  1. Becca

    How do you clean your marble tile and the grout that surrounds it (specifically in the bathroom)? I understand that marble is very porous and any kind of chemical or acid could eat away at the finish, and the brush you mentioned could even scratch it. We just had our bathroom renovated and installed marble basketweave floor tiles, but now I'm scared to clean them for fear of ruining them. Please advise!

  2. I love Floor & Decor! We buy all of our tile from there. I used that grey/white penny tile in both my kitchen (http://www.thehappyhomebodies.com/2014/05/new-kitchen-backsplash.html) and guest bath (http://www.thehappyhomebodies.com/2014/04/reveal-guest-bathroom-makeover.html) and I love how it looks like marble without the marble price tag. When you add white grout, it really brightens it up.

    We were shopping there the other day for my mom's kitchen backsplash and fell in love with this marble chevron. https://www.flooranddecor.com/marble-stone/gray-chevron-marble-mosaic-100051804.html#prefn1=size&sz=60&start=401&prefv1=12in.+x+12in. Doesn't it look like antique Parisian floors?

  3. SS

    Not opposed to advertisements on blogs, but I got hijacked to a completely different site (Zales) when I came to your blog from Feedly today. I don't like those kind of tactics. Don't know if that's more on your end or Feedly's, but I wanted to mention in case you weren't aware. Thanks!

  4. cd

    I wish the promotional campaigns for these companies would time it better across blogs. You start by saying you stumbled on Floor and Decor? I sorta doubt that considering they have sponsored posts up across the DIY/Decor blogosphere this week and last. Granted, I scrolled all the way down just to confirm this was a sponsored post.

    At least it's not shilling for Blue Apron!

    I do like the rest of your design content very much, however.

  5. Angela

    Thanks for the great round up! It's easy to get sucked into those beautiful designs and wonder where does one get those type of tiles? With 3 kids in tow, I don't want to test out a tile source, and the big box store is decades behind on whats trendy! These kind of posts help me learn about where I can get the look and not pay a ton of money. I'm glad you get paid to share this type of designer information. You've done the work to learn, and I benefit. Maybe in another life I can afford a designer, but until now I have to do it by myself, and you are so gracious to even accept the pittance of a sponsor payment to write up design mag worthy editorial. Keep it ALL coming, girl! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

  6. This is why I am 100% a-ok with sponsored posts! What a great resource. We're getting ready to re-do our bathroom and I will be making a trip to my local store to shop for tiles!

  7. I just love the look of penny tiles! I haven't installed any yet, but I am planning on using them for the floor of our new powder room addition (with white subway tiles up the wall). Because it's a small space, it makes sense to splurge for something to get a dramatic impact; and I'll really only need a few sheets!

  8. We would love your help here in the White Mountains. I emailed you last night, please let us know if you're interested. Thanks!

  9. I absolutely love your tile choices! Classic but a little different. Jenny, do you think it would be a bad idea for a novice DIY-er to redo bathroom floors? Is it one of those jobs better left to a professional?

  10. Jen

    Love all these ideas! Tiling my bathroom floor with penny tile soon! Jen @thestylenest

  11. Jenny, your parents kitchen Reno inspired me to use white Macabus in my own kitchen gut remodel. But now I'm stuck on the backsplash! Are you happy with how the marble tile turned out against the macabus? My range hood is black so I'm trying to not get too busy with the backsplash :)

  12. Your timing is perfect as I have just selected tile for my two bathrooms at home and this was a nicely affirming post! : ) Beautiful round up, thank you.

  13. Becca – I use a cleaning solution specifically formulated for stone and tile. I bought mine at F&D earlier this year, but have bought it on Amazon and at Target in the past!

    Jordan – I LOVE your tile choices! Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    SS – That ad redirect must have been from Feedly. I have to approve that type of intense marketing with my ad management company and I don't usually take those opportunities. :)

    CD – I'm glad you're enjoying my content! I'm sad to hear that my post sounds a little incredulous. I promise I'd never purposefully be deceptive with my content. I really did stumble into F&D in January, right after I had Margot. Floor & Decor reached out to me earlier this summer about working together on a flooring post series, which I was thrilled to say yes to, for all the reasons I stated in the post! The way blog campaigns work is either an in-house marketing team or a hired PR company will have a (usually several month long) campaign with a company like Floor & Decor. That team reaches out to a few bloggers and says we'd love to hire you to share our products and your ideas with your readers. If it's a company and product that I'm truly excited about (like F&D or even Blue Apron – I love that service!), I am happy to work with them to create sponsored content. I try and make the post informative beyond just sharing the product, like posting a recipe or a DIY tutorial or tips for choosing tile for a bathroom. I hope that helps clarify a little. The reason you've seen other bloggers post about F&D lately is they are a part of the same ad campaign. I know it can feel like overkill, but it's sort of the way it has to be done, and I like that we can see each of the blogger's unique ideas and their twist on the product shares and ideas. :) Thanks for your feedback!

