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Top 21 bathroom tile trends for 2021

Sydney Bathroom Tiles – Top 21 Trends for 2021

As we move into 2021, the options for bathroom tiles have never been more exciting. Advances in tile design and production have created near limitless choices for Sydney bathroom renovation projects!

In this post, we’re going to explore the top 21 bathroom tile trends for 2021 (in alphabetical order).

Bathroom tiles trend #1: 3D Effect/Sculptural

3d-effect / sculptured bathroom tiles
Image from Bunnings website

You won’t believe your eyes with 3D-effect bathroom tiles! Normally used as feature tiles, 3D tiles demand attention with their embossed or elevated designs. 3D tiles offer a superior level of flexibility for bathroom designs. Available in a wide range of colours and styles, well-matched 3D tiles can really make your bathroom renovation unique.

3D effect tiles can also be used as wall accents, acting as a work of art within your bathroom.

Bathroom tiles trend #2: Bohemian Style

Bohemian bathroom tiles
Image from Amber Interiors

When you truly want your bathroom to express your unconventional self in 2021, bohemian (or “boho”) style bathroom tiles may be just what you’re after.

Although this style offers a relaxed and eclectic feel to your bathroom, careful designing is required to ensure you achieve a modern and luxurious aesthetic; it’s easy to “get it wrong” with bohemian style tiles!

Bathroom tiles trend #3: Bright Shades

Bright bathroom tiles are looking popular for 2021

Image by Vogue

Want your Sydney bathroom to be memorable and make a statement? Why not go with bright-shaded tiles?

Bright neon tiles can be used to bring a sense of fun and boldness to a bathroom, whether you choose a single colour or multiple colours.

Neon too much for your liking? You could also try softer shades such as apple or mint green, or even a contrasting red to help your bathroom “pop”.

Bathroom tiles trend #4: Glass

Glass bathroom tiles
From one of our bathroom renovations in Ultimo

Glass bathroom tiles can help your bathroom to appear more spacious and/or brighter than it is, because of their reflective nature. They’re also super-easy to keep clean, with dirt and marks being removed often with a simple cloth and glass cleaning solution.

Other advantages of glass bathroom tiles are their tendency to resist growths such as mould, and the fact they do not absorb water; while ceramic tiles tend to absorb between 0.5% to 3% water, glass has a 0% absorbency rate.

Bathroom tiles trend #6: Hand-painted

Contessa hand-painted bathroom tiles
Image from Old World Tiles

A primary attraction of hand-painted bathroom tiles is their ability to bring an element of artistic-expression to your bathroom.

Whether it be a complex flower design covering multiple tiles, or individually-styled tiles in a complimentary pattern, hand-painted tiles allow you the freedom and flexibility to customise your bathroom in a way that is uniquely yours.

Bathroom tiles trend #7: Hexagonal tile

Hexagonal bathroom tilesHexagonal bathroom tiles are on-trend for 2021, despite the perception by some people that they are an old-fashioned option for bathroom tiles. In truth, hexagonal tiles tend to be one of the more “tried and true” option for tiles in the bathroom because of their simple design… providing the colours are not too outrageous!

They offer you great versatility, durability and flexibility – you can use them for small bathrooms, large bathrooms and everything in-between – in a wide range of design styles. Since they offer a seemingly endless surface, they’re a great foundation for displaying graphics on the bathroom wall.

You can use hexagonal tiles on the bathroom floor, or even reserve them for a feature wall.

Bathroom tiles trend #8: Large patterns

Large pattern bathroom tiles
From one of our Turramurra bathroom renovations

Especially for bigger bathrooms, large pattern tiles (60cm x 60cm+) are set to be on trend in 2021. While small bathrooms generally don’t work well with large pattern tiles (because they make the room look smaller), they can transform your bathroom walls or floor with stylish designs that capture your attention.

Technology improvements have led to printed bathroom tiles being safer (less slipping!) and more durable, opening up more options for attractive, unique tile patterns for your bathroom floor.

Bathroom tiles trend #9: Marble

Marble bathroom tiles on trend for 2021
From our bathroom renovation projects in Elizabeth Bay

It’s hard to beat the “wow factor” created by marble bathroom tiles. They’re a luxurious, hardwearing, light-reflective option for your bathroom floors and walls which is why they are one of the most popular choices for Australian bathrooms.

Surprisingly, marble bathroom tiles are not as expensive as many people expect, given their premium appearance. When you consider how many years they will last given their durability, the price becomes even more affordable.

Bathroom tiles trend #10: Matte

Matte bathroom tiles
Matte bathroom tiles from one of our Turramurra ensuite renovation

Matte (or “matt”) bathroom tiles offer a stronger grip than glossy tiles, making them ideal for bathroom floors. They’re also very easy to maintain; matte bathroom tiles hide marks and stains very well, reducing the amount of time you’ll spend on your hands and knees cleaning them!

Matte bathroom tiles are an excellent option for creating a warm and natural look, with a sense of calm and relaxation to your bathroom. For these reasons, they’re a great option for upcoming bathroom tile trends in 2021 and beyond.

Bathroom tiles trend #11: Metal finish

Metal finish bathroom tiles
Image from Bunnings website

Offering resistance to water, stains and smudges, metal bathroom tiles may be an excellent and on-trend option for your home. While they can be perceived as cold and industrial, a modern take on metal bathroom tiles is to use warmer colours (gold, copper, bronze etc) which can bring a taste of luxury and elegance to your bathroom when used to enhance existing elements.

Another advantage of metal finish bathroom tiles is their reflective nature. This allows them to bring additional light and perceived space to your room, especially helpful for smaller bathrooms or ensuites.

