Using Tiles to Make a Small Space Look Bigger

"But the room is very small, I don't think tiles will look right in it" is something we hear quite often here at Sabbini & Co. but we are always quick to dispel this myth. In fact tiles; used in the correct way of course, can actually enhance the look of a small room and even make it appear larger! We have teamed up with some of the UK's top interior designers to share with you the top tricks of the trade for using tiles effectively to make a small room look bigger.

Martin McAvoy - Lead Designer, Sabbini & Co. Tile and Stone Merchants - @SabbiniAndCo - Sabbini & Co. Facebook

"Contrary to popular belief the application of large format tiles is now becoming more recognised for their use in small, compact spaces for enhancing the room and creating the illusion of more space. 60x60 is the most popular size as there is such a large range of colours and finishes readily available for use on walls and floors.

As a design and fit company we are even promoting the use of even larger formats such as 80x80, 50x100 and 50x120 due to the impressive finish they give in both large and smaller rooms. It is also important to note the way that tiles are laid is also an important factor to consider. For example in a narrow room such as a hallway, laying the tiles to run 'vertically' along the floor will make the room seem longer and larger rather than if they were placed 'horizontally'.

There is something out there to suit all needs and requirements and the range, variety and scope of designs available increases on a daily basis."

large tiles in small room

Athina Bluff - Topology Interiors London - @topology_london - Topology London Blog

"One of the first places we associate with using tiles is of course a bathroom. It’s common to find that bathrooms nowadays are small, due to the fact property is expensive now and we find ourselves cramming en-suites where we can in order to find space that could potentially be used for a more important area like a kitchen or bedroom. In light of this, my advice would be when working with a smaller bathroom your first point of call should be deciding on what tile size to use."

"Personally, I would not suggest opting for small tiles, such as mosaics. Small tiles in a confined space will give the impression of a cluttered space. Instead, why not try opting for a larger tile, something like a slate tile which will create the illusion of a much larger, less busy space. Larger tiles means there is less grouting on view, less tile surface and generally less business for you to focus on when you enter the room. I particularly like the idea of a slate tile, because contrary to what one might have been told, dark colours in small spaces can actually make them appear bigger. Corners can’t be seen as well and it adds depth and scale to a room."

"If you are keen on opting for small tiles, then make sure you use something with little or no pattern, in order to keep it simple and not overbearing – the small space will appear much bigger than it actually is if you adhere to this rule."

"Tiles such as metro tiles can also be good for small bathrooms – but instead of tiling all surfaces on view, why not try tiling just one wall or just the splash back – this will ensure the room is not crowded but still has a great eye catching feature upon entering."

large tiles in small bathroom

Gina Everett - Create Perfect, Luxury Interior Design - @CreatePerfect - Create Perfect Blog

"A small bathroom will feel larger with fewer visual changes and less contrast so keep it fairly plain and take tiles right up to the ceiling. Builders have a habit of finishing early but it will give a greater feeling of space, drawing the eye upwards if you keep going!"

"It is generally said to go with smaller tiles in smaller rooms but lots of grout lines (the small as a complex pattern) can make it feel too busy and crowded and therefore smaller. Larger tiles will actually help visually expand your space. Or of course, use a low contrasting tile grout which will have the same effect."

"Tiles are great for small bathrooms with a surface that reflects light and bounces it around the room. They are also easy to clean and where you do not have a lot of room it makes cleaning a lot easier."

tiles in small wetroom

Bella Whiteley - Bella Whiteley Interiors - @BellaWhiteleyInteriors - Bella Whitely Instagram

"Tiles are a really important factor in any scheme as they are the surface decoration which add the character and identity to any bathroom. It is a good idea to go with light, bright colours in order to make a smaller space feel larger. A gloss tile or even glass mosaic tile will reflect light and keep the space feeling bright and airy. The scale of a tile is important too- huge slabs will look clumsy and out of proportion to the rooms dimensions. Select a tile that fits as neatly as possible from wall to wall or floor to ceiling, finishing with a whole tile where possible I find any 'cut tiles' give the impression of a far from perfect fit."

"Avoid border-patterns within the tiles as again they can give the impression of 'cutting' a whole wall into segments rather than one seamless tile pattern flowing right to the top. Your eye gets drawn to that 'line' as opposed to taking in the whole room as one."

"If you don’t want to tile the whole wall, a very effective tip is to continue your floor tile, in the self-same pattern, over and UP your wall by at least one third. This really kicks open the floor space somehow, by blurring the edges of the space and not being defined by a skirting board. Remove all skirting boards in bathrooms if you want to open up the floor space."
Colour graduation, or OMBRE effects are a huge trend in interiors within the wallpaper and paint worlds, and this is also achievable with tiles: use darker tiles on floors and the bottom third if your wall, then add a mid-tone then finish with the lightest tone at the top. Its best achieved with graduated mosaic tiles.

"And never forget the winning combination of using mirror panels WITH gorgeous tiles!"

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