Design of Small Bathroom. What Color of Tiles to Choose to Visually Enlarge Space?

If your bathroom is very small, it is impossible to take advantage of planned renovation and make this room at least visually a little more in such way that it will not affect the common functionality of this room. In order to increase the space in it there are many techniques that are associated with the choice of colors, types of materials, arrangement of the interior decoration of premises, etc. These methods can be used completely or separately. Consider one of them, namely: a visual expansion of the area of the bathroom by using colors.

Fortunately, there is a special program of visual simulation to test how you can, using color, visually expand the space in practice. We will issue a few real interiors in the bathrooms of a small size, created by this program with different color tiles in the interior. It remains only to compare the obtained results.

So, the next was taken as a basis: bathroom's common dimensions: a height is about 8.2 ft., a length - about 5.2 ft. and a width - about 5.6 ft., respectively. This is a pretty little bathroom with the total area of 29 sq. ft. As the main coating material in a bath it is used the conventional ceramic tile, but tiles are not randomly was varied. It was applied the tiles for bathroom interior in four dimensions: about 3.9x3.9 ft., 7.9х7.9 ft., 7.9x19.7 ft. and 15.8х33.5 ft. These sizes correspond to the following colors: white, green, brown and black. As you can see, the color palette is selected from the lightest to the darkest shades.

The experiment is to test:

  1. How does the color influence the perception of the size of the tiles? 
  2. How will tile of the appropriate color and the size look like in the small bathroom? 
  3. Will the bathroom whether visually look bigger?

In general, it is time to dispel or confirm the myth that the light color increases, and dark one, on the contrary, − decreases.


1) What Color to Choose for 3.9x3.9 ft. Tiles in Small Bathroom?

A tile size of about 3.9x3.9 ft. is considered the small dimension rather than average one. Suppose, you opted for the light colors, in our case it is white and green tiles. It shows a view of a small bathroom at the entrance (e.g. from the door) in the photos.


It seems visually that there is much difference between the bathroom in white and green color there. This may be seemed the bathroom with white tiles is a little roomier.

So, in order to the comparison was more thorough, look at the bathroom in the white color and the bathroom with tiles of the brown color.


The result is obvious – the first bathroom seems much more spacious, at the same time, note that the ceiling stays white everywhere. Make the color situation deeper and compare the white bathroom with the black one.


Here even doubt is not necessary since the result is obvious. The bathroom with white tiles looks bigger and more spacious, but the bathroom with black ones seems too constricted (despite the fact that the bathroom itself and the bedside table with a sink are made in light colors).

Now consider a situation in which the color of the floor in the bathroom will be different from the color of the walls (a ceiling is white).


Maybe the floor of another color (in this case brown) and makes the interior more interesting, but with the task of expanding space cannot cope. But this variant compared to the totally brown bath wins in the struggle for space.


So, if you think that a dark floor is more suitable for the bathroom, such a compromise is appropriate. If you consider a bath with green tiles and a bathroom with the green tile and the brown floor, in the second embodiment, the room looks narrower.


If you like the total contrast of black and white, then there are the following comparisons for you.


When comparing the bathroom with white tiles with the white floor and bathroom with black floor. The difference is huge. The black color is the most highlighted on a white background, thus sharply delineating the boundaries of the floor, and at the same time the area of the bathroom. So, before you set the tiles of dark shades, weigh the pros and cons.

However, if you still incline to have the dark colors, there is a great reverse effect, when on the background of the bathroom out of the dark (black tiles) the white floor visually enlarges the space.


So, in the previous photos it is rather visible as a white floor in the black bathroom extends the area.

However, a logical question arises, what is more increases the area: the contrast of the white color on the black one or vice versa?


The result is visible to the naked eye. The white walls combined with the black floors give a far greater effect than a white floor in the background of the black walls. Maximum contrast gives the obvious result. And what is if to compare mid-tones, for example, white and brown tiles?


A variant with brown floor and white walls is in the win. But agree that the difference is not as noticeable as in the case of the black color.

Let us summarize some results: in the case of the small dimensions tiles, the light colors expand a space, and the dark ones - constrict it. This rule applies as in the case with monotone bathroom's coloring of all the walls, and with the partial (in a half of the wall). The more light shades are in the room, the more visual it becomes.


2) What Color to Choose for 7.9х7.9 ft. Tiles?

The 7.9х7.9 ft. tile is considered the average in size. It is often spread on walls and floor in the premises.

Let's start a test with the light colors.


A variant of the white and the green is not different according to the results, and for 3.9x3.9 ft. tiles and for 7.9х7.9 ft. tiles – the same, but the bathroom in the green a little less.

Compare the black and white tiles.


The bathroom with white tiles remains larger than before.

Now, let us consider the floor with another color. First, check the rule according to which the light floor expands the space against the background of a dark wall − the combination of white and green confirms this.


The white floor increased space. And now compare the result against the background of the black walls.


