Over the years, tile sizes have grown dramatically. Twenty years ago, 8×8 floor tiles and 4×4 wall tiles were in fashion and commonly used for floor and wall application. Today’s technology has allowed manufacturers to produce much larger tiles. Tiles are now being produced in formats such a 24×24, 24×48, 48×48, or even larger. Obviously, the options are much more plentiful than they were years ago, which raises the question – what size tile should you use?
When talking to homeowners in the Conestoga Tile showrooms, we often discover that they have been misled to believe that because they have a small room, they should select a small tile. Truth be told, size doesn’t always matter. Color, shape, texture, and at times, size, will all determine if a room feels big or small. Ultimately, when choosing a tile size, it comes down to personal preference.
However, what can (and often does) determine whether a larger tile can be installed is the condition of the floor. A floor that isn’t flat can limit a homeowner’s choices to smaller tile. Larger tiles will lie unevenly on floors that aren’t level and flat, causing lippage. The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) states that “Lippage is a condition where one edge of the tile is higher than the adjacent tile, giving the finished surface an uneven appearance.” If a floor isn’t flat or is uneven, products like Laticrete’s NXT can be applied to remedy the problem.
As previously mentioned, large format wall tiles are becoming increasingly popular. While smaller subway tiles are still a classic choice, we also see formats such as 12×24 and 14×39 being utilized.
Similar to the problem of large tile on the floor, an uneven wall can cause lippage issues when using large format. This problem can be exasperated when the lighting of the room strikes the lippage and distracting shadows are caused. Schluter Systems has a great solution for this problem through the use of their Schluter Kerdi-Board building panels. These panels help contractors create a flat, level substrate that is also waterproofed.
Your options are plentiful when it comes to tile size, but don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Contact Conestoga Tile with any questions you have. We’ll be happy to assist you!