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The best bathroom tiles to buy in 2022

Add personality, colour and practicality to your bathroom with the best bathroom tiles

Bathroom tiles are the classic double-duty decorating. Not only do they offer an opportunity to inject texture, pattern and colour into what can otherwise be a plain and sometimes sterile room, they perform a practical function too. Clad your walls and floors in the best bathroom tiles and they’ll protect them from moisture, making the surfaces easy to keep clean, hygienic and mould-free.

Whether you choose to use tiles in sections, such as around a bathtub or within a walk-in shower, or you want to clad your whole room in them, one thing is certain – it pays to spend time choosing the right bathroom tiles for your project. We’ve selected some of the best bathroom tiles you can buy for your budget, as well as the questions to ask when choosing them. Below, you’ll find our buying guide to help you select the best bathroom tiles or you can scroll on for our top picks.

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Best bathroom tiles: At a glance

How to choose the best bathroom tiles for you

What type of bathroom tiles should I choose?

Bathroom tiles can be made from many different materials. The most popular and practical are porcelain and ceramic, but they can also be made from natural stone (which will need sealing and probably resealing), glass (often mosaic panels but can be larger tiles), or encaustic cement (though these are heavier and can fade over time).

Start by considering the shape and size of tiles you prefer. You could opt for large format tiles that give the impression of space with fewer grout lines, mosaics for a feature section or splashback, or simple metro wall tiles for a classic look. Alternatively, hexagons and other tessellating shapes can be laid in multiple ways to add impact.

Next, consider the practicalities – do you need tiles that can work for both wall and floor cladding or different tiles that will coordinate? If the latter, check what sort of grip the tiles you’re laying on the floor have, to prevent them from becoming slippery when wet. A matte finish or texture works well underfoot. Finally, if you’re planning on installing underfloor heating, check that your chosen tiles, grout and adhesives are compatible.

What’s the difference between porcelain and ceramic bathroom tiles?

While they might look similar, it’s important to know how porcelain and ceramic differ. They’re both made from clay, but porcelain is fired at a higher temperature and pressure, reducing the tiny cavities inside. This makes porcelain less porous and stronger, so it’s more durable over the years, and suitable for high-traffic areas. As the bathroom tends not to be an area of high footfall, and rarely has heavy items dropped on the floor, ceramic should fare just as well as porcelain. Bear in mind that porcelain can be pricier, and may cost more to install as it’s a longer process, too.

How much should I spend on bathroom tiles?

You can pay as little as £8-10 per sq m for simple ceramic bathroom tiles. However, for a good choice of patterns and colours, allow at least £25 per sqm. Real stone usually costs at least £30 per sqm, while porcelain costs from around £15-20 per sqm. Glass mosaics tend to be sold by the sheet for small areas, but budget at least £70 per sqm. Encaustic tiles tend to cost between £40-80 per sqm.

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The best bathroom tiles to buy in 2022

1. Real tumbled travertine Cream Matte Travertine-effect Natural stone Wall and floor Tile: The best affordable stone bathroom tiles

Price: £30/m² | Buy now from B&Q

Naturally slip-resistant due to its tumbled (smooth, but with a distressed look) finish, this creamy travertine tile is excellent value for money. It’s suitable for use with underfloor heating and, as each tile is a little bit different, they add plenty of personality. There’s also skirting tiles and other sizes available, so you can mix and match them to suit your space.

However, it’s not without a few drawbacks. Like most natural stone, it needs sealing once laid and potentially resealing later down the line. It’s also not suitable for use in an area that will have to cope with a lot of water, such as the floor of a shower, so you’ll need to find a different solution for your walk-in wet room. As you’d expect, the tiles are heavy, so make sure your bathroom floor can take the weight.

Key details – Size: 61 x 40.6 x 1.2cm (WDH); Material: Stone; Suitable for: Walls and floors; Additional features: 2yr guarantee

Buy now from B&Q

2. Calacatta Gold Gloss Marble Effect Porcelain Wall & Floor Tile: The best marble-effect bathroom tile

Price: £16/m² | Buy now from Total Tiles

These are an excellent alternative to real marble – and don’t let the gorgeously glossy finish of these porcelain tiles fool you, they’re more than suitable for a bathroom. While it’s on the lower end of the scale, its slip resistance rating of R9 is great on such an affordable tile, although that means that it’s still better to pop down a mat when getting out of the tub or the shower, instead of walking round with wet feet.

