5 Tips for Using Decorative Tile in Small Bathrooms

As if it weren’t challenging enough!

latin accetns decorative tile_bathroom tubChoosing the right decorative tile for your home can be even more difficult when the area you’re looking to design is small.

Here is a fair warning. The most beautiful accent tile can end up looking cramped and out of place.

There are a few things you can do to ensure that the decorative tile design you choose for your bathroom will result in the look you’ll enjoy.

How to Create an Awesome Illusion with Decorative Tile

When working with a smaller room, your tile and its’ layout, can contribute to the illusion that the room is much bigger than it actually is. This effect is similar to one that mirrors provide.

There are three rules in achieving this:

  • Use diagonals
  • Take advantage of lighter colors
  • Employ larger tiles

Laying your decorative tiles in a diagonal pattern can trick the eyes into viewing the room as much larger. Lighter colors also give the appearance of a bigger room, especially when the walls and ceiling are a lighter color as well. Finally, choosing larger tiles (though not too large) can make small spaces appear voluminous.

latin accents - decorative tile - bathroom sinkConsistency Can Help You Reach Your Goal

In the same way that lighter colored decorative tile can make a smaller room look bigger, using consistent colors is also important.

Conversely, tiling one wall darker and the other lighter can dramatically shrink the appearance of a small room. Instead, colors and color schemes should be kept as consistent as possible to effectively open up the room and make boundaries less noticeable.

Don’t forget the grout! A stark contrast between the colors of the tile and the grout used to fill the spaces in between can force the mind to view your bathroom as smaller. We want to accomplish the opposite effect!

Use a Glossy Finish

In addition to the above tips, using decorative tile that features a glossy finish can further enhance the image of your small bathroom.

Glossy tile reflects light better, which produces results similar to that of hanging a mirror on the wall to create the illusion of adding extra space to the room.

Have you considered including a skylight in your renovation? Notice the effect this can provide your bathroom. Natural light that pours in through a skylight can add more life to the room. The natural light reflecting off the tile can create an even more spacious feeling than artificial lighting.

Is Porcelain Tile the Right Fit?

When aiming to create a loftier feel in a smaller bathroom, choosing porcelain tile is a wise investment.

Unlike other options, porcelain tile comes in a wide variety of styles, colors and even textures. As an added bonus, porcelain tile has a lower water absorption rate and requires much less maintenance than other types of decorative tile.

This is particularly beneficial for bathrooms that feature steam showers.

Extend Your Shower Tiles

latin accents - bathroom tile_showerA creative design trick when using decorative tile in a small bathroom renovation is to extend the tiles in the shower area.

Strategically place the tile all the way up the wall to the ceiling. Similar to using consistent color schemes, extending shower tiles helps by creating fewer transitions and therefore much less contrast. This provides a more expansive feel.

Having a small bathroom doesn’t mean your options for decorating are limited.

In fact, with the right approach and applying the tips found here, you can easily transform even the tiniest of spaces into beautiful, spacious-looking rooms.

To see some examples of bathroom applications using our decorative tile or for further design inspiration, please peruse our indoor photo gallery.