What Color To Choose for Your Bathroom When You Have Ugly Tile

Oddly enough, choosing color for a bathroom is the one room in the home where you can have the most fun. It’s the easiest room to choose color for but can be a challenge if you have ugly tile to work with.


Last year I was interviewed for an article in STIR magazine, you know, the one Sherwin Williams has? The article was about choosing color for dark or small areas of the home.

In the article, I talked about some color choices that you can use to brighten up small spaces, but the main point was to use color. Many people think using white will make your small room, such as the bathroom, look large and spacious. To me, it will just make your room look boring.

“No matter what color you choose for these or any small spaces, white will not physically make the room any bigger so you might as well choose an amazing color.”

So, having said that I’d like to tell you why the bathroom is the easiest room to choose color for and show you some examples of colors that will work, or at least ones that you should try.

Bathroom FYI’s:

  • It’s one of the smallest rooms in the home
  • You’ll only need one gallon of paint
  • You don’t have to coordinate an entire room of decor
  • You can paint right over the ceiling
  • It will only take an hour tops
  • You can choose just about any color here
  • You can experiment with sheen
  • You can experiment with faux techniques
  • You don’t have to move any furniture around to paint
  • If you don’t like the way it looks, you can easily repaint it

Well, looking at that list makes me want to repaint my bathroom, and I’m doing just that!

I recently painted my guest room this color. The best way to describe this color is that of the Dusty Miller plant. I just love this plant, and when you love something in Nature that much then you should absolutely bring it into your home. That’s how you’ll know that you’ll love the color in your home.



So, of course, after I painted my guest room, I now have to paint the guest bathroom. I just get so excited over this that I can’t wait to run to Lowe’s and get my next color.

So what color would YOU choose knowing that your guest room is this Dusty Miller color?

  • Cream? Not ever going to happen in my home
  • Blue? That’s a possibility, but blue will not match the rest of my decor in the home. This guest room is right off the end of the living room/ kitchen area so it has to coordinate. This is my living room color which is really the darker color of the Dusty Miller plant. Very monochromatic.


Ok – back to what color you should choose for your bathroom when you have ugly tile to work with.

Keep in mind that there will always be colors that you can use no matter how ugly your tile is, but you need an open mind, sample some colors and perhaps purchase new decor for that room. The main thing is to make sure your new color choice doesn’t fight with your tile. Here are some color suggestions to go with some really ugly bathroom tiles.


You can see how I labeled the colors, from safe to fun. Are these awesome colors by themselves? No, not really, but they are certainly possibilities that you can use if you have tile such as this.

Going beige, white, cream, or any resemblance of the color taken right out from the tile is out. That is just so safe, so boring, and probably the same color just about everyone would choose. Also, don’t think you have to keep your bathroom beige and boring if you’re going to sell because I’m sure the new homeowner would rather see a gorgeous, well-dressed bathroom instead of just another room in the house, the guest bathroom.

Now, look at that plum color. I really like that one, and it’s very similar to Exclusive Plum, the color of the year by Sherwin Williams. It looks a little more on the black side here, but keep it closer to a dark purple.

Then you have a soft color to choose from, which is ok and still fairly safe, but at least it has a bit of color. Either you’ll love it or hate it but also keep in mind, you can jazz up the look with a colorful shower curtain and towels to coordinate. Think of the full picture.

The “different” color is kind of nice. It’s really just a darker version of the 4×4 tile, which is fine. Cozy up the room with a dark finish for the faucets, and a copper sink, and it’ll be very striking.

Yes, that bold color is bold! And why not? Brass finishes and brown towels will give this bathroom a nice cultural flair. Use other bold colors, such as cranberry and navy, for more pow.

Meh is just meh. Last resort.

Fun is always an option. Here, you have the opportunity to just go nuts with color and have no regard for the undertone or if it even matches the tile. You’re choosing a color because you like the color and just want to have fun. After all, it’s just a tiny, little bathroom. Big deal, right?

And my friends, to finish up, I always like to paint my bathroom in eggshell so it’s easy to clean. No fancy Kitchen and Bath paints are needed here. They are too expensive and really just not necessary.

Need help with your bathroom color? Send me a picture of your loo, and let’s start a virtual consultation.

About Donna Frasca

I am an energy that has found a new vibration and frequency. Through many years of writing, learning, and experiencing, I've found comfort in trusting in myself and in Spirit.
This entry was posted in Bathroom Colors, Color and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to What Color To Choose for Your Bathroom When You Have Ugly Tile

  1. Ajayla says:

    Love the colors you picked Donna. Personally, I’d go for fun. I love color, and white walls do nothing for me.

