While modern bathrooms with sleek designs and high-tech fixtures have their appeal, there's an undeniable charm in traditional bathrooms. They evoke a sense of nostalgia and offer a comforting retreat with classical, timeless features that convey calm in our fast-paced modern world.

At The Online Tile Shop, we believe there is something special about a traditional bathroom, and we love playing a part in helping homeowners recreate this style in their house, through the design, colours, fixtures, furniture and tiles.

A Glimpse into the Past: The Historical Significance of Traditional Bathrooms

Traditional bathrooms hark back to an era where craftsmanship was at the forefront. What we view as traditional bathrooms came to the fore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and these styles reflect a blend of elegance and functionality. Originally designed to serve the aristocracy, they soon became a household staple, representing luxury and class using premium materials and finishes to exude class and style.

Key Elements of a Traditional Bathroom

While everyone can picture their own idea of a traditional bathroom, there are common characteristics that they usually feature:

Traditional Flooring

Stepping into a traditional bathroom often starts with the floor. The quintessential black and white or patterned floor designs are more than just aesthetics; they signify a bygone era of regal elegance. The classic black and white chequered tile look is reminiscent of Victorian-era sophistication.

Statement Bathtubs

The bathtub is often the centrepiece of any bathroom, and in a traditional setting, this rings especially true. Freestanding bathtubs with intricately designed feet or the opulent slipper bath style can transport anyone to a time of grandeur. Consider positioning your tub centrally or overlooking a window for maximum impact, allowing for a serene view.

Classic Tapware and Fittings

No traditional bathroom is complete without the golden touch of classic tapware. Gold or brass taps, especially with turn mechanisms, add both functionality and a vintage aesthetic.

Showers with a Vintage Appeal

While bathtubs often steal the show, showers in traditional bathrooms have their unique charm. Opt for fixtures and designs that echo past decades while ensuring modern-day efficiency.

Basins and Toilets with a Timeless Touch

Traditional basins and toilets carry ornate and functional designs. Pull flush mechanisms, for instance, serve a practical purpose and add to the aesthetic appeal.

Radiators with Retro Flair

Old-style radiators do more than heat the space; they add to the ambiance. Their intricate designs and robust build epitomise the blend of form and function.

Design and colour Palette

Traditional doesn't mean monotonous. Opting for pared-back patterns and sticking to standard, timeless colours ensures a bathroom room feels cohesive and authentically vintage.

Traditional Tiling

Tiling plays a pivotal role in setting the mood. Consider tiling with a decorative border around the middle of the room, and choose contrasting yet complementary colours for above and below the border.

What colours are associated with a Victorian bathroom, and how can you incorporate these into modern bathrooms?

From 1837 to 1901, the Victorian era was a time of great change and innovation. This period witnessed the blending of ornate designs from the past with the burgeoning technologies of the industrial revolution. When it comes to Victorian-era bathrooms, they were often characterised by a distinctive palette and certain design elements.

Today, these styles are very popular with customers, which is why we and many other bathroom stores have dedicated ranges for Victorian Bathrooms. you can find all of our Victorian Bathroom tiles in one place, so can review and plan your traditional bathroom colours, designs and tiles all in one place.

Colours Associated with Victorian-era Bathrooms

Deep, Rich Colours:
The Victorians were fond of rich, opulent shades. Deep greens, maroons, and navy blues were popular. These colours exuded luxury and were often used in more lavish homes.

Earthy Tones:
Browns, beiges, and other earthy tones were common, reflecting the use of natural materials and woods in their design.

Black and White:
Monochrome palettes, especially in floor tiles, were a hallmark of Victorian bathrooms. Black and white chequered or patterned tiles were particularly in vogue.

Towards the later part of the Victorian era, pastel shades like soft pinks, light blues, and muted greens began to emerge . These gave a more relaxed and airy feel to spaces.

Metallic Accents: Gold, silver, and brass were often used for fixtures and fittings, adding a touch of luxury to the room.

Incorporating Victorian Colours into Modern Bathrooms

Statement Wall: Consider having one wall painted or wallpapered in a deep Victorian shade, like navy or maroon. This can become the bathroom's focal point, with the rest of the walls in neutral tones to balance it out.

Monochrome Flooring:
Bring in the timeless black and white chequered pattern with a contemporary twist. Consider using geometric tiles or even marble for an updated look.

