Tile Staircase Ideas Enliven Your Stairs with Stunning Tile Designs

14+ Tile Staircase Ideas

Two-Plight Staircase with Blue Tiles and Modern Wooden Pole Railing

This rather steep-looking staircase starts in the hallway where the dining room is. The intriguing print of David Bowie’s dog on the white wall create a focal point while climbing the stairs. The dark blue treads and star-patterned blue tiles add a splash of color alongside the white walls. The timber poles stretch from the floor to the upstairs to serve as the railings. These vertical volumes add dimension and layers of texture to accompany the staircase along with the potted plants distributed here and there.

Santa Barbara Style Tile Staircase for Outdoors

Blending into the surroundings thanks to the generous use of orange and green colors, this outdoor staircase hooks its voyeurs, at first sight, enveloping them with a bombardment of colors. The blue details at the center of the tiles punctuate the stair risers even more, while the treads serve a simple and flat look not to overwhelm the design. Flunked by white-painted walls and black iron railings, the staircase has double support in the company of a cottage-style lighting fixture and the beautiful tree slightly bending over the stairs and caressing the walls.

Tile Staircase Ideas

As fundamental architectural pieces for both indoor and outdoor designs, whether low or high, the staircases are a huge part of our lives and our homes that commute the different levels of the homes or any space consisting of various volumes. The fact that staircases are composed of various materials, namely treads, steps, railings, and risers, means that they also feature many elements to be designed, allowing designers and homeowners to be as creative as they can be. And tile staircase ideas are only one part of it that we will be exploring in this blog.

Apart from their functionality, the staircases are charged with aesthetic values and even smartly designed as storage places. As such, they can create strong and eye-appealing visual forms while helping circulation and human traffic flow. Rich in colors and textures with variously styled iron, wooden, and glass railings, the staircases can easily become a visual focal point in your foyer. Now let’s discover some tile staircase ideas that are inspiring and enrich the overall look of the stairs and the room instantly.

Can you tile a staircase?

Yes, you can. Though it sounds complicated at first, it is not extremely different from tiling your walls and installing a backsplash. The most complicated part is probably the measurement, especially if you have curved stairs or staircases with winders, things get more complicated. Once you pull off the measuring of the application area correctly in terms of square meters, then you can start to feel more confident.

Tile Staircase Ideas with Alternating Risers and Wooden Treads

In this staircase design, the combination of white and wood crown the bluish-green Moroccan-style risers that switch places with crispy white ones from place to place. As you go up, the whitewashed brick accent wall adds a raw and rustic flavor to accompany the medium-tone wooden treads. Overall, the variety of authentic materials abundant in textures carries a Mediterranean breeze and Spanish vibes to contrast the crispy white railings.

Material Options for Tile Staircase Ideas

Material options for tile staircases include ceramics, porcelain, cement, glass, marble, granite, and travertine. All of them are quite durable materials, thus suitable for heavy-traffic areas. Marble and granite fit into many design concepts, delivering sophistication to the space, while cement and ceramics offer excellent tile patterns for those who want to create colorful staircase designs. Glass is one of the materials that mostly lend a contemporary feel, achieving full transparency and evoking visual interest. Though they seem fragile, they are very strong materials but cost more than when compared to the other materials. For rustic and earthy vibes, travertine is a great material applicable to indoor and outdoor areas.

Cement Tile Staircase Ideas

Since the 1800s Europe extremely durable cement tiles have been around and capturing attention for a long time. Coming in various patterns and colors ranging from floral designs to geometric shapes, they can be applied to the bathroom and kitchen floors and walls and also staircase tiles. For those who love textures, cement tiles grow patina over time, which gives them a more natural charm and a lived-in feel. During the installation, they need to be sealed several times, which will improve their durability performance in the long term.

