Green Tile Is Everywhere Right Now—Here’s How to Use It

From celadon to emerald, green tile is an easygoing design element that’s bound to liven up your space.

Green tile is the unexpected hero of backsplashes, bathrooms, fireplace surrounds, and more. A surefire way to add a personal design element, green tile can take myriad directions, whether subtle, daring, or dramatic, all of which have the potential to create a truly unique look and feel.

“Green is having a huge design moment, from the deepest forest and emerald greens to the lightest celadons and every shade in between,” says Deborah Osburn, founder and CEO of Clé Tile. Not only is it being used as an accent, but also as a full feature surface, she says. 

bathroom walk-in shower with green tile

Courtesy of Studio CollabStephan Paul / Design: Studio Collab

While green might feel like a bold choice, there’s a natural side to it that can prove calming. Bringing the outdoors in is one design trend that shows no sign of waning, and the latest trend in tile hues certainly speaks to that fact. Green tile has the potential to bring both a timelessness and versatility to any space. If you’re looking to go all in on green or considering a little color splash, these are the top tips for utilizing green tile in your space, straight from the tile pros. 

green tile vertical running bond backsplash in kitchen with wood floating shelves

Courtesy of Maria del Rio / Design: Anthony Roxas Architecture

1. Let It Take Shape

No aspect of your tile selection should be underestimated, especially when it comes to shape. And the best shape for the shade is totally dependent on the space you’re working with and your personal style, says Kali Gibson, PR and partnerships manager at Fireclay Tile. “Honestly, green tile is so versatile that it works beautifully in any shape or finish,” she says. “It’s best to let both the style you’re aiming for and the application dictate which size and finish you choose,” she suggests.

One of the more popular applications Gibson has seen lately is straight-set patterns, which deliver vertical lines for a clean, modern look. This can be achieved with both stacked rectangles or squares.

green zellige tile in bathroom backsplash

Courtesy of Bethany Nauert / Designer: project M Plus/ Clé Zellige in Tea Ceremony

2. Consider Color Nuance

There’s incredible variation when it comes to shades of green, each evoking a completely different look and feel. And there’s no shortage of hues to play with. Gibson notes a move toward more vibrant shades lately, though both moody greens and soft sage remain popular choices as well. “Lighter, soft tones carry a sense of calm, while a more verdant green can really liven a space,” she says.

If you’re not averse to taking design risks, go for multiple shades within the same space. Osburn says you can pull off this design trick in a classic way with handcrafted tile that features color variation from tile to tile and even multiple shades within a single tile. “[It makes] for a one-of-a-kind surface filled with character and richness,” she says. 

While green tile can certainly be more subtle, it can still be a color commitment. Gibson recommends trying it out with less stress. “If you’re nervous about incorporating colorful tile into your home, consider choosing neutral-toned tile and opt to infuse color with less permanent finishes or objects,” she suggests. 

green living room with green tile fireplace surround

Courtesy of Elsie Larson, A Beautiful Mess 

3. Stick with a Scheme

Take stake of your surroundings as well as the supporting players to create cohesion and help pull the look together. Because green tile is so amicable, there are plenty of options for complementary colors, whether a neutral or another bold color. Even patterned wallpapers and fabrics can help create a bold yet elegant space. Gibson suggests playing off a single shade to bring both drama and panache to a space. “If you want to make a statement, consider tiling the floors and walls in the same shade or match your paint and tile color for a monochrome look,” she says. 

walk-in shower in bathroom with green tile chevron design

Courtesy of Claire Thomas

4. Go Bold

You can certainly go subtle while incorporating green tile within your space, but why not go big? There are a few different routes to take if you’re looking to deliver a more maximalist aesthetic. You can play with a bold color play or even tile a full wall from floor to ceiling—all the better if it showcases a focal point of the bath.

“Full-wall tub surrounds are the ultimate in terms of turning a standard bathroom into more of a spa, and green tiles lining the largest surfaces in a bath definitely evokes a coastal grandeur,” says Osburn. 

While bathrooms are a good choice for soothing and calm shades of green tile, the kitchen is an equally fun choice for letting this design element have a moment. “In kitchen spaces, green walls and splashes, used expansively, can fill a space with garden-like greenery,” says Osburn.

green zellige tile backsplash

Courtesy of Lulu and Georgia / Clé Zellige in Secret Lagoon

5. Play with Texture

“One of the wonders of tile is that it doesn’t just bring color into a room, but can add texture and will reflect light differently depending on the material and finish,” says Osburn. While Gibson believes that the right choice depends on the overall objectives for the design, there are certain finishes that should be nixed depending on the space usage. “For example, a matte finish is best for floors in a wet environment like a bathroom or mudroom,” she explains.

Beyond that, Gibson says it’s hard to go wrong. “Honestly, green tile is so versatile that it works beautifully in any shape or finish.” 

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