Tile by Style: The Roots of a Craftsman Bathroom | Fireclay Tile
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Tile by Style: The Roots of a Craftsman Bathroom

By Pearl

You may not realize it, but somewhere in your heart there is a soft spot for Craftsman style (often referred to as the Arts and Crafts movement). From its warm and familiar quality to the integrity you find in its materials, we can’t help but love the refined yet rustic allure that gives a craftsman home its honest charm. So, as an homage to this beloved style, we’ll explore ways you can achieve it in your next bathroom redesign.

Before we dive in, let’s briefly review the style’s longstanding design principles to help set the stage (for an in-depth overview of craftsman style, see our post Tile by Style: The Spirit of the Craftsman Kitchen).

Architectural Elements: Low-pitched roof, tapered columns, shingle siding wraps around the exterior and is supported by a stone foundation, trong lines, exposed beams, multi-paned windows, rectangular lighting, and paneled walls, built-in storage and shelving

Materials: Wood that’s left unpainted to showcase natural variations in grain, stone, decorative tile

Color Palette: Warm and earth tones like rustic browns, muted greens, and stone grays

We’ve taken a stained glass treatment, a staple of craftsman interior design, to inspire a earthy palette that’s true to the style:


Tile Color Shown: Kiwi


Tile Color Shown: Kelp


Tile Color Shown: Cinnabar

Feeling like an expert Craftsman? Great! Try looking for these core design elements as we peruse some of our favorite Craftsman bathrooms.

Organic Inspirations

As we mentioned before, artisan-style decorative tile was hugely popular in Craftsman decor. Although authentic Craftsman tile is hard to come by nowadays, you can easily find tile that will ring true of the style’s nature-inspired themes.

Stained glass is also commonplace in craftsman interior design, and can be a great way to spark inspiration for decorative tile designs. The simplified interpretations of nature often found in the stained glass of the time translate beautifully in our Sakura collection--all the more appropriate due to the Arts and Crafts movement’s ties to Japanese-style design.


Handpainted Tile Shown: Cypress in Green Motif


Handpainted Teil Shown: Ginkgo in Neutral Motif

Image Shown: Etsy


Handpainted Tile Shown: Woven Grass in Neutral Motif

Image Shown: Maclin Studio


Handpainted Tile Shown: River Rock in Neutral Motif

Color Blocking for the Craftsman

In traditional craftsman homes, you’ll often find variations on two-toned palettes in earthy hues. By dividing the wall into two color blocks, the first half with a stone gray tile and the top with a light green tile, you can create an installation that echoes the outdoors.


Tile Color Shown: Spruce Gloss


Tile Color Shown: Wrought Iron

If you'd rather not go floor to ceiling with tile, an installation that only extends partly up the wall (what we call tile wainscoting) is a great way to achieve a two-toned palette while saving time and money.

A touch eclectic, this beautiful craftsman shower tile installation showcases the style’s respect for artistry and handcrafted detail.


Tile Color Shown: Boundary Waters


Tile Color Shown: Chartreuse


Tile Color Shown: Basil with Black Patine

In the Mood for Mosaics

With their sparkling finishes and pebble-like quality, mosaics can contribute a refreshing look to a well-appointed craftsman bathroom. Despite a neutral palette, this bathtub's brown glass mosaic tile feels at once clean, calm, and inviting.

However, you can never go wrong with a multicolored mosaic. We love the green and brown mosaic tile wainscoting here, create a soothing atmosphere that still feels anchored and down to earth (the way any craftsman home should!).