If you want to upgrade your staircase and look for an alternative to ceramics, you can consider cement tiles. As they require low maintenance and offer durability even in heavy human traffic, they are suitable to be used for staircases. For their high customizability, the cement tiles can achieve various impacts, ranging from minimalist looks with subtle beauty to Spanish vibes with a Mediterranean subtext, floral patterns, and geometric designs. In all cases, they will create impressive visual representations. You can bring them into a dialogue with wood textures. For staircase risers, you can use alternating tiles on each level or even different patterned tiles on the same row to achieve a sense of diversity, which is popularly applied especially in Mediterranean-inspired houses.

Spanish Tiled Staircases with Turquoise Cement Tiles and Wrought-Iron Railings

In this Mediterranean-inspired design, the Spanish-tiled staircases introduce intimacy and lots of colors that dominate the space. The beautiful black-framed prints of various sizes hung on the side wall add decorative pieces to color the otherwise all-white walls. As you climb up the stairs, it feels like a gallery wall, bringing character and an eclectic look to the space. The staircase rises are all clad with turquoise cement tiles featuring various patterns reminiscent of flowers and geometric patterns. The curved edges of the first two levels widen and continue on the floor level to add extra dimension. If wished, homeowners can place potted plants and decorative items such as sculptures on this generous extension to turn the empty corner into a more attractive space.

Moroccan Tiles with Iron Railings and Glazed Wood Treads

In this colorful and unique staircase design exerting a Spanish influence on the home, the glazed wood treads dialogue with the Moroccan tiles of various colors and patterns to add strength and versatility to the design. These tiles give the stairway an old-world character, complemented with wrought-iron railings. The intricate scrollwork of the railings frames the staircase, enriching the overall design while contributing additional embellishment. Likewise, the ornamental rug on the hallway leading to the stairs resonates with the Mediterranean vibes that pull the whole design together.

How to tile a staircase?

Tiles apply to any flooring substrates as long as they are in good condition. To start with, measure the application area, decide which pattern and what kind of style you want for your stairs, buy the tiles, and order some extra supplies just in case.

Before starting to tile a staircase, first ensure that the surface is clean, dry, dust-free, and has no damage. Also, every stair should be positioned properly and even. To do that, use a spirit level, and if you find any irregularities, you can fix them with a mortar and trowel. Then prime the surfaces to make them ready for tiling. Start from the top of the staircase and move towards the bottom.

If your staircase is wood, you can consider covering them with backer boards first as wood expands over time. The next step is applying the adhesive. With the flat edge of the notched trowel, apply the adhesive to the stairs evenly, to an area a bit larger than the tile to allow yourself to make adjustments to fit the tile into its place perfectly. Use a rubber hammer to ensure that the tile feels adhered to the surface and utilize spacers to leave even spaces between the tiles. Clean the excess thin-set that sticks out from the edges before it dries out.

After installing the tiles, now you should install the tile nosing to give the stairs a smooth and stylish finish, which will also make them safer for you. When your project is complete, you should wait 24-48 hours before starting to use the staircase again.

Supplies you need: Mortar, trowel, notched float, drill machinery, soft cloth, eye goggles, gloves for hand protection, and a rubber hammer.


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Stunning Mediterranean Staircase Design with Dark Wood and Multi-Colored Cement Tiles

In stunning Mediterranean staircase design, the multi-colored tiles meet a robust set of dark Tuscan wooden steps that create a visual drama that suspends the overall look in a sense of mystery. The dark blue and yellow shades of the tiles refer to the sun and the sea that recall the Mediterranean colors and its laid-back colorful atmosphere alongside the wood treads that echo the earth. Additionally, the combination of black wrought iron balusters with wooden handrails assists the steps, emitting bohemian vibes and contrasting the crispy white walls.

Ceramic Tile Staircase Ideas

Ceramic tiles are durable materials with a hard surface that doesn’t attract or trap dust or dirt. This characteristic also makes them easy to clean and maintain. That’s why ceramics are one of the popular materials to coat the stair risers as well as porcelain tiles which are stronger and less water-absorbent versions of the ceramics.

