When it comes to picking out tiles for a new bathroom or backsplash, there are so many gorgeous styles to choose from! If you’re in love with more than one design when deciding on new tiles for your bathroom or backsplash, we have good news - it’s easier than ever to pair tiles together to create a beautiful design, and we’re sharing some of the design rules that will help create the perfect tile pairing every time!
From a gorgeous walk in shower with marble subway tiles and classic blue and white mosaic patterns, to backsplash wall tiles with a decorative tile insert, there are endless combinations that can be styled together to create the look you want! If that feels a little overwhelming, we’re sharing some of our favorite creative tile pairings, as well as tips on how to create a cohesive look for your home!
Design Rules for Pairing Tiles Together -
One of the best ways to create a gorgeous cohesive design while using mix and match tiles is by keeping the material consistent. If you fall in love with a specific material for your tiles, say a white marble or a blue glass, you will have lots of options to create a beautifully styled look within that niche. By keeping the material consistent, you can pair different shapes and patterns of tile together and still keep a clear aesthetic.
This gorgeous kitchen backsplash uses not two but three different tile pairings to create a gorgeous subway tile backsplash with a decorative tile inset! Three of our white ceramic tiles came together, combining the Chateau white ceramic subway tile, Chateau white square mosaic, and Chateau white sprig ceramic mosaic tile. All three have the same glazed white surface with a subtle crackle finish, creating a unifying element across the three unique patterns. Last but not least is the finishing trim to match! Our white ceramic pencil liner is the perfect trim to cap off this gorgeous combination!
Get the Look - White Ceramic Backsplash Insert
If you want to keep the material consistent but still change up the look of your tiles to create a unique design, that’s totally possible as well! You can combine more than one type of stone, like this double mosaic design made with Bardiglio and Carrara marble. Two different patterns and two kinds of marble tile may seem like a lot to incorporate, but the consistency of shapes and shades manages to bring them perfectly together.
This gorgeous installation combines two kinds of marble with a variation on hexagon tiles. Pairing Bardiglio Hexagon Polished Marble Mosaic Tile with the Double Hexagon design is a beautiful match thanks to the consistent variation across the two uses of Bardiglio marble. The double hex version also brings Carrara marble into the design, making it the perfect unifying choice for a marble trim tile with the polished pencil liner that ties them both together!
Get the Look - Mixed Marble Hexagon Tiles
How to mix different tile materials together -
While it’s easy to pair multiple different styles of the same tile material together, there are simply too many gorgeous tile options to be bound to just one look! Lots of creative designers choose to think outside the box and mix up different materials, colors, and finishes and we love the results! Whether you are going all out by pairing marble with stainless steel or want to find the perfect unity between porcelain and glass tile, we’re sharing some of our favorite style tips to create the perfect look without missing a trick!
Juliet Interiors paired our Carrara mini brick mosaic tile with stainless steel penny rounds for a stunning metallic finish! We love this combination for a creative take on a traditional kitchen design, with classic marble bricks tying in with her granite countertops and white kitchen cabinets. The stainless steel metal tile rounds behind the stove add a modern shine that is a great pairing with her stainless steel appliances and range hood. Despite the strong differences between materials, she creates a cohesive look by pairing finishes on the oven, hood, and backsplash tile for a consistent metallic line down the center of the airy white cabinets and marble backing.
Get the look - Traditional Marble meets Industrial Glam Kitchen
Lauren Conrad’s interior style mixed up materials with this bathroom showcasing popular glazed ceramic subway tile walls and hexagon mosaic tile floors. Although she used different materials and finishes together, the all-white bathroom palette keeps them looking tied together. That allows you to get creative with materials - for instance, a glazed white ceramic subway tile with a honed white marble hexagon floor - and still create a strong look. White was the dominant color for the rest of her décor, with a vintage-inspired cast iron clawfoot bathtub and tiled walls extended to the ceiling. A few neutral elements, from the bohemian woven rugs to the potted plant, added earth tones that complemented the chrome legs on her bathtub and the rustic wooden window frames.
Get the Look - Airy White Bathroom Tiles
Driven by Decor takes tile paring to the next level by adding a patterned tile bathtub surround , and a fourth tile with the bathroom floor! This is expert level tile mixing and yet they all work beautifully together. The mix of Carrara marble subway tiles on the shower wall and the matching marble hexagon shower floor tiles are unified by material, natural stone veining, and the subtle blend of color in the white and gray tiles. That gray becomes the dominant color in the floor tiles, perfectly playing off the light and airy walls and marble tiles. These neutral shades allow the patterned bathtub wall tile to be the focal point, grabbing your attention with a decorative linked mosaic tile pattern with dark gray on white to stand out. The key here is the unifying color scheme, bringing them all into a cohesive palette that supports the different shapes.
Get the Look - White and Gray Marble Bathroom -
**White marble tiles can start to display inherent iron deposits if exposed to standing water, including shower floor installations. We recommend sealing them yearly with a water based sealer to avoid discoloration from exposure to water.
