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Rustic and modern tiling for your bathroom

Last Updated Nov 7, 2016 · Written by Rob Schneider

A bathroom renovation specialist can do many things for you. They can help you with your bathroom design and build your bathroom for you. One thing they can't do without your help is choose the style of your bathroom. Do you want a rustic bathroom, a modern bathroom or something in between? Once you've decided on the style you want, you can work with them and your tiler to choose the perfect tiles for your bathroom.

A bathroom is usually a self-contained room that offers you the opportunity to use different tile colours and textures than you may want to use in the kitchen. Which floor tiles will you choose? What about your wall tiles? We explore rustic and modern tiling for your bathroom and suggest ways you can combine the two.

1. Modern Tiling for Your Bathroom

2. How to Get the Rustic Bathroom Look

3. Combine Rustic and Modern Bathroom Tiles

Modern Tiling for Your Bathroom

Modern bathroom tiling can take several forms. The minimalist look is popular today. Black, white and shades of grey are popular in minimalist interiors. They are often combined with ultra-modern bathroom fixtures to give the bathroom a more dramatic look.


The minimalist style is popular because it gives a room a clean, uncluttered appearance. Black, white and shades of grey aren't the only tile colours you can use in a minimalist bathroom. You may want a more earthy look. You can keep your bathroom design simple and linear, but still bring nature into your bathroom. You get the best of both worlds with a minimalist-inspired design and earth-toned tiles.


A modern bathroom doesn't have to be a minimalist design. You may want your bathroom to have more character and charm. You can achieve this with modern tiles combined with modern fixtures. Rather than stick with one colour palette, combine colours in a modern bathroom. Your tiles can be a feature wall, accent tiles or both. Your tiler can help you choose your wall and floor tiles. Think about the size and shape of your tiles as well as your tile layout. Narrow rectangular tiles can make your bathroom ceiling appear higher than it is.


5 Tips for Selecting Bathroom Tiles goes into bathroom tiling in detail. The five tips include:

  1. Start with one tile for the largest area
  2. Size and shape matters goes into the different sizes and shapes of tiles and how they can change a room's appearance
  3. Accent tiles shows you how accent tiles can create a dramatic difference in the bathroom
  4. A feature wall can make a stunning statement in the bathroom
  5. Knowing the limits explains why you probably don't want to choose more than three types of tiles: primary, secondary and accent tiles are enough


You have a dazzling array of modern bathroom tiles to choose from today. Aside from sizes ranging from mosaics to large format square and rectangular tiles, you can choose glass or metallic tiles. They can be used effectively on feature walls or as accent tiles.


Textured tiles are also available. They can be perfect for a feature wall.


How to Get the Rustic Bathroom Look

Modern bathrooms don't appeal to everyone. A rustic bathroom has an old world charm and can look surprisingly modern as well. The question is: how rustic do you want your bathroom to be? If you want your bathroom to look like it has been made from stone and timber, you may need to go beyond tiles and consider using stone or stone veneer.


Another way you can create a rustic look in your bathroom is by combining tile with photorealistic wallpaper. Be sure to buy wallpaper for bathrooms or it may not be able to stand up to the moisture in your bathroom. Photorealistic wallpaper is made from high resolution photographs of scenery or rustic surfaces such as old brick. The surface of the wallpaper is smooth, but looks like it has depth and texture.


You can also achieve the rustic look with tiles. For example, you might want your walls to look like they have timber cladding. Timber is not the best choice of materials for walls that will be getting wet, but large format tiles can give you an easy-to-maintain surface and the timber look you want. You can use them on the walls or the floor.


You can also find floor and wall tiles that look like natural stone. Each tile can be a single or multiple colours and textured tiles are available, too. Your tile supplier can show you a stunning range of tiles that look like natural stone. They come in a range of colour tones, too, so you're not limited to shades of grey.


Combine Rustic and Modern Bathroom Tiles

Can a Home be too Modern? argues that you can take minimalism to extremes. Without texture or rustic details, an interior can look sterile and uninviting. This can be true in the bathroom as well as any other room in the house. Your choice of tiles can make the difference between a too modern bathroom and one that is just right.

When we choose floor tiles, we often think of one style or size of tile for the whole floor. Mixing floor tiles can give the bathroom floor a more interesting look. You can combine floor tiles in a number of ways. In a large bathroom, you may want to create zones with floor tiles. In a smaller bathroom, floor tiles can make the room look larger.


You can use tiles in innovative ways in the bathroom. You want feature tiles, but don't want them to be in a standard pattern. Think about ways you can use them to frame other bathroom elements. For example, feature tiles can frame your bathroom mirror.


You aren't limited to ceramic tiles, either. Natural stone tiles give a modern bathroom a more rustic look. If you lay natural stone tiles, they have to be thoroughly sealed because natural stone is porous and can stain. Your tiler will know what type of sealer to use if they are not factory sealed.


Cement can have a rustic appearance, but cement walls are not practical in the bathroom. You can find tiles that look like polished cement to give your bathroom a modern, but rustic "industrial" look. When you combine "polished cement" tiles with modern fixtures, you can create an inviting bathroom that is both modern and rustic.


These are just some ideas to help you think about designing your bathroom. Your tiles will be an important part of your bathroom design. Think about the ambience you want to create in your bathroom. You can find tiles to suit any style of bathroom, from rustic to ultra-modern or anything in between. For more inspiration, have a look at our Bathroom Tile Ideas and Bathroom Design Ideas photo pages.

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