What size ceramic tile to use on a small kitchen floor

Updated February 21, 2017

Ceramic tile is a sensible and attractive choice in kitchen flooring due its durability and elegant appearance. It is also easy to clean and maintain and it is affordable. If you have a small, kitchen, ceramic tile can help the space appear larger or give it a cosy look, depending on how it is used. Size matters, in this case; different-sized tiles will impart different looks.

Available Options

Ceramic tiles are available in a wide array of sizes, starting at 1-inch tiles that are commonly used in mosaic arrangements up to 20-by-20-inch tiles. Tiles are available in many colours, patterns and textures.


Kitchen tiles should adapt to the proportions of other items in the room; 18-inch tiles will overwhelm a small kitchen with a small amount of cabinetry, while 6-inch tiles will be proportionate to the room and give it a cosy appearance. Twelve-inch tiles are slightly larger in proportion to the room, so they will make the room appear larger.


When a person walks into a space, the decor should draw his eye seamlessly from one object to the next. For this reason it's important to use tiles that complement the existing cabinetry in your small kitchen. Grout lines should closely match the colour of the tile to form one continuous line of tiling. Twelve-by-12-inch tiles are larger and will require fewer grout lines than smaller tiles, giving a more uniform look to the flooring. Use solid-coloured tiles to accentuate your uniform look, rather than a busy pattern that causes a break in between each tile and makes the room appear smaller.


While laying tiles down in a specific way won't change the actual dimensions of the kitchen or the tiles, certain methods will give the perception of a larger space. A diagonal pattern makes the kitchen appear wider. Tiles laid in a staggered pattern help elongate the room. Darker-coloured floors have the effect of making a room look smaller, so if you use large tiles in a dark colour, you still may make the room appear smaller. Opt for a lighter colour if you wish to make your kitchen appear larger.

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About the Author

Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.