Large Tiles Vs Small Tiles


Does Size Matter?

It can be incredibly difficult to choose between a large tile and a small tile but ultimately, it all depends on where the said tile is being installed. The aesthetic appeal of a tile is of course very important; it's the tile that you will probably be looking at for the next 10 or 20 years. So, it's important first and foremost that you love the tile regardless of size, as after all, size isn't everything right?

Having put that out there, that looks are most important, you can then start looking at size. The first thing that should consider when it comes to size is where you're going to be installing the tiles.

The way in which tiles are manufactured and designed over the past ten years has changed ten-fold. Tiles are no longer these white or orange squares that you stick on walls or floors to make an area waterproof. Instead they are these beautiful interior coverings that will transform your home and add value to your house.

Tiles come in all shapes, sizes and finishes, but shapes and sizes are the most important thing here. Tiles range in size from micro - 1cm x 1cm (usually mosaics) right up to 180cm (usually a wood effect tile). Shapes have also changed massively, and we are seeing more people use the likes of rectangles and hexagons over the use of square tiles. This may be because it allows the home owner to be more creative and create an interior space that is unique and contains patterns. 

Big Tiles

Is bigger always better? This of course depends on the matter in hand, but this segment is about big tiles, so let's discuss. First and foremost, you need to ask yourself what look are you trying to achieve and what you're tiling.

For example if you are trying to achieve a contemporary, modern, minimalistic or industrial interior finish within the kitchen/diner or living room, you need to use large tiles; you cannot achieve this with small tiles. Large tiles will open the space further! It creates a less busy space because of less grout lines, and a more finished and polished interior design. For this reason big tiles beat small tiles by a country mile!


Above: Oxley Anthracite Limestone Effect 20mm Internal/External Tile

More and more architects and interior designers are using large tiles from 60cm x 60cm right up to 180cm x 180cm to achieve a minimal and open feeling to new and existing homes. You will notice when looking through our range of large tiles of this size the design of tiles is pretty limited to include Concrete Effect Tiles, Stone Effect Tiles and Wood Effect Tiles.

Although large tiles look amazing in a large and open space, it doesn't mean they are limited to areas such as kitchens, dining rooms, patios and living rooms, they also work amazingly well in bathrooms and hallways.

Large tiles look amazing in bathrooms both on the floor and walls regardless of the size of the bathrooms; these look incredible. It can give the illusion of a much larger space whereas the use of small tiles in the bathroom can make it look "busy", so this one is open to debate on what to use. Both have their pros and cons, but for us, to stay on trend in 2019, go big for the bathroom floor (45cm+) and the walls (use anything from 10cm's up!).


Above: Kalik Concrete Effect Floor And Wall Tile

It's important to consider where you're using larger tiles, for example a large 60cm+ tile works amazing on the walls. But, some wall coverings such as plasterboard have a weight limit of 20kg per m2. There are ways around this, and we would suggest checking out our help centre where you can find all the advice you need on installing heavy tiles on to plasterboard walls.

Small Tiles

The possibilities with small format tiles are endless. Unlike large tiles, there are more options in terms of laying styles and the application of small tiles. With the use of small tiles, you can also create patterns to suit your wants and needs, such as a metro tile being laid in a herringbone or brick format, or a patterned tile being laid in a diamond pattern. These patterns are not always achievable with larger tiles so for that reason small tiles take a point!


Above: Almond Cottage Effect Wall Tiles

When discussing small tiles, the most common small tile today is the patterned tile or encaustic tile. These tiles look amazing and create a feature within the home, but using a small encaustic tile in a large area such as a complete bathroom or large kitchen floor can make the interior look "busy" and almost become overwhelming for the eye. If you desire using a small patterned tile in a large space first, look to see if there is a 40cm+ patterned tile; this will look much better as you will have a great reduction in grout lines. Use a patterned tile as a centre piece in the middle of the room and then compliment it with a larger surrounding tile!


Above: Colour Geometric Encaustic Effect Tile

Again with small tiles and touching on the design, using a smaller tile allows you to use more tile variations within the home. For a more bold option, go for a multi-format option and pair tiles of the same colour but different shapes and sizes for a bespoke wall covering unique to your home.

Small tiles were once relegated to kitchen splashbacks and that awkward area surrounding a bathroom sink, and they look great here! Coming from tile experts, we would highly recommend using a small tile in these areas (kitchen splash backs and sink splash backs) it creates a feature, looks delicate and intricate, and they also allow for easier installation. Cutting a socket shape out of a 20cm tile is far easier then doing the same in a 60cm tile, so for this reason, we would recommend using small tiles!


Above: Dark Grey Bevelled Metro Wall Tiles

For example, if you plan to install tiles in your bathroom and its a little bit cramped, and you have inset shelves everywhere, then some would say to steer away from the larger tiles, as someone has to work with, cut and fix these tiles to the said surfaces. That's not always easy with a large tile so a smaller tile can work much better.

    Our Verdict

    For us, any area excluding the kitchen walls, bigger is better! It's modern, on trend and looks incredible. Appleby's offers over 1,000 tiles that fall into our large format category, so you will be sure to find a tile to suit. If you need any help or advice, then head over to the live chat feature and speak to one of our tile experts who will point you in the right direction. After all, it's your interior, so we are committed to getting it right for you!