Coming in a wide array of patterns and colors thanks to their high customizability, ceramics ensure achieving colorful and impactful designs in various contexts such as Mediterranean-style homes, and traditional, and modern homes. Plus, another reason which makes them favored is their reasonable prices when compared to the many other materials on the market.


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Tile Staircase Ideas with Ceramics and Dark Wood

The Mediterranean-style home with natural creamy white walls and arched openings filters light and air beautifully. Abundant in wooden textures ranging from the wood torso of the staircase sofa to herringbone tile flooring, it emits organic vibes. Likewise, the wooden treads of the staircase complement the other wooden materials. The ceramic tiles serving as risers add a visual dynamic, energizing the soothing and dramatic appeal of the wood.

How to calculate staircase tiles?

Calculating the staircase tiles might seem like a daunting task but it is not supposed to be.  The staircases do generally have 14 stairs, measuring 1 meter on the horizontal and 8 meters on the vertical axis. This requires a 2 by 4 meters piece. But you can get a slightly larger piece in case things go wrong, which you can also save for the future. For curved staircases, you should add 50 cm per curve.

But, if your staircase materials are going to be wood or laminate, you need to calculate the square footage. To do so, think of the stair as two rectangles and measure the width and length of the tread and the length of the riser. Sum up the lengths and multiply the result with the width of the tread. Divide the result by 10.000 and multiply it with the number of stairs, which will give you the total area to be coated. For example, let’s assume that:

Width of tread: 40
Length of tread: 10
Length of riser:20
The number of stairs: 14

20+10=30, 40*30=1200, 1200/10000:0.12 m2 (area of each stair), 0.12*14: 1.68 m2 (total area to be covered)

Which tile is best for stairs?

The answer to this question is dependent on personal taste, the overall theme of the house, and how much traffic the stairs receive every day. But, of course, certain materials attach more attention to cover the stairs. One of these most popular tile materials is porcelain which is durable and requires low maintenance. Plus, in addition to its various color and pattern options, porcelains can mirror stone, wood, and marble patterns, endowing your stairs to gain a level of authenticity.

Secondly, laminate is another material as it is cheaper and easier to fix, but the disadvantageous part of laminate is that it produces more noise when walking on it.

As an alternative to the tiles, you can benefit from runners. But make sure to install them securely so they won’t slip beneath your feet or put you out of your balance while constantly moving as you traverse the staircases.


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Eye-Catching Garden Stairs with Potted Plants and Multi-Colored Ceramic Tiles

These eye-catching garden stairs are framed by stone walls and oversized potted plants, which create a haven of greeneries that open onto a larger green area. At the end of the stairs start the wood slats, offering a radical transformation from stones to the wood. Apart from that, the wood treads add a rustic flavor that blends into the surrounding, while the ceramic staircase risers suggest a cultivated design showcasing the human imprints in nature.

What stone is best for steps?

Marble, granite, and travertine are some of the most popular stone materials for steps. Each one accomplishes a unique look, oozing opulence or achieving a sense of rustic and contemporary feel. To start with, thanks to its durability and elegance, marble is one of the most popular natural stones to clad the stairs both the treads and risers for a seamless look and to lend a sense of sophistication to the space.

The second most popular stone after marble is granite, particularly black ones, achieving a sleek look with an industrial subtext in modern home designs. They can be contrasted with wood applications to support the contemporary feel.

Thirdly, if you want to emit rustic vibes and achieve a more traditional look, you can benefit from travertine thanks to its earthy colors. Travertine is also popular for pool paving. It is a perfect material for both indoors and outdoors just like the above-mentioned stones. They are easy to install and versatile. Plus, the travertine tiles’ water resistance and tumbled surface make them a great material for treads, and they can create a stylish look with metal and wood railings.

Outdoor Colorful Tile Staircase Ideas with Concrete Railing

Abundant in orange and yellow colors, this stunning outdoor colorful tile staircase energizes its users. As you walk down the stairs in the company of the pool view, the desolate hills assist you on the way back up. Palm trees, cactuses, and other plants color the surroundings green. Feeling well-coordinated with the environment, the multi-colored staircase risers coat the tile staircase, while the surrounding white walls spotlight the tiles, acting as a blank canvas. The white-colored concrete walls frame the stairs, replacing the traditional railings for a sense of change to match the laid-back holiday atmosphere of the surrounding environment.

