As with anything when it comes to interior design, choosing the right bathroom tiles for you is going to be subject to your tastes. There are thousands of different styles, colours and designs out there, so it is easy to find a tile that suits and enhances your space.

However, some people find tiling a small bathroom all the more troublesome. Certain tiles can make a small room feel bigger, others could make a room feel small and dark so we have put together some tips to help you find ones that suit your bathroom and enhance the sense of space.


Related articles: 8 small but beautiful bathrooms | How to create a stylish bathroom on a budget | Create a traditional bathroom in your home


What size of tile should I use?

There is a huge range of tiles on the market in a variety of sizes and styles, but it can be hard to tell whether what looks good on the shelf will work in your bathroom. The first tip is to request samples (a few to lay on a sample board if you can) to see them in situ.

Generally interior designers will say that you shouldn’t use a large bathroom tile (anything 60x30cm or bigger) in a small bathroom as it will make the room look smaller. Sometimes using smaller ones can give you just as many problems. If you plump for lots of smaller tiles for a small bathroom then you’ll end up with a lot of grout lines, which can give the bathroom walls a grid-like appearance that can promote the feeling of being more boxed in.

This doesn’t mean you have to rule small tiles out however. You can mix it up a bit by adding a different size in different zones of your bathroom such as the showering area. A large format tile could be used in the majority of the room, with mosaic tiles in alcoves or recesses (spaces you don’t expect to feel generously sized).

Victorian bathroom with tiles

Click here to discover the rest of this Victorian home, adapted for family life

Can bathroom tiles make a small bathroom look bigger?

It’s a well-known rule that using lighter colours will help a room look bigger, so carry that advice over to your bathroom too. Choosing lighter colours for your bathroom tiles, such as white or cream, will help reflect more light than darker colours would. At the same time, don’t shy away from dark colours — a darker tile can be used effectively to add depth to a space.

Another neat trick to use in small bathrooms is to lay your tiles in a diagonal pattern. Diagonal patterns trick our primitive brains into thinking that a space is bigger than it really is. When you take a look at normal squared options they’re pretty easy to count, but arrange them diagonally and your eyes are drawn to the longest dimensions of the room.

If a diagonal tile pattern doesn’t sound appealing, consider laying your tiles in brick bond. This is a popular choice for metro tiles, but helps limit the grid pattern effect mentioned earlier, which can emphasise the limited width and height of a room.

small bathroom with traditional tiles

Click here to take a peek at the rest of this thatched holiday cottage

What about tile placement?

The placement of fixtures and fittings in your bathroom can have an effect on what size of tiles you use. If there’s little wall space between shower and the toilet, for example, then small ones will create a better flow than larger options. Think about how many cuts you will need to make to larger tiles and how this could add to wastage.

How many tiles do you need?

Measure up and calculate the number of tiles you need before you head out to buy them. To make life easier for you there are many tile calculators available online. You can also go to your local retailer armed with the measurements and they should be happy to help you out. Make sure to add on an extra 10% to allow for breakages, cuttings, waste and pattern matching. You don’t want to be halfway through tiling your bathroom before you realise that you don’t have enough to finish the job.

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