Your bathroom is the ideal place for relaxation and for many of us, there’s nothing more soothing than a day on the beach. Bringing in a touch of the coastal experience into your bath time just makes a lot of design sense.
We’ve discussed Beach-themed bathroom decor ideas in this post (with lots of photos, it’s quite inspirational!) Today, we want to explore a very specific decorative element you can use to bring the waterfront into your shower room: Decorative ceramic tiles.
There are many ways you can use tiles in your bathroom. The most obvious one may be to lay tiles all over the walls. Ceramic tiles are perfect for the job because bathroom-grade ones are water-resistant – practical as well as beautiful. However, the tiles we bring you today are better suited as stand-alone decorative elements.
You could in theory place one or two among your regular wall tiles – if you happen to be working on a re-tiling project. But if you’re not fixing a broken square or renovating your entire bathroom, why not just add one of these beauties as a cool ornament? Just place one or two on a shelf to bring in a sense of sea life and a coastal experience with zero effort.
Let’s take a look at the tiles. We’re sure they’ll inspire you to find some great placements in your own bathroom. We’ve divided them into general sea-themed tiles, seastar-themed, and seashell-themed tiles. We also have a separate section for nautical tiles too.
If you’re looking to introduce a general sense of “seashore-ness” or ocean views, any of these tiles will do the job.
1. Dolphin bathroom tiles
Dolphins are a symbol of freedom, intelligence, and the wild ocean. If you feel a connection with these amazing marine mammals, you’ll love this tile. It’s also very versatile in terms of color and will work very well in bathrooms that are green-themed or even purple-themed.
2. Red Crab beach-themed tile
Another classic marine animal – the crab – is associated with fun visits to the coast. This gorgeous tile has a detailed classic drawing of a red crab. With its washed tones, it’s perfect for a traditional or mid-century bathroom and will go well with any color scheme.
3. Sand Dollars in Your Bathroom
Ever found a sand dollar and wanted to bring it home? Since these are basically empty shells, you could do that and use a real sand dollar as a decorative element (read up well on how to clean them though – they can really stink if you don’t!). You could even buy them in souvenir shops (or right here on Amazon). Alternatively, you can bring in the design element of the sand dollar with this beautifully-crafted ceramic tile.
4. Seahorses captioned tile
Seahorses are fascinating marine creatures. These fish are so strange-looking, they look like something out of a fairy tale. And this tile really emphasizes their mystical properties by using a darker shade to outline two seahorses and surround them with washed-out blue. If you look closely, there’s even a delicate caption that reads “By the Sea”.
5. Ocean colors calming sea-themed tile
With a faint echo of sea stars (more on those later on in this list), we wanted to add this tile to the more general sea-themed tiles for the gorgeous display of color. Aquamarine shades with a touch of sandy yellow-brown really bring up images of clear tropical beaches. And if you’re still unsure about the message, the tile tells you exactly what you need to do: Relax.
6. Realistic sea horse tile
The next three ceramic tiles on this list – beginning with this one – show photo-realistic images of the sea. This one will be perfect in any beach-themed bathroom, bringing together a gorgeous marine critter with a turquoise and yellow palette of colors. The colors are bright and the image very detailed, so this tile will probably look best in a happy – rather than a serene – bathroom setup.
7. Sea turtle picture tile
A great match for the previous tile, this sea turtle may look grumpy but with the sort of face that will make you smile. Again, vivid colors and fun image that are best-suited for a light-hearted bathroom interior decor plan.
8. Ocean waves decorative bathroom tile
The last ceramic tile in our photo-realistic trio offers the most iconic image of all: An ocean wave. This is the kind of image that would be almost impossible to capture in a drawing, so if you want to stare at the waves while taking a shower, this tile is your best bet.
Seashells bring memories of the sea, mostly because it’s such a common souvenir that people take home with them from the beach. Displaying your own collection of seashells in a beach-themed bathroom is a fantastic idea. You can complement the real shells with a well-chosen seashell-themed ceramic tile to go alongside them. Here are a few great options.
