​Big or small? Bathroom tile ideas for any space

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Oakhill Road, Putney, Concept Eight Architects Concept Eight Architects Modern bathroom
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What’s the key ingredient to a dream bathroom? The right tub? Fabulous window treatment? How about the right mirror framed fantastically by lighting fixtures? To each his own, yet there’s no denying that a bathroom with exquisite tiles can accomplish just about anything, even a small layout. That’s exactly why we bring you these bathroom tile ideas.

Tiles, whether on the floor or wall, or both, are an easy way to update a bathroom without completely renovating the whole space (a neat trick if you’re on a budget). Beautiful tiles are almost always on the list of a bathroom designer looking to give a bathroom a fresh new look, but you don’t have to resort to a designer to update your bathroom – sometimes all it takes is an expert tiler, a keen eye for detail, and heaps of inspiration (which we’re more than happy to provide).

What’s more, we’re even going to help you give that small, cramped bathroom an open, inviting look with the right tile designs – who knew it could be that easy?

Let’s kick off with these inspiring bathroom tile ideas…

1. Big tiles for a small bathroom?

Expert designers have treated us to an entire world of tile options, from tiny little mosaics to oversized beauties which can reach metres in length. But just because you favour something bigger doesn’t mean it’s the right option for your particular space.

Long, gigantic tiles are not usually advised for smaller spaces, seeing as a lot of those big tiles will have to be cut to fit in, creating lots of waste and potentially interrupting the tiles’ pattern. However, this is not a written-in-stone rule and is more of a personal choice one has to make. 

On the other hand, bigger bathroom tiles (usually measuring between 30cm and 60cm) can evoke a tranquil feeling in a bathroom with limited space. Rectangular-shaped tiles can be especially useful, as those longer shapes can help that tiny bathroom feel taller/wider in size.

2. How about smaller tiles for a small bathroom?

Black Lip Mother of Pearl in Bathroom Renovation in Kentfield, California, USA ShellShock Designs Modern bathroom
ShellShock Designs

Black Lip Mother of Pearl in Bathroom Renovation in Kentfield, California, USA

ShellShock Designs

Feel free to take a look at smaller designs when scoping out bathroom tile ideas, but be aware that smaller ones can create a busy feel. One way to sidestep this is to stick to light colours and stay away from small tiles with heavy patterns. 

In this case, mosaic tiles are probably the best choice, as they can instantly jazz up a feature wall, a shower, parts of the floor, or just about any area imaginable. 

Mini metro tiles could also work: they are on trend and are perfectly suited to small bathrooms, as well as other smaller areas like cloakrooms.

3. Use light colours for small bathrooms

The hue of those tiles will definitely influence your bathroom’s style, so pay attention. If you want to make that small bathroom look and feel more spacious, stay away from the darker tones.

Light hues like whites, creams and soft greys are ideal for small bathrooms. These neutral tones help to make a space seem calm and clean, especially if a strong batch of natural lighting is injected into the room. This can also be a fabulous feature for potential buyers, should you plan on selling your home later on. 

homify hint: Can’t bear the thought of having a bathroom without a touch of dark colour? Opt for a monochrome look with those tiles, such as a black-and-white design with metro tiles. They ensure pattern, contrasting colour, and their glossy finish allows light to be reflected around the room.

4. Reflective surfaces for small spaces

Master En-Suite Perfect Stays Modern bathroom
Perfect Stays

Master En-Suite

Perfect Stays

Bathroom tile ideas are (fortunately) not exclusive to just one option, as there are a myriad of different materials and finishes. And as we’ve already established that light plays a huge part in a small room, think about how you can help spread it around.

When you’re considering small bathroom tile ideas, consider tile with a glossy, glass or mirror finish. Glossy finishes allow light to bounce around the room naturally, whilst the glass and mirrored finishes can absolutely enhance a feeling of spaciousness. 

Other finishes that are ideal for smaller bathrooms are marble and stone. Marble bathroom tiles can have a slight gloss finish, although not all of them do. Picking this option in a soft hue can ensure an elegant look for that tiny bathroom. 

Stone bathroom tiles will always be trendy, especially in neutral or earthy hues, and can work on both walls and floors. 

homify hint: Beat the feeling of claustrophobia by tiling your small bathroom from floor to ceiling in the same tile. This creates a sense of continuity, making the room feel larger and more spacious. And let’s not forget that it can also be an eye-catching feature which can make your entire bathroom stand out.

5. Bathroom tile idea: Make a feature

Bathroom homify Modern bathroom



Your bathroom tiles don’t have to envelope the whole space. How about using them to place emphasis on a statement item of furniture or particular area? 

Tiling up the wall behind your bathtub, for instance, will make that particular space come to life and stand out from the rest of the room.

6. Bathroom tile idea: Pick one shade in two finishes

Who says you can’t mix and match different shades and finishes? Gleaming metallic tones and shimmering greys are sure to introduce an element of glamour in any bathroom. 

Choose a single tile colour that you want in your bathroom. Then search for designs in two contrasting textures or finishes, like a textured tile in one area of the space (like the floor) complementing a low-sheen, matt-finish tile elsewhere in the bathroom (perhaps the wall?).

7. Bathroom tile idea: Add accents

Another hugely popular choice when it comes to bathroom tile ideas is to use tiling purely for decoration. Let them add interest or a splash of colour somewhere, like the wall behind the sinks, the shower area, the floor space next to the tub, etc. 

Then bring in décor (like framed pictures, textiles, potted plants, etc.) that flaunt the same hues present in those decorative tiles and see how your bathroom’s colour palette comes to life!

What is beauty without practicality? Let’s see these Bathroom storage ideas for every home.

What tile ideas will you use for some stunning bathroom beauty in your home?

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