TIPS FOR TILING SMALL SPACES
People assume that small rooms can’t take large tiles and assume they will make the room look even smaller. Not true!! If you choose large tiles in a small space the key is in the setting out, making sure there are no tiny cuts and very few grout lines. You can have any size you like for sure!
This blog will mainly focus on bathrooms given the fact they are usually the smallest room in the house, especially in newer builds.
What To Avoid
Personally I would opt for a simple tile and not a small mosaic. Although mosaic tiles are striking and can often break up a large room such as a wet room or large bathroom - in a smaller space they can add a feeling of clutter or busyness. There are lots of grout lines from tiling mosaics, and this can can make smaller spaces feel and appear darker. If you really have your heart set on mosaics, it’s not to say they can be used but do so in one space, for example the shower area and/or behind a basin. I however wouldn’t use them for the entire room or even as a boarder in a very small room. The problem with the bathroom is that there’s often a lot of mixed focus points such as taps, baths, showers (and general bits and bobs that live in that room) so if you add a mosaic boarder it can add to the feeling of “clutter” in a room. This is the same rule if you are tiling a box cloakroom for example, the square small feel of the room may feel smaller with mosaics emphasising the box feel.
Top Tips on Tiles to Use
Mix and Match
Using the same tile in various sizes no matter how small the space can make for an effective feature wall without introducing another tile. This or staggering the tiles in a brick bond pattern can achieve a great seamless look without feeling like there’s too much going on in the room and adds the feeling of height and width to any small room. You can even add a cobblestone or an English cross bond style of tiling if you’d like to add a bit of individually to your room. Diagonal tiling will create a sense of length and space so this is great to keep in mind and is a personal favourite for small rooms. If you’re not familiar with these tiling styles check out my work on my page or message me for ideas and photos.
Using the same design but different contrasts ie a tile in matte and gloss adds contrast whilst creating a clean finish. This creates a high end striking finish with large format tiles.
If you fancy using a patterned wall tile, I would opt for this to be at the bottom section of the wall(s) and plain tiles above it to create the imagery of length and space. It’s often harder in a small room to get a feel for what a tile will look like from a quick look in the store or on line, so here I would encourage you to bring patterned tiles home to allow you a real understanding of how it will look and feel in the given space, with the natural light you have.
Gloss tiles are known for adding to the feeling on space because of their shiny surface. If gloss tiles are your chosen tile then you don’t have to go with white, creams or light colours. Darker gloss tiles fitted horizontally or diagonally work really well in a small space and can be offset with a light grout and a plain floor tile. Gloss tiles are where you can be more creative in smaller spaces and express boldness with ease. Gloss tiles are really on trend at the moment so there’s something to make everyone happy.
White marble style porcelain tiles with grey veining can give the effect of a high end finish at a reasonable price, and because porcelain is polished it can help light bounce off the tile into the room. White tiles can often give the feel of coolness. However, in some cases for people can be too clinical with harsh lighting, but adding the grey veins into these tiles helps loose that feeling and add texture and depth.
If you love white rooms, and fancy all white walls in a small room here’s your chance! As stated above it can look clinical but these are ways of breaking this up by adding different tiling styles to the room. If pure white is your bathroom of dreams then decor can play a huge part in helping the room feel warm. Adding taps that are bold and brass or frames on the wall. Use your imagination and you can’t go far wrong.
Neutral colours are a safe bet if you struggle to envisage a room finished, or aren’t keen on venturing far in terms of boldness. There are so many neutral tiles in many materials. Neutral tiles give a warm and clean feeling in a bathroom and if you prefer a matte finish look neutral tiles are in available in abundance.
As with my previous blog on wet rooms - the majority of tiles can be used in bathrooms but please refer to this blog if you have something specific in mind like a natural stone tile etc.
When choosing a floor tile a Victorian style or patterned floor tile can be used for colour and character if you’re choosing a light and plain wall tile. If, for instance you have white sanitary wear and possibly metro tiles or a simple wall tile, you can choose a square patterned tile to add depth to the room and not make it feel so clinical. The pattern and how far you go with this will depend on personal preference.
Patterned floor tiles should be small and square to avoid cluttering and immediately drawing you’re eyes to the floor rather than all the other wonderful features your bathroom has to offer.
Again gloss tiles are a firm favourite in smaller rooms as the light bounces and reflects from them giving the sense of space.
If you aren’t going patterned on the floor, then a dark gloss ceramic tile is an ideal choice for making plain light walls appear bright and rooms airy.
You can also simply choose the same floor tiles as you have walls for a seamless look allowing other features in your small room to become more of a feature.
All in all there are a few more rules when thinking about when tiling a smaller room, but don’t be afraid! There’s still room to express yourself and as long as you try to remember simplicity can be the key in smaller spaces, you can’t go wrong, and remember simplicity doesn’t mean you can’t be bold! If of course you want to discuss idea with us, or ask questions then please get in touch via email, our Facebook or Instagram page where we are happy to help.
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