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Small Space, Small Tiles?

When the tile industry really took off in NZ in the mid 1990’s the average floor tile was around 333 x 333mm, and popular wall tiles were around 200 x 250mm — both sizes that are very rare today. Now in 2022 the most commonly stocked floor tile size is 600 x 600mm and are often used on both floors and walls in all sized spaces. Tiles are being made increasingly larger and larger with 600 x 1200mm becoming a really common size. That said, there is also an increase in the popularity of quite small tiles such as 100 x 100mm, and smaller pieces on mosaic sheets. With so many sizes and shapes to choose from, let alone styles and colourways, tile selection can be a bit bewildering.

In a small room, larger tiles will actually add the illusion of space. Larger tiles mean fewer grout lines which in turn make a room appear more streamlined and spacious. Extending the tiling from floor to ceiling can also make a room appear larger. Other techniques such as using the same tile across the floors and walls, wall mounting vanities and toilets, and tiling seamlessly across the floor and into shower cavities, will all enhance the sense of space. In addition, if rectangular tiles are chosen, laying them horizontal can add a sense of width and laying them vertical can give the illusion of height. Careful room layout, and mirror and lighting selections as well as the actual tile colour, can all improve the sense of spaciousness without physically rearranging walls.

In general, clients at The Tile Depot are often using a combination of tiles in most rooms, particularly bathrooms and powder rooms. As discussed, larger tiles are sought to add a sense of space and the fewer grout lines is definitely a bonus in terms of cleaning requirements. Smaller tiles are frequently used to add texture and interest to a single wall. Oftentimes a large floor tile is used across the floor and up to the ceiling, with finer textured tiles as a feature element. Increasingly, we are seeing up to three different tiles used in some quite small rooms to great effect.

Choosing light colours, large formats and tiling floor to ceiling will certainly help make small spaces seem larger. Small spaces do not require small tiles and in fact they can actually have a lot going on in them, which when done right, will both add a roominess whilst being really eye-catching and contemporary. The team at The Tile Depot are only too happy to help clients with their tile selections and layout. At the end of the day, anything goes with tile design these days and if you love the look, then it’s the right look (and tile size) for you.

View more information on The Tile Depot, including contact details.
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