Tile is a good choice for flooring in many of the rooms of your home. It is easy to clean and comes in many different styles. You might be wondering, though, what size tiles you need to tile a room in your home. We explored this topic for you to give you the best answer to this question.
The best tile size will be different for each room. Here is a look at suggested tile sizes for each room of your home:
- kitchen: 8-inches to 12-inches
- bathroom: 2-inches to 8-inches
- living room: 12-inches to 18-inches
Why are there different suggestions for each room, and why is there such a range of sizes? One main reason is that different types of rooms vary in size. Please keep reading as we explore more about the suggested tiles for each room of the house.
Size Considerations for Commonly Tiled Rooms
For the kitchen, recommended tiles range from 8-inches to 12-inches. There is so much variation from one kitchen to the next, and each home has different flooring needs than the others. So, the 12-inch square tile is highly recommended for kitchen floors. Because the 12-inch square tile is a standard, find this size in many different materials and styles. If you want to tile your kitchen, there is a good chance that you will find a tile to fit your style and needs.
Aside from versatility, you also have to consider the size of your kitchen when choosing tiles. The 12-inch tile is a great choice for a standard-sized kitchen, but you can go smaller or slightly larger depending on the look you are trying to achieve.
Smaller tiles can work well in a kitchen if you have a smaller space to cover or install tiles yourself. Tiles are easier to install, the smaller they are. Of course, 8-inch tiles are also a good choice if you use colored tiles and patterned tiles to create a design.
Before installing kitchen tiles, check out our post, "Should Kitchen And Bathroom Tile Match?"
Recommended 2-inches and 8-inches tiles are for bathroom floors. The suggested size for bathrooms is on a smaller scale for two reasons. First, bathrooms tend to be smaller than other commonly tiled rooms. Second, it is not uncommon for people to use different types of flooring for different areas of the bathroom. For example, you might want to use one kind of tile to accent your shower area, or even for your shower floor, then use another type for the rest of the bathroom. Finally, bathrooms seem to be the area where people prefer to use a more intricate pattern or design. Smaller tiles achieve this look more efficiently than larger ones.
Before you install bathroom tile, check out our post, "Should Bathroom Floor And Wall Tiles Match?"
Are Big Tiles Better in a Small Bathroom?
Large tiles are recommended for small areas that you want to appear larger—using several small tiles versus large tiles to cover your floor space results in more grout lines. These grout lines cause your space to look broken up, which makes your room look even smaller. Larger tiles mean more uninterrupted space, which makes a bathroom look more expansive.
The suggested size of tiles for the living room is slightly larger at 12-inches to 18-inches. Because living rooms tend to be the largest space in the home, larger tiles work better in the living room. As you can imagine, larger tiles cost more per tile than smaller tiles. However, it is still more cost-effective to use larger tiles because you will need to buy fewer of them. You will also pay less for labor if you choose to hire someone to install your tiles because there are less tiles to install.
Using larger tiles in the living room also has an aesthetic benefit. Because larger tiles cover a greater amount of space, your living room floor will look more expansive. As we discussed earlier, smaller tiles result in more grout lines. When you have to cover a large area with many tiles, the result is a busy and broken up look rather than the calm and cohesive look you expect in a living room.
What is the Standard Size of a Floor Tile?
The standard floor tile is a 12-inch square. Because this is the standard, you will find the widest variety of materials and styles in this size. As you know, each room of the home has a different suggested range of tile sizes. The 12-inch square, however, works well and is common in any room of the house.
What is the Minimum Thickness of Floor Tiles?
The thickness of a tile depends on its size. The thinnest tile you will find is the mosaic tile. It is about 1-inch wide and has a thickness of 1/8-inch. Floor tiles start at 3/8-inch for medium-sized tiles and go up to 1/2-inch thick for the larger tiles.
Knowing the thickness of a tile is a good way to identify where to use the tile. The thinner, smaller mosaic tiles are much too thin to be used for flooring. They cannot bear the weight that floor tiles must hold. If you find a tile that is less than 3/8-inch thick, you can be reasonably sure that it is not meant for use on the floor.
How Can You Tell the Quality of Floor Tiles?
Tiles are assigned a grade to let consumers know the quality of the tile they are going to purchase. Grade 1 indicates the highest quality tile. These tiles are durable, have minimal to no imperfections, and are used on either floors or walls. Grade 2 tiles are medium quality. They are still durable and work well on floors or walls, but they have more imperfections than Grade 1 tiles. Grade 3 indicates tiles of the lowest quality. They are thinner and more fragile than the higher grades and only used for walls.
What Type of Floor Tile is the Most Durable?
Porcelain tiles are the most recommended tile because they are the most durable. Porcelain is strong enough to withstand all of the furnishings required in any room and is resistant to chips and breakage in the most high-traffic areas of your home. It is also waterproof, making it durable enough for kitchens and bathrooms.
As we discussed, there is a suggested range of tile sizes for each room of the house. However, it is not uncommon to see tiles that are larger or smaller than the recommended size in any room. The style you are trying to achieve, the actual size of your room, and the amount of floor space that needs to be covered all need to be taken into consideration when you are finding the right tile size for you. Keep in mind these tips when you are choosing tile:
- the larger the tile, the more difficult it is to install and more likely that the tile will break
- the smaller the tile, the more tiles and grout you will need for installation
- a 12-inch tile is standard and typically works well in any space
- measure once and then measure again to make sure that you have enough tile for the space you are covering
Finally, don't hesitate to ask for help! Many independent and big-box home improvement stores have flooring experts that will be happy to steer you in the right direction.