Marble Tile Staircase Ideas

Having proven itself as one of the most durable and sophisticated natural stones, marble is a popular material used for tiling staircases to add much-needed grandeur and achieve a statement finish. For example, Calacatta black and Calacatta gold endow staircases with a timeless appeal and elegance. For more dramatic looks, you can choose the marble with pronounced veins, while the lightly streaked versions provide a subtle beauty. You can clad both treads and risers with marble or use it to cover only one of these two components to highlight the specific parts of the staircase.

Whether modern, or classic style and straightforward, curved, or cantilevered floating staircases, marbles give you the flexibility to create designs that fall into the different architectural categories.

But don’t forget to evade using glazed marble tiles as they get slippery when wet. And of course, while choosing your marble, also consider the overall architectural mood and design theme of your house so that your marble staircases won’t look out of place.


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Curved Marble Staircase with Wrought-Iron Railings

In this airy and well-lit foyer, the curved staircase communicates a sense of luxury. As it traverses between the two volumes of the house with a gentle circular motion, the uniform look of the marble-clad treads and risers provides a statement finish that oozes opulence. The black and pronounced veins of the marble add dimension to the natural stone, while the black wrought-iron baluster brings contrast to the white-dominant space. The delicacy of the ironwork is a great match with the delicacy of the marble veins, complementing each other wonderfully. Upstairs, the railings continue to frame the balcony; below, the marble continues to clad the floors, guiding homeowners throughout the interior space through the arched openings.

Colorful Tile Staircase Ideas

Why not decorate each staircase riser with variously patterned and colored tiles while cement and ceramic tiles offer you all you need? Trying a different tile on each row or different tiles on the same row has never been a bad idea. If you find Mediterranean designs and have arched openings in your home, you can go with colored tiles that reflect the Mediterranean color palette, including beautiful turquoise colors, yellows, and oranges.

Colorful Tile Staircase Ideas with Blue and Orange Colors in Boho-Style

Abundant in orange, brown, and turquoise, this boho-style staircase presents a raw yet heartwarming design. The intimacy of the colors feels so natural that it draws its users right away to itself. Posing against the crispy white walls, they make a colorful visual statement. The blue-painted iron railing supports the stairs, while the lush greenery peeks out behind the staircases, adding more color to the staircases.

What can I use for stair risers?

The vertical component of the staircases, a stair riser is one of the most essential and visible parts of the stairs that commands attention. It allows homeowners to be creative and project their personalities freely while choosing patterns and coming up with certain design concepts. As every tile and color has a certain mood upgrading the mood of its users and the space, the design gains more importance. As for the stairs, since they connect different volumes of the house or any building, they offer a transition between different levels. And these transitions can be used to improve the mood of its users on the way.

First, stair risers can be made up of MDF, wood, tile (ceramic, porcelain, marble, granite, etc.), glass, stone, metal, and carpet. When they are painted crispy white, they spotlight the stairs, brightening them at the same time. Price-wise, MDF is one of the most budget-friendly options that you find on the market. Though, it is not recommended much by some.

Get Inspired by the Spanish-style Homes

Secondly, the tiles for staircases also depend on the impact which you are looking for. For example, in Mediterranean-inspired staircases, the colorful tiles paint the staircases orange, blue, turquoise, and yellow which can bring into a dialogue with Tuscan wood treads.

Benefit from Natural Stones

Or, for luxury lovers, marble is a great material for stair risers. Pristine white marble brings a fairytale aura, for example. To achieve a more dramatic and striking look, marble with pronounced veins can be suitable for clad the risers. Likewise, black granite adds a sophisticated touch, oozing opulence with a dramatic impact on the overall look. For those looking for an industrial and masculine flair, the black granite is again a great option for finishing the design with a classy touch.