  14. Thank you, Angela and Rebecca!! I SO appreciate you both taking the time to leave that kind feedback about sponsorships!! xoxoxo

    Amanda – I think tile sheets are not for beginners, especially if you have one of those designer's eyes where you will notice every little difference in spacing/grout lines. I think if you've had a little experience with tile though, and you're willing to take your time, it is definitely DIY-able!

    Chelsea8200 – I was stuck on the backsplash too. White Subway felt like too stark of a contrast and made the counters look too gray to me. I LOVE the way the herringbone pairs with the quartzite. Super happy with the combo. xo

    Suzain – I use a special tile cleaning solution that has a built-in sealer and polish. It's nice to keep up on sealing every time I clean my floors! xo

  15. I'm not aware of a Floor & Decor in the Pacific Northwest. It sounds like a great resource. When we were selecting the finishes on our newest remodel (we have vacation rentals in Manzanita Oregon on the coast), we frequently ended up at Home Depot. One of our favorite tiles was standard 12 x 12 Grecian Marble, which we then sanded, giving it a honed finish at a lesser cost, then cut in half before setting. The end result was a brick patterned floor with 6 x 12 honed marble. Adding an in floor heating system before the tile installation, the end result was very lux at a very low cost.

    The Houses On Manzanita Beach
    http://www.VacationRentalsManzanita.com

  16. I use subway tile all the time in my projects – it's such a classic. I switched it up a bit for a kitchen I am working on right now – we are using a 4" x 10" subway tile from Zumpano for the backsplash. We are using a darker grout, too – I am really looking forward to seeing it installed.

  17. laura

    I love your blog! I really like the basket weave pattern – maybe because it is a little different from the other patterns.
    I just wanted to let you know I came directly to your site and was also redirected to an advertisement like SS.

  18. There is a lot of different tiles to choose from when remodeling or building a bathroom. It can be hard to find the right one that works for your house and you love at the same time. I really like the domino pattern, but not with the white tiles. Maybe I'll have to get a few blue tiles and see how that pattern looks in my new bathroom in that pattern. http://www.startile.ca/en/

  19. krishnadecores

    Nice! you are sharing such helpful and easy to understandable blog in decoration. i have no words for say i just say thanks because it is helpful for me.

  20. lisa

    Hi, Can you tell me where the tile in the 9th picture from the top is from? It is credited as “Amber Interiors” and looks like a New Yorker line drawing. Thanks!

    • Jenny

      It’s a tile by Cle!

  21. Yeah …I like design penny tiles

  22. Thanks for sharing this! I love your point that plain tiles are inexpensive, but can still look chic. My husband and I are going to be remodeling our master bathroom, and we’d like to try and save some money on materials. We’d like a stylish look with tile, so we’ll definitely look into getting regular ones and contrasting with something unique like hexes.

  23. Paligs

    I don’t know why, but I believe that bathroom tiles has to be square shape. I like either huge tiles or very tiny ones like mosaic.

  24. vindiesel1245

    I think your blog is very powerful to me. We have hope that u can keep up the good job.
    Tile Showroom

  25. The dark grout actually looks really cool. I like the way it matches the theme of the bathroom. I think it is a good option too, because when the grout gets dirty over time, it will be more difficult to see. However, this can add a drawback because it might be a more difficult to clean!

  26. wonderful share! and yes bathroom is definitely an indispensable and the most important part of our home. thanks for sharing this!

  27. Sayali Kamat

    Thanks for sharing such dreamy images. They have felt us inspired. Tiles make the most impact on the look of a home.I found some really good kitchen floor tiles design ideas on The Happy Homes Blog.

  28. Pingback: A Luxe and Spa-Like Bathroom for Less: Online Sources for Discount Designer Marble Tile » Home Glow Design

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