The white floor enhances a space in the case of the 7.9х7.9 ft. tiles. One gets the impression that the walls' color is not important, only the floor must be white. Whether so it, let us check this variant based on the green and the brown walls.


The difference in the previous photo barely visible, but we are of the opinion that the green bathroom looks a bit more. As you remember, when we experimented with 3.9x3.9 ft. tiles, the brown bathroom with the white floor was more visually than the full brown bathroom. The fact is that the difference between the shades is not dramatically. So for reasons of the testing integrity, we will replace the brown bathroom with the black one and compare it with the green (with the white floor) bathroom.


Despite the fact that the floor in both cases is white, the bathroom with black tiles looks smaller. So, if when you choose tiles and are in doubt between the two close shades and you do not know which of them will expand the space, choose the one you like more because at the end of the experiment a result will be about the same. If the choice is between the two completely different hues, the preference must be for a lighter variant of increased space.

And the last comparison for 7.9х7.9 ft. tile: a fully green and brown bathroom with the white floor.


Looking at these pictures it is difficult to give an unambiguous answer. One thinks that a green bathroom looks larger since the green color is lighter than brown one. Others prefer a variant with the brown bathroom because the white floor expands the space. But, we recommend proceeding from the fact, which color prevails. The green color lighter the brown one (in the place of the green could be other colors, such as pink or blue). Hence, the green bathroom is larger, and the lighter the shade was, the more obvious is the result.


3) Tile of 7.9x19.7 ft. Size for Small Bathroom. What Color to Choose?

And now let us consider not square, but rectangular tile size of 7.9x19.7 ft. To get started, choose the classic version: the white tiles against the green ones.


As you can see, the white tile is again in the advantageous position. An actual rule, the lighter the color, the more it is concerned all shades of light tones. Consider a situation with the light floor.


As you can see, the bathroom, in which the floor coated with the white tiles, looks a little wider.

Now we will conduct a new experiment. Before it in the photo we changed only the floor color, now let us try different combinations of colors on the wall. As the wall does not necessarily have to be monochromatic so in the most cases we choose tiles of several colors. Thus, on the background of the green walls add a ribbon of tiles of white color.


The bathroom has literally thrown open before us. Now change the floor color to white in all these bathrooms.


The conclusion is next: the more subjects of light color in the bathroom, the larger it seems. So that ribbon of tiles out of the light color not only expands the room itself, but in the conjunction with the white floor visually enlarges the common space.

Change the situation again. Now on the background of the white walls we are making a strip of green tiles. We see the result.


Green color definitely revived the interior by foam white bathroom. But our task is to increase the space, but the green stripe is clearly hindering it. However, the difference is not large. For contrast let us compare the white bathroom with the green stripe and with more dark − brown.


The dark stripe definitely made the bathroom more less. Now let us paint the floor, in one of the variants of our experiment, in the brown color.


The bathroom with a dark stripe and dark flooring looks dramatically small. However, such variant is often found in reality. Dark stripes and dark floors are relevant in the framework of a large bathroom, but for a small one they are hazardous.

To demonstrate another example: a bathroom with the black stripe and the black flooring, and simple the white one.


As you can see, a sharp contrast separates the limited space, so pick the color not so distant in shades. Let us take, for example, brown color and compare with black one.


As you can see, the room with a lighter color seems visually larger.

The lighter the shade, the more is the bathroom.


Pay attention to the size of the strips. The wide ribbon in a small room will not create the effect of visualization.

When choosing the color and the pattern imagine, which shade will be prevail: light or dark. Even a dark stripe on the light background will create an illusion of more space, than the very bright line on the darker background.



4) Tiles of Large Sizes – What Color to Pick.

Tile of size 15.9х31.5 ft. is very big and for some reason many believe that such sizes are not suitable for the small areas, but it is the topic of another article.

Let us start as always with the green-white combination. Whether will the size of tile influence on the eventual result?


Expected outcome – the white bathroom is more. Now we will test the brown tile.


The brown color just absorbed a space. Replace the white tile on the green one.


Again, a preference should be given the lighter shade − green. Now we need to change the color of the floor.


The light floor again enhances the space. For maximum results let us add a light ribbon on the wall to match the tone of the floor.


Now, we increase the ribbon's width. It turns out that in the first picture, the white color becomes the main.


The result is obvious. For greater effect you can use colors with the high contrast. Even if you choose variants with the dominant white color and the other one where the strip remained the standard size, the result is not difficult to guess.


The conclusion is that the more is the white color, the more is the space.


Make the general conclusions.


5) What Tile's Color Is Suitable to Increase Small Bathroom?

If you plan to change the bathroom interior, apply the following rules:

  1. No matter, what size is the tile itself, important is the color. The lighter the tile, the more it increases the bathroom.
  2. Combining different shades try to make light colors to be dominant.
  3. The more the light colors are the better. For example, a bathroom with the white walls and the dark floor visually looks larger than a room with the dark walls, but the light floor.
  4. If you want to divide the wall by a strip, its shade should be lighter than the dominant color.

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