Good question: Which tile to choose for a small bathroom

If you don’t have much room for planning and choosing equipment in a cramped space, is it worth limiting your creative imagination when choosing ceramics? It would seem that there are so many tiles that the eyes diverge: both geometry and a huge range of sizes from mosaics and classics 10×10 cm to large-format slabs almost one meter long, bricks and squares, polygons, architectural tiles. We’re not talking about colors anymore – whatever your heart desires: from monochrome glaze to the latest advances in digital printing.

Créateurs d’Intérieur Nimes

The only question that may arise in this regard is how not to visually reduce the already small space with the help of tiles. And better, somehow increase it visually. Is it realistic in principle: to expand a small bathroom with tiles, and if so, which tiles to choose for a small bathroom?


  • Tasya Zaitseva, designer at DaDa-studio;
  • Daria Trofimova, interior designer;
  • Tatiana Kuzmina, co-owner of the Jazzberry interior studio;
  • Alexandra Pobedinskaya, representative of the Marca Corona ceramics plant;
  • Elena Shaldina, manager for work with architects and designers, Vatra-Keramika.

Reader & Swartz Architects, PC

1. Light colors expand – do dark ones narrow the space?
Indeed, designers most often recommend light-colored tiles for a small bathroom.

Tasya: “We have a rule – do not use dark tiles.”

Elena: “Light tiles expand the space visually.”

When choosing a tone within one shade, designers are advised to choose the lightest, muted option as possible. The same applies to color combinations: “If you want to combine several tile colors in a small bathroom, choose combinations of light shades, they will visually increase the space,” advises Daria.


2. No black in a small bathroom?
It depends on how much black and on which surface to apply it. “There are many theories about color. Light colors give more space, there is something to breathe, dark colors – muffle, conceal. You can play with contrast, make a white wall, and then (suddenly) introduce into the interior, for example, a black ceiling. Then this ceiling is lengthened, stretched, the effect of infinity is obtained, ”shares Alexander’s opinion.

Black tiles on the floor? Why not (we see a spectacular example in the interior of a small bathroom in the photo). But choosing black and dark tiles for the walls of a tiny bathroom is probably not worth it.

Tasya: “In the last project we used 20×20 cm white tiles and made a glossy black ceiling. A dark color was added, but just a little, the niche in the bathroom was also black, and also a dark ceiling. But the whole space was perceived as white due to the white walls. “

354 more small black bathroom interiors

Mila Kolpakova

3. Two-tone bathroom
room is the only possible scenario?
Perhaps the combination of white plus a different color in a small bathroom risks being too boring. It is much more correct to play on color combinations.

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However, the designers warn: “There is no need to use many different sizes and colors of tiles on three or four square meters of a bathroom. A pair of shades and a pair of formats are the perfect combination. Use decor if necessary. You can lay out walls and floors with tiles of the same color and even the same format. This uniformity will make the room appear wider and the ceilings higher. If desired, even the ceiling can be made in the same color as the walls and floor, ”advises Tatiana.


4. Which tile to choose: monotonous or variegated?
No universal rule has been invented. To say that tiles in a small bathroom must be plain and attract as little attention to themselves as possible is a big mistake.

When the premises appeared as a result of the unification of the former bathroom and toilet, an inevitable feature of the layout is extra corners. And it is precisely the variegated tile that helps to dissolve these planning flaws.

Fact: Look at the photo. You probably did not notice the niche in the mirror until we drew your attention to it.

354 more small bathroom interiors with colorful tiles

Reformas Barcelona Low Cost

5. How to add accents?
Designers know several tricks, but they all boil down to one thing – a color or texture must be used pointwise and locally, otherwise the whole idea is lost.

Natalia Preobrazhenskaya | Studio “Cozy Apartment”

LORRAINE COLSON | Architecte d’Intérieur

  • Accent wall

Elena: “If you select a wall, then one, and the rest should be neutral. You can decorate everything with one color or add somewhere a local area of ​​bright paint, other tiles or even mosaics – it looks very good. We play on texture or color and distract attention from the small size of the room.

