Classic Tile in the Bathroom

If you saw my post about the bathroom inspiration, you'll remember that it was chock full of classic vintage vibes complete with subway tile, marble, and contrast grout. Thus, that's exactly what we went with when we gutted and remodeled the bathroom two years ago.

Subway tile in the bathroom The Gold Hive

I already knew I wanted subway tile, and even considered crackled, textured, and irregular styles before ultimately deciding on these crisp white ones from the Tile Shop (which are currently on sale). But, it's not as simple as just picking the tile. Below I'm sharing our thought process for tile design.

Pattern

Running Bond Offset tile pattern subway in bathroom The Gold Hive

We did a simple running bond pattern throughout. There are actually several ways to lay a subway tile in a subway kinda way. Check out the examples here. Since we were going with a dark grout, I chose a pattern that didn't have as much movement as say the 1/3 offset.

Layout

Subway tile to the ceiling in a shower

I can't stand when tile doesn't go to the ceiling in a shower. I know, it isn't necessary. It can be a waste of money to tile 3 feet above your head where no water will splash, but I really am a sucker for fully tiled showers.

chair rail heigh subway tile in the bathroom

Since I was already going for lots-o-tile in the shower, we decided to surround the rest of the bathroom walls mid-way to a chair rail height. This look helps me to feel like I'm living in The Knick. The medicine cabinet determined how high we would go, since I didn't want it floating above the tile, nor drowning in it. For reference, the tile stops 50" up the wall.

Finishing

bullnose subway tile bathroom The Gold Hive

We nearly did a decorative cap around the top of the chair rail, but ultimately nixed it when we didn't like how it terminated at the edges. So, we did a simple bullnose along the top edge of the same-sized tile as the field tiles. I like that this modernizes some of the other vintagey-vibes in the room. For the base, I went with a baseboard skirting that finishes off the space with just a lil' bit of detail.

base molding tile bathroom dark grout The Gold Hive

Grout

Dark grout on Subway Tile

Contrast was the name of the game with the wall tile, so we did a deep charcoal to make the pattern pop. Also, dark grout doesn't run the risk of looking dingy. Win!

grey marble tile floors in bathroom

The flooring had lots of texture in its marble veining and hexagon shape, so we went with a gray that would neutralize the pattern. We went with Delorean Gray

Accents

For the window ledge and the niche shelves, we installed a few pieces of marble slabs. They are gorgeous and the perfect material for a solid surface to rest our toiletries atop of. Plus, they tie in to the marble floor.

Marble sill and shelves in shower subway tile

There are so many details that go into laying tile and ensuring that you're forever happy with the pattern, but I opted to keep this post pretty simple. If you want the specifics, let me know!

For more on the bathroom renovation, click here!

Subway Tile in vintage bathroom