Bathroom Design Ideas Using Tile

Bathrooms are an ideal spot to incorporate tile into your home. Moisture and steam requires flooring that won’t warp and can resist mold and mildew. Here are a few bathroom design ideas and a brief overview of tiling.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles rank among the most popular choices for bathroom flooring due to their durability and water resistance. Tiles are available in a multitude of colors, shapes, and styles to easily mesh with any decor. Here are a few bathroom design ideas and a brief overview of tiling in case you’d like to try this DIY project.

Add Tile When Remodeling

Adding tile as part of a bathroom remodel makes sense because you’ll have an empty space to work with. When remodeling, consider replacing toilets with newer, more efficient models. You may also want to remove the existing vanity or cabinets and update the look by installing newer styles. Old lighting fixtures can also be updated with a modern style.

Choose Tile

In addition to choosing a color and style, buying the right type of tile (floor vs. wall) is also important. Compared to wall tiles, floor tiles must have greater water and slip resistance, in addition to increased durability. After you’ve selected the tile, you’ll need to purchase grout. Opt for a color that closely matches your tile for a blending effect, or you may want to choose a contrasting hue to make the grout lines stand out.

Prepare the Subfloor

Your subfloor must be stable and flat to prevent tiles from cracking. If your existing floor is ceramic tile or a cement base, tiling on top may be an option, but the height of your floor will increase, which can cause issues when reinstalling toilets. Another option is to remove your existing floor and install an OSB or plywood subfloor. Once your subflooring is set, you’ll need to attach backerboard using mortar and screws for optimal adherence.

Lay the Tile

Before starting the project, plan your exit strategy so that you don’t tile yourself into a corner. It may be helpful to sketch the room and mark where each tile will go. You’ll want to ensure that any cut tiles are located around the perimeter of the room, not in the center. To lay tile, first spread mortar using a notched spreader. Press each tile down firmly and ensure it’s flat and straight. As you work, add spacers between tiles to help measure a uniform size of the grout lines.


Image Source: Flickr/Cheryl Marland

Cutting Tile

Tile saws can be rented at any home improvement store. Be sure you understand how to work the saw safely. Many Philadelphia area Home Depot stores run DIY tile classes, so you may want to attend one and learn more about the tools needed.


Sanded grout works best for ceramic and porcelain floor tiles with larger grout lines. Purchase premixed grout or buy bags of dry grout and mix it yourself. Using a rubber float, spread the grout in the empty spaces between tiles. Next, take a rag or sponge and wipe off excess grout left on the tiles. Once the grout has fully dried, apply a sealer to protect it from discoloration.

Bathroom Design Ideas Using Tile

Tile designs and styles change frequently. Wood-look porcelain tiles are a new trend in bathroom flooring. These combine the beauty of hardwood with the durable traits of tile. Classic subway tiles have regained popularity for backsplashes and showers. To update the retro look, try using colors other than white, or choose a contrasting grout color.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are long-lasting and beautiful flooring options that add value to your Philadelphia home. If you think you’re up for the challenge, a basic design in a small bathroom space is a great way to learn how to lay tile.

Main Image Source: Flickr/andrechinn


Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and a partner in a real estate investment firm focusing on residential properties. She previously worked in the financial services industry and has earned an MBA from Villanova University. Jennifer enjoys writing about real estate, home improvement and small business.

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1 Comment

  1. Heather
    August 28, 2017

    Cutting and laying tile can be one of the easiest DIY projects, but messing it up can be disastrous, so it’s good to be very sure of the sizing and grout color before committing it to your floor. Thanks for sharing!


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