Yes, scrubbing's still required. But maybe not as much.
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Bathroom Design Tricks for a Cleaner-Looking Bathroom - Marble Tiled Bathroom
Bathroom Design Tricks for a Cleaner-Looking Bathroom - Marble Tiled Bathroom
| Credit: alabn/Getty Images

The right bathroom design ideas can completely transform the look and feel of a bathroom. They can even change the way the space is used, such as when a shower-tub combo becomes a shower stall, or storage is converted into one of many trendy bathroom shelf ideas. And just like certain bathroom designs, like floating bathroom vanities, can make a bathroom look larger, the right tile selections can actually make a bathroom look cleaner.

Can you design your way to a self-cleaning bathroom? No. (In your dreams, maybe.) But following these design ideas can mean less visible dirt—and less scrubbing every time guests come over. These bathroom tile tips—which can be applied to floor, wall, or bathroom backsplash ideas—came from the design pros at Block, a New York–based company reimagining the bathroom renovation process. With them, you may never have to agonize over how clean the bathroom looks (no matter how clean you know it is) again.

One option is to use larger floor tiles, or larger tiles all over the bathroom (sorry, penny tile fans). The tiles' larger surface area means there are fewer tiles and—this is key—less exposed grout between the tiles. Stained or aging grout is often the primary culprit in bathrooms that don't look as clean as they should, so reducing how much is visible can partially fix the problem. Plus, larger tiles can also create the illusion that the bathroom is larger than it actually is.

The other option (though the two aren't mutually exclusive) is to give the whole bathroom a fresher, cleaner look by reducing the visual noise. For example, try matching the grout to the tile. Contrasting grout is a timeless look, sure, but it can also call attention to the edges of the tiles, which aren't always the cleanest. A grout that blends in will give you a cleaner, sleeker look—Block's designers say it makes for a more visually pleasing bathroom aesthetic, too.

So there you have it—maybe the key to a cleaner bathroom isn't more scrubbing, after all.