One of our favorite interior designers, House of Jade, went for a totally unique design that pairs glass penny round tiles for the vanity backsplash with white ceramic subway tiles in the shower! The double basket weave shower wall tiles add a playful pattern, while the white ceramic material ties in with the bathtub to keep the look minimal. Adding a rich glass penny round is a great way to give the backsplash design texture and depth, making the dotted design the focal point of the bathroom. The metallic brass fixtures and mirror frame are a fun way to tie in warmer tones, tying in the wooden vanity and pops of greenery to give the bathroom a fresh feel!
Get the look - Retro Dots Bathroom Design -
Tile Club Platinum Pro member KBG Design used a combination of Mother of Pearl hexagon mosaic tiles and sea green glass subway tiles to create this stunning coastal bathroom! The white wood rafters and peaked ceiling added to the airy feeling of this gorgeous space, so they chose light-reflecting tiles to amplify and bounce that natural light. A shell tile bathtub surround is not only a glamorous way to decorate your space, but it ties in beautifully with the coastal bathroom theme! The sea green glass subway tiles around the white claw foot bathtub create a beautiful separation, with a white trim piece to tie the two materials and colors together. Really want to finish off this look? We’d love to see a wood look porcelain tile floor to give the same warm charm with a water resistant hardwood floor alternative!
Get the Look- Glamorous Coastal Bathroom
We love seeing My Home Reno’s journey on their home upgrades especially the master shower that includes a feature wall of our Gold Glass Penny Round tile! Pairing glossy round tiles adds a metallic gleam to the walk in shower, increasing the natural light for a calming morning experience! Lindsey used the gold tiles as the focal point and paired them with a Calacatta Gold marble wall tile and hexagon floor tile! The effect is warm, chic, and modern even with the beautiful look of natural stone!
Get the Look - Glam Gold and Marble Shower
Questions about pairing tiles together -
The best way to choose tiles that pair together is to start with a design scheme for your room as a whole. What are the best ways to create a cohesive design? Our design and install experts are sharing answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about how to pair tiles together, but we'd love to hear yours if its not answered below!
Joanna Gaines knows exactly how to pair tiles! She chose white subway shower wall tiles in a 90 degree herringbone pattern and paired two different sizes of black hexagon tiles for the shower and bathroom floors! Why 2 sizes? The smaller hexagons in the shower provide greater slip resistance - smaller mosaic tiles = more grout lines to add grip - and the larger scale version on the bathroom floor is a natural complement for this harder to pull off three tile combo!
Q: How do I know what tiles will look good together before I order?
A: Order tile samples! We highly recommend ordering samples of any tile before you order to make sure you like the look, feel, and finish in person, but they’re especially important when it comes to pairing tiles of different looks and feels. Ordering sample swatches allows you to place them side by side, see how the colors, levels of variance, and designs work together in person to help visualize them when they’re installed. You can also pair your tile samples with paint swatches, hardware and fixtures, and material swatches to visualize your design as a whole.
Q: Where should I pair different tiles together?
A: This is a pretty simple answer - anywhere you like! The most common places that people pair two different styles of tile together are on floors and walls. Each area has different usage ratings that may impact the tiles that are available - for instance, wall tiles have a huge selection of decorative options but may not be as durable when it comes to flooring options. You want your floors to be strong enough to withstand heavy to moderate foot traffic depending on where they’re installed, and to have high slip resistance to ensure safety. Always check the Area of Use when considering tiles to make sure they can be installed in the location of your choice.
- This is especially important for shower wall and floor tiles. The same tiles that are a water-resistant shower wall tile may not provide enough slip-resistance to create a safe shower floor option. Always check to make sure the tile is approved for shower floor installation!
Q: How can I find out more information about tiles that pair well?
A: You can always contact our design and install team! We’re happy to advise on the best locations to install each tile, or to make recommendations about tiles that will not only pair beautifully but serve best in your installation locations. You can reach our team via phone, chat, or email during our business hours. What information do we need to help find the perfect tile pairing for you?
- Where are you installing the tiles? If you’re looking for tiles for a backsplash, vanity wall, shower, fireplace, etc. - let us know! That way we recommend the best tiles for your Area of Use.
- What do you like/not like? If there are specific color schemes, finishes, or materials that you would like to see, that’s a great place to start.
Q: How can I tie together two different tiles or more?
A: A tile trim is the best way create a border between different tiles! Whether you're inserting a mosaic tile medallion or backsplash inset in the middle of subway tiles, or you want to differentiate between a decorative border and larger field tiles, a trim piece is a great way to tie the different designs together. You can choose a unifying material like a white marble pencil liner between a marble mosaic tile and a marble field tile, or a baseboard to separate wall and floor tiles.
This modern black and gold shower brings together not two, not three, but four of our favorite tiles! An accent wall with Japanese inspired Kasai Notte Kintsugi tiles makes a dramatic statement, while the minimalist version of plain black wood tiles cover the main walls. Add in a decorative shower tile niche of our golden square mosaic tile to tie in with the gold tones and a black marble hexagon shower floor and you've hit the tile pairing jackpot!
Now you’re ready to start pairing tiles like a design pro! Let us know what tiles you’re planning to combine in the comments, or reach out to our team to get started!