Style & Design

Tried-and-True Wall and Floor Tile Combinations

Starting a remodel can be overwhelming. (We even wrote a handy guide about starting your tile project!) When it comes to choosing tile, a common question is how to decide on wall and floor tile combinations. Should they coordinate or contrast, be the same shape or different, and feature all the same materials or a mixture? Of course, your design really depends on your personal preferences and your space. But, we have a few reliable formulas for wall and floor tile combinations that always seem to deliver beautiful results.

Contrasting Colors

Boldly contrasting colors are a sure way to make a big impact. Dark and light tones play off of each other, making each stand out even more. Below, the dark backdrop also serves to highlight the sleek lines of the contemporary tub.

Contrasting floor and wall bathroom
Featured: Ionic White and Ionic Steel. Design by Aponte Development.

Contrast goes glam with this dramatic display that plays up sumptuous style.

Contrast can be created with color combinations beyond black and white. In a warmer take on the style, a wood-look floor balances grey and white walls with tons of welcoming textures.

Monochromatic Mix

If you’re dreaming of a clean monochromatic color palette, try incorporating different finishes, sizes, shapes or materials on the walls and floors. This adds dimension, texture and interest to a design while keeping it clean. You can also include functional and safety features this way. Here, a glossy ceramic wall tile is an easy-to-clean option that protects the backsplash from spills. The coordinating porcelain floor tile is durable and transitions between the surfaces smoothly in the same soft grey color palette.

Glossy and matte grey subway tiles
Featured: Splendours White and Bricklane White. Design by I SPY DIY.

“People always ask me, ‘If I use ceramic on the floor, don’t I have to use it on the walls?’ The answer is no! Mixing it up creates a more interesting space.”—Kirsty Froelich, Tile Shop design manager

This space demonstrates a perfect example of using mixed materials (also known as “fusion.”) With ceramic wall tile, porcelain shower wall tile, porcelain floor tile and marble trim pieces, all of these different materials unite in a cohesive way and in a monochromatic color palette to portray a serene spa bathroom.

We love how these floor and wall tiles are so different from one another in finish, shape, size and material yet coordinate flawlessly. The space works because the color palette is soft and neutral and hints of organic materials add warmth and interest.

Light grey bathroom tile
Featured: Hampton Carrara Hex and Foggy Morning Glass. Design by Timber Trails DC. Photography by Stoffer Photography Interiors.

Here, the similar polished finish of the ceramic subway wall tile and the marble shower pan tile unifies the shower’s style. A framed marble mosaic is an added touch of elegance—fusion at its finest!

Varying the shape of your wall and floor tiles is another way to add interest in a monochromatic design. From the mix of porcelain and ceramic to the distinct shapes, there is so much to entice the eye in this cream laundry room!

Cream laundry room tile
Featured: Provenzal Alhama Grey and Splendours Royal White Decor. Design by West Bay Homes. Installation by Exell Ceramic Tile.

This is a great example of fusion. The materials on the walls and floor could not be more different, consisting of real wood, wood-look porcelain and a slate and porcelain mosaic, but they all have a similar rich hue that ties them together.

Wood and rich brown tiles
Featured: Reclaimed Wood Architectural, Kingswood Magma and Hartland Blend Mosaic

Coordinated Collections

One of the easiest ways to ensure your design flows together is using the same collection or series on walls and floors. One of the great things about The Tile Shop’s stone collections is the sheer number of different shape, size and trim options. Collections are also sourced from the same quarry, so, while no two pieces are ever the same due to natural variation, you never have to worry about different tiles coordinating.

This space uses the same stone, Milas Lilac, on every surface, so there’s no fear about the tiles not coordinating. By using many different shapes (we’re not even sure we can count them all!), distinct zones are established, subtly distinguishing the shower from the vanity area.

To make designing a coordinated space even easier, we’ve extended it beyond stone. Our proprietary Fired Earth ceramic and porcelain collections, like the Carrara Gris floor tile below, coordinate with our marble collections, too. This makes adding a special designer touch even easier. Handmade Weekly elevates her fusion design beautifully here, with a marble-look ceramic tile and a unique statement marble mosaic. Marble trims polish the look to perfection.

Patterns That Pop

One of our most popular wall and floor tile combinations is patterned and non-patterned tile. For the bold at heart, there’s nothing better than an accent wall or floor brimming with striking shapes. Paired with a neutral color, the overall effect is delightful. This hexagon shape, duplicated in the floor tile, garners just enough attention to set this shower apart.

Hexagon shower wall and floor tile
Featured: Akros Elis Iris Matte and Hex Gloss White

Here, a boldly patterned floor is softened with a coordinating, neutral wall tile.

Square patterned floor tile
Featured: Montauk Dark Grey Stone Mosaic and Carrara Gris. Customer submission.

White subway tile plus a bold, old-world style encaustic is always a good idea.

Encaustic patterned floor tile
Featured: Liria Negro Encaustic and Bulevar White. Customer submission.

Tone on Tone

One sure way to demonstrate a cohesive look between floors and walls is to pick a neutral or color from one surface and use it on the other. The soft grey wall tiles below perfectly reflect the same mottled grey in the pattered floor.

Laura Ashley floor tile
Featured: Laura Ashley Mr Jones Charcoal Matte and Splendours White. Design by I SPY DIY.

The unique ombre effect on this Annie Selke floor tile presents the opportunity to pull two different colors onto the wall design.

Blue and white bathroom tile
Featured: Annie Selke Moon Sky, Annie Selke Gwendolyn White, Annie Selke Sketch Sky, Bianco Puro Honed Skirting and Dural Chrome Plated Brass Square Edge

This concept does not have to be all or nothing. A hint of color, like the beachy brown in the floor tile that’s also found in the chevron stripe on the wall and shower, goes a long way towards tying this room together.

Cream and brown bathroom tile
Featured: Jupiter Grey, Blanco Waves and Alato Beachwalk Chevron

This kitchen plays with a number of different colors, but choosing the backsplash subway tile in hue plucked from the floor tile ensures that the space feels cohesive.

Kitchen backsplash and floor tile
Featured: Jupiter Grey and Imperial Latte Gloss. Design by Paisley Designs.

Multiple patterns can get tricky but this space strikes a perfect balance. Surrounding this floral art glass splashback with a neutral frame and a subway tile in a color that is duplicated in the floor tile, the patterns do not compete.


Rules are made to be broken, right? Sometimes a design that doesn’t follow any of these rules or even breaks them just works. Here are some of our favorite eclectic combinations that don’t follow the guidelines. Here, pattern, wood look and a bold subway tile create the perfect modern farmhouse nook.

Modern farmhouse tile design
Featured: Star, Imperial Pewter Gloss, Imperial Pewter Gloss Pencil, Brushed Copper Rounds Metal, Antique Copper Metal and Etna Concreto Wood Look

Bold geometric shapes on the walls and floors and exaggerated contrast?! This look is bold, but the black-and-white palette keeps it clean.

Here’s another example of a bold pattern paired with multiple colors. The grey color is reflected in the patterned tile, and the wood-look floor acts as a neutral that balances the space.

There are dozens of different wall and floor tile combinations. It just depends on your desired overall effect—whether it’s eye-catching contrast, calm coordination or eclectic patterns. Ready to take the next step? Schedule a design consultation or stop into a store to talk to a tile expert and get started!

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