Tips for Mixing and Matching Tile Styles

Tips for Mixing and Matching Tile Styles

Since the 11th century, tile has been used to create exciting architecture. At the start of its use, tile was mainly utilized in large churches, cathedrals and palaces in Europe. The original tile was called encaustic. Today’s tile, while manufactured differently, is durable and long-lasting. Home and business owners alike enjoy the flexibility of using mix and match tile patterns to design a unique blend.

Mixing Tiles In A Bathroom

Bathrooms are traditionally the most popular place for tile. This is because of its ability to repel water and withstand the use of heavy cleaners to remove bacteria, mold and mildew. These naturally occur due to moisture and humidity that form within the area. Non-porous tile is the best choice practically and also comes in many styles, colors and textures to allow for innovative decor.

Mixing tile patterns is not an exact science, but some rules help prevent the bathroom from looking too ‘busy’ or lacking harmony. Consider the following:

standard tile

  • Mixed tile in the bathroom can be different patterns but should stay within the same color palette. An example of this is using large light gray hexagons for the flooring, while the wall tile is a small subway in a glazed mixture of white and gray tones.
  • Large and small tiles of the same pattern co-mingle successfully when paired with a monochrome color scheme.
  • Contrasting colors such as black and white unify when a white tile is used with black grout in the shower area and then a black tile with white grout on the floor.
  • Matte-finished tile goes well with exposed brick or plain white walls.
  • Horizontal patterns set the stage for making the room look longer and produce a visual interconnection when used on both the floor and the walls.
  • Themed bathrooms, such as coastal settings, are easily achieved with color and texture in the tiles. Choosing marine green glass subway tile for the walls coupled with mother-of-pearl mosaic flooring gives the room that sea-worthy look.

Matching Kitchen Wall and Floor Tiles

Kitchens are another room that benefits from the use of tile. From spills to steam to heat, the use of a product that is easily cleaned, non-porous and water-resistant is vital to a long-lasting but attractive kitchen. In the past few years, the interior design industry has grown to use more bold patterns, particularly in the kitchen. Checkerboard flooring carries a nostalgic feel that also adds character. Herringbone patterned backsplashes draw the eye and illuminate height. More ideas matching kitchen wall and floor tiles include:

  • A classic retro look is achieved by using staggered subway tile on the wall in alternating colors. Using the same color for each horizontal line allows for a stretching appearance that helps to make a small area look larger.
  • Dark blue is trending this year for kitchen cabinets. Contrasting cabinets to walls with stark, glossy white tile in between and on the floor, results in a bold but rich aspect.
  • An all-white and gray kitchen featuring Mediterranean tile adds a farmhouse charm. Patterned or solid tile in a soft neutral hue promotes a subtle, crisp finish.
  • Black or white hexagon or penny tile results in a timeless look that can either contrast with cabinets or countertops.

Main Points To Consider:

  • There are many ways to mix up styles, colors, textures, and patterns within a bathroom or kitchen area. Be cautious of ‘busy’ looks and use the rules of design to blend or accent small areas.
  • Contrast, size, finish and pattern all play a part in determining how to mix and match tile patterns.
  • Bold looks are trending in the kitchen, but many are classic styles that will always be popular.
  • Using contrasting colors breaks up deep colors like dark blue or black.
  • Line usage forms an illusion of length and maximizes the size of your space.


Standard Tile features tile from around the world. Our virtual design tool allows clients to see how our products look together from the comfort of your home. Schedule an appointment today to learn more.