Dark tile hard to clean?

hi there, planning our primary bathroom reno and looking for any recs for floor tile. I like the looks of dark tiles but hear they’re hard to keep clean, anyone have experience with this? Really want practical in that sense and having a hard time narrowing this down!

Attaching layout for ref!

Hey @marietaylor ! Given the size of your bathroom, I’d definitely recommend going with a larger (ish) format tile. I went with 12x24 stone-look porcelain floor tiles for their durability in all tiled areas of my house. I have a traditional farmhouse and was worried about larger format tile looking too modern, so I had them installed in a herringbone pattern and am very happy. What style is your house?

In terms of color, light vs dark… Dark tiles will show dust more easily than lighter tiles. But if you go with a tile that has movement in it (like a stone or a stone-look) vs a solid color, you likely won’t notice as much.

We have these dark charcoal tiles in a few places in my house - our mudroom, laundry room, and one bathroom. And chose these lighter gray tiles for our primary bathroom.

We went with matching charcoal grout with our dark tiles. Even in our mudroom which gets loads of traffic I see dust more on the grout lines than on the tiles themselves. With the lighter tiles, we see less dust but definitely more dirt. So it’s a trade-off really. I wouldn’t be afraid to go with a dark tile if that’s what is speaking to you. Your freestanding tub will really stand out and shine!

In terms of quality between our chosen tiles, the Akdo tiles are much higher quality (and 2x the price) porcelain meaning they have much more texture to mimic real stone than the Tile Bar ones which are textured but flatter.

Hope this helps!


Thanks so much for your detailed response, I actually just purchased the tilebar 12x24s you referenced in the mid gray color, planning to do it herringbone too!

Right now, I have a penny tile picked out for the shower floor, any experience with them? Would a small hex tile be easier to maintain?

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@marietaylor Amazing! So glad to hear you went with the Tile Bar Fordham tiles. They look great in a herringbone pattern!

For the shower floor, you can’t go wrong with a penny or a hex. Penny tile has a slightly higher ratio of grout to tile than if you did a hex which makes it slightly harder to clean IMO. I’d choose based on the feel you want on your feet. It’s really personal preference! On that note, personally I am a fan of matching my shower floor tiles with the main bathroom floors and not bringing in another material. If you want to go that route, you could use the 2x2 squares from Tile Bar that match - either laid on square or on diamond. I just did that in my primary bath remodel. I can snap a pic and share later today!

@isalyn i love that idea - what a simple solution! Would love to see a pic if you have a chance!

@marietaylor here you go! don’t mind the complete mess that is the bathroom (we are in the final days of reno!)

@isalyn LOVE!! Thank you for sharing!!