Small vs Large Tiles: Which Size is Right for Your Home?

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When it comes to tile selection for your home, size does matter. The choice between small and large tiles can have a significant impact on the overall aesthetic and functionality of a space. Small tiles, such as mosaic or subway tiles, offer a classic and intricate look, while larger tiles, like porcelain or ceramic, create a more modern and seamless appearance. But which size is right for your home? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of small and large tiles, helping you make an informed decision that suits your style, budget, and practical needs. Whether you’re renovating your bathroom, revamping your kitchen, or starting a new flooring project, understanding the benefits and limitations of each tile size will ensure that you achieve the perfect balance of beauty and functionality in your living space. So, let’s dive into the world of small and large tiles and discover the best fit for your home.

Pros and Cons of Small Tiles

Small tiles, also known as mosaic tiles, are typically less than 2 inches in size and are available in a wide range of materials, colours, and patterns. They offer a timeless and intricate look that can add depth and character to any space. Here are some pros and cons of using small tiles in your home:


1. Design Versatility: Small tiles offer endless design possibilities. They can be arranged in various patterns, such as herringbone, basketweave, or chevron, to create stunning visual effects. The intricate designs and detailed patterns of small tiles can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your home.

2. Flexibility: Small tiles are highly flexible and can be easily cut into different shapes and sizes to fit any space. This makes them ideal for curved or irregularly shaped areas, such as shower niches or backsplashes.

3. Grout Lines: Small tiles require more grout lines compared to larger tiles, which can help enhance traction and prevent slipping. Additionally, grout lines can also act as a design element, adding texture and interest to the overall look of the tiled surface.


1. Installation Time: Installing small tiles can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re working with intricate patterns or designs. The small size of each tile means that you’ll need to place and align them carefully, which can be a tedious task.

2. Maintenance: The abundance of grout lines in small tiles can make them more challenging to clean and maintain compared to larger tiles. Grout lines are prone to staining and require regular cleaning and sealing to keep them looking fresh and new.

3. Visual Impact: While small tiles can create a stunning visual impact, they may not be suitable for every space. In larger rooms, using small tiles might create a cluttered or busy look. It’s important to consider the size and scale of the area you’re tiling to ensure a cohesive and balanced aesthetic.

Pros and Cons of Large Tiles

Large tiles, typically measuring over 12 inches in size, offer a clean and contemporary look that is favoured by many homeowners. Here are some pros and cons of using large tiles in your home:


1. Seamless Appearance: Large tiles create a seamless and uniform look, making them an excellent choice for modern and minimalist interiors. The absence of grout lines can give the illusion of a larger and more open space, making them particularly suitable for small rooms.

2. Easy Maintenance: With fewer grout lines to clean, maintaining large tiles is generally easier compared to small tiles. The smooth and uninterrupted surface of large tiles is less prone to staining and requires less effort to keep clean.

3. Installation Efficiency: Installing large tiles is generally quicker and more efficient compared to small tiles. With fewer individual pieces to place and align, the installation process can be completed in less time, saving both labour costs and project timelines.


1. Limited Design Options: While large tiles offer a sleek and contemporary look, they may not offer as much design versatility compared to small tiles. The large size of each tile may limit the variety of patterns and layouts that can be achieved.

2. Brittle Nature: Large tiles are more prone to cracking and breaking during installation. Their size and weight can make them more challenging to handle and transport, increasing the risk of damage. Proper care and caution are essential when working with large tiles to avoid unnecessary breakage.

3. Uneven Surfaces: Large tiles may not be suitable for uneven or irregular surfaces. If the underlying floor or wall is not perfectly level, the larger tiles may not lay flat, resulting in an uneven and unprofessional finish. Preparing the surface adequately before installation is crucial when using large tiles.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Tile Size

When deciding between small and large tiles for your home, several factors should be taken into consideration:

1. Room Size: The size of the room will play a significant role in determining the tile size. In general, small tiles are better suited for smaller rooms, as they can create an illusion of more space. Large tiles, on the other hand, are ideal for larger rooms where their seamless appearance can make the space feel more expansive.

2. Intended Use: Consider the intended use of the tiled area. Small tiles, with their intricate designs and added traction, are commonly used in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes. Large tiles are often preferred for flooring, as their smooth surface is easier to clean and maintain.

