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Q: What's the best tile for tiling a small bathroom?


Diagonal Tile

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Question: Q: What's the best tile for tiling a small bathroom?
We've got an incredibly miniscule bathroom [in the suburbs] that can't be more than 30 square feet and are having a hard time deciding which tile to use. We do want tile and not vinyl. Color, size, and brand recommendations would be most appreciated.
Answer: A major problem with tile manufacturers' sales literature is that most of the pictures feature large bathrooms--in many cases, so incredibly large that one can only surmise that these are photography studios.

But the average bathroom is sized rather small, closer to the size of your own bathroom. When tiling a small bathroom, keep these things in mind:

  1. Diagonal Tile Looks Super in Small Bathrooms: Diagonal plays tricks on your eyes, making them think that the bathroom is larger than it really is. One reason is because 90-degree-oriented tile is regimented and easy to count, even if sub-consciously. Your eye will easily pick up the number of tiles in a 3 tile by 4 tile bathroom. But it's more difficult to figure out how many tiles comprise the same floor-space, but with tiles set on a diagonal.
  2. Light Colors Promote a Greater Feeling of Space: This is a basic rule with covering any surface. Darker colors make you feel more boxed-in. This is why ceilings are rarely painted anything but white or other light colors. This does not mean you should aim for white flooring tiles; this only means that you should go for a generally light shade. Even a black-and-white floor tile scheme is 50% white.
  3. Larger-Sized Tiles Mitigate the Impression of Being Cramped: This seems counter-intuitive. Why use large tiles in a small bathroom? For one thing, smaller tiles create a multiplicity of grout lines. Grout lines, when added up, begin to feel grid-like and boxy. Larger tiles, though, have fewer grout lines.

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