Bathroom floor tile colour - pls help!

Megan East
April 1, 2016
Question - I would love your opinions on the colour of our bathroom floor tiles - light or dark? We're doing 4 bathrooms, all of differing size but all get good light. Wall tiles are white 300 x 600 and only other accent will be American Oak floating shelves. I'm 50/50 on both! Thx

Comments (36)

  • Anne Foo
    Dark colours, to ground the bathroom. If the people using the bathroom have dark hair, it would make hair on the bathroom floor less obvious in between bathroom cleaning days.
  • Vy

    I like the white tile with the lighter tile and the light timber (horizontal).

    The dark one looked too dark..a shade or two lighter if you're going to go dark..

  • bigreader
    I like the darker tile and the lighter timbet. But I always prefer darker floors and non reddish timber.
  • chubbychicky
    Having had dark tiles on the bathroom floor, beware! They will show every drip, every hair, every errant drop of powder or hairspray and every damp footprint! They look gorgeous when they are clean, but you almost need a full time cleaner to keep them that way. Interestingly, I have also had a lighter grey/brown/mocha sort of colour bathroom floor in a full gloss and had no problems (much to my surprise and everlasting relief!!!) I will go just that bit lighter every time now :)
  • chubbychicky
    Actually, looking at your pic again, you can already see all the smudges on the dark tiles, but not on the lighter ones......that may help you with your decision.......good luck :)
  • KK1000
    Lighter , I have exactly same tiles on my balcony and outside steps, looks great
  • Zac Clayton
    I've those light tiles in my bathroom. Love them.
  • Megan East
    Thanks everyone. I'm now leaning towards the lighter grey and will use accessories in the bathroom to add depth - darker towels and some greenery.

    One more question - the floor tiles measure 450 x 450 and the wall tiles are 300 x 600 - is this going to be huge problem in terms of grout lines?not lining
  • Marc Lawrence
    We had 500x500 (near-white lappato) tiles laid in our last house, with 600x300 (gloss white) tiles floor-to-ceiling on the walls in the main bathroom. We bought the floor tiles with a "rectified edge" (basically a sharp, square edge, not rounded) and had them butted up as close as they could be (according to and suggested by the pro tiler) with the grout coloured to match. The pattern didn't fully disappear to sight, but it did relative to the wall tiles - them lining up (or rather not) didn't matter. The tiler also used this clip system that made sure the tiles on the floor were completely level (they were like spacers that cross over adjoining tiles and press down to make the edges level).

    Long story short: no I don't think it will matter. Check with your tiler (and get a good one - we used two and a good one'll help and make your project sing)
  • Rachael Neale
    I have just gone from a Mocha tile to a charcoal. Both colours hide the hair well. I haven't noticed any smudges etc with the charcoal tiles and I have had them down for 6 months now.
  • Kim

    I have charcoal floor tiles in my bathroom which we renovated last year and couldn't be happier with them. We do have a charcoal feature wall though.... I prefer the dark :)

  • PRO

    Definitely the lighter tiles, they are softer on the eye and it would be easier to maintain than the darker tile (you would be surprised at how much the darker tile will show up the dust/marks etc). Keep the colours neutral and compliment your bathroom with accessories, that way you can always change as the trends do. You can always add a feature wall?

  • PRO
    Open Door Property
    I have three newly renovated bathrooms, all with 600x600 charcoal floor tiles. Two of the bathrooms have 300x600 white wall tiles (one of these bathrooms has no natural light & is not a problem). I also accented with timber tops for the vanity (and a feature tile for the shower niche). I think the large mirrors help too with brightening the space.
  • olldroo

    Is it possible to lay the floor tiles diagonally?

  • PRO
    Partridge + Grey Architecture

    Definitely go the lighter grey. Everyone's comments about hair, dust, powder showing is correct. As an Architect I regret going dark grey in my own home. Same with floorboards. Keep it mid tones to avoid the same problem. Grout lines in dark tiles tend to be dark too and they are a magnet for all kinds of dust. If I could rip mine up I would! I never let clients go dark now.

  • Megan East

    Thanks everyone - I'll post the completed pics in 4 months time!

  • PRO
    Hi, the light tiles are definitely my favourite. But I would also be looking to get the same size tile for walls and floor or at the least the same proportions. You want to be able to have that clean grout line running from floors up the walls. The grout line should also be considered with vanity heights or tile niches. Lining up the grout line where these items start. The more you can line everything up, the less cuts and sharper the finish.
  • PRO
    Partridge + Grey Architecture

    Good Luck Megan. I agree with DE arch. Try and get a tile size that is at least the same in one direction. If you lay in brick pattern it will look best.

  • kirstypenhall
    I think mid colour tiles are best on the floor, and with colour variations/pattern within the tiles to hide dirt & marks.

