If you have just bought a home, condo or townhouse, and you find yourself hating the bathroom tile, do not worry, it can be fixed.

For example, popular bathroom tiles of yesteryear, including sky blue and avocado green, can make a bathroom look outdated. Removing it and starting fresh is one of the easiest ways to fix the problem. However, if your budget will not allow for a complete remodel, think about how you can solve the problem without a total removal.


There are two basic options: camouflage the color, or cover it. Covering all but the smallest of areas is probably best left to a professional who has experience in painting and resurfacing tile. Camouflage, however, can be accomplished by redecorating and is something you can do yourself.

Many complaints about outdated tile focus on the color. Maybe that sky blue that was great in the 1990s is an eyesore when you walk into the room, but by using a color wheel, it can lessen the impact without removing the tile.

How does a color wheel work? Well, all the colors of the visible spectrum fit together in a particular order around a shape called the color wheel. The position of colors on the wheel determines whether they complement or clash with each other.

When used together, colors directly across from each other on the wheel will stand out and visually intensify each other. Colors adjacent to one another blend in a more harmonious way, de-emphasizing each other.

Choosing a Color

To tone down tile you don’t like, try to keep these principles in mind when choosing other colors for the bathroom’s overall appearance. Choose colors for the paint, towels, shower curtain, and other accessories that are adjacent to the tile color, allowing the hated color to harmonize with its surroundings.

For example, avocado green tile would be better if it were placed against a wall painted in a shade of red or purple. Put the same tile in a room decorated in warm yellows, olives and tans, and the tile color will not be so obvious.

It can be a little more difficult than it sounds, because avocado green, harvest gold, and sky blue aren’t specifically named on the color wheel. Your best bet is to study the wheel, think about where your color fits on it, and gather a variety of paint samples and fabric swatches to try in different combinations with the tile. By seeing the colors next to each, it may help you understand how to put the color wheel into practice.

So, before you get all upset over the old tile in your bathroom, be rest assured that with the help of a color wheel and your imagination, it is easy to fix. Start slowly and you should be able to redo your bathroom to your satisfaction.