7 Ways to Use Penny Tiles in Your Bathroom for a Wow-Worthy Look

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated December 22, 2021
Penny tiles with matching alcoves
Photo: WCI Group

Tiny tiles, major design impact

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

If you’re hoping to update your guest bathroom or add some eye-catching details to a shower, penny tiles could be the design hero you didn’t know you needed. Many people think bold wallpaper, subway tiles, or sleek marble floors to create a magazine-worthy bathroom, but the small, round penny tiles make a huge statement. 

But there is an art to making the most of penny tiles in a bathroom. Take inspiration from these penny tile projects by designers and homeowners who used these tiles in impressive ways.

1. Neutral Tones Create a Spa-Like Space

A blue penny tile flooring in a shower cabin
Photo: McGuire + Co. Kitchen & Bath / Designer: Jenni Jacobs

If you’ve ever wanted your bathroom to feel like a spa, take note from designer Jenni Jacobs of McGuire + Co. Kitchen & Bath, who designed this serene shower with blue penny tile flooring. Paired with beige tiles on the wall, brass-toned fixtures, and a shelf holding a plant, the earthy hues create a relaxing environment, even if you’re rushing to get ready before work. To recreate a similar atmosphere in your own bathroom, consult with a local bathroom tiling expert.

2. Risky Designs Can Offer Eye-Catching Rewards

 A speckled shower floor
Photo: WCI Group

For Jon Spica at WCI Group, this speckled shower floor is one his favorite projects to date. The look is unfussy and minimalist, but it required a lot of forethought to prevent it from looking busy.

“I really liked this one because it wasn't the same. It had some darker grays, some lighter grays, and creams,” Spica says. “Some of the tiles had a mixture in them, and some were solid. That's a really hard tile to design with, because you gotta be careful not to clash with other things.”

To keep the rest of the space from looking cluttered, Spica paired the tiny penny tiles with huge tiles for the rest of the shower and a sleek drain to not detract from the carefully planned out tile pattern. Plus, large tiles are trendy and easy to keep clean.

3. Pair Penny Tile Floors With Matching Alcoves

Penny tiles with matching alcoves
Photo: WCI Group

In another project by Spica, black penny tiles are replicated in both the floors and the shower alcoves for a cohesive look. One of Spica’s top tips for working with penny tiles is to stick to small areas, which is why this style of tiling is so popular for shower floors or guest bathrooms.

“If you're going to do [penny tiles] on a wall, do it in small areas like accent areas,” Spica says. “If you're going to do it on the floor, make sure the floor is not too big. You know, probably, maximum, like 7-by-8 [feet], 6-by-8[feet]. If you have a 10-foot-by-10-foot or a 10-by-9 bathroom or 10-by-12, don't do it all in penny tile. It's too big.”

4. Play With Textures to Complement Tiny Tiles

A penny tile floor with different textures around it
Photo: WCI Group

If you want to create an interesting design that keeps the eyes moving around the room, experiment with different textures. In this beach villa bathroom, the dark gray penny tile floor of the shower is just one intriguing element. There’s also the dark wood surrounding the sink, a marble wall, a white subway tile wall, and a glass shower enclosure with black panes that resembles windows of a French door. 

When choosing tile for your own bathroom, consider how different textures may complement penny tiles and other bathroom elements, like glass shower walls or metallic fixtures.

5. Go Monochromatic

A bathroom in beige tones
Photo: WCI Group

6. Metallics Make the Whole Room Shine

Metallic penny tiles used for flooring in a bathroom
Photo: Jennifer Dawes / dreamstreamingintheair

The beauty of penny tiles is that they are so versatile. Their small size means they are easy to arrange in just about any pattern you can think of. 

For her Airstream bathroom, jewelry designer Jennifer Dawes carefully arranged penny tiles in black, white, gray, blue, red, and an eye-catching gold in an intricate design. These tiles lay at the base of her shower, which is enclosed in white tile and paired with a brass-colored shower head for a luxe feel, even on the road.

7. Simple Patterns Make Huge Statements

A simple black and white penny floor tiling pattern in a bathroom renovation
Photo: Arielle / ree_ella

Black-and-white tile will never go out of style, whether we’re opting for checkered kitchen floors, striped wallpaper, or in this case, spotted penny tile floors. Paired with vertically-laid, dark tiles, this bathroom feels dramatic and glamorous. It’s a kids’ bathroom, though, so a patterned mirror adds a playful design element while the rest of the room will age well alongside the kiddos.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.