18 Top Tile Trends In Bathroom Design For 2023 – NZ Edition

This article has been updated with further content to reflect bathroom tile trends for 2023

Nowadays, picking out the best tile for bathroom renovation is an overwhelming task because of a variety of factors you need to consider, such as texture, color, shape, and design. In the past, it was easy to choose the best tile for remodeling purposes since functional benefits such as low maintenance, durability, and water resistance were the only things considered. However, this is the opposite of this era. Today, the tile’s aesthetic impact has the same weight as its functions. As a result, manufacturers have made several changes on their selections to provide unique tiles to the homeowners. From the current research, we have come out with the top trends in bathroom tiles in 2019 that every homeowner should consider when deciding to renovate their home. These tile trends essentially covers the tiles’ patterns, finishes, shapes, and colors.

Most people prefer statement tiles for their bathroom renovations, but it’s not such easy to choose the best brand as per their desires because of the variety of colors and shapes available in the market. Worry no more! With the currents trends, it will become easy to choose the best bathroom tile for your renovation task.

However, you should note that choosing a riotous pattern or brash color is the best way the best option for making a statement with your bathroom tiles. Considering also variation, shape, and the texture of your bathroom tile is essential in selecting the one capable of creating a stimulating effect. Here, you need to go for things like the quirky arrangement or a single color.

A featured wall, tiled floor, or splashback is not an option if you want to invest less but create a statement look that has a significant impact. Considering the effect the tile will bring is essential for anyone who’s after tiling the entire room. Check the image the tiles are likely to bring. Will they make the space to look larger and lighter or they’ll make it moodier and more intimate? Are the tiles eye-attractive? Do they create a sense of height?

What are the different types of Tiles available?

There’s actually a lot to choose from that not many people are aware of, we’ve come up with a list of 20 different types.

  1. Ceramic Tiles
  2. Terracotta Tiles
  3. Vinyl Tiles
  4. Stone Tiles
  5. Marble Tile
  6. Granite Tiles
  7. Limestone Tiles
  8. Wood Floor
  9. Linoleum Floor Tiles
  10. Cork Tiles
  11. Glass Tiles (including Mosaic)
  12. Metal Tile
  13. Cement-Bodied Tile
  14. Slate Tiles
  15. Porcelain Tiles
  16. Pebble Tile
  17. Vibrant Tiles featuring a Casablanca collection
  18. Large Slab tiles
  19. Textured Tiles
  20. Artistic Statement

What is the most common/popular tile type?

  1. Porcelain Tile (most popular)
  2. Ceramic Tile
  3. Marble

Later in the article we will also discuss 6 common tilling mistakes that you should avoid for renovated bathrooms. 

Below are the top 20 tile trends in bathroom design that every Auckland homeowner should consider.

Tile Trend #1: Subway Tiles

Subway tiles are the best option if you want to get a clean neutral look for your bathrooms.  They’re rectangular, brick-like tiles coming with a wide range of colors. They are the most preferred tiles because they can fit any style, be it, the traditional or the contemporary one.

Other than this, subway tiles are the best option because they’re fashionable. It should be an alternative if you want to create an excellent look for your bathroom and keep the value of its decoration for several years.

A growing trend has also been to use colourful subway tiles as a feature wall to add some colour and character to an otherwise neutral space. We sat with Tile depot’s Ruth and Kitty who shared top tile trends for 2021 and colourful tiles was big part of trends for coming years.

Now everyone can come up with a delightful wall mosaic for their bathrooms by coupling different colors of a subway tile either in horizontal or vertical bands or incorporating various patterned tiles. Nowadays, it’s common to come across homeowners installing patterns or textures of tiles that don’t match to get a unique bathroom as per their desires. Therefore, subway tiles give rise to a wide range of possibilities since you can mix and match them with many sorts of interesting variations.

Read more…

Top Tile trends for 2021 – a Q and A with Tile Depot Albany

Ellerslie Bathroom renovation with Subway Tiles

Tile Trend #2. Vibrant Tiles

As mentioned above, Vibrant tiles have become a growing trend in bathrooms as well as kitchens. People do not want contemporary bathrooms with a neutral palette. More and more people are opting to add a splash of colour to their otherwise neutral bathrooms.

