September 29, 2022 | Updated: September 30, 2022

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Matching tiles: Tips and suggestions for pairing tiles

Choosing matching tiles for walls and floors is a delicate task, especially in a room like a bathroom.

Matching tiles must respond to different functions as well as combine well in terms of looks. Nevertheless, the overall effect can be transformative. With this article, we are going to walk you step-by-step through the rewarding exercise of matching tiles.

Why do we feature tiles in bathrooms

 Tiles are the ideal finish for bathroom décor thanks to their classic properties; hard-wearing, resistant to moisture, easy maintenance and highly decorative. Get the tiling scheme right, in terms of looks and performance, and the initial investment will last a lifetime. But with so much variety, it’s best to investigate and select a palette of options that respond to the different requirements of different areas within the bathroom décor.


Matching tiles in the bathroom

Deco Treccia Grey 59.6X150 + Treccia Grey 59.6X150 + Minnesota Moka 25X150 (Available in-store)

What are the differences between wall and floor tiles?

To combine wall tiles and floor tiles we need to understand the differences between both. Floor tiles must be more robust, hard-wearing and non-slip, especially in wet or humid environments. Wall tiles must be resistant to moisture and provide a hygienic surface that is easily maintained. So, can you use floor tiles on walls? Yes, you can place floor tiles on walls to create a sense of continuity and enclosure between horizontal and vertical surfaces. However, it is not possible to use wall tiles on floors because they are usually not as robust and, therefore, prone to cracking.

Matching floor and wall tiles in bathrooms: The basics

We have put together a simple checklist to help you achieve the optimum results with bathroom floor tiles and bathroom wall tiles. Follow these criteria for the foolproof way to match tiles in bathroom décor.


#01 Matching tiles of different colours

Contrasting or complementary colours will help you achieve your decorative goals. For artificially lit bathrooms, en-suites and courtesy bathrooms you can be more daring. Blue and green tiles, for example, are ideal for creating an accent wall in your bathroom, especially if they are contrasted with neutral or white tiles.

Choose pastel shades within neighbouring areas of the colour spectrum for guaranteed compatibility in a dark space. Don’t shy away from colour matching, follow these simple rules and you’ll be richly rewarded.


▶ Tip: Whatever the choice, remember to make the most of the available light. Lighter tiles will help reflect more illumination into a bathroom with windows.


#02 Combining tiles of various sizes and formats

Larger floor tiles with fewer joints will make a small bathroom look larger, i.e. rectified floor tiles. Combine with a similar size wall tile, full height for a wet room. You can be much more playful in the family bathroom. Varying the size and shape of tiles adds visual interest and is highly recommended. As a rule, the criteria for floor tiles is more functional, while for wall tiles is more aesthetic.

#03 Mixing tiles of different materials

Porcelain, ceramic, glass, metal and vinyl are all standard options for bathroom tiles nowadays. Other than porcelain being the most suitable for floors, the other materials represent a wonderful opportunity for matching tiles.

#04 Matching various types of tiles

Bathrooms today have evolved light years beyond previous generations. The technology behind bathroom fixtures and fittings together with the variety of finishes converts the modern bathroom into another habitable room of the home. Combining several types of tiles provides depth, visual interest and decorative appeal, which underlines this idea of the bathroom as a space of wellness.

#05 Combining tiles with different textures and patterns

Tile texture impacts light reflection and how tiles are perceived. Pattern, on the other hand, is more superficial, but nonetheless just as impacting. Combining these two types of tiles, i.e. pattern for flooring and texture on walls, can create a nuanced and highly contemporary décor.

#06 Matching tiles with different finishes

The classic gloss and matt are somewhat conditioned by bathroom flooring requirements, i.e. non-slip tiles. Nevertheless, gloss wall tiles with matt floor tiles can add a designer flourish to an otherwise drab bathroom.

Mix and match tiles in bathrooms to lend character

It is clear that there has never been so much choice in bathroom tiles as there is today. By mixing and matching tiles the bathroom can be both more functional and more decorative. Smaller bathrooms can feel bigger; problem areas are better equipped to withstand humidity and moisture; even everyday maintenance can be simplified. The following examples provide practical inspiration for matching tiles in your bathroom.


Matching bathroom tiles

From our list of design criteria, it is clear that there are numerous ways to match tiles. By adding variety in colour, format, size and finish the final result is not only more harmonious but also more practical. The light and the functions of each area of the bathroom can be enhanced by matching tiles. Whether it be fully tiled or half-tiled bathrooms, there are numerous opportunities to match tiles. Areas like the shower enclosure; the area over the Wash Hand Basin; flooring with its different specific needs; decorative tile wall panels, etc. So why not use different tiles to address these requirements as well as make a more beautiful space?


