Tiles are pretty versatile, and aside from the range of designs available, they are a great material for easy-to-clean, durable and safe walls and flooring. While it is customarily relegated to kitchens and bathrooms, interior design trends in recent years have brought them out to other living spaces, thanks to the wide variety of shapes and textures of tiles today.
But because options are practically endless, there are many variations on how to lay out tiles for any part of the room. Now the question is: is bigger better? Or is the recent trend of smaller tiles, once only used to navigate around the sink and shower areas, more appealing now?
How Big Is Big?
Because the cuts of tiles are now more varied, we can presume that the “big” tiles that we are talking about are the ones that measure at least 40 cm on one side or bigger. Often called ‘Large format’ tiles, these require a smoother surface to avoid tenting and uneven installation. Large format tiles are also often more expensive per piece, although in the long run, small tiles can also be costlier by the bulk.
Pros and Cons
The thing that one must remember about using tiles as part of their design is that some variants can contribute to a busy visual. Whether it is the pattern on the tile, or the lines created by the grouting, you have to consider that a busy pattern visually shrinks the room. This is the main reason why many avoid putting small tiles in small bathrooms: the grouting and pattern can make the space feel more cramped than it is.
On the other hand, large format tiles in bathrooms mean that you can end up with costly tile cutting to get it to fit the space around the toilet, sinks, and shower. Big tiles also do not give you a lot of grip in the shower area and can be slicker than smaller tiles.
Which Is Better?
It’s a myth that you have to stay away from smaller tiles or busy patterns if you have a small space. Interior designers break away from the stigma of cramped spaces by laying out the tiles in a diagonal pattern to draw the eye. Another trick is to lay the grouting in a colour that is close to the tiles’ to keep the line pattern subtle and unobtrusive. More adventurous interior designers even experiment with novel ways of laying out unevenly cut tiles for a modern mosaic effect.
But there is also the option of not choosing between big and small tiles: Use them both! Plain coloured large format tiles can create a more spacious illusion by letting the eye rest, while smaller tiles can create interesting focal points in the room, especially in backsplashes, feature walls or shower area.
Regardless of whether you opt for big or small tiles, what is important is you find ones that are well worth your budget. For a wide range of options, view our collection at honglee.com.sg or drop us a message on our Facebook page to find out more!