It was absolutely everywhere in the early 2000s — tiny square tiles, often in mosaics of varying shades, with a bit of an iridescent sheen. Those same tiles were big in the ’70s and ’80s, too, although then you were more likely to see them in shades of white or beige. And since almost everything that once falls out of fashion will eventually cycle back, I’m starting to see those tiny tiles crop up once again.
These tiles are a little different this time around: instead of variegated mosaics, they tend to be a single color, within a very tight color range, or even pure white. In this way, the tiles read almost more as a texture than a pattern.
Above: In this French bathroom spotted on Maison Creative, tile covers the walls of the shower, as well as the countertop and shelves.
In this shower from Dagbladet, a pale pink grout matches the iridescent pink wall tile.
Small white tiles cover the tub, and the walls, of this Norwegian bathroom from Rom 123. The slightly larger square black tiles on the floor set up a nice contrast.
Subtly varied white mosaic tile forms the backdrop for a moody, bohemian bathroom in this London home from Vogue.
Small, square tiles like this can impart a bit of bohemian feel, but here, they work equally well in a modern bath from Leibal. Bright white tiles, paired with white grout, add a bit of texture to a minimalist space.
In this bathroom from Sight Unseen, pink mosaic tile matches the pink of the walls, for an immersive color experience.
This bathroom from H Design (also lead image above) has the tiniest tile of all, small enough to wrap around the rounded corners of this spa-like bathroom. Which does, of course, mean a whole whole lot of grout — but also a beautiful, sculptural appearance. Worth the trade-off? You decide.
I’ve never been a particular fan of these — maybe they still seem a little bit dated to me. And all that tile means a whole, whole lot of grout. But you have to admit that in certain applications, they do look nice, and impart a very pleasing texture. What do you think?