Small format tiles, while being small by nature, offer some amazing opportunities for stand-out wall patterns and displays. We have seen them shoot up in popularity over the past few months, with suppliers struggling to meet the surge in demand, for types including metro and subway tiles.  

But what exactly are they, and why are they becoming so popular? We’ve put together some useful information below, so you can get up to speed on everything about small tiles, and be fully informed if it’s a tile range you want to consider for your next room design or home upgrade!

What are small format tiles?

Small format tiles are the smaller tiles available on The Online Tile Shop, as presumed by their name. Specific measurements for smaller formatted tiles range from a tiny 4.8 x 4.8 cm up to a larger 30 x 30 cm when in square shapes, and they come in other shapes too - rectangular (or brick shape) is one of the more popular types at the moment.

The sizes available on our webstore range all different sizes and shapes. We will cover them in more detail further on. They are perfect for those looking to add more design to a specific part of their kitchen, bathroom or even outdoor space. 

What makes them different from other tiles?

We celebrate differences at The Online Tile Shop, and that’s why we are so passionate about giving you new concepts and understandings of tile designs. 

Small format tiles are different to our regular range of tiles, due to their overall size. You would not usually tile your whole kitchen wall for example with small format tiles - though we dome sometimes see this!  It needs a lot of these tiles and it could prove costly. 

Previously, metric or subway tiles would only really be seen in kitchens and bathrooms, but we are seeing more customers use small tiles across other rooms in their house, including their living and dining spaces. As many different types of these tiles become available in different finishes, polished and gloss tiles can really add a premium feel to a room, reflecting light beautifully with 3D bevelled edging.

What shapes and sizes do we have?

Our tile range for our smaller options come in more shapes and sizes than you would imagine. The two main types are rectangular (known as metro or subway tiles) and square tiles.  We also offer small border tiles, which are long and thin and perfect for acting as separators within a pattern of wall tiles, to add clear lines and definition to a wall.

Some of our designs are either vertically or horizontally designed, but small tiles can be placed in many different patterns. Some customers like to place them diagonally on walls, or framed around features in a home, such as a sink, bath or shower area.

Our small tile sizings are: 

10cm x 20cm20cm x 20cm
22.3cm x 22.3cm22.5cm x 22.5cm
5cm x 25cm5cm x 30cm
6.5cm x 13.2cm6.5cm x 20cm
6.5cm x 20cm6cm x 24cm
7.5cm x 15cm7.5cm x 20cm
7.5cm x 23cm7.5x30cm

What materials are small tiles made from?

Our small format tiles are made from both porcelain and ceramic materials. Different materials have different use cases. 

Porcelain tiles are a compact and non-porous material. This makes them resistant to harsh weather and they are highly durable. Because of the extra strength that comes with porcelain, there are more options around these designs, they are able to be textured with different types of surfaces, including polished and shiny appearances which can really add the wow factor to any room.  They are usually more expensive than the other most popular material type, ceramic.

Ceramic tiles are the other main tile material choice. They are strong, durable and offer resistance to chemicals, making them perfect for kitchens. They are usually cheaper than porcelain, with a more limited range of colours and finished, but can still look amazing with a wide choice of colours and shades. They are hard wearing and perfect for high traffic and well used areas.

What tile finishes do we stock?

Depending on the room and design style you want, there are a range of tile finishes to choose from for small format tiles. Two of the most popular finishes we offer are matt and gloss tiles.

Matt finish tiles are good for those with families, little ones and animals. They do not have the shiny finish that gloss does but they do have good support and traction. Matt tiles are extremely durable so they work best on floors and outdoor spaces, are simple to clean and won’t show marks easily.

Gloss tiles feature beautiful reflective surfaces and are ideal for smaller spaces, they work very well to make a small room feel larger, bouncing light around the room, and look amazing with natural sunlight. 

They work best in low traffic areas of your home or more as decorative pieces like a feature wall in your bathroom.  They will require more cleaning and polishing to keep them looking beautiful, and will show up marks more easily. Great for feature areas, though we are seeing more customers use gloss tiles across different spaces in their house to really add style and sophistication.

Learn about some of our leading small tile brands

We source tiles from leading suppliers all over the world, having built long lasting relationships with many. We’re able to offer you uniquer and exclusive designs and patterns that can be hard to source in the UK in the quantities and prices that we are able to offer.

Find below a short summary of some of the latest small tile ranges we are sourcing from the world’s leading tile brands.

Babele Small Format Glossy Tiles

Our top pick to start off the list is Babele, this is a range offered by Studio One Ceramiche, a leading Italian tile producer. They have a brand new range of small format tiles for 2023, and are seeing increased demand in this area, hence launching new designs and patterns. 

Their small format tiles are great for any setting and have a whole host of designs. Their tiles fit horizontally with a gloss finish, but can also be placed diagonally or angels and are perfect for a bathroom wall or outside water feature. This Babele Deep Blue Oltramare tile is beautiful on the eye.

New York Broadway Small Natural Brick Tiles by Manifatture Ceramiche

Our next brand really brings the best out of earthier tones. Manifatture Ceramiche have an excellent New York Broadway range which offers a beautiful range of small formatting tiles for those looking for a natural finish. 

The darker tones are the definitive choice for an outdoor porch area used for summertime leisure activities and socialising. Alternatively, if you have wooden effect flooring this is a great option. 

As seen in our featured picture, the New York Broadway Grey/Beige Brick Effect is a great tile option, with a number of different styles and textures links lower down the product page.

Small Patterned Tiles from Equipe

Our third pick from our top small format tile brands is Equipe. They offer both matt and gloss finish tiles that are beautiful and contemporary, fitting in style of home. 

This brand is from Spain, the tile capital of the world. Their metro tiles and rustic patterning are great additions to any kitchen or bathroom space. 

Have you seen our Art Nouveau Padua Black tile option? Made with porcelain, they are  perfect for wet spaces, being strong, durable and able to stand the test of time.

There we have our short introduction to small format tiles. Shop our range today and enjoy 0% interest payment through Klarna for a stress free shopping experience. 

To be 100% sure on your next small format tile purchase, why not try our samples service? We are happy to post out small tile samples, so you can experience the pattern, texture and strength of our tiles before committing. Get in touch with your team today, and we’ll be happy to help.

34 Reviews


4.6 Rating 34 Reviews

Tom Kellaway

Verified Customer

Quick and efficient

4 days ago

peter dolman

Verified Customer

I ordered a tile saMple and was amazed to receive within 2 days. Efficient service thank you.

1 months ago


Verified Customer

Excellent service, customer services were really helpful answering my order queries which culminated in a speedy delivery.

1 months ago


Verified Customer

Received excellent service; they added some additional tiles on for me as I realised I hadn't ordered enough on the day they were due to be despatched. Very helpful staff, smooth delivery and delighted with the tiles. Would def recommend and will use them again. (Amazonia Jade Green 6.5x20cm Rectangular Gloss Ceramic Wall Tile)

1 months ago


Verified Customer

|Excellent Service, tiles arrived very quickly and were well packed. Would highly recomemend this company.

4 months ago

Olena Golovtchouk

Verified Customer

Great tiles, very expensive delivery

4 months ago

Robin Temple

Verified Customer

Excellent service and I am thrilled with the tile you sent. I will be placing an order for more of these tiles to use as a splash back in a small kitchen .

4 months ago

Claire Martin

Verified Customer

Superb service and product

4 months ago


Verified Customer

Very happy with these tiles. Arrived quickly and very well packaged.

5 months ago

Sian Pugh

Verified Customer

Great price and fantastic service

5 months ago