The best way to add a bit of colour is accented tiles or feature walls with a pop of colour. Tile Depot’s Casablanca collection has become very popular with our clients to add colour to their bathrooms. Add  a pop of dull red to a neutral bathroom to achieve a rustic bathroom.

Tile Trend #3. Hexagonal Tiles

Hexagonal tiles are the best option for the creation of a honeycomb effect, which can create a lasting statement. They work best as the feature walls, and you can customize them to suit any home by varying their patterns, size, and even tone.

You can take hexagonal tiles to another level by adding texture as well as a 3D effect to give it an interesting illusion. These type of tiles can give your bathroom an industrial or New York style bathroom look. To complement the tiles, you can have your bathroom fixtures a monochromatic black and white look. This would add to the overall feel of an industrial style bathroom.

Read more…

Lynette and Henry’s use of hexagonal tiles in their renovation

Tile Trend #4. Large slabs of tiles for the bathroom floors

Using larger tiles on bathroom floors is not so much as a trend than it is a practical solution for tiling smaller bathroom spaces. Contrary to popular belief, using large tiles in a small bathroom can in fact make your bathroom appear larger. This fact was revealed to us by Kitty and Ruth from Tile Depot. Using larger tiles means that there will be lesser grout lines which means there be fewer ‘breaks’ on the bathroom floor. Fewer ‘breaks’ means more continuity which would make your bathroom look more spacious.

Kitty says that people should not be afraid to use large slabs of tiles and could use 600 by 600 or even 600 by 1200 in their bathrooms.

Read more…

Avondale Bathroom renovation with Large Slabs of tiles

Tile Trend #5. Geometric Tiles

There are high chances to create a real statement using your tiles if you keep repeating the dramatic angles and sharp corners. Now you can pull your bathroom space together to add interest and depth by using the geometric tiles.

Geometric tiles are the best option for setting the tone for your entire flooring or all your bathroom walls. Other than this, they work best on an accent wall, and you can use them to create a definite pivot from the rest of your bathroom.

You can use geometric tiles in small bathrooms to improve the perception of that place by matching them with neutral colors. For the large bathrooms, these tiles are the best option for forming artful accents in different areas such as the makeup station or spa area.

Tile Trend #6.  Dark And Stormy Tiles

A dark bathroom is the best option for an area that receives little natural light. Blacks and dark grays are the best options for enhancing a moody look filled with a luxury feeling. However, if you do have a small bathroom then refrain from using dark tiles on your floors and walls. This can make the space looked closed in. Dark tiles are mostly suited for large bathrooms which have plenty of space.

If you have a small bathroom and want the same dark and luxurious feel then use more greys as opposed to black tiles. Light greys can give you a similar luxurious feel when accented by black fixtures.

Read more…

Ellerslie Bathroom renovation with dark tiles in a small space

Tile Trend #7.   Spanish And Moroccan Tiles

This style is the best option for any tile referencing the traditional geometric patterns but expressing them out in a modern way. Using a neutral color palette is the best option if you are going for a subtle Moroccan feel for your bathroom.

Moroccan tiles are often used as a feature wall or as accent tiles to add character to a bathroom. If you are not afraid of colour and are going for a moorish look for your bathroom then you can use a colourful palette for your Mosaic Moroccan tiles.

The bathroom below was renovated by us as the client wanted a Spanish Villa type feel for her bathroom. She was not afraid of colour and hence her bathroom features blue walls, Moorish colourful tiles and brass fixtures to add a Spanish Villa charm to her home.

Read more about our client Mary Stuart from Stanmore Bay about her renovation details and experience while renovating her bathroom and Kitchen to add a Spanish Villa charm to her home.

DSC06415-300x200, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland DSC06403-300x200, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland
DSC06418-1000-300x200, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland DSC06404-1000-300x200, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland

Read more…

Mary Stuart’s renovation using Spanish and Mosaic Tiles in Stanmore Bay

Tile Trend #8.  Mosaics Tiles

Mosaics are the sheets featured by small, glass tiles. They’re the best for attracting attention because of their reflections. For the best experience, you can mosaic one feature wall or your entire bathroom for glitter and texture addition.

