Gray Bathroom Tile Ideas Cool Gray Tiles for Bathrooms

Gray bathroom tiles are a popular choice for creating a soothing, spa-like atmosphere. The neutral gray tone can provide a crisp, clean backdrop in the bathroom. Gray tiles come in different shades, from light dove gray to dark charcoal, that allows you to add visual interest. Gray tiles coordinate beautifully with most color schemes, giving you flexibility when designing your dream bathroom. This article will explore why gray bathroom tiles are so popular right now along with tips for choosing and installing gray tiles in your next bathroom remodel.

Why Choose Gray Tiles for Your Bathroom?

Gray tiles are trending in bathroom design right now for several good reasons:

Timeless and Versatile

Gray is a timeless, neutral color that provides a classic backdrop that won’t go out of style. Gray tiles pair well with any color scheme from bold bright colors to soft neutrals. This flexibility lets you change up the decor and accessories over time without having to redo the tile.

Visually Calming

The neutral gray tone has a soothing, Zen-like quality that helps create a relaxing oasis in your bathroom. Gray tiles can help promote tranquility and reduce stress.

Bright and Airy Ambiance

Although gray is a neutral, it is also inherently cool and crisp. Gray bathroom tiles reflect light well, helping to create a bright, airy feeling. This makes even a small bathroom seem more spacious.

Easy to Keep Clean

Compared to white tiles, gray tiles conceal dirt, stains, and grout discoloration better. That means they stay looking cleaner longer, requiring less frequent scrubbing and maintenance.

Stylish Sophistication

Gray tiles have an undeniably stylish, sophisticated look. Paired with modern bath fixtures and accessories, gray tile lends an upscale, spa-like feel to the bathroom.

Coordinates With Most Colors

From vibrant hues to natural wood tones, gray bathroom tiles coordinate beautifully with almost any color scheme. This versatility allows you to add pops of color through accessories.

Choosing the Right Shade of Gray Tile

Gray spans a wide spectrum, so you’ll want to consider the undertones and decide just how light or dark to go for your bathroom. A few popular options include:

Light Gray

Light grays like frost, dove, or ash have a nearly imperceptible touch of cool blue that keeps them fresh and bright.

Medium Gray

Mid-range gray tiles offer more contrast. Look for colors described as slate or weathered stone.

Dark Gray

Deep, charcoal grays read as contemporary and moody. Use dark gray tiles sparingly on focal walls or in small baths.


Greige is a popular blending of gray and beige, providing a light taupe look that feels warmer than true gray.

Avoid Blue-Gray

Blue-gray tones can read as sterile and institutional if they lean too icy. Stick to warmer grays for a relaxing feel.

Cool Design Ideas for Gray Bathroom Tiles

Ready to choose gray tiles for your next bathroom project but not sure where to begin? Here are some eye-catching and creative ways to use gray bathroom tiles:

Gray Subway Tile

Classic white subway tile is a popular and timeless choice, but gray adds a fresh twist. Use matte gray subway tile on the shower walls or as a bathroom backsplash. Consider pairing it with white grout for added contrast.

Gray Tile Shower Niche

Recess a decorative niche into your tile shower wall and line it with stunning gray mosaic tile. Use the niche to store bath essentials or to hold decorative vases and candles.

Gray Basketweave Floor Tile

Intricate patterns like basketweave add visual intrigue underfoot. Choose a glossy gray basketweave tile for your bathroom floor. Accent with a contrasting grout.

Mixed Gray Tile Shower

Mix up your tile shapes, patterns, and grays for a custom look. Try combining gray subway tile, mosaic penny rounds, and marble hexagons.

Large Gray Floor Tile

Oversized gray floor tile, like 12″ x 24″ plank tiles, help a small bathroom seem larger. Contrast with bright white grout.

Gray Tile Bathroom Floor

For a unified, seamless look, use the same large format gray tile on the walls and floor. This makes the space feel open and airy.

Gray Linear Mosaic Tile

Run a band of contemporary gray stone or glass linear mosaic tile along the vanity backsplash as an eye-catching accent.

Gray Marble Accent

For an elegant touch, use classic gray marble tile or marble mosaic as an accent in the shower or on the floor.

