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How to make a small kitchen look bigger using tiles

Small kitchens, while cosy, can pose some real-world challenges in terms of spaciousness and functionality. But alas, there is a way to create the illusion of more space; tiles.

Tiles come in a wide range of colours, shapes, and sizes, and when used correctly, they can transform your kitchen into a bright, open space, worthy of an Oscar. 

How can tiles make a room feel bigger?

It's all to do with tricking your eye by creating more light and fewer seams or boundaries. And there are a few ways kitchen tiles can do this. For example, gloss tiles reflect light and bounce it around (a bit like a mirror), making the room look brighter and larger. Or, use the same colour tiles or patterned tiles to create a cohesive, seamless look; this helps to create a sense of continuity, again making the space appear bigger.

What type of tiles/designs/colours work best?

As we've just learnt, when choosing tiles for your small kitchen, it's essential to consider the size and colour of the tiles. We know a lot will depend on your choice of decor, but here are some tips and tricks for making a small kitchen look bigger using tiles. 

1. Large format tiles

    Using large format tiles on kitchen walls can help to create the illusion of more space. This is because fewer grout lines mean fewer boundaries to section the space. But the grout lines advantage doesn't stop there; large tiles are one of the best kitchen floor tile ideas for this reason too. And Large tiles are easier to clean, again thanks to fewer grout lines. 

    Diurne Oxide Large tiles 60x120cm in a kitchen setting as kitchen wall tiles and kitchen floor tiles. Dark kitchen units with shelving on the walls. Dining room table with brown chairs.

    We love how these large tiles make a style statement with their vintage industrial effect look. Use as kitchen splashback tiles and keep walls clear to further the illusion of space. Pair with Oxide decor tiles, to add hints of detail.

    For more on splashbacks, check out our kitchen splashback ideas blog.

     Baikal Blue Satin Large Tile 90x90cm SKU L047775 as kitchen splashback tiles in a small kitchen setting with light grey cabinets, wood effect flooring

    The delicate blue veins on these marble effect tiles add natural stone beauty to this small kitchen. While the large surface area opens up the space to complement the decor.

    2. Light tiles

    The oldest style trick in the book, light shades are amazing for creating a sense of space. Lighter colours, such as white tiles help to reflect more light and make the kitchen look brighter and more open. 

    Crackle Arrow Head White Decor Ceramic Wall Tiles 6.5x33cm as kitchen splashback tiles in a kitchen setting. Extractor fan above the hob

    These glazed white kitchen tiles have a beautiful crackle texture and come in a quaint double-headed arrow shape. Being ceramic wall tiles, these pastel-toned decor tiles feature a gloss finish, and are easy to wipe clean, heat resistant, and stain resistant.

    Urban white decor tiles 30x90cm in a kitchen setting with wood effect kitchen cabinets, white stone worktops.

    With rectified tiles, grout lines are even smaller, creating a cohesive and seamless look for a more roomy feel. The white colour just adds to the spacious effect. Pair with Urban white decor tiles to add some texture.

    3. Gloss tiles

    This one is similar to the light colours hack. Yes, you guessed it, the shiny surface of gloss tiles also reflects light, creating a sort of mirror effect and thus the illusion of more space. This reflection also makes them a brilliant choice for creating a sense of openness and brightness in a small kitchen.

     Essence Blanco tile 15x30cm white kitchen tiles and gloss tiles in a kitchen setting with light grey kitchen cabinets, dark worktop. Wall units to the top with under cabinet lighting and glasses and wooden cutlery placed on worktop next to the sink.

     The vintage appearance of Essence Blanco off white brick tiles really adds a style statement to this neutral shaker kitchen. We're loving how the under-cabinet lighting bounces off the gloss tiles to improve the spacious ambiance.    

    Delta anthracite 3D decorative tiles 33x33cm as kitchen splashback tiles in a kitchen setting. With white gloss kitchen cabinets, black quartz worktop and sunken sink.
    Embrace darker colours in your small kitchen with gloss tiles. These 3D tiles make a powerful statement while reflecting light at the same time. Style with black worktops and gloss white kitchen cabinets to maximise light reflection and make your spacious kitchen dreams come true.

    4. Parquet flooring tiles

    One of the most popular kitchen floor tile ideas, parquet flooring tiles help elongate kitchen space and create the illusion of more depth. This geometric design of small tiles laid going across the width of a room also makes it feel wider.  

    The golden oak detailing on these Elegant parquet flooring tiles brings the farmhouse style together while the herringbone tile pattern draws the eye to the floor, making the space appear larger.
    If a green kitchen is a bit of you, check out our Kitchen colour trends - green kitchens blog for more inspiration.

     Chatham Natural tiles 9.8x50cm by Ca' Pietra. Parquet flooring tiles and herringbone tiles with a plate and 2 mugs on top

    Why not combine light flooring tiles with herringbone tiles for even more space illusion? Incorporating lighter flooring to complement your furniture can expand the look of your small kitchen and give it an airy feel.

    For more about the parquet flooring tiles, head over to our 5 Style Tips for How to Lay a Herringbone Tile Pattern blog.

    5. Vertical tiles 

    Another amazing trick for making a small kitchen look bigger with tiles is to lay them vertically instead of horizontally. The height of the tiles makes your ceiling appear higher, which can help create the illusion of more space. 

    Nissel White Brick Tiles 7.5x30cm laid vertically in a kitchen setting with dark kitchen cabinets, white worktops and wooden shelving.

    We love how Nissel brick tiles come in a variety of colours and that their narrow rectangular shape makes the ceiling look like it goes on forever.

    Raku Silver wall tile 20x40cm in a dining room setting. Wooden side table against the wall with wooden vase on it.

    Kitchen brick tiles such as Peronda's Raku look gorgeous stacked on top of each other in a vertical pattern. And because they're ceramic wall tiles too, they are easy to clean and heat and stain resistant, meaning great for kitchens.

    If Peronda's collections are right up your style street, take a look at our Peronda tiles blog, showcasing their talent.

    Using tiles in a small kitchen can be an effective way to make the room look larger and more open. So why not give it a try and let us know how you get on? Tag us on Instagram. Or check out our back catalogue of kitchen and tiling trends blogs to get your groove on.

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