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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:


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


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


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