9. White seashell full tile
10. Gorgeous seashell collection drawing
This beautiful piece of art is a watercolor drawing by artist Andrea Haase. The colors and subject matter are all soothing – making this tile – available in different sizes – a great decorative element in any bathroom.
11. Seashell in blue decorative tile
Another classic drawing that you can proudly put on display in your coastal bathroom, this tile shows a large image of a fan-shaped seashell. Easily-recognizable and a good match to any other drawing-based sea-themed tile in this list.
12. Glass and seashells combo tile
Last in our seashell section is this mosaic-type tile with actual shells embedded in it. The total sheet is 12″ by 12″ in size but each tile within the larger tile is only 2″ in width and height. Most of the mini-tiles are beautiful glass tiles in deep ocean blue but a few have seashells in them. These can be used to tile an entire wall, or as a decorative element in its own right.
Some experts say that these should not be called starfish because they’re not fish. “Sea star” is the more accurate term for these pretty marine invertebrates. Whatever you call them, they’re a great element to include in any coastal bathroom. So much so, that some people design a starfish-themed bathroom! Let’s take a look at a few tiles featuring these critters.
13. Sea and Sand Captioned Starfish tile
Stars and a sea star for a fun-inducing bathroom tile! Love the colors and the glitzy small stars all around the bigger bluish starfish. And just in case anyone is not clear about the theme, the tile reads: Sea & Sand!
14. Seastar in the water
For a more subdued image, try this peaceful photo-realistic sea star in water. If you’ve seen sea stars in their natural habitat, you may realize just how tropical and exotic this image is. You rarely see these marine creatures on the sand in the shores of North America (you need to go tidepooling to find them there).
Still, the beach theme is definitely there and the neutral color palette means this is a decorative element that’s easy to embed in any bathroom.
15. Tropical Lagoon Starfish Tile
This image, on the other hand, is unmitakenbly tropical. Although the tile is made in the USA, the image brings to mind tropical islands with sugar-white sands and crystal clear water. And a sea star, perfectly matched in shade to the blue sky above.
16. Starfish celebration in blue hues
If you prefer a pattern over a photo or a single object, try this starfish-themed tile. In colors of white, blue and beige, this almost-abstract design is very visually appealing. Easy to match with towels and other bathroom items using the same colors.
17. Two Big Starfish
A simple yet gorgeous design featuring two lean starfish in purplish-blue. There are multiple other starfish creating a nice pattern in the background too. Simple drawings that bring to mind stamping, make this a classic depiction of a classic sea-theme element.
18. Sea Stars and Seashells
Finally, bringing together the two elements, this tile features both seashells and starfish. You’ve seen these designs earlier on the list, so if you want to mix and match them into a set – that could definitely work.
While this post is about beach-themed bathroom tiles, we thought we’d mention nautical-themed tiles here as well. For many people, the two are similar enough to be considered for a sea-themed bathroom.
19. Ship wheel tile
If you think the bathroom is too damp for a real nautical-theme wall clock, you may want to bring in this ceramic tile instead. Water-resistant, it still carries the same “Ship Ahoy!” feeling.
20. Classic anchor tile in blue and white
Nothing is more nautical than an anchor, right? And this tile featured a prototypal anchor in navy blue and white. Beautiful in any formal bathroom, or just one designed with navy blue in mind.
21. Historic Nautical-themed tiles
Wrapping up our list are not one, but three designs. Which actually come to create a total of 12 tiles! These gorgeous ceramic accent tiles are by artist Sara Mullen. They match really nicely and you can actually mix them into a beige colors tiled wall, to break the pattern with one of these great designs.
To see more about these tiles, click on the respective images
Sail into the Sunset – in your own bathroom
We hope you enjoyed this review and found the tile of your dreams! Don’t forget to check out our post about beach-themed bathrooms, to get more inspiration on how to tie these tiles together within a larger design scheme.