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

Tile by Style: The Roots of a Craftsman Bathroom

Often referred to as the Arts and Crafts movement, few design styles are as constantly charming as Craftsman. 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.

Basics of Craftsman Design

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

Craftsman homes feature low-pitched roof, tapered columns, shingle siding wraps around the exterior and is supported by a stone foundation, strong lines, exposed beams, multi-paned windows, rectangular lighting, and paneled walls, built-in storage and shelving


Handmade local sourced materials including wood, stone, and decorative tile are must-haves in an authentic Craftsman home.

tile bathroom

Tile Shown: Red Rock 3" Triangle Sheeted, Red Rock 2x8 // Design & Image: Dawn Stringer

Color Palette

Warm and earth tones like rustic browns, muted greens, and stone grays set the scene in Craftsman design.

bathroom with brown hexagon floor tile

Tile Shown: Antique 4" Hexagon, Rosemary 4x4 // Design & Image: Claire Thomas

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

Organic Inspirations

bathroom with tree wallpaper

Tile Shown: Rosemary 2x8 // Design & Image: Erin Kestenbaum

A connection to the environment and locally source natural materials made nature as fundamental to the Arts and Crafts movement as the craftsmanship itself. It's easy to honor that with reflections of nature in the bathroom.

brick floor bathroom

Tile Shown: San Gabriel Norman Brick // Design: Maria Haidamus, Loczi Design // Image: R. Brad Knipstein

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.

(Bonus Crafstman points for this wall-mounted sink).

hand painted bathroom floor tile

Tile Shown: Ginkgo in Green Motif // Design & Image: Kaity Farrell

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.

hand painted bathroom floor tile

Tile Shown: Uni Mountain B+W Motif, San Gabriel Brick // Design: Annette Vartanian // Image: Bethany Nauert

Go Green

The most popular earth tone for a bathroom is green. Whether you like a soft spa-ready green, an ocean-inspired blue-green or a bold evergreen, there's a shade of tile to match your mood and environment.

This light green alcove shower surround tile plays off the starburst floor tile with a soothing quality perfect for a relaxing soak.

green tub surround

Tile Shown: Seedling 2x6 // Design: Kyla Phung Linn

This tile floor done in a decorative assortment of tile sizes features an earthy clover color that looks downright dapper surrounded by the antique wood of this historic bathroom.

green tile floor

Tile Shown: Clover 2x6, 3x6 & 6x6 // Design: Brownstone Boys // Image: Nick Glimenakis

Using two of the glazes featured in our favorite Craftsman sample picks, this shower showcases both the handmade qualities of Fireclay tile with a color combo that's quintessential Craftsman.

green and white shower tile

Tile Shown: Magnolia with Black Patine 3x12, Kelp 3x12 // Design & Image: Neal Kay

This mossy green bathroom brings tile, paint, and even accessory colors together to create an exquisite contemporary Craftsman bathroom. Notice the variation of color throughout the tile that's a hallmark of handmade tile.

green tile bathroom

Tile Shown: Eucalyptus 4x4 // Design: TWENTY-TWO TWELVE, You Should Stay Here, Autumn Hachey // Image: Michelle Johnson

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 complementary color blocks, like this green and white tile bathroom, you can create an installation that echoes the outdoors.

green and white tile bathroom

Tile Shown: White Wash 2x4, Hunter Green 2x4 // Design & Image: Maggie Finch

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.

green craftsman bathroom

Tile Shown: Rosemary 3x6, Peabody 3x3 Sheeted // Design: Velinda Hellen Design // Image: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

This beautiful craftsman shower tile installation showcases the style’s respect for artistry and handcrafted detail as well as the palette of the mountains surrounding the home.

ombre shower

Design: Harvest Moon Chalet // Image: Sterling Reed

In the Mood for Mosaics

With their intricate and pebble-like quality, mosaics can contribute a refreshing look to a well-appointed craftsman bathroom. This shower's ceramic mosaic tile in contrasting white and green feels at once clean, calm, and inviting.

shower mosaic tile

Tile Shown: Feldspar 1x6 Sheeted, Driftwood 1x1 Sheeted // Design: Jessie + Brian De Lowe, House of Honey // Image: Mellon Studios

However, you can never go wrong with a multicolored mosaic. We love how the pinwheel glass mosaic floor pairs with the high variation of the tile wainscoting here, creating a soothing atmosphere that still feels anchored and down to earth (the way any Craftsman home should!).

tile rendering

Tile Shown: Overcast 3x6

Meet the Moment

One of the best parts of a Craftsman home is how well they're made and how enduring their designs are. For this reason, Craftsman is one of the most sustainable design styles there is.

But wear and tear is real and there will come a time that you may wish to renovate while preserving as much of the original materials as possible.

With ceramic subway tile and trim, we helped these homeowners update their 1900s bathroom without doing away with the charm that drew them to the house in the first place.

historic bathroom

Tile Shown: Cyclone 3x6 // Design & Image: House of Brinson

Find the Right Fixtures

Part of nailing a Craftsman bathroom involves using period-correct finishes and few things set the tone like overhead and wall lighting.

Craftsman lighting includes pendant lighting and square and globe wall sconces.

In addition to lighting, the hardware in your shower design should speak to a turn of the 20th-century aesthetic.

Tile Shown: Sand Dune 2x8 // Design & Image: Rejuvenation

Wooden bathroom vanities are a perfect fit for a Craftsman bathroom and this one looks particularly attractive against the light blue wall tile.

bathroom vanity

Tile Shown: Flagstone 3x6 // Design: Curio Design Studio // Image: Samantha Elizabeth Collin

And who can resist a classic claw foot tub?

claw foot tub

Tile Shown: White Wash 3x6, Kabah Trellis in Neutral Motif // Design: Patti Wagner // Image: Meg Cooper Photography

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.

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