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Tile combination for master bath

Spen M
March 3, 2019
last modified: March 3, 2019

Hi pros - I need some help with the tile combination for my small master bath.

The bathroom is 5x8 and will have a walk-in shower.

My question, we would like a herringbone pattern on the bathroom floor, stone on the shower floor and large 12x24 stone porcelain tile for the walls.

We are are also planning to install a niche, but not sure if we should match the stone inside of the niche as well, or just continue using the 12x24 tile inside of the niche.

Here are some of the inspiration pics we are working with.







A designer at one of the tile stores told us the herringbone combined with the stone on the floor and wall would be too busy for the bathroom; is this true?

Comments (20)

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    IMO in asmall space it is best to keep items to a min. so I would 12x24 tile on the floor and the shower walls the same then if you want the stone on the shower floor that would work and I dislike shower niches they seem to always have gunk on the shelf and if your waterproofing is going to have issues that is the first place that seems to have problems. Get a nice shower caddy save the install cost for the niche for something else.

    Spen M thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • pink_peony

    I think your key here isn’t so much the contrast of pattern you use but cobrast of color. If you’re going all gray as shown in your photo by keeping it in one colorway. It will give your eye a place to rest and not feel busy. That said i would be remiss if i didn’t say that the stones seem dated. I would go with the large tiles on wall keeping them in a straight offset whether horizontally or vertically and do a small tile on shower floor and back of niche. Maybe a small hexagon. . Speaking of niches I’ve had them in all of my homes with no issue and find them convenient for storage and not a cleaning issue. Make sure the pitch is done correctly so water doesn’t sit on the ledge and you’re good. If you have enough floor space to showcase a herringbone pattern with you actual bathroom floor not shower i would consider it there but 5 x 8 may not be enough to really see the floor once vanity, shower and toilet are in the space.

    Spen M thanked pink_peony
  • Spen M

    What if I did the grey 4x12 tiles on the bathroom and shower floors? And the larger 12x24 tiles on the wall?

  • PRO
    Designer Drains

    Love the idea of the herringbone pattern, but I would opt for a smaller tile size. It'll give the appearance of the room being much bigger.

    Spen M thanked Designer Drains
  • Spen M

    How about a 4x8 tile?? And should I continue it onto the shower floor, or go with a different look?


    Would the herringbone on the bathroom floor clash, if I put a stone floor in the shower?

  • Libby Estell

    Not a pro, but in such a small space, I would limit my tile choices to 2, either shower floor and everywhere else or one floor and the shower wall. I feel like a 12x24 wall tile could be overpowering in a 3x5 shower. (Your inspiration photo looks more like 6 or 8 x24.) As for the niche, it's critical for storage and, in my opinion, far superior to a caddy. But think about style and placement and how much you want to showcase your shampoo bottles. A niche on one of the short walls in the same tile as the walls would blend in better, a niche on the long wall in a different tile would be a feature. Using a solid surface or single piece of tile on the niche surround would help with with cleaning and guard against water intrusion.

    Spen M thanked Libby Estell
  • printesa

    I would have the floor tile the same as the shower floor. I have a bathroom that size and it has a tub and it is small. Here is one bathroom that uses smaller herringbone pattern and then a simple tile for the walls



    this one is a bit larger than yours ( 8'-10" x 4'-11" )



  • Spen M

    Thanks printesa - unfortunately those patterns are a bit way too overwhelming for me.

  • printesa

    The 2nd one is not for everyone:) The first one is very calm and you can do that with gray. I do like herringbone and I like the color you picked. The pebble look might clash with the herringbone and it might also look a bit rustic in comparison to the rest

  • North Texan

    The pebble you selected is almost exactly what we used, and is comfortable and laid well. Note that you want to decide if you will use an impregnator (keep the colors like you see) or an enhancer (emphasize and bring out the colors) when you seal.

    I would not use a grey wall tile with that pebble, it will make the shower feel smaller and duller. A nice 12 x 24 porcelain whiter tiles would look nice, but with a 5' long end wall, you might want to consider a 12" or 15" tile length as the longest for fewer partial tiles.

    If you use a ponywall by the toilet, entry by the controls, you can hide a niche. We used a faux white marble porcelain with a <1" glass mosaic in greys in the niche, and the pebble floor. The outside floor is a light grey faux wood plank, so a lightish grey herringbone might be very nice.

    Spen M thanked North Texan
  • Spen M

    Thanks North Texan - I was hoping you would give your suggestion.

    If you remember, you recommended I gut the entire bathroom, which is what I ultimately decided.

    this is what it looked when I bought the house.





  • Spen M

    thoughts on this combination?


    the tile on the top will be used on the shower walls. The pebble would be the shower floor and the herringbone would be on the bathroom floor.


    thoughts?

  • pink_peony

    I think you need a larger tile for the floor . Those are small and the smaller the tile the more grout. Larger tile will look less busy and make the space look Larger.

  • Nancy in Mich

    I am not a pro. I think that this could work as long as the shower wall tile stays in the shower and is not used in the room. I am not sure that I like the gray herringbone tile color with the shower walls. But if they are not next to each other, it may be fine. Part of me is saying that the style of the pebble floor (rustic) will clash with the style of the wall tile (elegant marble-look) but their colors work so well together that maybe that won't happen.

  • teamaltese
    I would use the same tile on the room floor as you use on the shower walls. Most tile manufacturers offer their tiles in multiple sizes. We used one size for the walls, a narrower rectangle for the floor, and a complementary 2x2 for the shower floor.
    Spen M thanked teamaltese
  • Spen M

    Hi Pink, the bathroom is only a 5x8 bathroom. If we go any bigger on those tiles, we may not get the full herringbone tile effect.

  • Spen M

    Teaalters - we have found our tile selection used in a herringbone pattern.. we really like the look. See the attached pics.




    The challenge now is finding these tiles in a smaller size, as seen in the photo.

  • PRO
    Damiana Design + Project Management

    I just wanted to chime in with North Texan above, if you use those pebble tiles in the shower, they MUST be sealed before grouting. A client just used them and the colors changed.



    Spen M thanked Damiana Design + Project Management
  • Spen M

    thanks for the info Damiana - we will have our installer use an impregnator, to keep the colors as we see them.

  • Kathleen Kirchoff
    I got similar stone on clearance at a Habitat for Humanity Re Stor to do our tiny shower. I was considering plain white herring bone for the walls but hubby likes a Marazzi tile called Northpoint. It comes in many sizes and could go on your floor or walls. I am not a grey fan but I like your grey herringbone for the floor. The veining on the white would seem too busy in a small space for me especially in a herringbone pattern.
    Have you thought of a diagonal pattern of large square tiles? I have done that to visually expand an entry way and small bath.
    Can't wait to see your finished tile work.

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