Tile & Wall Colors


Matching tile and walls can be a challenge, particularly if your tiles are an unusual color. Tiles are most frequently found in kitchens and bathrooms, on the floors and sometimes the walls. Picking the right paint colors to go with the tile can produce beautiful and attractive effects that will bring out the best qualities of your kitchen and bathroom.

Terra Cotta Tiles

  • Terra cotta is a very common color for tiles. Many kitchens that are decorated in a Tuscan theme feature terra cotta tiles on the floor. The deep red of terra cotta is easily matched with a wide variety of colors. If you're using terra cotta tiles in a small room, complement them with a peach-toned or deep yellow color on the walls. These colors will complement the terra cotta while making the room seem bigger and brighter at the same time. Peach and yellow fall along the same color spectrum as terra cotta, so the combination will naturally mesh within the room.

Complementary Colors

  • Color wheel theory suggests that complementary colors are those that fall opposite each other on the wheel. The three primary colors are red, blue and yellow. Red and blue combine to make purple, blue and yellow make green, while red and yellow make orange. The complementary pairs are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. You can create bold color effects by using a complementary color of your tile's shade. Be careful when employing this technique, because you can end up with a color scheme that's so bold it becomes jarring.


  • Visually interesting and appealing rooms can combine complements and contrasts. If you have terra cotta tiles on your floor, you can complement them with peach or yellow walls, while also adding green highlights for visual contrast. Experiment with contrasting trim colors. To test the effect, paint a scrap of wood with the color you're considering and juxtapose it with your tiles. This will give you an idea of how it will look on the wall.


  • Slate and slate-colored tiles feature an earth-toned gray as their dominant color. Slate is frequently used on floors, and may sometimes be found on bathroom walls as well. Because it's a fairly dark color, avoid painting the walls the same shade, as you'll end up with a dark and monochrome room. Try a light cream or ivory color for walls situated above slate. This will create a variety of complementary earth tones within the room, and will nicely highlight the texture and surface of the slate.

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