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Tile by Style: Soak into a Spanish Colonial Bathroom

By Shannon Malone

Tile by Style: Soak into a Spanish Colonial Bathroom

What is Spanish Colonial Revival Style?

Whether it’s the charming tiled roofs or the irresistibly lush landscapes that surround it, we just can’t quit Spanish Colonial Style. A blend of Spanish Baroque, Colonial, and Moorish Revival, Californian missions, it takes inspiration from a variety of eras and styles. Although you can’t pinpoint it to one single source, its characteristics are unmistakable staples of sunny states like California and Florida.

Architectural Elements

Spanish Colonial style is typically defined by multi-level, asymmetrical exteriors topped with flat roofs. You’ll often find pointed and trefoil arches, remnants of its Moorish heritage. Iron lanterns will be found flanking entrances and windows to cast a glow over the facade. You may also notice, second-story balconies, tower-like chimneys, and fenestration.

The facade of a Spanish Colonial style is fairly predictable, but what’s most intriguing can be what you find inside. At the heart of the traditional home you can find arcades that lead to lush courtyards. Nooks and alcoves are tucked away within various corners of the home.


The materials used in Spanish Colonial style are all a mixture of natural elements that contribute to the style’s rustic feel. The most recognizable characteristics of Spanish Colonial interior design are perhaps the stucco exteriors topped with terracotta-tiled roofs. Both lend an earthy and rustic look that suits the Mediterranean or desert climate. Stucco, which is a mix of sand, water, and cement or lime, is commonly used for walls and will sometimes have layers of paint for an antiqued, Old World look. Clay will often be found in the form of terracotta roofs and tile flooring.

Exposed wood beams in rich dark finishes help to anchor and frame a Spanish Colonial home’s interior. Decorative wrought iron accents that can be found in railing, gates, window grills, and lanterns elevate the style by incorporating classic elements.

Color Palette

A rustic and generally neutral palette echoes the earthy desert landscape. You’ll often find a rustic blend of warm tans, peachy neutrals. Dark and rich wood finishes offer a warm anchor. Splashes of color that can be found in Spanish Colonial Tile add a delightful and decorative touch to the space.

Tile for a Spanish Colonial Bathroom

A Spanish Colonial bathroom design can incorporate all the aforementioned elements, but the main attraction is the tile. A neutral backdrop either in tan or reds accented with colorful borders and trim can achieve a traditional look. You typically won’t find floor-to-ceiling tile. Instead, it will probably extend about a foot or less above the sink before being topped off with a decorative border or trim.

Image: Malcolm Fearon Photography

Today’s Spanish Colonial bathrooms don’t necessarily need to adhere to its dominantly neutral palette. Traditional architectural characteristics like arched entryways and wrought iron accents can be enough to achieve a Spanish Colonial design, so don’t be afraid to experiment with colors you’ve been wanting to try!

Image: Malcolm Fearon Photography

You also don’t have to use tile throughout your entire bathroom. A splash of Handpainted tile in your shower or bathtub can be all it takes to bring the Spanish Colonial style home.

Image: Malcolm Fearon Photography

Love the stucco and terracotta bring look? Try these tiles for a similar feel:

Tile colors shown: Bryce Canyon, Claypot, Sunflower, and Cashmere; Brick color shown: Creme Brulee

Handpainted Tile

A key element in Spanish Colonial design, handpainted tile can often be the most colorful element in the home. You’ll usually see it acting as a border, whether highlighting architecture like balconies, arches, and staircases. However, don’t be afraid to use it as the dominant feature in your bathroom design. From five-pointed stars and elaborate knots to floral patterns and scrolling medallions, the results bring undeniable authenticity.

Handpainted patterns shown: Vigo, Moorish Knot, Sanxenxo, Spanish Cross, and Cordoba in the Cool Motif

Try these Handpainted tile and solid color pairings:

Handpainted pattern shown: Barella in the Warm Motif; Tile color shown: Turquoise

Handpainted pattern shown: Moorish Knot in the Warm Motif; Tile color shown: Sorbet

Handpainted pattern shown: Madrid in the Warm Motif; Tile color shown: Tomato Red

Handpainted pattern shown: San Carlos in the Warm Motif; Tile color shown: White Gloss


Tile patterns are another key marker of Spanish Colonial design. For a very traditional look, opt for square, straight set tile. However, adding a splash of color can add a fun and festive feel to the space.

Moorish influences will also be found in Spanish Colonial tile. Star & Cross designs can add visual interest to the space and is a natural complement to our Handpainted tile. Use it in a neutral palette so that it doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Tile shown: Star & Cross in Bryce Canyon

Echoing the curved and pointed arches of entryways, Ogee can also bring a Spanish Colonial flavor to your bathroom decor.

Tile shown: Ogee in Bryce Canyon

Or try Hexagon flooring for more subtle dimension.

Tile shown: Hexagon in Bryce Canyon

Love this look? Order Free samples now. Need some help? Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.