Contrasting Grout Color

Choose a gray tile with contrasting white or very dark gray grout. This helps accentuate the tile pattern and adds visual interest.

Considerations for Installing Gray Tile in Bathrooms

To ensure your gray bathroom tiles stand the test of time, keep these tips in mind:

Use Proper Backerboard

Cement backerboard must be used as a base when installing tile in wet areas. Regular drywall will degrade.

Seal Natural Stone

Sealing natural stone tiles, like marble or travertine, prevents staining and etching from liquids and oils.

Choose Floor-Rated Tile

Pick tiles with a COF (coefficient of friction) of .5 or above for bathroom floors. This helps prevent slips.

Use Wide Grout Lines

Wider grout lines are better than thin ones. 1/8″ is ideal. This allows for subtle movement and prevents cracks.

Apply Sealant

Use waterproof sealant on all seams and joints between the tile, tub, and fixtures to prevent moisture damage.

Slope Floors to Drain

Ensure floors slope slightly down to the drain. This prevents puddling of water that could damage the tile or subfloor.

Follow Expansion Joint Guidelines

Expansion joints allow for subtle tile movement and are required every 20-25 feet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gray Bathroom Tiles

What color grout looks best with gray tiles?

Lighter shades of gray look great with crisp white grout. Dark charcoal gray tiles pair well with very dark gray or even black grout. For a softer contrast, match the grout to a slightly lighter or darker shade of your tile.

Do gray bathroom tiles make a small bathroom look bigger?

Yes! Because gray is inherently cool-toned, light and airy, it reflects light well, helping bathrooms feel more spacious. Using large format gray tiles on the walls and floor can create a seamless look with clean lines that makes a small bath seem bigger.

Should I avoid patterned gray tiles in small bathrooms?

It depends. Small-scale mosaic tile or busy patterns can feel cluttered in a tiny space. But some patterns like subway tile or decorative floor inserts can add character without overwhelming the room.

What color walls go with gray bathroom tile?

Gray is endlessly versatile, complementing both cool colors like greens and blues and warm neutrals like tans, browns, and whites. Bold primary colors also pop beautifully against gray tile.

Can gray tiles look dingy or dirty over time?

Not if you choose the right gray. Avoid gray tones with brown, yellow, or green undertones, which can show grime. Stick to gray tones with subtle hints of blue that stay bright and crisp.

Do gray bathroom floors show stains?

They show less staining than white tiles, but won’t hide stains as well as very dark tiles. Mid-range grays like slate hide dirt well. Use sealers to repel stains on more porous tiles like concrete, limestone, or travertine.

Inspiring Gray Bathroom Tile Ideas

For more inspiration, check out these beautiful gray-tiled bathroom designs:

Spa-Like Gray and White Bathroom

This spa bathroom features sleek and shiny gray wall tiles contrasted with matte white floor tiles and white grout. Crisp white bath fixtures keep the look bright.View photo

Vintage Gray Tile Bathroom

The blue-gray vintage subway tiles in this charming bathroom give it a chic, retro vibe. Paired with pink floor tile and brass fixtures, this space has tons of character.View photo

Dramatic Gray Tile Shower

This bold gray mosaic shower tile installed in a herringbone pattern makes a major style statement in this minimalist bath. It’s offset with white walls.View photo

Gray Basketweave Bathroom Tile

The glossy gray basketweave floor tile in this bathroom adds eye-catching geometry and pattern to the simple space. White walls and gold fixtures pop against the gray.View photo

Gray and White Linear Mosaic

This bathroom backsplash combines gray, white, and silver glass mosaic tile in a sleek horizontal linear pattern. Paired with gray walls, it provides the perfect polished accent.View photo

Final Thoughts on Using Gray Tile in Bathrooms

Gray bathroom tiles are having a major moment in bathroom design right now. From light dove gray to dark charcoal, they can lend any bathroom a crisp, clean, and calming feel. Gray tiles effortlessly pair with almost any color scheme and help small spaces seem larger.

With creative use of subway, mosaic, marble, and porcelain gray tiles, you can design a bathroom that is sophisticated and spa-like. Just focus on choosing cool-toned grays and properly installing and sealing the tiles. With the right gray tile, you can create a bathroom with timeless, relaxed style.