Are large or small tiles better for a shower?

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The choice of tile size is a pivotal decision when designing a shower, influencing not only the aesthetic appeal but also the overall feel of the space. Large and small tiles each come with their own set of advantages and considerations, making the decision a subjective one that depends on various factors such as personal preference, the size of the shower, and the desired style. Let’s delve into the intricacies of both options to help you make an informed decision for your shower.

Large Tiles:

1. A Sense of Spaciousness:

Large tiles can create an illusion of a larger space. The fewer grout lines contribute to a more expansive and open feel, especially in smaller showers. This effect is particularly beneficial for those looking to maximize the perceived size of their bathroom.

2. Contemporary and Sleek Design:

Large tiles often evoke a modern and streamlined aesthetic. Their expansive surface area can showcase the beauty of the tile pattern or material, providing a sleek and contemporary look. This design choice is popular for minimalist and modern bathroom styles.

3. Ease of Cleaning:

Fewer grout lines mean less grout to clean. Large tiles can simplify the cleaning process, as there are fewer spaces for soap scum, mold, or mildew to accumulate. This can be advantageous for those who prefer a low-maintenance shower design.

4. Visual Consistency:

Large tiles can offer a more uniform and consistent appearance. This is particularly true for monochromatic tiles or those with subtle patterns. The visual continuity can contribute to a cohesive and harmonious design.

Small Tiles:

1. Enhanced Traction and Safety:

Smaller tiles often mean more grout lines, which can provide additional traction underfoot. This increased grip can enhance safety, especially in wet environments like a shower. Smaller tiles are a popular choice for those prioritizing safety, especially for children or elderly individuals.

2. Design Versatility:

Small tiles offer greater design versatility. They can be arranged in intricate patterns, mosaics, or designs, allowing for more creativity and personalization. This flexibility is particularly appealing for those seeking a unique and customized look for their shower.

3. Curved Surfaces and Slopes:

Small tiles can conform to curved surfaces or slopes more easily than large tiles. This adaptability makes them a practical choice for showers with unconventional shapes or those incorporating built-in benches and niches.

4. Concealing Imperfections:

Grout lines in small tiles can help conceal imperfections in the substrate or walls. This can be advantageous in older homes or bathrooms with less-than-perfect construction, providing a visually forgiving surface.

Considerations for Decision-Making:

1. Size of the Shower:

Consider the size of the shower when choosing between large and small tiles. In smaller showers, large tiles can create a more open feel, while small tiles may enhance the coziness of the space.

2. Style Preferences:

Assess your personal style preferences. If you lean towards a sleek and contemporary design, large tiles may be more appealing. For those who enjoy intricate patterns or a more eclectic look, small tiles offer greater design flexibility.

3. Maintenance Preferences:

Consider your willingness to commit to maintenance. Large tiles generally require less frequent grout cleaning, making them suitable for those who prefer low-maintenance solutions. However, the traction and safety benefits of smaller tiles may outweigh the additional cleaning effort for some.

4. Safety Concerns:

Prioritize safety, especially if the shower will be used by individuals with mobility concerns or children. The additional grout lines in smaller tiles can offer better traction and reduce the risk of slips.

5. Design Cohesion:

Think about the overall design cohesion you want to achieve. Large tiles can provide a more uniform and consistent appearance, while small tiles allow for more creative expression and intricate detailing.


In the grand scheme of bathroom design, the choice between large and small tiles for your shower is a personal one. While large tiles may offer a modern and spacious aesthetic with reduced maintenance, small tiles provide design versatility, enhanced safety, and adaptability to unique shower shapes. Ultimately, the decision should align with your preferences, the size and layout of your bathroom, and the style you wish to achieve. Whichever you choose, the tile selection is a pivotal step in creating a shower space that combines functionality and aesthetic appeal seamlessly.

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