  2. I love you! (I know you are secretly talking to me and I love that!) Great points and ideas. Huh? Maybe some food for thought for my husband in my campaign to try again with the orange bathroom? 😉 Very informative and thoughtful, as usual. 😀

  3. How funny! I’ve got that same tile and counter combo in my bathroom which is actually painted white and is the only white room in my condo. I like that it’s crisp and clean looking. I’ve been thinking about using a cherry red paint color since the tile and counter are pinky-beige, but I don’t know if it would just emphasize the ugliness even more.
    I have a separate question about bathroom color. I have heard that you should never paint it green since it will make your complexion look green. Is that true or just a myth?

    • Donna Frasca says:

      It seems that would be true to an extent. I think it would really depend on the combination of your skin tone and lighting. In my post, I was talking about just a guest bathroom. It it were my bathroom I’d really consider a color that would make me just glow all day long! The guests, can suffer for a few days – sorry guests!

  4. You’re right – the bathroom is a great place to experiment with colour. It’s small enough to paint (or repaint) quickly. I would choose a soft colour to create a spa like atmosphere – something like Benjamin Moore Harbor Haze 2136-60 or Woodlawn Blue HC-147.

  5. What about the best color for applying makeup?

  6. sherri says:

    I have a small guest bathroom with a beige tub/surround, white toilet and one of the ugly tiles with the white you have listed in the above post… I need help I have no windows in the bathroom, need a new vanity and paint but don’t know what I should do to update without removing the tub/tiles as im a new home buyer with a limited budget at this time.

    • Donna Frasca says:

      You’ll have to tie in the undertone of those tiles and beige tub surround. I always love using a dark color in a small guest bathroom and take the color right up over the ceiling – get rid of the white.

      See if you can pull out a color in the tile. My guest bath is a spicy orange. Can you use an Indigo Blue? I can’t really suggest a color unless I see your tile. Safely, pull a color that is in your tile and it should blend right in – I’d go dark.

  7. Tabitha Brown says:

    Are you still accepting photos for a virtual consult?

  8. KL says:

    What’s the “fun” paint color? I’m using Sherwin-Williams, if you have a recommendation there. Thanks!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this! Putting emotions on the color choices put them in perspective and helped me narrow my choices down. (I started out overwhelmed by all the choices, now I know the feeling I want to get when I look at the walls. 🙂

  10. Julia says:

    Hi Donna – I’m interested in knowing what color is the “soft” color – and if you were redoing this now (eight years after the original post) would you keep to these same colors?

    • Donna Frasca says:

      The “soft” color is my fave out of the whole bunch. Eight years later, Sherwin Williams came up with some new greens and that one is one of my faves!Try Soft Sage SW 9647 or hazel Gaze SW 9652.

      • casagray16 says:

        I was looking at Benjamin Moore North Shore Green 456, which seems quite a bit lighter/more reflective than what you suggested. I’ll get some samples and see how they look.Thanks!

  11. Carla says:

    Hi Donna.

    I have a small bathroom where one wall has several tiny tile squares in dark brown, light brown and beige–they’re each about one inch in length and width.

    Do you think Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray is a safe choice for my bathroom, even though it’s a gray color? I like the look of Mindful Gray, but not sure if it would go with brown and beige. Any thoughts?

    Thank you, Donna!


    • Donna Frasca says:

      No – no to gray – that will be one boring, lifeless bathroom. With beige tiles, you can really choose just about any color you’d like; why gray? Remember back in the day the brown/blue and brown/green trends? Try one of those. I can’t choose a color for you because I can’t see your colors but either try a blue or a green to perk up that loo.

  12. Hana Rosado says:

    Hi Donna I love your ideas I’m having the same thoughts with the fun color to my bathroom with the ugly tiles .I would love your input on ways I can create the thoughts In my head onto my bathroom my husband doesn’t see my theme .I was thinking like a beachy or undersea with the fun color and deco in the bathroom with changing the border ,shower head and lighting and sink I want to change all of it affordably of course. What can I do to continue to create my bathroom image could you be of any help please

    • Donna Frasca says:

      Hana, you can do so much to make an ugly bathroom pretty again. Of course, it depends on the tile you have. Color would be the easiest way to make that transformation. Think about blocking color on your walls instead of painting it all one color. Come in with some unique decor and even changeup the color of your lighting. I can’t make any specific recommendations unless I see your bathroom. Send me an email if you’re interested in a color service. I’d love to help.

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