Bathroom tiles trend #12: Pressed metal

Pressed tin bathroom tiles
Image from

When used well, pressed metal tiles (sometimes referred to as pressed tin tiles) can create a striking visual delight within your bathroom or wet-room.

They can be used as a feature wall, as an accent or splashback behind your bathroom vanity, or in any number of other ways to help your bathroom stand out.

Pressed metal bathroom tiles really increased in popularity in 2019 and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down in 2021.

Bathroom tiles trend #13: Mosaic

Mosaic tiles in our Gladesville bathroom renovation
From one of our Gladesville bathroom renovation projects

Mosaic bathroom tiles are known for the ability to resist stains, smudges and water build-up, because they are non-porous. On top of that, mosaic tiles are not affected by humidity. This makes them an attractive bathroom tile option in 2021 because of their low maintenance – the tiles are easily cleaned with simple, natural cleaning products.

They can be trickier to install, but once they’re in place, you’ll have bathroom tiles which will serve you well for many years to come… with minimal fuss and effort required to keep them looking “good as new”.

Bathroom tiles trend #14: Natural/light colours

Neutral bathroom tiles
Neutral bathroom tiles from one of our Hunters Hill bathroom reno projects

While not a new idea, an enduring trend both now and into 2021 is neutral light or muted colour tones. There’s a reason for this – neutral bathroom tile colours have been popular for a VERY long time, because of their simplicity and versatility.

Neutral colour bathroom tiles offer an understated impression, allowing other feature areas of the bathroom to take the limelight. And of course, neutral colour bathroom tiles tend to age better than the brighter, bolder tile alternatives!

Bathroom tiles trend #15: Plant pattern

Plant pattern bathroom tiles
From one of our Cremorne bathroom renovations

Bring a feeling of nature into your bathroom with plant or floral pattern tiles. A close cousin to Bathroom Tiles Trend #6, plant pattern bathroom tiles are growing “green idea” trend.

Plant pattern bathroom tiles can bring a sense of tranquillity and peace to your bathroom when designed tastefully; simplicity and elegance are key for this trend.

Bathroom tiles trend #16: Shaped tiles

Leaf-shaped floor tiles
Leaf-shaped floor tiles, from a Brindabella powder room renovation in Wahroonga

Boring, traditional bathroom tile shapes watch out – shaped tiles look to be a growing bathroom tile trend for 2021! Shaped tiles can include chevrons, hexagons, scallops, fish-scales and more.

Given their non-traditional nature, shaped bathroom tiles are going to look their best when a qualified and experienced designer is involved. But in the right hands, they can create an eye-catching Sydney bathroom.

Bathroom tiles trend #17: Subway tiles

Modern subway bathroom tiles
From one of our Wahroonga power room renovations

While some say the previously popular subway tile is now “old hat”, this bathroom tile trend is still looking strong for 2021. The expectation is that we’ll see new variances of the traditional subway bathroom tile introduced, with updated shapes, colours, sizes and styles.

There’s a reason why subway bathroom tiles have become so popular – they offer great versatility, and can act as a strong contrast to more prominent bathroom elements.

Bathroom tiles trend #18: Textured finish

Textured bathroom tiles
From one of our Hunters Hill bathroom renovations

Textured bathroom tiles are becoming popular for one big reason: they offer more slip resistance than most other tile types. That’s because textured tiles are made from ceramic or porcelain, with a textured gripping surface applied on top.

Apart from the obvious non-slip benefits, textured finish tiles are also highly durable, long-lasting and highly water-resistant.

So, if family safety is a primary consideration in your bathroom design or renovation, you may want to consider the value of textured finish bathroom tiles.

Bathroom tiles trend #19: Waxed effect

Waxed-effect bathroom tiles
Image from

Not to be confused with wax coating (which is often applied to tiles by the manufacturer to them during shipping), waxed effect bathroom tiles are tiles which have been painted with microcracks applied. These cracks give the impression of aging, making them perfect for retro, antique or country bathroom designs, and are on-trend for 2021.

Warmer colours are recommended for waxed effect bathroom tiles.

Bathroom tiles trend #20: Wood imitation/faux-wood

Most people shy away from using timber slabs as flooring in their bathrooms. The maintenance required with natural wooden bathroom floors are a huge deterrent for many homeowners, despite the earthy, warm aesthetic they can produce.

Wood-imitation bathroom tiles
Image from

As an alternative to natural wood, there is a trend leading in to 2021 to use wood-like, timber-like or faux-wood bathroom tiling. Typically made from glazed porcelain, they’re finding favour in Sydney bathrooms because they’re versatile, available in a wide range of styles and colours, long lasting, resistant to stains and easy to maintain.

With these bathroom tiles, you can enjoy the attractive look of natural timber’s grains, patterns, and organic appearance, without becoming a slave to maintenance!

Bathroom tiles trend #21: Mix & match

Mix-&-match bathroom tiles
From one of our luxury bathroom renovations in Pymble

Can’t decide on which bathroom tile is best for you in 2021? Why not use several!

With careful styling and design, you can create a stunning Sydney bathroom with any number of combinations of tiles shown in this post. The trick is to find complimentary styles which support the overall look and feel of your home… while avoiding the feeling of “overwhelm” created when you use too many different styles in the one space.

Get professional assistance with bathroom tiles & design

Selecting the best bathroom tiles for your Sydney bathroom renovation project can be daunting. Like most things in life, options can create confusion! That’s why we find it best to spend some time researching the various styles on the market, selecting a few of your “preferred choices”, and bringing your thoughts to a professional bathroom designer.

If you’re looking to redo your bathroom in 2021, and you’re looking for some assistance with the design and implementation, start a conversation with our experienced and passionate team today.

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