New This Month

6 Gorgeous Tile Design Ideas

  • By Jesse Dorris
  • Photos by Pernille Loof

Step up your interior style with these renovation ideas.

Marble Marvels

A slab of this ancient stone always looks refined, but smaller blocks reveal its livelier side. We chose slim rectangular tiles for our fireplace surround; the format breaks up the rich taupe veining into a less-expected pattern. (And since they come as 12-inch-square mesh sheets, installing them is straightforward: Simply measure your space, cut the sheets to fit, and adhere them -- there’s no need to align, aka book-match, individual tiles.) The white Carrara hearth, dark firebox, and warm gray mantel bring out the surround’s earthy flecks.

[TACKLE: Tips on Upgrading Your Kitchen]

Powerful Porcelain

Fired-clay tiles are built to last and brilliant for heavily trafficked floors in bathrooms and entryways. This faux-bois style, which comes in shades and grains mimicking every tree in the forest, is a high-performance alternative to hardwood. The swipe of a sponge erases muddy boot prints; the smooth, sealed surface repels everything else. Consider installing a chic herringbone pattern, traditional parquet, or horizontal rows, which help small or narrow rooms feel more spacious.

Timeless Terrazzo

This Venetian material has a party going on under its surface: confetti-like chips of marble, glass, granite, or quartz embedded in cement. Sealed terrazzo is practically impossible to damage, since it won’t stain, chip, or scuff; also, machine polishing can give even a decades-old surface brand-new luster. Factor in all the potential base and chip combinations, and you’ve got hundreds of happy ways to customize a floor.

 

Color-Block Your Counter

Soft stripes reminiscent of Neapolitan ice cream sweeten an all-white kitchen. Plus, they protect the front of this counter from kicking feet. We picked smaller-scale halfpenny porcelain tiles over standard-size ones to add more texture. (Their 12-inch square format makes getting even rows a no- brainer.) To emphasize the tonal colors, we used grouts in matching shades.

Subway Style

Like the public-transit system it’s named after, this utilitarian ceramic surface has mass appeal. We love how the neat rows of white rectangles lend a Victorian sensibility to this bathroom; when they’re paired with a classic marble countertop and brass finishes, the effect is clean but elegant.

[LEARN: The Right Way to Care for Your Towels]

Subway Style

These rectangles can go in lots of different directions. Here are six creative ways to work them.

  • Use a New Hue
    Use a New Hue

    Offset rows in pale jade look as serene as a spa.

     

    Jeffrey Court ceramic field tile #74202, 3" by 6", in Spanish Moss Gloss Crackle, jeffreycourt.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Haystack, homedepot.com.

  • Form Rows
    Form Rows

    Far from corporate, an Excel-spreadsheet style in rich ochre would make a striking fireplace surround.

     

    Subway Ceramics tile, 3" by 6", in Ginger, subwaytile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Antique White, homedepot.com.

  • Zig and Zag
    Zig and Zag

    Robin’s-egg tiles and burgundy grout are a dramatic pairing for classic herringbone.

     

    Daltile Rittenhouse Square tile, 3" by 6", in Spa, daltile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Sable Brown, homedepot.com.

  • See Squares
    See Squares

    Pale-pink grout invigorates a standard parquet.

     

    Jeffrey Court ceramic field tile, in Royal Cream, homedepot.com. The Tile Shop Wild Rose sanded grout, tileshop.com.

  • Go Vertical
    Go Vertical

    Gray contrasting grout helps this grid pop.

     

    Nemo Tile Metro walltile collection field tile, 3" by 6", in Smoke, nemotile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Nutmeg, homedepot.com.

  • Take a Turn
    Take a Turn

    A quarter-rotation reads as more modern. Martha has vintage tiles like these ombré ones in her bathrooms in Maine.

     

    Subway Ceramics, 3" by 6", in Blush, subwaytile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Bright White, homedepot.com.

  • Use a New Hue
    Use a New Hue

    Offset rows in pale jade look as serene as a spa.

     

    Jeffrey Court ceramic field tile #74202, 3" by 6", in Spanish Moss Gloss Crackle, jeffreycourt.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Haystack, homedepot.com.

  • See Squares
    See Squares

    Pale-pink grout invigorates a standard parquet.

