Style is king when it comes to this room of the house. Learn how to wow your guests and make a strong design impact with powder room tile.
What Is a Powder Room?
Powder rooms are strong selling points for houses on the market, but what exactly are they? If you think of powder rooms as small bathrooms, you’re on the right track.
These spaces include a toilet and sink and are typically located on the ground floor of multistory homes. You’ll also find powder rooms in easily accessible locations that enable guests to use them without entering other areas of your home. For these reasons, powder rooms can be referred to as half baths and guest baths.
Powder rooms are generally small, interior spaces, often without windows. They’re often located near the entrance of the home and are a nice option for utilizing the space under a staircase.
Many homeowners choose to decorate powder rooms more elaborate than the rest of their home and because of the typical small square footage, the price tag can remain affordable even with luxurious materials.
Why Is It Called a Powder Room?
Powdered wigs were the height of fashion in 18th-century Europe. Keeping them in good shape throughout the day required regular “repowdering,” but indoor plumbing had yet to take off. Instead, people powdered their wigs in tiny interior closet-like spaces called powder rooms.
Indoor plumbing became more common in the Victorian era, and people began to use “powder room” to refer to a general toilet room.
Powder rooms became a space for “powdering” once again during Prohibition. Rather than powder their wigs, women would use power rooms to “powder their noses,” or reapply makeup. Mentioning bodily functions was considered improper during this time, so women would also use this euphemism to excuse themselves.
Modern housing codes and the construction boom after World War II saw the inclusion of at least one — and often two — bathrooms in every new house. From then on, powder rooms have become common and desirable home additions.
[Related: Your Complete Guide to Bathroom Tile]
The Demands of a Powder Room
Powder rooms may be smaller than full bathrooms, but they often have even higher demands.
Your family as well as guests are likely to use the powder room on a daily basis because of its easily accessible location. As a result, powder rooms need to be able withstand frequent use and be easy to maintain. You never know when a guest might pop in, so keeping your powder room clean and guest-ready needs to be a cinch.
Design is equally — if not more — important in powder rooms. Their small size gives you the freedom to “go big,” and many homeowners embrace a bolder design in powder rooms than they would elsewhere.
Design elements in powder rooms often include statement lighting, mirrors, sinks, and surface materials.
Ceramic Tile Benefits for Powder Rooms
Ceramic tile is an excellent choice for powder rooms because of its durability and easy care. For example, ceramic tile is:
- Scratch-resistant: Your guests may not be as careful with your surfaces as you’d like, but that’s not a concern with ceramic tile. Tile’s hard-fired surface is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, scuffs, and chips.
- Stain-resistant: Ceramic tile doesn’t stain easily, so no need to worry about it becoming discolored.
- Easy to clean: You can clean most messes with a little soap and water alone.
- Bacteria-resistant: Ceramic tile is inhospitable to the growth of bacteria and other microbes, such as mold.
- Antimicrobial: Some tile options have antimicrobial properties that can suppress and even destroy harmful microorganisms, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
- Allergen-free: Ceramic tile contains no allergens, and allergens in the environment such as dust, dirt, and pollen can’t penetrate ceramic tile’s nonporous surface.
[Related: Low-Maintenance Benefits of Ceramic and Porcelain Tile]
Powder rooms also benefit from ceramic tile’s versatile design options. Make a big impact in this small space with your choice of ceramic tile colors, sizes, layout patterns, styles, and textures. Whether you want to coordinate with the rest of your home’s design or change it up, go all out or employ strategic accents, ceramic tile has what you’re looking for.
[Related: Nine Masterful Master Baths You’ll Swoon Over]
Powder Room Tile Ideas
You can tile just about any surface in your powder room, but these are some of our favorite tile applications for powder rooms.
Powder Room Floor Tile
Your powder room will be seeing a lot of foot traffic. Ceramic tile is an ideal option to ensure your flooring’s longevity while also making a design impact.
One of the benefits of choosing floor tile for small powder rooms is that you can choose a complex or bold design without it being overwhelming, as is often the case in larger floor spaces. For example, the geometric black and white powder room floor tile above steals the show and sets the mood for the crisp and clean space.
You can find more small powder room floor tile ideas on our Powder Room Floors Pinterest board.
