When it comes to designing your bathroom, the choice of tiles can make a bigger impact than you might think. Small tiles, in particular, have the power to completely transform the look and feel of your bathroom.

From creating a sense of spaciousness to adding visual interest and texture, small bathroom tiles can elevate even the most basic and compact bathrooms into a stylish, spa-like retreat. In this blog, we'll explore how incorporating small tiles can breathe new life into your bathroom, and hopefully inspire your next bathroom refresh.

The Power of Small Tiles

One of the primary benefits of using small tiles in a small bathroom is their ability to create the illusion of a larger space. Vertically stacked small tiles can draw the eye upward, making the ceiling appear taller, while horizontally laid tiles can visually widen the room. Additionally, the use of lighter-coloured tiles, such as white or pale neutrals, can help to reflect light and make the space feel more open and airy. Small tiles offer a vast array of design possibilities, allowing you to experiment with patterns, textures, and colours. From classic subway tiles to intricate mosaics, the options are endless.

Choosing the Wrong Tile Size

One of the most common mistakes in small bathrooms is selecting tiles that are too large for the space as oversized tiles can make a small bathroom feel cramped and crowded. Instead, opt for smaller tile sizes like 4x4 or 6x6 inches, as these smaller tiles will create a more cohesive and visually appealing look in a compact bathroom.

Poor Tile Layout

Another frequent issue is a poorly planned tile layout. Haphazard or uneven tile patterns can make a small bathroom feel disjointed and disorganised. Make sure to take time when mapping out your tile design. Consider using a staggered or offset pattern, which can help create the illusion of a larger space.

Neglecting Grout Joints

Skimping on grout joints is a common mistake that can negatively impact the final look of your bathroom tiles. Adequate grout spacing, typically between 32cm and 64cm, is essential for allowing the tiles to properly expand and contract. Insufficient grout can lead to cracking, chipping, and an uneven, unprofessional appearance. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper grout joint width.

Improper Tile Preparation

Failing to properly prepare the surface before tiling is a common mistake. Ensuring the subfloor or wall is clean, level, and free of any debris or moisture is crucial for achieving a durable, long-lasting tile installation. Skipping this essential step can result in tiles that crack, loosen, or become uneven over time.

Overlooking Lighting Considerations

Lighting is often an afterthought when making sure a small bathroom looks larger than it is, but it can have a significant impact on aesthetic of your bathroom. Poorly placed  or low quality lighting can make tiles appear dull. Make sure to incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to showcase the tile's colour, texture, and pattern to its full potential.

Our Top Tips To Expand The Space Of Your Bathroom

Tiling Your Bath To Create an Optical Illusion

Tiling the bath is a fantastic way to give the illusion of a larger bathroom. We recommend using a repeating pattern of tiles which if done correctly, tricks the eye into perceiving the space as more expansive than it actually is. This works because the tiles create a sense of visual continuity, making the walls and floor appear to stretch out further than they really do.

The key is to choose a tile pattern that has a clean, minimalist design. Busy, intricate patterns can actually make a small space feel even more cluttered. Instead, opt for a simple, geometric tile with a subtle colour or texture. This creates a calming, cohesive look that draws the eye outward, rather than inward.

Another great benefit of tiling the bathtub is that it can make the room feel brighter and more open. Lighter coloured tiles, like whites, greys, or soft blues, will reflect more light around the space, creating the illusion of a larger, airier bathroom.

Laying your bathroom tiles in a strategic pattern can create an optical illusion that makes the space feel larger and more open. The key is to experiment with different tile orientations to find the one that best suits your bathroom's unique dimensions.

One effective technique is to lay the tiles in a staggered, brick-like pattern. This can make the walls appear taller, giving the illusion of a more spacious room. The staggered layout draws the eye upward, creating a sense of height and depth.

Conversely, a straight, grid-like tile layout can make the space feel wider. This works well in narrow bathrooms, as the horizontal lines visually expand the room. The uniform, linear pattern creates a sense of openness and flow. Ultimately, the best tile orientation will depend on the specific size and shape of your bathroom. Take the time to try out different placements, such as running the tiles parallel or perpendicular to the longest wall.

Use Shiny Tiles To Expand The Room

Another clever way to create the illusion of a larger bathroom is by using reflective tiles. These shiny, mirror-like surfaces have the power to bounce light around the room, making the space feel brighter, more open, and ultimately, more spacious.

The science behind this optical trick is quite simple. Reflective tiles act like tiny mirrors, reflecting the light that hits their surface. This means that instead of the light being absorbed or cast in a single direction, it's scattered throughout the room, creating the perception of a larger, more illuminated space.

The best part is that you don't need to cover every inch of the bathroom in these shiny, mirror-like tiles. Even just using them on the walls or floor can make a significant difference. The key is to strategically place them in areas where the light hits the most, such as near windows or above the sink. The beauty of reflective tiles is that they come in a wide range of styles and colours, so you can find an option that perfectly complements the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.

Make A Statement With A Statement Wall

If you're looking to make your small bathroom feel more spacious and inviting, consider creating a statement wall behind the bathtub. This simple design trick can have a big impact, drawing the eye and creating the illusion of a larger, more open space.

The idea behind a statement wall is to create a focal point that immediately catches the viewer's attention. In a bathroom, the wall behind the bath is the perfect canvas for this kind of visual trick. By covering it with a bold, eye-catching tile pattern, you can draw the eye towards the back of the room, making the space look larger.

The beauty of this approach is that you don't have to cover the entire bathroom in this bold, attention-grabbing design. In fact, it's often better to keep the rest of the space relatively simple and understated, allowing the statement wall to truly shine. This creates a sense of balance and harmony, while still delivering that all-important optical illusion.

How We Can Help

Overall, how you decide to design your bathroom is entirely up to you and what best matches the size, shape and design of your bathroom - it's all about making the space your own and creating a bathroom you'll love. Find out how the Online Tile Shop can help make the most of your bathroom space today!

31 Reviews


4.6 Rating 31 Reviews


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 days ago


Verified Customer

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

2 months ago

Olena Golovtchouk

Verified Customer

Great tiles, very expensive delivery

2 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 .

2 months ago

Claire Martin

Verified Customer

Superb service and product

2 months ago


Verified Customer

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

3 months ago

Sian Pugh

Verified Customer

Great price and fantastic service

3 months ago


Verified Customer

The tiles were a great price compared to other online retailers selling the same tiles. However, £30 for a DHL delivery seemed a bit expensive for a small order (approx 220 15x10cm tiles for a splashback).

3 months ago

Linda O'Keeffe

Verified Customer

Easy to use, fast service recommended

3 months ago

James Hindle

Verified Customer

Fab tiles and great service - we couldn’t be happier with the results !

5 months ago