Using small format tiles in a bathroom

Sometimes using large format in a smaller space, like a bathroom, can be a bit daunting and ultimately, it’s your home so you have to live with what you choose. A trend that seems to never get old is using small tiles in areas such as en-suites, a WC or a bathroom. There are options as to how you install small tiles and this will all depend on the style of your home and the look you are wishing to create. Obviously, if you have a smaller space, we would always recommend using bigger tiles to make the space look more open, but if you’ve got your heart set on small format there’s ways to make this work. 

Using small format tiles in a bathroom

When we say small format, the mind initially thinks of a traditional metro tile, 10x20cm, bevelled edge and glossy, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are so many colourful and amazing small format tiles out there, with different finishes, textures and styles. More popular nowadays is an elongated, rectangular small format tile, usually with a 7.5x30cm dimension or similar. This size is great for installation in a variety of ways; brick, stacked or herringbone. We’ve covered herringbone format in a previous post and we are still finding this is a very popular choice for small format tiles, quite possibly as it adds character and a focal point to a room.

So, lets think about bathrooms and how you can use small format there. Small format can work really effectively, half tiled in a bathroom accompanied by traditional features and furniture. You could create a country cottage feel quite easily by using small format tiles in brick formation and compliment it with a traditional looking basin or roll top bath. We see this done quite often in Victorian terraces or in rustic cottages to remain in keeping with the existing features of the home.

Using small format tiles in a bathroom

Another way to use small format well is by creating a feature of the wet areas - for example tiling the shower enclosure or bath area with small format so it contrasts against another tile being used in the room. This simple, yet effective technique makes a feature wall out of an area without having to create too much of a contrast. Some tile collections even come with smaller format versions of a bigger tile so you can keep the continuity in the space.

Using small format tiles in a bathroom Using small format tiles in a bathroom Using small format tiles in a bathroom

You can always use small format to make a statement with layout or colour. Installing small format tiles at angle creates an exciting focal point in a bathroom and you can really draw the eye towards certain areas. As we mentioned earlier, one way to do this is by using herringbone format as the jagged zig-zag looks so great, especially when the edges are left exposed. Using colourful, small format tiles looks great too, creating a contrast and pop of colour in a room that might be fairly neutral or have a plain colour palette. 

Using small format tiles in a bathroom Using small format tiles in a bathroom Using small format tiles in a bathroom

Sometimes it is a customer’s preference to have limited tiling on the walls and only areas that will be exposed to water are tiled. In situations such as this, being bold with colours and creative with layout really comes into play and choosing a contrasting grout colour is another great idea. Consider installing vertically rather than horizontally to make a room feel taller, stack the layout rather than brick set it for a more unique look and pick a grout that might stand out rather than blend in. And remember, vertical columns of tiles are a great solution if you feel that your ceiling is lower than normal, horizontal lines make your bathroom feel wider, so play with the shape of your room and choose a layout that best suits you.

Using small format tiles in a bathroom

And finally, we couldn’t talk about small format tiles without mentioning the trusty metro tile. Metro tiles never really go out of fashion, they sit there, in the side lines beside all these fancy alternatives, remaining reliably classic. They continue to be a popular choice when considering small format and work in a variety of bathrooms. Using a glossy metro tile allows the light to bounce round the room, keeping the space bright, fresh and illuminated. A more contemporary take on metro tiles is a light grey colour scheme which works perfectly against white painted walls and a patterned or wood effect floor tile. We really love this look!

Using small format tiles in a bathroom Using small format tiles in a bathroom Using small format tiles in a bathroom


I cannot speak highly enough of Rees Tiles. True professionals with an eye for detail. From initial consultation along with help with choices and designs which fitted perfectly with our vision. This professionalism continued throughout or project, they really did go above and beyond and were available for advice no matter how small at all times! If you are looking for quality both in product and service, then look no further. Honestly, we love them!

Robert Mason, Quite Simply French

The team at Rees Tiles were super. They were really helpful when choosing our tiles for 3 rooms in our refurb.

We felt very confident when chatting to Holly and Steve about our ideas. They provided invaluable advice about all of the types of tiles we wanted. They were very friendly and gave us time to think about our ideas, even allowing us to bring in our kitchen cupboards to match the colours perfectly. Thank you!