3. Style Preference: Your personal style preference should also guide your tile size decision. If you prefer a classic and intricate look, small tiles may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you lean towards a modern and minimalist aesthetic, large tiles will likely suit your style better.

4. Budget: The cost of tiles can vary significantly depending on the material, size, and design. Generally, small tiles tend to be more affordable compared to large tiles. Consider your budget and weigh it against your desired tile size to find the right balance.

Small Tile Design Ideas

Small tiles offer endless design possibilities. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

1. Classic Mosaic: Create a timeless look with a classic mosaic pattern. Choose small tiles in neutral tones, such as white or beige, and arrange them in a traditional grid or herringbone pattern.

2. Colorful Medley: Make a bold statement by using small tiles in various vibrant colors. Mix and match different shades to create a playful and eye-catching mosaic.

3. Subway Chic: Subway tiles are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Opt for small subway tiles in a glossy finish for a sleek and contemporary look.

Large Tile Design Ideas

Large tiles offer a clean and modern aesthetic. Here are some design ideas to consider:

1. Sleek Elegance: Create a luxurious and sophisticated look with large marble tiles. The smooth and uninterrupted surface of marble tiles adds an air of elegance to any space.

2. Wood-look Tiles: Get the warmth and beauty of wood without the maintenance. Large wood-look tiles can mimic the appearance of hardwood floors while offering the durability and ease of maintenance of ceramic or porcelain tiles.

3. Statement Wall: Make a bold design statement by using large tiles on an accent wall. Choose a contrasting colour or pattern to create a focal point in your space.

Tile Size and Room Size Considerations

When it comes to choosing tile size, the size of the room plays a crucial role. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. Small Rooms: In small rooms, such as bathrooms or powder rooms, small tiles can create the illusion of more space. Opt for mosaic or subway tiles to add texture and visual interest to the room without overwhelming it.

2. Large Rooms: Large tiles are an excellent choice for larger rooms, such as living rooms or kitchens. The seamless appearance of large tiles can make the room feel more expansive and open.

3. Open Floor Plans: In open floor plan homes, consider using the same tile size throughout the entire space to create a cohesive and harmonious look.

Small vs Large Tiles for Different Areas of the Home

The choice between small and large tiles can vary depending on the area of the home. Here are some recommendations:

1. Bathrooms: Small tiles, such as mosaic or subway tiles, are commonly used in bathrooms. Their intricate designs and added traction make them ideal for wet areas.

2. Kitchens: Both small and large tiles can work well in kitchens. Small tiles can be used as backsplashes or as accents, while large tiles are often preferred for kitchen floors.

3. Living Areas: Large tiles are typically favoured in living areas, such as living rooms or dining rooms, to create a seamless and modern look.

4. Hallways: Small tiles can add visual interest and depth to hallways. Consider using small mosaic tiles to create a stunning and intricate pattern.

Tile Installation Tips for Small and Large Tiles

Proper installation is crucial to the longevity and durability of your tiled surface. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Preparation: Ensure that the surface is clean, dry, and level before installing tiles. Remove any dust, debris, or old adhesive to create a smooth and even surface.

2. Adhesive Selection: Choose the appropriate adhesive for your tile size. Small tiles may require a different adhesive compared to large tiles. Consult with a professional or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

3. Spacing: Pay attention to the spacing between tiles. Small tiles usually require smaller grout lines compared to large tiles. Use tile spacers to ensure consistent spacing.

4. Grouting: Proper grouting is essential for both small and large tiles. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying grout. Clean excess grout from the tile surface before it dries to achieve a clean and professional finish.


Choosing the right tile size for your home is an important decision that can greatly impact the overall look and functionality of a space. Small tiles offer a classic and intricate look, while large tiles create a more modern and seamless appearance. Consider factors such as room size, intended use, style preference, and budget when making your decision. Whether you opt for the timeless beauty of small tiles or the sleek elegance of large tiles, understanding the pros and cons of each will ensure that you achieve the perfect balance of beauty and functionality in your living space. So, take your time, explore different designs, and make an informed decision that will transform your home into a stunning masterpiece.

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