Over the years, tile sizes have grown dramatically. 20 years ago, 8×8 floor tiles and 4×4 wall tiles were in fashion and the more common sizes, but now, the more common and fashionable sizes include 12×12, 18×18, 12×24, and even larger for floor tiles, and 8×10 and larger for wall tiles. Some manufacturers have begun producing even larger floor tiles in sizes of 24×48, 36×36, and 48×48. Also, we’re seeing an increase in the popularity of porcelain tile planks in common sizes of 4×24, 6×36, and 6×48. Obviously, the options are much more plentiful than they were years ago.
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 84 Latilevel and Laticrete 86 Latilevel can be applied to remedy the problem.
As previously mentioned, large format wall tiles are becoming increasingly popular. 6×8 and 8×10 wall tile sizes are typical in bathroom installations these days, but we are also seeing more homeowners use 12×12 and 12×24 floor tiles on walls, too. Porcelain planks are also a popular choice for bathroom walls.
Similar to the problem of large tile on the floor, an uneven wall can cause lippage issues when using large format tile. This problem can be exasperated when the lighting of the lighting of the room strikes the lippage in such a way that distracting shadows are caused. Schluter Systems has a great solution for this problem through the use of their Schluter Kerdi-Board building panels, which help the tile contractor create a flat, level surface that is also waterproofed in which tiles are installed on.
Below is a drawing we came across that depicts the effects of differently sized floor tiles in a bathroom, as well as a few examples of differently sized tile products and a few installations by our customers.
Your options are plentiful when it comes to which size of tile you can use, but don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Contact Conestoga Tile at 888-415-5689 with any questions you have. We’ll be happy to assist you!