5 Floor Tile Phrases That Will Make You Smile

Add whimsy in hardworking spaces with this cheeky tile trend—and discover our favorite phrases to spell out across floors in bathrooms, entryways, and more.

If you're one of the nearly 800,000 Instagram users who follow @ihavethisthingwithfloors, you've already seen the trend: charming messages spelled out underfoot in contrasting penny or hexagonal tile. Like so many great design elements, the idea started in bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, such as the entrance of Good Coffee in Portland that reads "Good Day" or the "Eat Cake" tile seen at Sugared & Spiced Baked Goods in Edmonton, Canada. The look is tailor-made for Instagram (who doesn't love an overhead shot of feet with a message for all your followers?), and it didn't take long for those little unexpected moments of delight to transition to the home. Here are six of our favorite tile phrases that add a punchy pick-me-up to floors.

Tile floor phrases are an opportunity to inject fun personality into an otherwise unremarkable surface. Rona Graf of Costa Mesa-based Grace Blu Interior Design used the technique in a cottage at a boutique hotel in Newport Beach, California. "We opted to do a whimsical, modern-retro feel," Graf says of the design. There are pops of vibrant colors throughout the cottage, but the comparatively staid black-and-white tiled primary bathroom begged for something unexpected. "I thought it would be fun, since it is a hotel, to have a selfie spot in the bathroom," Graf says.

An homage to the coastal location, the phrase "Ahoy" is inscribed on the floor of the shower. When choosing the right phrase for your floor, Graf suggests something playful yet personal. "Your house should be an extension of your persona," she says. "Pick something that's meaningful to you and put it on the floor." Powder rooms are a great place to experiment with outside-the-box design elements. "That's where your guests are going to be. Why not be unexpected?" she says.

Depending on the tile's layout, floor phrases can be spelled out in bold block letters or elegant serif fonts. This custom floor design, created in Photoshop by Florida-based design blogger Jenna Sue, features stylized letters that add a focal point to a newly remodeled laundry room. The layout includes three different colors (black, white, and sage green) of Bedrosians penny tile and a spot-on message that speaks to the function of the room and the style of the renovation.

In entryways and hallways, floor tile phrases can send a succinct message to all who pass through, as demonstrated by Clarita Yoder, who blogs at Skies of Parchment. "The Sweet Life" greets guests as they enter her home from the side door, which serves as the family's main entrance. "This has been an unofficial family motto for some years, and I wanted a permanent reminder that we choose to see the good in each other and in life, and that this is a safe place for all who enter," Yoder says.

A daily reminder written in floor tiles is ideal for high-traffic spaces like bathrooms. Yoder placed the message "You Look Good" in a shower to offer a confidence boost every time someone steps under the water. "I wanted a positive message to speak to the ever-present negative body image in our culture," she says. "A message that we are unique and beautiful, just as we are."

Besides reflecting your personality, the most memorable tile floor phrases tie into a room's purpose or surroundings. This bathroom floor, for example, offers an appropriate message for a style-forward pool house in Wayzata, Minnesota, designed by Martha O'Hara Interiors. Choose a play on words or an idiom related to the room's function for a floor that displays wit and charm to anyone who enters.

For a less permanent way to express a message underfoot, Stace, a British mom who blogs at That Makes Six, went with flexible vinyl Tile Mat from Letterfolk. The removable hexagonal caps, which are available in a variety of colors, allow you to customize the design with any pattern or phrase you wish. The flexible, rubber-like tiles snap into place so you can easily change up the message again and again.

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