     

    Jeffrey Court ceramic field tile, in Royal Cream, homedepot.com. The Tile Shop Wild Rose sanded grout, tileshop.com.

  • Form Rows
    Form Rows

    Far from corporate, an Excel-spreadsheet style in rich ochre would make a striking fireplace surround.

     

    Subway Ceramics tile, 3" by 6", in Ginger, subwaytile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Antique White, homedepot.com.

  • Go Vertical
    Go Vertical

    Gray contrasting grout helps this grid pop.

     

    Nemo Tile Metro walltile collection field tile, 3" by 6", in Smoke, nemotile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Nutmeg, homedepot.com.

  • Zig and Zag
    Zig and Zag

    Robin’s-egg tiles and burgundy grout are a dramatic pairing for classic herringbone.

     

    Daltile Rittenhouse Square tile, 3" by 6", in Spa, daltile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Sable Brown, homedepot.com.

  • Take a Turn
    Take a Turn

    A quarter-rotation reads as more modern. Martha has vintage tiles like these ombré ones in her bathrooms in Maine.

     

    Subway Ceramics, 3" by 6", in Blush, subwaytile.com. Custom Building Products Fusion Pro grout, in Bright White, homedepot.com.

Luxe Leather

These tactile squares -- available in smooth, suede, faux croc, and more -- are surprisingly versatile. The rich, buttery one-eighth-inch-thick sealed cowhide tiles we mounted in this master bedroom could also cover a tray, a desktop, or (now we’re talking) a walk-in closet’s floor. Apply them to a substrate (like plywood) first, then to the surface you want to cover.

 

Get the Float Your Headboard How-To

Glass Act

Subtle variations in color and shine make this medium ideal for creating mod monochromatic installations. And though a glass surface may sound delicate, it’s quite sturdy: Small-scale tiles are less likely to break than a solid sheet.

Get the Top Your Table How To

 

Stunning Cement

The vibrant hues of cement tiles make them highly covetable. Don’t just take our word for it -- see the hundreds of thousands of Instagrammers who follow @ihavethisthingwithfloors. Each is hand-poured into molds, not painted, so a turquoise like this won’t chip or fade, and fewer grout joints mean there’s nothing to interrupt the bold patterns. (Speaking of joints, preseal these tiles before you grout, to avoid stains.) Indoors, they help your home stay both warm and cool. Outdoors, their smooth finish feels like silk on bare feet.

 

Details

Marble Marvels

Ann Sacks Selvaggio Mosaics, in Safari Bianco Grigio, $59 per sq. ft., annsacks.com. Benjamin Moore paint, in Gray Mist (on wall) and Stardust (on mantle), benjaminmoore.com. Ash NYC Large Basic Suede mirror, in Grey, $3,000, 1stdibs.com. Wm H Jackson Company 168-C3 fire set with stand, $2,150, wmhjacksoncompany.com. Gabriel Scott Marx stool, $1,225, gabriel-scott.com. ABC Carpet & Home vintage Afghan rug, $2,400, abchome.com.

 

Powerful Porcelain

The Tile Shop Dyrewood Cinnamon Wood Look floor tile, 8" by 36", $5 per sq. ft., tileshop.com. Ole Wanscher Colonial stool, in Leather, $2,000, carlhansen.com.

 

Luxe Leather

Edelman Leather floor and wall tile, in Very Natural, price upon request, edelmanleather.com. Blu Dot Clad nightstand, in Hickory/ White, $799, bludot.com. Urban Electric Co. Audley sconce, in Truck Black, $1,402, urbanelectricco.com. Garnet Hill Eileen Fisher Farmhouse bedskirt, in Soft White, $138; and Eileen Fisher Washed Linen Collection sheets, in Pure White, from $78, garnethill.com. Serena & Lily Woven Stripe quilt, from $288, serenaandlily.com.

 

Glass Act

Artistic Tile Miles Modular glass tile, in Be Bop White, $32 per sq. ft., artistictile.com. Granada Tile Toscano #908A, $6 each, granadatile.com. IKEA Nyboda table (top removed), in White/Gray, $50, ikea.com. Serena & Lily Casablanca pom throw, $498, serenaandlily.com.