[Related: Colorful Bathroom Floor Tile Ideas]
Powder Room Tile Backsplash
The backsplash is often the main attraction in a powder room. Think of powder room backsplash tile as a piece of art that your guests will admire as they wash up, and then choose tile that fits the bill.
[Related: Bathroom and Kitchen Backsplash Tile: Your Complete Guide]
Powder Room Tile Accent Wall
Can’t get enough of your backsplash tile? Extend it to create an entire powder room tile accent wall.
Powder Room Tile Wall
Tilling all of the walls in your powder room creates a sense of being transported to another space or time altogether. Especially with lavishly decorated powder rooms, powder room tile walls can create what’s known as a “jewel box” space — a small space decorated with high-quality materials, custom finishes, and extravagant details.
Powder Room Half Wall Tile
Half walls are popular design elements in powder rooms. Powder room half wall tile protects the space behind and below the sink from splashes while also adding an interesting pattern to otherwise bare walls.
Powder Room Countertops
Countertops are often more than merely functional in powder rooms. Make your powder room counter stand out by using an interesting design, look, or sink fixture.
For example, this powder room makes use of large-format gauged porcelain tile to create a floating wood-look counter with unique wood-look vessel sinks.
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Counter Culture]
Powder Room Tile Designs
Now that you know where to put your tile, let’s examine some of the most popular powder room tile designs.
Wallpapered-look tile is a perfect fit for powder rooms: It has a timeless vibe that fits with the long history of powder rooms while also providing the modern functionality and style options of ceramic tile. Tile with gold or silver wallpapered looks creates a truly lavish design.
Hexagon Tile Powder Room
Hexagon tile makes for a playful powder room. Use black and white mosaic hexagon tiles for a vintage look, or larger hexagons for a more modern vibe.
[Related: Unleash the Creativity of Hexagon Tile: Hexagon Tile Uses and Design Ideas]
Marble Tile Powder Room
You can’t go wrong with a marble tile powder room if elegance is your goal.
The marble aesthetic is a popular choice for the look of luxury and large-format gauged porcelain tile provides marble-look tile slabs to give you a sustainable and more affordable choice—and, moreover, a broader selection so that you can choose the exact color and veining type you desire for your project.
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Modernized Marble]
Powder Room Mosaic Tile
Small tile for a small space — fitting, right?
All jokes aside, mosaic tile lends itself to dazzling powder room tile backsplashes and accent walls, as the above photo proves. Visit our Mosaic Tile and Micro Mosaics Pinterest boards for more mosaic tile powder room ideas.
[Related: Mosaic Tile Ideas: Your Big Guide to Little Tiles]
Powder Room Subway Tile
Subway tile is everyone’s favorite tile design, so we’re not surprised that it’s finding its way into powder rooms. Classic white subway tile is a great choice to create a retro powder room.
[Related: Everything You Need to Know About Subway Tile]
Black and White Tile Powder Room
Black and white are a timeless color combination, and a great choice for sleek powder room tile. This black and white tile powder room features gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs in two designs for a look that’s minimalist yet striking.
[Related: Black and White Tile Designs for Every Space]
Black Tile Powder Room
Black tile powder rooms are bold, moody, and a dramatic backdrop for pops of color.
[Related: Bewitching Black Bathroom Tile]
Glass Tile Powder Room
Glass tile powder rooms can be delicate, mesmerizing, or modern, depending on the design that you choose. And since powder rooms often lack windows, glass tile’s ability to reflect light is an added bonus.
We tend to see a lot of neutral hues, jewel tones, and luxurious finishes in powder rooms. However, colorful tile is just as at home in powder rooms. Combine your favorite colors and patterns to create a one-of-a-kind powder room tile design.
[Related: Tile Color Psychology: How Your Tile Color Affects Your Mood]
Perfect Tile for Your Powder Room
Whatever the vision for your powder room, we hope you’ve found the perfect powder room tile to bring it to life.
Learn more about the benefits of ceramic tile for powder rooms, and then explore more powder room tile designs on Pinterest:
Where to Buy Powder Room Tile
Use the search tool at the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) to find a ceramic tile showroom in your area for a more individual, one-on-one shopping, design and education experience, or visit a home improvement or flooring retailer.