Octagon and dot tile creates scalloped edges — a terrific bathroom design idea

octagon and dot bathroom tile with pleasing wall edgeI have never seen this floor tile pattern idea before, and I love it: In Laura’s 1947 midcentury modest house includes this original bathroom with 4″ octagon-and-dot floor tiles that are also used as the bottom row of wall tiles to create a very pleasing “scalloped” edge look. How very clever — and back in the day, when octagon and dot tile was more widely available in lots of colors, it would have been a very cheap and cheerful design idea. We still have a few places to find tiles like this, if you want to recreate this look. Continue on for a close-up of the design — and my resources to find octagon-and-dot tiles today.

octagon and dot tile used as bottom wall edge to create scallop look

To create this bathroom tile design, you will have to find octagon tile in a real color (see my resource list below), add a “dot” in a lighter color… and then repeat the color in the dot up the walls in 4″ square tiles. You could do this, really, with any two complementary colors of tile; however, I think there is something particularly pleasing about the dark-floor-light-wall combo that makes the scallops work.

vintage tileLaura requests forgiveness at the state of the grout on the floor — she and her husband only recently bought the house. Then, there were problems with the plumbing in the bathoom — so bad that it looks like they are going to have to renovate it to the studs. Boo hoo. Here’s how she describes the colors of the tile, which seem to be capturing pretty well on my computer monitor; Laura says:

The tile in the bathroom is what we’ve called “oatmeal” due to the flecks that are in the lighter-colored tile, and “mocha” since the brown is the color of chocolate milk.

Thank you, Laura, for providing these photos (readers should know that I tortured her to get the angles I wanted) — you did a great job. I think the colors are just lovely.

Where to get octagon-and-dot floor tiles in a variety of colors:

  • My first go-to is World of Tile. In photos from my visit last summer, I see that Chippy has beige (?) and green octagons… and I know she has many colors of dots. She may have more octagon colors that I may not have photographed. I tend to think so…
  • Universal Ceramic’s Brittany collection includes a variety of colors in octagons, squares and dots. I had a reader email me that they had recently done a bathroom using Universal Ceramic tiles… hmmm, I need to go look.
  • Drats, I went looking for more, and basically only found stories already done by me. I think I “own” this search on google…
  • If you have landed on this page looking for plain ole octagon and dot floor tile in black-and-white or white-on-white, get thee to a Home Depot or Lowes.


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  1. says

    I’ve never seen it as a tile pattern, but we did have that type of pattern in sheet vinyl form in the bathroom of our former house. It was black and white, the larger areas black, the smaller diamonds white. Very striking in a small room. That was the vinyl I had planned for our current house, but it’s no longer available. :-/

    I like that tile very much.

    No apologies necessary….we’ve all had plumbing issues that involved serious work.

  2. lynda says

    My daughter used the Universal Tile in two bathrooms. Since Universal Tile is in the San Francisco area where my daughter lives, several stores carried the line. This is the octagon matte tile on the floor:
    and this bath used the blue and white penny rounds from Universal Tile –http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0F0WuljbtTg/TxZvhF8mzJI/AAAAAAAARyA/ykHVcf_OC9w/s1600/IMG_9563.jpg
    The sink and the Chicago faucet–a Craigslist find for $50! Medicine cabinet was also a Craigslist find.
    American Universal does have a template thing to fool with so you can see the colors and how they might work on the floor.
    I LOVE the tile design above and may copy that idea. Thank you so much!

  3. marta says

    I learned a hard lesson the first time I installed tile as a baseboard in one of our baths. You can’t tie it to the floor with grout unless you have some type of isolation membrane. Although I used concrete backer-board behind, the baseboard tile still moved with the wall, causing it to crack at the joint with the floor tile.

    In retrospect, I should have used a flexible caulk the same color as the grout where the wall and floor meet. Live and learn.

    • lynda says

      Very true, and the same goes for tile meeting a countertop–use the flexible caulking that matches the grout.

  4. Justin says

    That tile design is still availabe through home depot. I’m not sure how many color choices they carry though. I was able to get it for my kitchen and bathroom. The larger octogaon tile is white and the small square tiles is black. They also have it in all white, but unsure if any other colors.

  5. TappanTrailerTami says

    I like the scalloped look, this is nice way to set a bathroom apart from the “usual”.

    It looks like you can custom order from Daltile – take a look:


    Pam, you just need to contact them about doing a Mamie Pink field tile….would love this look in pink and black or gray 🙂

    Oh, and now we know the truth about how Pam gets all the great photos. Just a little torture will do, haha.

      • TappanTrailerTami says

        You’re welcome – I just looked at the sizes, and if I am reading correctly, it is a 2 15/16″ hex plus a 1″ dot, so closer the hexes are closer to 3″ than 2″.

        I also went poking around Daltile a bit more, and yipee – this has to be the closest thing available now to the random red brick style linoleum we all know and love, remember? It was put in a million kitchens, and I think less often it was seen in green brick as well.

        Take a look at their random block tiles – beautiful, especially in the red!


        • pam kueber says

          Thank you, T3, I wasn’t paying close enough attention. And I LOVE the random block you found! I will feature it soonest!

  6. Chutti says

    The scallop effect for the border is super cool.

    I had this color combo tile in my little (600 S.F!) 1959 knotty pine paneled cabin bath.
    A lot of folks thought I shouldn’t like it, but that warm tan and clay color really grew on me. A bright would have been too much with all that knotty pine.

    I accessorized that bath with lots of deep plum. It always felt very warm and welcoming.

  7. natalie says

    i have this same color combo in my hall bath only the my brown is a bit darker and redder (?, sometimes it’s hard to tell in pictures). but the oatmeal one looks right on. does anyone have any ideas for a color scheme i could use in there? i was thinking of painting the walls. they’re white right now.

  8. says

    Wow! I just saw this post — thanks everyone, I’m glad you like it! We planned on pairing this with an aqua color, but sadly this will all get demoed in the springtime.

  9. Zoe says

    I get to plan my parents bathroom! They live in a 1930’s house so i’m going to use white and blue tiles in that pattern. I think it will look really nice?

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