An effective way to add some excitement, the addition of bathroom feature walls is growing in popularity. Also, considering that it doesn’t involve the whole bathroom, it is not as expensive as you might imagine.

If you’re looking for a quick and inexpensive way to refresh your bathroom, and at the same time give it a wow factor, look no further than adding a bathroom feature wall.

The concept of the bathroom feature wall had its origins with the feature tile – single tiles often with a picture that were placed sparingly in bathrooms or kitchens. Like border tiles, which were placed in rows around the perimeter of the bathroom, these provided a focal point. These days, of course, an accent wall in bathroom covers one entire wall.


Where to place your bathroom feature wall

Generally, the best place to have a feature wall is the wall against which the bath or vanity is placed. In some cases, such as in a small bathroom, an alternative is to create bathroom niche that itself features unique tiles. Similarly, there is the mini feature wall option. Usually positioned behind the mirror and vanity, this option gives the wow factor at a fraction of the cost.


Types of bathroom feature wall tiles

Mosaic Tiles

Nothing says wow factor like mosaic tiles. With so many styles, shapes, and sizes to choose from, in several finishes including glass and metallic, mosaic tiles really do enable you to create something unique in your bathroom.

Floor Tiles

Using floor tiles to create a bathroom feature wall is an increasingly popular option. In some cases, dark and light colours are paired to deliver a dramatic contrast. Alternatively, wisely chosen floor tiles and the unexpected finish they present in comparison to the other walls in the bathroom are enough to create that sought after focal point.

Subway tiles

Taking their name, as you might expect, from the tiles used in New York Subway stations of the 1900s, Subway tiles are rectangular, thick, low-fired, glazed ceramic tiles. Though they traditionally measure around 150mm x 76mm, subway tiles are these days available in a range of sizes. Used as part of a bathroom feature wall, they make an immediate impact.

Fish scale tiles

With their unmistakable shape, fish scale tiles are a natural choice for a bathroom feature wall. As with all tiles used in this way, colour choice is important. A bright fish scale feature wall paired with muted cream on the other walls is one of many winning options.

Textured Tiles

In some cases, the effectiveness of a feature wall bathroom completely comes down to texture. Texture can be contrast enough to mark a wall as a feature.

Other finishing option

Of course, there is no actual law stipulating that bathroom walls must carry a tile finish. Your bathroom feature wall can be painted, marble, concrete, brick, or wooden. It can have wallpaper or be covered in panelling. The choice is all yours. However, always be careful with water-proofing requirements and seek advice form a professional if you are attempting a DIY job.

Herringbone tiles

An obvious choice for an accent wall in bathroom, herringbone tiles deliver a distinctive, unmissable, classic look.

Herringbone tiles are a classic home decor choice that will add simple sophistication and timeless style to your home. Available in a stunning range of colours, textures, and sizes, you can't go wrong with herringbone tiles.


The Biggest Do's & Don'ts of a feature wall bathroom

While feature walls should obviously stand out, contrasts don’t have to be too obvious and should definitely never become overwhelming. The use of well thought out, complimentary colours can be a highly effective option. Another worthwhile tip is to ensure you use your feature wall as an opportunity to accentuate (and never limit) the sense of space in the bathroom.

On the list of things to avoid when designing a feature wall are mixing materials that should not be mixed; and attempting to create a feature wall in a very small bathroom that cannot handle it.


Can you DIY?

DIY installation is an option, but it is not without its challenges. Smaller tiles are better for DIY jobs because they are easier to position. Novices will also find tasks like cutting perimeter tiles and laying tiles diagonally or up against shower tiles difficult. Therefore, most decide to leave the job to professionals.


Average Cost

When considering the cost of feature walls, it’s also important to consider the cost of the entire bathroom. If you are spending extra on the feature to add some excitement to the bathroom, you can save on the rest of the room. For example, it may mean you don’t need to tile the other walls.


Eight of the best bathroom feature wall ideas

8. Subway tiles – white bathroom with feature wall

Reminiscent of the tiles used in the New York subway circa. 1900, these tiles are timeless, classic, and therefore perfect to make an impact. In this toilet feature wall example, the contrast with the dark bathroom flooring absolutely hits the mark.

subway tiles


7. Mosaic feature wall bathroom

The 300mm-wide mosaic column running vertically behind the bathtub effectively breaks up the monotony of the wall colour. The colour of the feature wall is reflected in the vanity. This works nicely in what would otherwise be a white bathroom with feature wall.

mosaic feature wall bathroom


6. San Diego beach house bathroom

Impressive, but not too startling this bathroom feature wall belongs to a home that acts as a beach get away. It adds just the right amount of brightness to the room.

san diego beach bathroom


5. Black and white mosaic feature wall bathroom

Located within the shower cubicle, this shower feature wall does exactly what all feature walls set out to do – it provides an immediate focal point. And what a focal point it is. Daring – even startling – it is the perfect accompaniment to the bathroom’s other darker elements.

black and white mosaic wall feature bathroom


4. Multi tiled bathroom feature wall

Busy and beautiful, this feature wall adds a warm, inviting appeal to this bathroom. The fact that the tile dimensions match with those of the other wall tiles, yet not with those on the floor also proves to be the right choice.

multi tiled bathroom feature wall


3. Elegant mosaic feature wall bathroom

This example personifies the ability of mosaic tiles to immediately convey a high-end appeal. Viewed alongside an otherwise sober fit-out this wall delivers a real impact.

Elegant mosaic feature wall bathroom


2. Shower feature wall with floor tiles

In this example, the contrast with the other walls is not just about colour but also texture.

Shower feature wall floor tiles


1. Patchwork bathroom feature wall

Presenting as a patchwork of greys and whites, this feature wall delivers a warm, homey feel. In this sense, it reinforces the otherwise contrasting timber vanity elements.

Patchwork bathroom feature wall