It seems like tile was just made for bathrooms. When glazed, it's water-resistant. It is infinitely combine-able into any kind of style or pattern. It can be as cheap as a dollar as square foot or as expensive as you want. It's very DIY-friendly; but should you doubt you riling skills, you'll find tiling pros aplenty to help you out.
A few things you'll need to remember when planning your bathroom tile, at least from my personal experience. Smaller tiles make for more grouting and they are harder to adjust than the large tiles (12" or 16" square). But you can't get around the fact that smaller tiles look better in bathrooms--with the exception of the floor. Twelve inch square tiles in the tub or shower just don't look right.
One safe bet for any bathroom you're trying keep retro-looking: subway tile.
Finally, listellos--those narrow bands between tile fields--are a great way to add visual interest to any tile project.
About This PictureDal-Tile, a 60 year-old tile company from Dallas, Texas, has a subsidiary named American Olean which specializes in high-end ceramic tiles. We took advantage of American Olean's design portfolio to pass on some killer bathroom tile ideas.
This pictured tile is one of my favorites. I love the contrast between the Matte Glacier vertical strip with the Satinglo French Roast field tile.
This is entirely do-able as a DIY project; nothing complicated here at all. Note, though, that the Matte Glacier strip is close to 4 feet wide, possible only in a shower of the size shown here. You'll need to scale down the width of that strip for normal showers.
- Shower - Bright French Roast 4 1/4" x 4 1/4"
- Shower - Matte Glacier 4 1/4" x 4 1/4"
- Floor - Vintage Stone Chablis 16" x 16"