    I have just finished a bathroom. It has white feature tiles on 1 wall, matt charcoal tiles on the other 3 walls, and a lightish floor tile - a matt concrete/aggregate look in a warm grey. The vanity is a mid coloured timber with a 'concrete' Caesarstone top. I absolutely love the floor tiles - they look gorgeous and don't show any dirt, dust, hair, soap scum or anything at all! On the other hand, the charcoal wall tiles look good (not too dark) but show everything! Splashes of water, soap & toothpaste splatter etc are the worst. I've never really noticed it before but bathrooms are full of products that mix with water and create white droplets/smudged and leave residue everywhere. It's driving me crazy as I feel the need to wipe down the tiles around the basin area at least a couple of times a day and it still never looks clean.

    If I was doing it all again I would definitely choose a different grey wall tile - something in a mid to dark colour (rather than charcoal/blackish) and with more colour variation. If porcelain tiles came in a satin finish I would probably go with that too as I'm not into glossy finishes but I think the matt finish adds to the issue with dark tiles.

    You can't see the marks in these photos but at least they'll give you an idea of the finishes used. (I'm not at home so can't take any pics of the marks to include.)
  • Marion Winchester

    Dark colours are high maintenance. Looking great when new but in a few years not so good. If you are fussy (as I am) about dust etc not a good choice. I chose grey, not too dark and still in middle of renovation of 2 bathrooms, guest toilet and a couple more areas. Photos might not give justice to the real colour but tiles look good, especially on a bright, sunny day

  • olldroo

    In my experience, matte tiles show far more watermarking and splashes than gloss tiles. I always found it necessary to completely buff dry my matte wall tiles. Thankfully I've now been able to replace them with lovely glossy white tiles that always look fresh and clean.

  • sm_thky
    I have dark charcoal carpet it shows up every spec of fluff if you are intending on mopping every day go for dark as its durable light tiles can stain easy to maybe there's a middle range colour that will go nicely with a colour timber In between the red and light timber as well .
  • sm_thky
    These are the colour of my floors I find them a bit too dark and hard to keep looking clean
  • Robyn ...

    I have 3 bathrooms - each different.

    1. dark brown natural 600x300 with dark grout - works OK, but shows the water spots/hair/dirt. (

    2. sand colour natural 600x300 with sand coloured grout - NEVER again as they only look good straight after cleaning and the first person to walk on them with dirty feet ugh! disaster. (

    3. porcelain pattern marble look matt 300x300 with matching grout - EXCELLENT! Looks good all the time. (

    In summary, I would go for the one with pattern over the flat colour. Given your two options - I would go light grey. You can change all the other colours of shelves and decor very easily. Even a different coloured light fitting will change the way it looks.

  • Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek

    It's very important that you get non slip floor tiles.

  • longbeachgrannyflat
    When you check your tile rating for the floor, also try to wipe down with a microfibres cloth. Do not buy tiles that the microfibres cloth sticks to. Trust me on this!
  • Lillian Bulloch

    i like the light tile with the white

  • melf99

    I'm about to do our main bathroom and have decided to go with a mid grey and a soft white in a checquered design (I find black and white a bit much for a smallish room) I'm going for a sort of retro look with a repurposed timber buffet for a vanity and white subway tiles on the walls. This may not be the look you are after but could be food for thought? In the ensuite I went for dark timber look tiles on the floor and a mid grey (large) tile on the walls with white trim, which looks good. I'm renovating an old queenslander and am trying to keep the feel of the older house.

  • C P

    Megan, I'd love to know how your bathroom turned out as I am having precisely the same dilemma with regards to dark or paler tiles, and it's so hard finding a mid grey.. Did you run your floor tiles up the wall in the shower? My husband loves the charcoal but I'm nervous about maintenance and whether it will make the shower a bit cave like! Many thanks.

  • Megan East
    Hi! It's hard to see in this picture but we ended up doing light grey Carrara marble and I couldn't be happier. The light is great and I think the dark would have been too heavy. We then tied the marble in with our backsplash and coffee table.
  • Creativelychallenged

    Kim, would you be able to advise the details of your charcoal floor tiles please and where you bought them from? Thanks,

  • Creativelychallenged

    Hi Kirsty, could you please advise the colour of your vanity and whether it is a custom made one and if not, could you let me know its name and where you bought it. Also, what is the colour of your floors tiles and where did you get them from. (I have come to the conclusion that charcoal/dark grey tile plus a much lighter grey tile plus white on some walls plus a timber vanity or timber accessories in bathroom , plus white (or close to it) below sink counter top is the way to go for a beautiful bathroom. The trick is figuring out exactly what proportion of each colour to use and where to put them for each particular layout.

  • Georgia Marshall
    The lighter! I have a similar colour in my house (excuse the mess this is taken mid construction)
  • Sofia C
    Megan, we have very similar taste! We're in the middle of our reno and would like to achieve the same look in the kitchen. what colour stone did you use for the benchtop and what thickness? We're inclining towards Quantum Quartz White Swirl, not sure if 40 or 60 mm yet. thanks in advance. Geat results on both those projects!
  • Megan East
    Hi Sofia C - the splash back is in Carrara marble and the bench top is Corian (not stone) at 50mm. Cheers!
  • Phil Mekviboon

    Depending on your usage, do you have kids too? Would you use powder related products in the bathroom? Light tiles bring with them a sense of cleanliness and neatness. Black is stylish and sometimes classy sexy. Why not have both? Go black for a wall feature.