Tatiana Kuzmina

  • Accent floor

You can, on the contrary, make neutral walls and a bright floor – it will take all the attention. It’s important not to overdo it. It’s like with an evening dress: either a neckline, or a mini length, but not all at once. “

Other photos of this project


6. Expanding space: large or small tiles?
It all depends on your personal preference – you can work with any size.

Tatiana: “If you are a fan of small tiles, then it is better to choose a solid color, so as not to break the walls due to the many colors. Choose, for example, a light-colored hog tile, due to a single color, it will gather the room. And on the other hand, take the floor one with a bright medium-sized ornament, or just a rich color. “

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Elena: “My opinion is that so that a small space does not break due to seams, the tiles should be large-format. But many are afraid to put such tiles in bathrooms. Firstly, in the recent past, the choice was limited to a couple of sizes, so the large size is unusual for the eye. Secondly, they are afraid of a large amount of waste from cutting (the price of finishing will increase). There is a great solution to both objections – project visualization. We calculate in advance and show how the tile will be located, what the trim will be. It is quite possible to avoid large clipping. “

Litvinova Olga

Daria: “Large tiles are easier to lay. Another plus – fewer seams – easier cleaning.

Alexandra: “It is better to match the grout to the same tone, then it will merge with the stove, you get the effect of a single space. It is more profitable to use reifications, with them the seam will be minimal ”.

Tatiana: “It makes sense to choose large tile formats, for example, 30×60 cm, for the walls of a small room. They will have the same effect as a large chest of drawers or an armchair in a small room – they will immediately enlarge it. But it is important that the tiles are laid horizontally, horizontal stripes will visually expand the space. “

Anna Kokovashina | Studio “Design Laboratory”

Alexandra: “It’s fashionable now when you have a single floor in your apartment. In Russia, as: one in the kitchen, another in the bathroom, the third in the bedroom – we get a kind of “patches” that narrow the room. Now let’s imagine that for each such “patch” you also have your own wall color, your own space design – not an apartment, but a complete patchwork.

I want to tell you that new tile collections are now being made multi-textured. Within the framework of one format and one pattern or design, it is easy to maintain a uniform concept for the entire room. For example, an entrance area – with an anti-slip surface, then a matte surface in the corridor. The same stove, but the texture is different, here the grip is no longer needed (we have already changed into sneakers). We smoothly move into the living room, there is a glossy surface that enhances the effect of the depth of the floor. But in the kitchen, gloss is already useless: there are stains and drops – you can again make a matte surface. And on the balcony we have anti-slip again. This is how a single tile throughout the apartment flows smoothly from one space to another. “

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Condovate Interiors Inc.

7. Which tile is better for a small bathroom: classic or non-format?
Alexandra: “The squares and rectangles are all visible, they emphasize the geometry of the space. But you can distort the perception of the room with the wrong shapes. “

Daria: “A wall with hexagonal or volumetric tiles will instantly attract attention and become a spectacular interior accent. You no longer need to additionally decorate the surface with borders or inserts. However, the room, from floor to ceiling, completely covered with such tiles, will become intrusive, overloaded. “

Elena: “Embossed, volumetric tiles should only be used as decor.”


8. Which tile expands the space: gloss or mat?
Alexandra: “If the gloss is full, then it will deepen the space.”

Daria: “Glossy and mirrored surfaces of the tiles reflect light well – the room will appear brighter and more spacious.”

CM Natural Designs

9. How to install tiles in a small bathroom: horizontally or vertically?
Tasya: “It doesn’t matter, it all depends on the bathroom, on the layout method, and what effect should be achieved. The proportions of the bathroom are not always correct. Therefore, it all depends on the size of the walls. Something needs to be visually lengthened, something should be shortened. Let’s say that one wall is very small, and the other is long, of course, I would not want to lay it horizontally along the long wall, pulling this, so to speak, carriage even more. “

Daria: “A rectangular tile laid out horizontally visually expands the space. The vertical arrangement of rectangular tiles will visually raise low ceilings. ” But who said that there should be either one or the other – look at a good solution with a photo.

Julia Piskareva / YOLO bureau

Tatiana: “There is one more“ horizontal ”technique. You can split the wall into two coatings: from the floor to a height of 1 m or 1.2 m – tiles, and above – paint or wallpaper. This is especially good for a tiny toilet in a typical apartment, thanks to the horizontal line between the tiles and the paint, the room expands slightly and the toilet does not seem like a narrow well. True, the horizontal lines will visually lower the ceiling. But there is also a secret here – to make a glossy stretch ceiling, which will visually add height. “

520 examples with photos – unusual tiles in the bathroom


  • Which tile to choose in the bathroom
  • Black and white bathroom
About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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