Tile Trend #9.  Brick Tiles

Yes, we’re used to several types of tiles featuring brick shapes, but now there is a new design that works best when used as a wall tile. Now you can get these tiles in a wide range of colors, with the District Track Brick being the best brand.

Tile Trend #10. Baltimore Natural Tiles

Do you want a contemporary home? If yes, then Baltimore natural must be your best option in this case. However, you should go to the Newport and newcomers Rhin options if you’re after a more random design with an aged appearance.

Tile Trend #11.   Plant Ash Tiles

Venis Ferroker is the most preferred floor tile that works great with everything. Most people love it because of its ability to make a remarkable statement look for your bathroom floor. For those who want an aged look, Plant is the best option. You can get it in a variety of colors that works best in the New Zealand market.


Tile Trend #12. Deck Day Tiles

Almost everyone has indeed come across a wood looking tile. These are the most popular tiles that keep attracting the attention of most people from time to time. However, their quality depends on the designer and your budget. If you want a natural, modern look, Deck is the best option for shorter lengths while Montana is the best for longer stretches.

Tile Trend #13. Petra Pacific Grey Tiles

In the past, everyone loved the natural stone for the floor and wall covering because of the luxurious feel it bestowed. As a result, several manufacturers have been at the forefront in adjusting the texture and appearance of the natural stone to create a more welcoming look from the porcelain tiles.

Tile Trend #14. Matte Finish Tiles

Matte finish tiles have always been recording an impressive record for several years now. They’re the most preferred option because of their soft and sturdy beauty-style. If you compare these tiles with the glossy ones, you’ll realize that it’s rare for them to show water marks and smudges. As a result, matte finish tiles are the best option for busy bathrooms.

Also, most people prefer matte finish tiles because the low sheen makes it easier to maintain them. It is always essential to ensure that there is enough lighting whenever installing these tiles since they’re not the best for reflecting light.

For a dramatic effect, Glossy tiles are the best option to install in your bathroom. These are the most preferred because of their ability to create a highly polished look. They work best for the small bathrooms since they reflect much light, and they create a perception of a larger space. Mostly, these tiles work best whenever installed in a bathroom with low traffic or on the walls because they require more maintenance.

Matte finish tiles are the best option for those who’re after an understated elegance. They work best for those who want to create an earth style on their bathrooms. However, you should consider going for the glossy finish tiles if you’re after an attention-grabbing and more dramatic look.

Tile Trend #15. Neutral Bathroom Tiles

Neutrals colors are the popular features for a contemporary design. It’s rare to come across a homeowner installing bright colors such as yellow, blue, and red in their bathrooms. Instead, you’ll find most homeowners installing neutrals such as creams and grey. Nowadays, grey and beige are the most popular colors used as complementary neutrals.

White is the best option if you want your bathroom to be more bright. Since a bathroom is one of the relaxing places, you should install neutral since they play an essential role in reinforcing this atmosphere. Natural color is the best option for any bathroom since it keeps the mind calm and relaxing, hence creating a sanctuary in this atmosphere. For the best experience, consider using these colors from the bathroom floors up to the ceiling.

Also, layering in various shades of neutral finishes, colors, shapes, or textures is essential to create a more active bathroom since these installations give a new and lovely look to everything.

Read more…

Bathroom renovation in Avondale using neutral tiles

Albany Bathroom renovation using neutral tiles

Neutral Tiles in Milford Bathroom renovation

Tile Trend #16. Flooring Using Wooden Planks

Woods planks are other trends emerging in the tiles’ market. Most people go for these tiles whenever customizing the size of their bathrooms. Also, wood grained tiles are the most preferred option because they enhance the creation of ornate patterns like herringbone. Most of the wood-grained tiles have their widths measuring 6 inches as their lengths vary from 12 inches to 48 inches. However, wood grained tiles can become distressed, whitewashed, and even weathered because of the effects other finishes in the market.

