How to Decorate with Tile in Your Home


Want to customize your home and make it match your unique design aesthetic? Why not play around with tile? With so many different materials, shapes, and colors available, you’ll find that there aren’t too many rules—or limitations—when it comes to decorating with tile. Here are a few of the most popular materials you can choose from along with some design ideas to get you started.


This dense clay material is naturally white or gray and is often left unglazed when used for tile. A lot of homeowners like using it for flooring because it’s durable, requires less maintenance than wood and stone, and is affordable. Just keep in mind that its durability comes with a trade-off—it can be challenging to cut into anything other than a square, so it’s not the best option if you want rounded edges or custom shapes.

Best for: Floors, walls, showers, backsplashes, countertops, and ceilings

Design idea: Use screen-printed porcelain tiles to get a natural stone or fabric look.

Ceramic Tile

While it’s also made from clay, ceramic tile has a much higher moisture content than porcelain, making it easier to cut into unique shapes but not as great in areas where there tend to be a lot of temperature fluctuations. It often has a red terra cotta finish, but it’s available in a vast range of colors and can be either glazed or unglazed.

Best for: Floors, walls, showers, backsplashes, countertops, and ceilings

Design idea: Try arranging subway tiles (rectangular-shaped ceramic tiles) on an angle for a wall or backsplash. Choose two different colors of tile for an even more dynamic appearance.


The great thing about glass is that it can be colored and the color won’t fade over time. Glass tiles can be used in many different parts of the home, but it’s best to avoid using it for flooring (unless it’s an accent or trim) since it can be hazardous to bare feet if it cracks.

Best for: Walls, backsplashes, flourishes and trims

Design idea: Use glass tiles in various shades of blue to give your bathroom wall a serene look.

Natural Stone

Although it can be on the pricey side, natural stone is a beautiful and versatile choice for tile. It’s durable enough to be used both inside and outside, and it’s a great way to give a space a classic, authentic look. Just keep in mind that because it’s porous it will require a little more maintenance than other tile types—you’ll periodically need to wash it using water and soap or non-acidic cleaners.

Best for: Walls, ceilings, patios, tub and pool decks, backsplashes, outdoor appliance facing, flooring, showers, and baseboards

Design idea: Use pebble stone tile for a bathroom floor when you want a simple look that ties the room together rather than serving as the focal point.

The Possibilities Are Endless

You don’t need to stop with the ideas and materials presented above. There are plenty of other tile materials available, including more unusual ones like mirrored glass and seashells, and there’s no shortage of patterns, designs, or colors. Check out the tile style guide from Drury Design to get even more ideas.




Have you decorated your home using tile? 


  1. I’ve been wanting to get creative with tile in my bathroom. This gives me a great idea!!

  2. I didn’t know glass tiles don’t fade! That’s awesome

  3. I would love to try some exotic tile! What a fun way to spice up my decor.

  4. Vickie Couturier says:

    nice to know ive been thinking about putting some tile in one of the bathrooms

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