Nothing is more neutral or apt to go with anything than beige — until you combine it with the wrong color. That’s because beige contains an undertone that is enhanced when placed near some other colors. When choosing shower wall tiles for a bathroom with a beige floor, select colors as carefully as you would for any color floor.
Under the Beige
All beiges are not created equal. They present a decorating challenge even in an all-beige bathroom because of their undertones. Unless the beige of your floor is truly neutral, it likely has an undertone of red, orange, yellow or green. You can easily detect which one by placing two tile samples next to each other. Often, one looks more pink or orange and the other more yellow or green. The same is true for white tiles, so examine choices against your floor tile if you’re considering white for your shower. Never view a color – even a neutral — in isolation when adding a large expanse of it to your bathroom.
VIDEO: How To Prepare Your Floor for Installing Large Porcelain Tile
Avoid the Dirty Floor Look
Not only can beige have undertones of various colors, but those colors are either warm or cool. If you place a tile in a cool hue, such as mint green, next to a beige floor tile with pink in it, the warm color of pink will look dirty. Warm tones contain red, orange or yellow and are more “earthy.” They look better used with other earthy or “dirty” colors such as browns, beiges, muted greens and creams that have the same warm color in their undertone. Fresh-looking, clean colors with cool undertones of blue or violet work with cool whites, black and cool gray.
Remember the Whole Bathroom
If a porcelain tub, sink, toilet or cabinetry other than white will remain in your bathroom when shower tiles are installed, also check their colors against your choice of tile. At first glance, you notice the “mass” color of these large pieces when viewed in isolation. But against your shower tile, their undertone may make them or your tile appear a slightly different color or look dirty. In some colors, the mass tone and undertone are very similar, while in others they are quite different. A true blue has both a mass tone and undertone that are cool and reddish-blue, while turquoise has a warmer undertone of yellowish-green.
If the Hue Fits
As you search for acceptable tile color choices, look at tile in materials that fit your budget. Stone tile such as marble, granite and slate provide accent colors naturally within them. Glass and ceramic tiles offer more shape and color choices you can mix randomly or in patterns. With colors in man-made tiles, a muted tone or tint of a hue is sometimes a better choice for style longevity than the most intense saturation of a hue. For example, a bright emerald or turquoise may be the rage one year, but a watery blue or soft golden beige is not only more relaxing, it won’t show your bathroom’s age as quickly.