Porcelain wood grain tiles work best for any bathroom because of their ability to provide significant water resistance and stain without the cases of sacrificing the design aesthetics. Make a step of using the wood grain tiles if you’re after improving the organic feel required in every bathroom space. Also, consider matching natural stone planks with other materials in the market such as wooden grains and concrete, if you’re after a compelling look. By doing this, you’ll add an unexpected and welcoming style to your bathroom flooring.

Tile Trend #17. Textural Finished Tiles

Now it’s easy to add surface interest, color depth, and variation to your bathroom. You only need to incorporate a textured field tile and create that compelling look you want. But you should note that textures can appear in two forms depending on the color you want, the finishes applied, and the material used. They either appear subtle or pronounced.

3D dimensional tiles are the best option in this case because of their ability to inspire everything from an object or place up to a feeling. You can get these pieces of art in a wide range of shapes, styles, and sizes. Other than this, these tiles are the best option if you’re after creating new focal points in your home. They make this possible by using distinctive pieces of tiles. Also, they’re the most preferred because they work best in different areas within the house, including in the wall in your dining room.

Tile Trend #18. Metallic Finishes

Metallic is also another thing that has attracted the attention of most people. Most prefer it because of the shining effect it creates on their bathrooms. It is a shiny and reflective material that gives any bathroom a gorgeous look for everyone’s desires. It’s amongst the modern look for bathrooms, that’s expected to pop up more and more for the next few years.

Tile Trend #19. Textured Tiles 

Tile trends have been shifting towards more irregular and textured surfaces in recent years, and this trend is particularly popular in bathroom tile ideas. Bathroom tiles with textured finihses that mimic the natural beauty of wood are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. One example of this trend is the new organic range of panels offered by our supplier Melteca, which can be used to create a textured look in any bathroom space. These bathroom tile ideas and tile trends allow homeowners to add a unique and individual touch to their bathroom decor, and can be used to create a textured look in any bathroom space.

Tile Trend #20. Artistic Statement 

Tile trends for bathroom tile ideas are indicating that bold colours and patterns will continue to be popular among homeowners this year as they look to incorporate their own personal style into their home. Instead of sticking with neutral or subdued colour schemes, many are opting for more vibrant and bold colour palettes in their tiled bathroom ideas. One example of this trend is using patterned tile backsplashes to add unique character and flair to the space. The use od tile trends for bathroom tile ideas and tiled bathroom ideas homeowners to add a touch of individuality and personality to their homes.

What Determines The Cost Of A Tile?

It’s evident that most people don’t know the difference between a designer tile and a budget-friendly tile.  For the budget-friendly tiles, they go at around $50 per square meter as the designer tiles go at approximately $100 per square meter. However, there are cases where the designer tiles go up to $150 per square meter. But they can also cost more than this depending on the size and finish you want.

Quality, depth, and colors are the main things that dictate the price of a tile. You’ll realize that a cheaper one usually looks flat, features fewer colors, and sometimes has a lower pixel on its printed image, resulting in a blurred look. Also, a tile that costs less features a noticeable pattern that keeps repeating across it. For an expensive tile, you’ll realise that it features a fresh design, has a more realistic look, and better color depth.

6 Mistakes to Avoid when Tiling a shower

Not water proofing your shower well or having minor leakage in your tiled bathrooms can cause major damage to the structure of your walls and floors. Doing a DIY job might seem simple after you have watched a few YouTube videos but in reality a small mistake can prove to be detrimental.

There are quite a few tenchicalities that you might not be aware of while tiling your shower and bathroom. Our first advice would be to get a professional tiler to tile your bathroom. We had a conversation with our tiler and put together a list of top 6 mistakes you should look out for when tiling your bathroom.

Mistake 1 – choosing the wrong tile for your shower

Not all type of tiles can be used in your shower. Shower tiles have different ratings to the ones that you can use on your walls or floors.  There are some tiles that can be used for both your shower wall and floor. Make sure you check with your tiler as well as tile manufacturer before purchasing the tiles.

Select a shower tile is rated for wet applications as some tiles are not rated for wet applications.

It would also be a good idea to reapply sealant to the tiles and grouts regularly to your renovated bathroom.