Why not Paint the Risers?

Also, why not paint them? If you are into art and want to express yourself and leave a personal touch at your home, you can paint the risers as you wish.  You can either stick to a particular tile or blend different colors and create unique patterns.

Try Install Covers

Stair refacing kits are available on the market. For home improvement projects, you can get one pair of those kits. Another alternative is also the riser runners or you can also go with a continuous runner that will also dampen the sound and lessen the unwanted acoustic performance of the materials.

Overall, the best part of the risers, you can feel free while choosing materials for them. As it is the treads that are more demanding as they need to be non-slippery and provide a safe environment.

Staircase with Winders Inspires for Colorful Tile Staircase Ideas

Awash with colors and dominated by blue vibes, this modern yet classy interior design brings a rich repertoire of materials together while still managing to pull the whole scheme together. Ranging from the vaulted ceiling to arched openings, white thin stripes on the blue backdrop of the walls, and antique wooden counsel, each furnishing and design detail creates a complementary contrast. The hexagon patterned cement tiles of the staircase in the shades of gray harmonize beautifully with the blue walls, while the multi-colored vertically striped flooring clads the foyer to differentiate itself from the staircases. On the upper level, the smiling pig head wall décor adds a whimsical touch that entertains the space, while the wood-framed prints decorate the walls here and there to add more character.

Modern Tile Staircase Ideas

Ranging from modern wooden finish stairs to glass floating treads, modern tile staircases make a difference through their architectural structure, which is sometimes cantilevered and sometimes very experimental with a unique design expression. To embellish such staircases, chevron, herringbone, and hexagon tiles that highlight the geometric shapes and unexpected pops of colors can work. However, if you want to stick to the classics, you can opt for marble and particularly black granite which will offer a modern finish as well. Black granite also effortlessly brings a refined look with an industrial subtext. If you love dramatic looks and contrasts, you can combine black tiles with light-tone wood to make a statement. This combination not only brings a contemporary feel but also composes sophisticated aesthetics with a sense of richness.

Overall, when you want to create a modern staircase, just feel free to express yourself and come up with creative ideas to add character to the design. To accompany the modern staircases, you can also create a gallery wall or a small exhibition on the way to attract attention by hanging prints of various sizes. Such decorative items will smoothen the transition between the levels alongside the modern staircase tiles. LED strip lighting for atmospheric lighting could be another way to emphasize the beauty of the patterns. Additionally, if you have double-volume space, you can use a contemporary lighting fixture to highlight the modern features of the staircase.

Modern Tile Staircase Ideas with Light Wooden Steps and Hexagon Patterns

In this modern home, the white-painted walls amplify the staircase way which seems like a closed passage on its own. The light wooden steps inject a dose of organic softness, while the hexagon-patterned staircase risers emphasize the contemporary character of the design, rich in geometric forms. Divided into black and white stripes, these hexagon tiles play with contrasts nourished by the timber steps. Another remarkable detail of the design is the diagonal layout of the tiles that add movement and exciting detail, while the grout creates the illusion of a crack that adds more movement to the design.

How do you finish tile edges on stairs?

The finish of the tile edges is significant in terms of safety issues. By ensuring there are no sharp edges, you can prevent serious accidents from happening.  That’s why all edges should be rounded or bull-nosed as it is referred to as such in the industry jargon.

Bullnose is a technique used to round off the edges by using special blades. Natural stones and porcelain tiles are perfect for this technique. But the key detail for the bullnose technique is that the stones and tiles have to feature a full body for the technique.

The second option is a stair nosing strip or edging strip, which is made of aluminum or plastic that is attached to the edges lacking bullnoses. They generally measure 36-48 inches, which can be adjusted. All you need for the adjustment is tin snips or a hacksaw (used for aluminum nosing). The major benefits of the nosing are to protect the edges from getting damage and to make the stairs less slippery and safer. They also add a slight layer to prevent the feet from slipping off a step.

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