Try a New Direction
Want style on a budget? Get creative with basic white subway tiles (#64396). Lay tiles in an unexpected pattern, such as this chevron. Top off the look with bands of decorative trim tiles. The black and white tiles (#66553, #190789 or #239442 or #301531) add texture and a modern color contrast to the lower subway tiles.
Mix and Match Tile Sizes
Use tile patterns to define spaces. Here, large square tiles (#235890) cover the tub surround and the floor. Arrange these tiles on a diagonal to make the bathroom appear larger. Diagonal grout lines create longer lines for the eye to follow. Smaller 4"x4" stone tiles in a lighter shade add texture to the room (#160701 or #239378 or #118679). Install the smaller tiles in a grid pattern for a larger contrast to the other tiles.
Create a Tile Border
Add drama to a bathroom by mixing textures. Pair the smooth glass mosaic tiles with rough 6"x6" stone tiles (#88836) to create a sharp contrast. A row of colorful mosaic tiles (#294367, Model #CHIGLAHT15611PO) creates a decorative border. Despite the small size, 1"x1" glass tiles can be easy to work with thanks to 12" x12" net backing that simplifies installation.
Accent with Decorative Tile
Keep decorative tiles from becoming overwhelming by using them in small doses, which also saves time and money as decorative tiles can require extra hours for installation and cost more per tile. Create a stylish tub surround with a strip of decorative tiles (#302917) around the bathtub. Plain walls get a boost from tiles-turned-wall art. Patterned tiles create a one-of-a-kind frame for a plain wall mirror.
Limit Tile to the Surround
Mix function and style by limiting tile to the tub surround. Tile is an ideal choice for the surround because it's waterproof. Here, white tiles arranged in a vertical running brick bond (#255052) -- the traditional brick arrangement -- get a decorative lift from a strip of black-and-white mosaic glass tiles (#255044) just above eye level.
Back to Basics
Arrange subway tiles and other rectangular varieties in a classic brick pattern. Depending on the tile you choose, this pattern can create a variety of looks. Stone tiles (#260587, #235555) give bathrooms a warm, classic look, while basic white ceramic subway tiles feel modern in this arrangement.