Mistake 2 – Tiles, sealers and Grout are not enough for waterproofing a shower

Tiles and grouts are water resistant but that does not mean that it is enough to keep the water out. You need to properly prepare the shower properly and correct installation is key to have a water proofed shower.

It is good to stick to the same manufacturer for all the components such as waterproofing, shower pan etc as the different components might not be compatible with one another.

Also ensure that the person tiling and waterproofing your shower is certified and has the skill set to carry the task out.

Mistake 3: Inaccurate calculation of drainage slope

The correct slope for your shower floor will enable the water to drain properly without causing any future leaks or pooling of water.

Install pea gravel or spacers around the drain with weep holes to enable drainage. Use a professional renovation company to measure the drainage slope to avoid any future issues.

Mistake 4 – Not doing a flood test before installing the tiles

Once you have prepared the shower space, carry out a flood test before you install the tiles. Most holes that would lead to future leakage cannot be seen by the naked eye.


Carry out a flood test for 24 hours by filling up your shower pan with water and plugging all drainage spaces and weep holes. Periodically check the water level for the next 24 hours. If the water level decreases then you have a leak.

Fix any leaks before you install the tiles.

Mistake 5 – Breaching the water proofing membrane

As mentioned above, waterproofing your shower is an important and technical step to avoid future leaking disasters. Set out a strict waterproofing zone and do not breach the waterproofing zone when tiling your shower. Do not use nails, screws or cement boards when tiling the shower wall.

Mistake 6 – Poor Mortar coverage

Mortar is made of cement, silica sand and moisture retaining agents. Tiles require atleast 95% mortar coverage to work effectively in wet applications. If there are any empty spaces behind the tiles then there is a risk of water getting through.

Recommended tile suppliers in Auckland

  • Bath and Tile – https://www.bathandtile.co.nz/
  • Tile Depot – https://www.tiledepot.co.nz
  • Tile Space – https://www.tiles.co.nz/
  • Tile Trends – https://tiletrends.co.nz/
  • Tile Warehouse – https://www.tilewarehouse.co.nz/

Final Thoughts

The wide range of tiles in the market makes it almost impossible or hard to choose the right brand for your bathroom. The best way to handle this challenge is to consider the material, color, shape, and finish you want. Also, by putting the above trends into practice whenever purchasing a tile for your bathroom, it’ll become easier to land on the best brand as per your desires and needs.

Featured Projects

Gary Flemming’s home renovation in Ellerslie (subway wall tiles + dark tiles on floor)

Gary’s home in Ellerslie boasted a separate bathroom and toilet. We demolished the wall between the bathroom and toilet to create an ensuite. The ensuite now boasts a shower, bathtub, toilet, a her and his wash basin, subway tiles and dark stormy tiled floors see full project specifications

IMG_9598-1000, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland IMG_9604-1000, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland
IMG_9562-1000, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland IMG_9560-1000, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland


Mary Stuart’s Spanish style bathroom with Mosaic tiles

Mary’s kitchen and bathroom in Stanmore Bay was renovated by keeping the design of Spanish Villa’s in mind. The bathroom was painted Blue with Mosaic tiles as feature on the walls. A brass sink and tap-ware added to the feel of a Spanish rustic villa see project specifications.

renovations-auckland-11-1024x681, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland renovations-auckland-12-1024x681, Kitchen Renovation, Bathroom Renovation, House Renovation Auckland
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Todd Chandler’s Bathroom renovation in St Heliers (wooden looking tiles used)

We renovated Todd’s 3 leaky bathrooms in a contemporary style with wooden looking tiles and cabinets. The wooden looking tiles against the white fixtures made the bathroom look spacious and modern. See project specifications

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Further Resources for your house interior design

  1. Ideas for Kitchen renovations in our kitchen renovation gallery for kitchens we have renovated in Auckland
  2. Ideas for Bathroom renovations in our bathroom renovation gallery for bathrooms we have renovated in Auckland
  3. Featured projects and Client stories to see specifications on some of the projects.
  4. Real client stories from Auckland


Still have questions unanswered? schedule a no-obligation consultation with the team at Superior Renovations

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    bathroom tile ideas 2019
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