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Large Tile | Small Spaces

Floor and wall tile, whether porcelain or stone, can be found in all sizes – from tiny 3/8” mosaics to large 24×48 pieces. So, what should you do when you have a small space, such as a bathroom or galley kitchen and want to create the illusion of a larger area?

There are several trade secrets that will help trick the eye into thinking a space is larger than it actually is… and here are our favorites:

1. GO BIG OR GO HOME…

Contrary to what one may initially think, small room does not equal small tile. In fact, small tiles require more grout lines, and more grout lines create a busier installation. This is where it gets interesting… When placing a larger tile on the floor of a small room, these busy grout lines are eliminated, creating a more open space. Less is more when it comes to grout lines. Not to mention, this makes cleaning a much easier chore!

Bathroom tile

2. LET THERE BE LIGHT…

Another simple way to visually alter the size of a room is to use light colors on your floor. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but when contrasting colors in a room, many people opt to put a dark color on the floor with light colors on the walls. Doing the opposite of this will make the space feel larger, and here’s why… when designing a room, think about the lighting and the surfaces from which it’s reflected… floors, counters, and any other flat, horizontal surfaces. Keeping these areas/items light-colored will bounce the most light around a room. You can even use a more saturated color on the wall and still feel this effect.

Bathroom tile

3. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN…

One last easy trick that works wonderfully in traditional and transitional design: turn those tiles! Setting larger floor tiles on a diagonal creates the illusion of your floor “continuing” beyond the walls of your immediate space. When square tiles are laid straight, the human eye assumes this square grid in a square room, and the space is therein defined as a definite size. Laying these same squares on the diagonal will distort this perception and the room’s boundaries will feel more infinite – and as a bonus, this helps the tiles themselves look larger!

Bathroom tile