Tile Type Spotlight: Penny Round

Tile Type Spotlight: Penny Round

Penny round tile is fun and functional, with a vintage vibe that’s perfect for a variety of spaces. Learn more about its history, benefits, and applications below - and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of today’s blog post for a special discount code!

What Is Penny Round Tile? History and Traditional Applications

Simple Black and White Penny Round Ceramic Mosaic Tile

Pictured: Simple Black and White Penny Round Ceramic Mosaic Tile, perfect for those who want a classic look

Sometimes simply called “penny tile,” penny round tile first gained popularity in the early 1900s. At this time, it was primarily used as flooring in the kitchens and bathrooms of Victorian-era homes, as well as in subway stations and commercial spaces.

The classic penny round tile’s diameter measures three-quarters of an inch - the size of its namesake, the penny. Traditionally, the majority of penny round tiles were made of white porcelain, signifying hygiene and cleanliness. However, black-and-white configurations were also common, imparting an air of sophistication and elegance.

Carrara + Thassos + Black Marble Penny Round Tile

Pictured: Carrara + Thassos + Black Marble Penny Round Tile, a modern take on the classic black and white configuration

Today, penny round tile ranges in size and is made from a variety of materials: natural stone, porcelain, ceramic, and glass are just a few. However, porcelain still tends to be the most common option. Today’s penny round tiles come in many colors and patterns to suit various interior design preferences.

Some of the most popular design options for penny round tile include hexagonal patterns, herringbone, and checkerboard.

Although penny tiles went out of vogue for a few decades, they’ve recently made a comeback. Their retro charm is perfect for those who love vintage interior design touches, and they’re also incredibly versatile, making them easy to incorporate into a variety of spaces.

Benefits of Penny Round Tile

Simple Navy Blue Penny Round Ceramic Mosaic Tile

Pictured: Simple Navy Blue Penny Round Ceramic Mosaic Tile, ideal for a fun pop of color

Penny round tile is durable. While its durability can vary based on the material from which it’s made, classic porcelain penny round tile has a long lifespan and can be used in high-traffic areas.

Penny round tile is versatile. As you’ll see in the next section of the article, penny round tile can be used for many interior design applications, from flooring to accent walls, showers, pools, and more.

Penny round tile has a non-slip surface. Thanks to all of its grout lines, penny round tile has a textured surface that provides plenty of traction, making it a great choice for flooring in areas that might get wet, like bathrooms and kitchens.

oney Onyx Penny Round Mosaic Tile

Pictured: Honey Onyx Penny Round Mosaic Tile, a light, bright, and sophisticated variation of classic penny round tile

Penny round tile can wrap around curved objects. While most types of tile have to be precisely cut to fit around various fixtures, fittings, and architectural details, penny round tile tends to be easier to wrap around curves and other challenging installation areas. 

Penny round tile tends to be less expensive. Compared to other types of tile, penny round is usually more cost-effective. Even pricier materials, like Calacatta Gold marble, are less costly as penny round tiles than typical square tiles.

Penny round tile is easy to install. Most penny round options are adhered to mesh sheets and installed one square foot at a time, rather than having to install each individual tile.

Penny round tile has a classic, timeless appeal. Contemporary penny round options combine a vintage feel with more modern design choices for flooring that always stays in style.

Penny Round Tile Applications

Aquatic Penny Bluish Gray Glass Mosaic Tile

Pictured: Aquatic Penny Bluish Gray Glass Mosaic Tile, an excellent choice for backsplashes, showers, pools, and hot tubs 

Not sure how you’d like to use penny round tile in your home? Consider the following options!

  • Backsplashes: Penny round tile looks beautiful as a backsplash and can add visual interest to small spaces.
  • Kitchen or bathroom flooring: There’s a reason why penny tile was traditionally used for kitchen and bathroom flooring. It provides slip resistance and a fun retro look.
  • Shower tile: Thanks to the traction from penny round tile’s many grout lines, it’s suitable for use in showers.
  • Columns and architectural details: For a unique project, consider wrapping penny round tile around columns or other architectural features in your home.
  • Entryways: Penny round tile could be the perfect way to refresh your entryway, and because of its durability, it’s a great choice for this high-traffic area.
  • Fireplaces: Give your fireplace new life by installing penny round tile for a one-of-a-kind aesthetic.
  • Laundry rooms: Laundry rooms are another area where penny round tile’s versatility, durability, and slip resistance can shine.
  • Accent walls: Create an eye-catching textured accent wall with penny round tile.
  • Pools and hot tubs: Penny round tile looks stunning in or around pools and hot tubs. Just be sure to choose pool-rated tile for this project!

Shop for Penny Round and Other Tile Styles at Tilezz.com!

Simple Soft Gray Large Penny Round Ceramic Mosaic Tile

Pictured: Simple Soft Gray Large Penny Round Ceramic Mosaic Tile, a fun neutral option

Tilezz.com features an extensive range of tiles made from high-quality materials like porcelain, ceramic, glass, natural stone, and luxury vinyl. Choose from a variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes to find the perfect tile for your next interior design project. 

With orders shipping out within two to three business days, insured shipments, and easy returns within 60 days of your purchase, it’s never been so convenient to shop for tile online.

Take a look at our full product range here, or visit our blog for interior design inspiration and DIY installation tips.

You can also follow us on Pinterest!

Exclusive Savings

We know how hard it can be to choose between multiple flooring options without seeing how they look in your space. We’re happy to make it easier to decide between various tile selections! Just use code XJF6RNZY5BJJ to get 30% off when you purchase four or more samples.

Please note that this code does not apply to full-size tiles and can only be used with samples.

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