What’s especially appealing is the tile’s striking golden veining pattern – ideal for adding a feeling of warmth and making it versatile enough for both walls and floors. In a larger space, though, it might be better to combine it with its 605x605mm size counterpart on the floor, to prevent the room looking too busy. A final good reason to buy is this tile’s durability – it has a PEI rating of 4, translating to “regular footfall”. This means it’s durable enough for a busy bathroom and probably other areas of your home too.

Key details – Size: 30 x 60 x 0.8cm (WDH); Material: Porcelain; Suitable for: Walls and floors; Additional features: UFH compatible

Buy now from Total Tiles

3. Titanic Linear Alabaster White Tiles: The best bathroom tiles for a splashback

Price: £117/m² | Buy now from Walls and Floors

Whether as a feature wall section or as an alternative to ceramic, these off-white, glass mosaic tiles bring instant glamour to a bathroom. While many glass mosaics are constructed from round or square pieces, this design uses long sections for a modern linear look, with each piece cut to a different length to add texture to the room.

Part of the Titanic Wave collection, the Linear tiles have a frosted matte finish, so you won’t have to keep them scrupulously clean of water marks and mess, unlike shiny glass. Even better, you won’t have to mount each one individually, as they’re supplied on a mesh backing. Plus, if this classic Alabaster shade doesn’t appeal, they’re also available in Pebble Grey and Desert Black, or as a chevron design, with coordinating large-format floor and wall tiles too.

Key details – Size: 30 x 40.6 x 0.8cm (WDH); Material: Glass; Suitable for: Walls; Additional features: None

Buy now from Walls and Floors

4. Wickes Central Park Patterned Ceramic Wall & Floor Tile: The best vintage-style bathroom tiles

Price: £28/m² | Buy now from Wickes

For those who love Victorian-style patterns and a period look, this matte ceramic tile delivers on looks without the fuss. Easily laid and suitable for walls and floors, the different tile patterns make it simple to create a random arrangement, while the dominant grey tone ensures they’re versatile enough to add character to any almost space, from an ensuite to a family bathroom.

A wear rating of 4 makes them ideal for the bathroom where they can withstand regular footfall, while they’re relatively slip-resistant, it’s still best to put down a mat on the floor. One place they’re not suitable for is wet rooms – for that kind of project, porcelain with a high level of slip resistance will be a better option.

Key details – Size: 31.6 x 31.6 x 0.9cm (WDH); Material: Ceramic; Suitable for: Walls and floors; Additional features: None

Buy now from Wickes

5. Camden Dark Grey Ceramic Wall Tile: The best value ceramic bathroom tiles

Price: £24/m² | Buy now from Homebase

Metro tiles have long been a favourite in a bathroom setting. Choose a vibrant shade and it’s an easy way to add colour to your scheme while keeping it feeling sleek and uncluttered. These own-brand flat rectangular tiles are the perfect example – available in a glossy deep grey, as well as navy, green, grey and white, they can be laid in a brickwork pattern or a herringbone format for an on-trend look.

As they’re ceramic, these tiles can be cut and installed as a DIY job if you’re reasonably skilled, but if you’re not confident in your skills, it’s always best to get someone in. The only downside is that the choice of colours is mostly on the classic side of things, so if you’re keen to make more of an impact, you may want to keep looking for some brighter tones.

Key details – Size: 10 x 30 x 0.8cm (WDH); Material: Ceramic; Suitable for: Walls; Additional features: None

Buy now from Homebase

6. Varadero Azure Hexagon Tile by Gemini Tiles: The best bathroom tiles for feature walls

Price: £65 per sqm | Buy now from CTD TilesWhether you’re tiling a wall, floor or are just keen to make a statement, these Varadero hexagons are sure to fit the bill. They can be laid in almost any way you like to create eye-catching stars or a simple repeating pattern and look stunning around a shower area, basin or bathtub. What’s more, as they have a matte, glazed finish and a slip rating of R10, they’ll offer a fair amount of resistance – although it’s still best to put down a floor mat for wet feet.

The deep Azure blue looks great in a bathroom but if you’re looking for something softer or fancy mixing and matching, Varadero hexagons also come in Rose, Moonlight, Mint and Grey. As a bonus, because they’re made from porcelain, they should stay looking striking for years to come.

Key specs – Size: 22.8 x 19.8 x 0.9cm (WDH); Material: Porcelain; Suitable for: Walls and floors; Additional features: UFH compatible

Buy now from CTD Tiles

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