Get Courageous with Your Tile

“Stepping out of the box and taking away the ordinary can be exciting. You can go bold with color and still be smart about your decision.”

When considering taking risks in decorating, spicing up your bathroom might not be on the top of your list, but why not? Bathrooms really are the most personal of all spaces and will add enormous value to your home, so why shouldn’t they be the place to be brave with color? White bathrooms have been a staple for several years now, and it’s considered the safest choice, says Chris Groen, Wayne Tile Company’s operations manager in their Ramsey location.

“Often people make tile decisions based on resale value, so they do not typically commit to a strong tile color, but stepping out of the box and taking away the ordinary can be exciting,” he says. “You can go bold with color and still be smart about your decision.”

Wayne Tile in Ramsey is the perfect place to explore all options with exceptional service.

Founded in 1955 by Bob Westra, with brothers Harry and Don joining a few years later, Wayne Tile is now into its second and third generations. Sixty years later as a leader in the industry, their goal remains to meet the customer where they are, whether it’s a repair, an addition, a new home, on a budget or not. With five showrooms and design centers and 110,000 square feet of warehouse space, Wayne Tile carries more than 100 lines of tile from all over the world. We visited their Ramsey showroom recently and spoke to Chris Groen about why it’s time to add some punch to your bathroom tile.

People are hesitant to go bold when it comes to bathroom design colors. Why is that?

Many older homes in this area, especially those built in the 1970s and before, have bathrooms that were tiled entirely in one color. All four walls were pink or robin’s egg blue or avocado green because those were basically the only choices available. People are still taking those tiles down today and often replacing them with white subway tiles because that is something you wouldn’t get tired of looking at and is seen as the best choice for resale value. But now, with folks deciding to stay in their homes longer, they’re slowly walking into color and adding interesting and bold tiles as an accent. It helps bring in a little drama to the space and also makes a statement.

How are they adding color without overwhelming the space?

Depending on the layout of your bathroom, you can try using color in a few different ways; either tiling just the biggest wall in the shower or on the vanity wall. Either spot is a simple way of inserting a splash of color to an otherwise white or neutral bathroom. We’re even seeing people tiling just one wall in a powder room. Taking the tile straight up to the ceiling makes the room seem taller.

What are people doing with tile in 2019?

If you want to add color but stay away from anything too bold, there are some great options with glass tile which can have several colors in one sheet. One popular glass tile line we carry has blue, gray, white and brown—a little bit of everything. You’re not committing to just one color with this choice, so if you wanted to re-paint your gray or white wall green in five years, it will still work with those colors.

The wood grain tile is still in style because it’s a look that people can commit to that will last for a long time. We’re doing it in bigger spaces like basements where it’s a great alternative to laminate, especially in a basement that may flood; with the wood grain tile, you just have to clean up the water, leaving no lasting water damage.

Picket tiles have been very popular lately. It’s a shape that has been around for a long time, even dating back to the arts and crafts movement where it was seen on stained glass windows and doors. It’s a great look on a vanity or shower wall.

Something that’s really fun and brand-new is a Felix the Cat cartoon porcelain tile that we’ve just installed in a client’s basement bathroom. It would also be great in a kid’s bathroom, or a powder room for an antique, vintage New York look, maybe with a black wood tile floor. It’s a unique and cool tile for someone who wants to take that risk and also receive a lot of joy.

We carry the Versace line, which is a high-end designer tile that matches Italian fashion and Italian style. It’s beautiful and very popular. We have a great display of all of their tiles here in the showroom in Ramsey.

How can Wayne Tile help its clients make the right choices?

We see a lot of people who come in with a lot of different ideas from websites, Pinterest, magazines, friends—you name it. It can be overwhelming sometimes, so what we do is talk to them about their ideas, help pinpoint their style and give them options. In the end, we get there; sometimes it takes a few rounds, but we will keep trying until they feel comfortable with their final design choice. We also work very closely with contractors on the installation and make sure everyone is on the same page and the job is done right.

50 Spring St., Ramsey, 201.825.8000,