Ceramic Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms

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The time has come to renovate a small bathroom in your home. You finally have both the funds and the will to get this done. What now? In such a small area, every design choice must be carefully thought out.

Here are a few ceramic tile ideas for small bathrooms.

What are Small Bathrooms?

To begin with, let’s understand that in the last sixty years the typical American home has nearly doubled in size. Most credible sources will tell us that the rooms that have increased in size the most over that time period are the bathrooms. There is also a wide range of naming conventions: primary bath, full bath, half bath, powder room, etc. At the end of the day, we see floor plans with square footage totals ranging from 20 SF to 225 SF and beyond. The image below gives us an educated guess of the average American bathroom size. So, let’s use 25 SF to 50 SF as the benchmark for our discussion of ceramic tile ideas for small bathrooms.

Ceramic Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms

Tile Size

The long-time rule of thumb says that in a large bathroom, you are free to use large tiles. On the other hand, a small bathroom suggests the use of smaller materials. This is generally sage advice. However, as we have discussed above, the typical bathroom in the 21st century continues to expand its footprint.

There was a time when a 1” x 1” tile, or perhaps a 2” x 2,” were the go-to facial dimensions in small bathroom spaces. Simply, tiles must be cut to fit the floor, wall, or backsplash space that has to be covered. So, smaller pieces can be installed whole, without cutting. Today, we can use technology to make cleaner, more visually friendly tile cuts. Consequently, the consumer should consider using larger tiles than the previous norm.

Ceramic Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms
Seaside Ceramics – Coral Mist

Colors & Tones

White, beige, and light gray has been the safe color choices in bathrooms, both large and small, for years. Then again, bathroom design “rules” have been all over the proverbial map for decades. Minimalism, Rustic Vogue, CottageCore, Mid-Century Modern, and Deco-inspired themes have all seen their day in the recent design sun. So what are homeowners and professional design teams to do?

Color and Mood Psychology

First, let’s try to understand the use of color. For example, it is easy to see why white is popular. It is hygienic, spreads light around, makes very little design comment, and allows most smaller spaces to appear larger. In a similar vein, beige values and pale gray offer a neutral canvas that a design scheme is planned over.

At a deeper level, in the 1970s, psychologist Angela Wright began to explore how color affects our mood. She found distinct correlations between colors and human behavior that can help us decide what might be the best ceramic tile ideas for small bathrooms. Ms. Wright created her Colour Affects System outlining these main points:

  • Color impacts us all psychologically.
  • Some of this is personal, but there are also cultural, age, gender, and other elements that can be segmented and analyzed.
  • There are four color groupings that impact us differently. Check them out below via wearemarvelous.com.

Ceramic Tile Ideas for Small Bathrooms

To summarize color in a small bathroom, lighter hues are the traditional path, but it is your bathroom. It is your opportunity to select dramatic feature colors based on personal taste and perhaps on some of the information provided above.

Tile Shapes

Glossy ceramic diamond tile
Glossy Diamante Ceramic Tile, Status Ceramic Collection, by Country Floors

The shape of a tile can be neutral, directional, dramatic, or simply interesting. Whether a small bathroom or a larger primary bath, a square is somewhat visually neutral. Unless it is in an aggressive color, you won’t see this shape so prominently. A rectangular tile can expand a space in the direction that it is installed, be that vertically or horizontally. A diamond shape will certainly add some drama, as you see from our Status Ceramic Collection:

Take a look at the hexagons on the wall below, again from our Status Collection, and we hope you see an interesting space.

Status Ceramics – Hexagons


Your bathroom might be small, but your ideas don’t have to be. White is light and bright. Light gray and beiges play well with others. That said, please consider the opportunity you have to personalize your space with dramatic colors and shapes. Thanks for reading.

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