Mrs Tillotson, Client

We recently undertook a self-build project and had both the bottom floor and all the bathrooms to tile. Steve was really helpful from the outset and just "got" what I was after straight away, picking out a selection of tiles that were all suitable. It meant that rather than taking ages to choose, I'd actually picked most of the options in my first visit - which is great when you have so many other decisions to make! Steve and the rest of the team were great throughout the whole process and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to others.

Melissa Woods, Self Build Customer

We are really happy with the service we get from Rees Tiles. Steve always responds to emails quickly, with a quick turnaround on quotes and great products supplied.

Sohailia Amini, Wrenman Homes

I have had the pleasure of dealing with the team at Rees Tiles over a number of years and have always found them to be knowledgeable and helpful, an all round first class service.

Harvey Bainbridge, Client

We find our relationship with Rees Tiles very professional and reliable. The fact that we can call to order stocked tiles and receive them to site the following morning is fantastic. It means that no job is held up and the turnaround for the end purchaser is smooth and quick.

Jonathan Willan, Site Manager at Halton Mills Ltd.

Looking for tiles for our bathroom, kitchen and extension floor was made easy by the fantastic displays and huge choice of tiles available at the Rees Tiles and Flooring showroom in Lancaster. Steven and Holly were very obliging, offering us their knowledgeable advice on finishes and grout colours, and also allowed us to take various samples home to try. Rees Tiles is the place to go for a wonderful selection of quality tiles with a helpful, friendly service.

Mrs Richardson-Hogg, Client

When we decided we wanted to update all the en-suites at The Sun Hotel we called into Rees Tiles and Flooring by chance and I am so thrilled we did. From start to finish the service was fantastic and we couldn’t have asked for more. Using Rees Tiles and Flooring made what could have been a stressful time so much easier. I’d be happy to recommend them to anybody who requires tiles.

Helen Henderson, The Sun at Troutbeck Bridge

Patient and Helpful with a Beautiful outcome! We were searching for the perfect shades and textures for the floor and bathrooms in our new home, which we finally found thanks to the expert and friendly team at Rees Tiles and Flooring. From start to finish they were wonderful, delivering tiles and underfloor heating when we needed it so the fixer could keep to the planned timescales. Great service and amazing products.

Mrs Wanless, Client

Steve and the team at Rees Tiles have been great in helping us choose what would work with the kitchen. They were really excited when we said we wanted to use large tiles in the kitchen, and this made us feel even more certain we’d made the right decision.

Mr Bower, Client

The team at Rees Tiles assisted me in matching up colours and explaining which would work best in my home. They worked alongside the people working on my house really well and I didn’t have to be involved which made it really stress-free for me – something which is appreciated when moving to a new house! I’m so pleased with my bathroom and kitchen and am planning on getting some tiles for my hallway soon!

Mrs Carney, Client

We have over the last 3 years totally refurbished our 5-star Silver award B&B. Rees Tiles and Flooring have supplied all the tiles for our bathrooms and kitchen and we cannot praise them highly enough. The tiles are top class quality as is the service received from Steve and his staff. We would not buy tiles in the future from anywhere else and would recommend them to anyone.

Mel Smith, Capernwray House B&B

Everyday durability and long-term maintenance are important factors when choosing any product, especially for use in a commercial environment. We’ve used many grouts and sealants over the years but found nothing that goes the distance when it comes to deterioration or discolouration.

Carl Johannessen, Jigsaw PFM

I would certainly recommend Rees Tiles and Flooring Ltd to anyone. From the minute I walked in I was greeted with a smile and received fantastic service. The team helped me in selecting the tiles for my main bathroom, en-suite and kitchen. Rees Tiles are willing to go that extra step further to make sure the customer is completely satisfied – it’s just a shame I have nothing else I need to tile now!

Mr Keit, Client

My mum has used Rees Tiles for years and it was off her recommendation that we got in touch with Steve and Holly. They listened to what we wanted and understood the look we were trying to achieve. We borrowed samples and by having the tiles at the house we were able to decide what worked best in the space and lighting. I especially like the colours in the mosaic, and everyone always compliments on how eye-catching and effective they look. Thanks for all your help Rees Tiles!

Mrs Shires, Client

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