Large Tiles vs Small Tiles: What Works Best Where Large Tiles vs Small Tiles: What Works Best Where
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Large Tiles vs Small Tiles: What Works Best Where

Posted by James Brockbank on

It can be quite the dilemma when it comes to ordering in tiles for any of your rooms; which size tile do you choose? There are many factors that can affect this, so let’s find which tiles are going to work best for you.

Room Size:

This is definitely the biggest factor, as the tile size can make a room feel either very spacious, or very small and cramped. There are different tips for different sized rooms; but bear in mind that these are only guidelines, and there may be some exceptions to truly make a tiled surface look amazing.

Bigger rooms suit larger tiles, but there are many laying patterns with medium sized tiles that are also seen as a more than viable option.

Average sized rooms can have a wider configuration of tiles, usually larger tiles cover larger open spaces.

Smaller rooms are where things get interesting. Larger tiles can make the room seem particularly small, depending on placement. However, although smaller tiles may seem to be a wise choice, the grouting for the tiles can make the room seem very busy, and quite chaotic. If you’re interested in making your bathroom seem larger, check out this piece on 10 home interior hacks to make a small bathroom look bigger.

Room Type:

Depending upon whether the room is a living area, a kitchen, a bathroom or utility room, there can be a difference in appropriate tile sizes. Certain rooms can require a different feel, and obviously serve different functions. Kitchens and bathrooms need to feel as spacious as possible, and therefore will have a balance of sizes in tiles, whereas utility rooms often have larger tiles for more practical cleaning reasons.

Kitchens and bathrooms often have small tiles for areas of use, such as backsplash in the kitchen, or mosaics in a shower cubicle.

For living areas, it can depend upon the overall mood of the room you desire. Cosier rooms can work with busier tiling, and still look and feel amazing. More open plan, modern rooms often require larger tiles, for a more minimalistic look/for less focus to be on the walls or floor.

Kitchens and bathrooms can often be quite difficult, as the many laying patterns for smaller tiles can work very well for above countertops, or around sinks, but may not be viable for large floor or wall spaces. 

Theme & Use:

All rooms should have a personal touch, and many achieve this by mosaics or interesting colours alongside a special laying pattern. For more mosaics, check out this article on Houzz about how you can use mosaics in home decor. This allows a good contrast of larger sized tiles for bigger coverage.

Floor tiles are typically far larger than wall tiles, as they often cover a larger surface area, and have more exposed space; whereas a wall can have decorations and interesting designs using smaller tiles. 

All in all, try to keep the larger tiles for exposed surface area, but don’t shy away from them in smaller places! Tiling is all about how busy an area seems, and depending on how fitting that may be for the function, is whether you decide on smaller or larger tiles.


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