Forget the Tub—These Bathroom Backsplash Ideas Steal the Show
From striped concrete to old-school mosaics.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:30 AM
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Good design is all in the details, which means the thing that distinguishes an average powder room from a great one is the bathroom backsplash tile. It’s your chance to get creative with a relatively small surface area, trying out bold colors and splashy prints that might otherwise overwhelm a space—all without committing to a full renovation. Sledgehammers down.
The second perk? The flexibility. Keep yours to a narrow sliver above the sink for a no-brainer accent or extend the style all the way to the ceiling. These seven corners have the art of tiling down to a T.
The Subtle Stripes
At this point, Sarah Sherman Samuel is a pro at making neutrals interesting; in her Grand Rapids, Michigan, kids’ bath, that philosophy takes the form of camel-colored blocks breaking up a bright white backdrop. With cream pendant lights and equally pared-back tiles as the supporting acts, the horizontal display steals the show.
Try it out: Granada Tile’s Chicago 84 collection is hyper-customizable. With 40 shades for each little line, you can create your dream combo easily.
The Transportive Background
The blue mosaics Space Exploration Design chose for this Williamsburg, Brooklyn, penthouse look like Portugal’s famous azulejos pieces. Each hand-painted square brings this sunny space one step closer to looking like a European villa—of course, the giant terracotta urn in the corner helps.
Try it out: Cobalt detailing weaves an intricate pattern in these handmade Turkish ceramics.
The Rainbow Room
Nothing about Brynn Jones’s antiques-filled house is one-note, especially the Technicolor bathroom. Amid the cupboards’ vibrant pinks and reds, a minimal teal backsplash grounds the bold palette.
Try it out: Lindsey Lang’s olive squares may look simple, but peer closer: Cement makes them subtly textured.
The Shimmering Strip
The Firehouse Hotel has the Midas touch, thanks to the gleaming zellige that’s plastered over a tomato red sink cabinet. On the walls, designer Sally Breer kept the glitz to a minimum by pairing it with a crisp white—though she left a hint of color peeping out from under a rug for a boost of glamour.
Try it out: Bring the gilded look home with Clé’s saffron-toned colorway. The natural glaze is all the shine you need.
The Tonal Contrast
Blues rule in this Manhattan apartment, where patterned wallpaper is balanced out by a half-wall of penny tiles in a similar shade. It’s a medley of silhouettes, where what could have otherwise been a monotonous navy surface is broken up into layers of textures and shapes.
Try it out: Create your own base of cobalt penny rounds with Teranova’s sleek option.
The All-White Upgrade
When in doubt, go tiny: In this sprawling California property, the classic neutral backdrop gets a contemporary revamp in the form of a hundred mini squares. Compared to the influx of subway tiles we’ve been seeing, the small forms feel fresh.
Try it out: Mineral Tiles’s matte porcelain mosaics are durable (they’re water- and frostproof) and go with everything.
The Maximalist Dream
Garance Doré went all out with her bathroom backsplash tile, so much so that she enveloped nearly every square inch of the luxe-looking space in the same Moroccan-inspired print. It makes for quite the sensory experience.
Try it out: No two pieces in Riad Tile’s cement collection are the same, but that’s the beauty of it—perfection is overrated.
See more bathroom ideas: 7 Grey Bathroom Floor Tile Ideas That Are Anything But Blah 12 Porcelain Bathroom Tiles That’ll Make You Forget About Paint 11 Ways to Transform Your Bathroom Into a Bathhouse