All About Penny Tile

A tile as old as time is resurfacing. A cousin of the hexagon tile, penny tiles are known as a classic option that first graced many kitchens and bathrooms in the early 1900’s. However, they’re making a big comeback in the contemporary tile world. Once a classic, always a classic.

The standard size of penny round tiles is ¾” in diameter (just like…wait for it…a penny!) However, this size has expanded over the years and now you can even find penny tiles up to 1” in diameter.

One of the most popular materials used to make penny tile is porcelain, which can be glazed or unglazed. Unglazed porcelain penny tiles are great for forming or adding to a historic, traditional home décor. Glazed porcelain penny tile mosaics can either have a satin or glass finish and often come in a classic white.

While porcelain is the most popular material, penny tiles can also be found in a range of other materials like glass, ceramic, stone, metal and even cork! Glass penny tiles are a great, beautiful choice for almost any space. However, even though they’re heavily glazed, they should be used with caution, as they crack easily and can become slippery and dangerous to walk on.

Metal penny tiles are a luxurious choice that can provide an attractive contemporary style that fits in almost all spaces, much like glass penny tiles.

Pros of Penny Tile

bathroom penny tile
Colored penny tile available at Avalon Flooring

Now that you know a little more about the basics of penny tile, let’s get into why they’re still known for being an ideal choice—the simple advantages of penny tiles.

Penny tiles have a non-slip surface that makes them great for high traffic and even wet areas. They’re also flexible enough to wrap seamlessly around curved objects, which we’ll get into later. Penny round tiles are also very easy to purchase and install, especially since they’re sold at inexpensive prices thanks to the mesh sheets they’re usually attached to. Now that you know the great advantages, let’s get into the colors and patterns and the ways you can use them in different spaces in your home!

Color and Patterns of Penny Tile

When they first came on the scene, penny tiles were known for the classic white and black look. Today, they have expanded into a wide range of colors and patterns. And the use of any of these shades and patterns will only make your space even more fabulous because there is no wrong choice for whatever décor style you have. An equally wonderful look for your space is created when multiple colors of penny tile are combined in a bold random pattern, which leads us to the best ways and spaces to use penny tile that will inspire you.

Best Ways and Spaces to Use Penny Tile

Penny tiles have a timeless appeal and are a perfect choice for any space new or old. Here are some great ways to use them.

Penny Tile Kitchen Backsplashes

penny tile backsplash
Colored penny tile available at Avalon Flooring

While penny tiles aren’t always the first choice for kitchens, the multitude of colors and shades available can help you create patterns that fit your kitchen style perfectly. Consider a penny tile backsplash as a great way to highlight your interior décor. Even if you have a very simple, white kitchen, a penny tile backsplash will definitely spruce it up!

Bathroom Penny Tile

penny tile bathroom
Photo courtesy of domino

When it comes to bathrooms, penny tiles can easily claim the title of Most Adorable Bathroom Tile. These teeny tiles look just as good in modern bathrooms as they do in traditional or even vintage ones. As bathroom flooring, penny tiles add a lovely texture underfoot. You can even take your decor one step further by carrying your bathroom penny tiles from the floor up to the wall to create a stunning bold statement. They’re also a good choice for accents – use penny tiles as stripes in your shower or even place them directly underneath your bathroom mirror to make your bathroom feel larger and lighter.

Penny Tile Columns

penny tile columns
Photo courtesy of Jackson Stone Works

Columns don’t typically come to mind when one thinks of tile, but penny tile is changing the game. Penny tile is usually sold on flexible sheets that can wrap nicely around curved surfaces. Just make sure to calculate the column circumference and the size of the tile, to make sure the seam will match up as the start/end point. So, it’s clear to see that penny tiles are especially handy even in the most non-standard spaces.

Penny Tile Accent Fireplaces

penny tile fireplace
Photo courtesy of houzz.com

A fireplace will naturally draw the eye’s attention no matter what space it is in. To make that fireplace more prominent in a tasteful way, use penny tile on the surrounding area. Pairing penny tile with a chunky wood mantel helps balance the colorful boldness of the tile with the natural warmth of the wood.

Choosing Grout Color for Penny Tile

penny tile grout
Photo courtesy of Young House Love

Did you think that was it? There’s still one of the most important factors of not just penny tile, but any tile—the grout! To make an even bolder statement in your space with penny tile, you should also consider which tile grout to use. The combinations of penny tiles and grout color options are limitless. While there’s something inherently classic about pairing dark grout with white or light color tile, there are many colors to choose from. So, one important thing to consider is testing the grout before the whole installation since it’s practically impossible to change grout color once it’s been set. Here are a few color combinations to give you an idea of the limitless options:

penny tile designs
Tile and grout available at Avalon Flooring

And once the whole installation is complete, we even have helpful cleaning tips to help keep you space looking nice and fresh in our other blog here.

Penny tiles—familiar but fresh, modern and traditional, matte or glossy, bold color or subtle—are always in style. And no matter how you use them in your space, you’re making a powerful decorating statement! To make the penny tile experience even better, make sure you stop by one of our locations to meet with one of our amazing design experts and pick out your favorite penny tile!


At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.