How to Choose the Right Tile for Small Spaces

Author: Stephanie Fehrmann | Updated: October 19, 2016

How to Choose the Right Tile for Small Spaces

Tile floors are a popular choice for many areas of the home including the bathroom, kitchen, entryway, and mudroom. They work well in these spaces because they stand up to moisture and high traffic and can be easily wiped clean. Tile floors are also relatively easy to repair if a portion is damaged. There are so many advantages to having tile floors, but homeowners must choose their tiles wisely, especially when working with a small space.

 

Tiles come in a huge assortment of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns. Many rooms that feature tile are smaller areas of the home. The last thing you want to do is choose a tile that overwhelms a room or makes it look even more closed in. Fortunately, there are tricks for working with tile to keep a small space looking open and bright. Read on to discover some tips for picking and placing the right tile for your small rooms.

 

Go Big or Go Home

 

Little room - little tiles. This may seem like sound reasoning, but in fact, the opposite is true. With the possible exception of 24-inch tiles, professionals generally agree that large tiles create a greater sense of space in smaller rooms. The reason that larger tiles expand the look of a space is because there are fewer breaks in the floor’s surface. With small tiles there are grout lines every few inches. The effect of this in a small room can be dizzying, not to mention claustrophobic.

 

Consider Color

 

Dark colors are often said to make a small space look more closed in, so this is something to keep in mind when selecting your tiles. That said, the contrast between the wall color and the floor color may play a larger role in breaking up the look of a small room than the floor color does on its own. As a rule, when you’re trying to achieve an expansive look to a room, you want to avoid obvious visual breaks. To create long visual lines you may want to consider choosing tile that’s the same color as the walls (or even take the same tile up the walls) or a color that is not too far off. To further reduce the visual interruptions, select grout in roughly the same shade as your tiles.

 

Diagonal Diversion

 

Sometimes people forget that tiles don’t have to be placed straight across. Diagonally laying tiles is another technique for increasing visual space in a small area. When tiles are placed side by side and straight across they provide the opportunity to easily count the rows and make assumptions about the size of the room. When tiles are placed on a diagonal, the long line breaks are eliminated. Oversized diamonds or chevrons create diagonal lines that draw the eyes from one side of the room to the other, making it feel wider than it really is.

 

Mix It Up

Another way to trick the eye into seeing more space in a small room is to mix up the tile shapes. Doing so, again, creates fewer long borders and edges. Of course, this technique is more complex and usually takes the work of a professional to get right. Not all tiles fit well together, so consulting with someone who knows what they’re doing is probably the best option if you choose to go this route.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to use tiles to your advantage in a small space. When in doubt, be sure to talk to a professional. This way you’ll end up with a room you love and a floor that’ll last for years to come.