Pastel Fixtures:
Modern bathrooms can incorporate pastel-coloured sinks, tubs, or toilets to give the nod to the Victorian era while keeping the room light and fresh.

Accent Pieces:
If you're not keen on committing to a full Victorian palette, consider adding small accent pieces in Victorian colours. This could be a decorative mirror, storage cabinets, towels, or bath mats.

Earthy Cabinetry: Wooden cabinets in earthy or dark tones can evoke the Victorian era. Combine this with modern lines and handles for a seamless blend.

Patterned Backsplashes Use tiles in Victorian colours for backsplashes behind the sink or the bathtub. This can introduce the Victorian palette without overwhelming the space.

Tips for Integrating Modern Amenities

The allure of a traditional bathroom lies in its nostalgic charm. Yet, in our contemporary world, the comforts and conveniences of modern amenities have become integral to our daily lives.

Striking a balance between preserving the classic feel while incorporating present-day luxuries can be challenging, but with a little creativity and planning, it's entirely possible. Here are some tips to seamlessly blend the old with the new:

Underfloor Heating: The thought of stepping onto a warm floor on a chilly morning is undeniably appealing. Modern underfloor heating systems can be discreetly installed beneath traditional tiles, ensuring you enjoy the warmth without disrupting the vintage look. Pair this with ornate rugs for added luxury.

Water-Saving Mechanisms: Sustainability is the call of our times. Vintage toilets can be retrofitted with modern water-saving flush systems. These hidden mechanisms allow you to conserve water and reduce bills while retaining the toilet's classic appearance.

Smart Mirrors: Imagine a mirror that reflects your image and displays the day's weather and news or even plays your go-to happy or relaxation tunes. Smart mirrors can be framed with traditional wood or metal finishes to match the bathroom's overall aesthetic, offering a touch of the 21st century without seeming out of place.

Hidden Storage: Traditional bathrooms often needed more storage solutions than we've become accustomed to. Consider integrating pull-out drawers or cabinets behind what appears to be fixed panelling. This gives you the storage space you need while maintaining the room's classic design.

LED Lighting with Dimmers: Lighting is crucial in setting the mood. While chandeliers and sconces add to the traditional charm, modern LED lights with dimmers can be fitted inside them. This allows for energy-saving, customisable lighting to suit any mood or time of day.

Digital Shower Controls: We've grown to love the luxury of setting your shower temperature and flow before stepping in. Digital controls can be discreetly placed within traditional fixtures or hidden behind tiles, ensuring a seamless blend of technology and design.

Integrated Sound Systems: A calming bath can be further enhanced with the soft tunes of your favourite music. Modern sound systems can be integrated into the bathroom's architecture, with speakers hidden behind grills that match the traditional aesthetic.

Traditional bathrooms are more than just spaces; they're experiences. Each element, from the floor tiles to the bathtub, tells a story of a time gone by. Remember to blend personal touches with classic elements as you create the ultimate traditional bathroom. After all, the best spaces are not just seen but felt.

If you want to enjoy a traditional bathroom in your modern home, let us help you achieve the best of both worlds with a minimum of fuss and effort.

30 Reviews


4.6 Rating 30 Reviews


Verified Customer

|Excellent Service, tiles arrived very quickly and were well packed. Would highly recomemend this company.

1 months ago

Olena Golovtchouk

Verified Customer

Great tiles, very expensive delivery

1 months ago

Robin Temple

Verified Customer

Excellent service and I am thrilled with the tile you sent. I will be placing an order for more of these tiles to use as a splash back in a small kitchen .

1 months ago

Claire Martin

Verified Customer

Superb service and product

1 months ago


Verified Customer

Very happy with these tiles. Arrived quickly and very well packaged.

2 months ago

Sian Pugh

Verified Customer

Great price and fantastic service

2 months ago


Verified Customer

The tiles were a great price compared to other online retailers selling the same tiles. However, £30 for a DHL delivery seemed a bit expensive for a small order (approx 220 15x10cm tiles for a splashback).

2 months ago

Linda O'Keeffe

Verified Customer

Easy to use, fast service recommended

2 months ago

James Hindle

Verified Customer

Fab tiles and great service - we couldn’t be happier with the results !

4 months ago

trina hedges

Verified Customer

had two broken tiles - contacted themby email and sent pics but still no reply!! tried to upload pics but seems is not poss

4 months ago