Bathroom wall tile colour
Bathroom wall tile colour
Durango Bone 59.6×59.6 +Durango Bone 59.6×150 + Mosaico Durango Bone 59.6×150 (Available in-store)

Bathroom wall tiles colour

Colour is the single most important criterion in terms of matching tiles. Sight is our most developed sense, in terms of our surroundings and we tend to focus more on colour than anything else. It’s a good starting point for matching tiles.

Colour should be handled with care, especially for neophytes. For that reason, grey is a great place to dip into the world of colour. It’s practically foolproof, and provides an alternative to sterile white yet also helps reflect light back into a bathroom, especially the lighter shades of grey.

What colour goes with grey tiles in a bathroom?

First and foremost there is an entire spectrum of greys, from warm and cold to light and moody. The best approach with grey is not to over-egg the omelette, add some contrast and accents to get the best from grey.


Colours to combine with grey wall tiles:
  • Lighter grey wall tiles will generally look good with pastel shades on walls and darker greys on floors.
  • For darker grey tile walls it’s important to provide contrast with other colours. We recommend warm wood tones, strong colour patterns (from light to dark) and variations on natural stone.


Colours to combine with grey floor tiles:
  • On the lighter end of the grey spectrum, we recommend cream, beige and clearer timber tones. For a more nuanced colour scheme go with soft pastel colour wall tiles.
  • For darker grey floor tiles we suggest black, deep primary colours like midnight blues, mustard yellow and emerald green. Strong colours can hold their own and add to the darker spectrum of grey.


Tile Matching: Real-world examples

Finally, after explaining all of the keys to perfectly matching tiles, we will present some examples of pairings that work very well together, some more daring than others.


#1: How to pair wave effect tiles in the bathroom

Matching texture with texture is another subtle but powerful approach to bathroom tiling. In this scheme, the abundant glass and natural light create constantly changing lighting effects. The wall tiles and the floor tiles exude organic textures: white and reflective on the walls in a rippled motif; warm and practical from the flooring with its timber effect grain.


Matching tiles: Pair 1

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Make the bathroom of your dreams come true with this tile combination.

#2: How to pair patterned floor tiles in the bathroom

The mosaic Spanish floor tiles, in monochrome, provide this bathroom with just the right amount of character. The floor connects the two very different styles of wall tiles. The warmth of the rich warm timber effect shower cubicle and wash hand basin area is tactile and efficient. The large format natural stone wall tiles in dark grey pick up the organic quality of the timber and the practical (for maintenance) tones of the flooring.


Matching tiles: Pair 2

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This mix of wall and floor tiles gives your bathroom a distinct identity.

#3: How to pair terrazzo tiles in the bathroom

This combination of a full-height panel of matching wall and floor tile helps this bathroom takes on a designer air. The contrast with the terrazzo wall tile on the remainder of the bathroom walls, in white, highlights the stone effect. The secret to this minimalist bathroom is the natural light combined with natural materials. Together with the stratified artefacts that mimic the wall tile, there is a sense of overall order within the layout.


Matching tiles: Pair 3

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This mix of wall and floor tiles gives your bathroom a distinct identity.

#4: How to pair subway tiles in the bathroom

The classic metro tile is combined with an abstract floral pattern wallpaper. The dado profile rail marks the junction between both. Here gloss and matt are beautifully contrasted; wallpaper adds a splash of colour, whereas the metro tiles provide all of the advantges of ceramic, such as durability, low water absorption, and low maintenance. The bathroom fittings, in wood, reflect this classic vintage aesthetic that is modern yet also timeless.


Matching tiles: Pair 4

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Give your bathroom a retro and fresh look with this striking combination.

#5: How to pair mosaic tiles in the bathroom

Tile format and size are successfully combined here to create a bathroom with a marked green ambience. The metallic mosaic and the light timber effect vinyl floor tile laid in a herringbone pattern, complement one another perfectly despite being so different. This is achieved by the large format stone effect wall tile framing the mosaic panel. Colour harmony is achieved between the beige floor, the dark grey and the green tones of the mosaic.


Matching tiles: Pair 5

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Give your bathroom a retro and fresh look with this striking combination.

Linkfloor Realm Persia 9.8X58.8X0.55
(Available & in-store)

Which of these bathroom tile pairings do you prefer? Let us know in the comments. Check out our guides to stylish ways to match ceramic tiles and bathroom tile combinations to catch up on more of our ‘perfect pairings’ series.

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