Tile sizes are getting bigger and bigger. Large format tiles are no longer for commercial use only. They are becoming extremely popular in residential applications as well! The bigger the tile size, the more dramatic statement the you can make in your home. From minimal grout lines to less maintenance and a spacious feeling, there are many reasons why these tiles are in such high demand. But if you still hesitate to use large format tiles, we’ll be digging into more details and go over a few advantages that might convince you to try them out.
What is a Large Format Tile?
Before we talk about the style and function benefits, you might ask how we actually define a large format tile. Maybe ten years ago, a 12” tile would be considered large format. But as the tile industry grew through new technologies, the definition of a large format tile has changed to “any tile that has at least one edge greater than 15 inches.” Large format tiles can be found in square or rectangular shapes, made of ceramic, porcelain, or stone options. No matter what type of renovation you’re planning, you’ll see that these tiles can change the look of your home in a large way (pun intended).
Minimal Grout Lines
Probably the most important design element in large format tiles is that there is less grout area. Since the tile itself provides more coverage, it requires less grout area between the tiles so it’s much easier to achieve a crisp, unified look in the design. Grout joints almost disappear in the design and create a wallpaper effect. For walls, large format tiles can be a durable alternative to paint or wallpaper, and guess what? There’s no repainting or worrying about staining your wallpaper in the future.
But one thing to keep in mind during installation is the grout joint width between your tiles. According to TCNA (The Tile Council of North America), narrow grout joints between your tiles allow less variation in the layout. For example, if you desire to create a pattern with your tiles - such as a brick or pin wheel pattern- it’s important to consider a wider grout joint to reduce possible slippage.
Easy Maintenance: Less Cleaning
We’ve mentioned that large format tiles result in fewer grout lines. This also means that there will be less maintenance required to keep your tiles clean and more time spent on things you love to do. (Like stare at your new tile floor or wall in awe.) We all know that whether it’s wall or floor tile, grout cleaning is always a challenge. Every time you take shower or cook a heavy meal, your bathroom or kitchen tiles are more likely to become stained or mildewed if not kept clean. Or, think about when dirt is tracked between tiles when dirty paws trot across your floors. Deep cleaning of grout lines has always been a time-consuming chore, but not anymore with large format tiles. No matter where you install, large format porcelain tile provides the easiest cleaning routine to keep your tiles clean and prevent future damage. So if you want to say goodbye this time-consuming activity, we advise you to consider large format tiles in your home so that you spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your home.
Aesthetic Advantages: Modern and Bigger
Aside from the practicality, large format tiles also come with several aesthetic advantages for homeowners.
First, the large and sleek design of these tiles result in a more modern look in the space. Large format tiles create a large surface and give your space a more contemporary edge. Plus, thanks to the advances in digital printing, large format porcelain tiles can bring the look of almost any material, including natural stone, concrete, metal, wood or even fabrics. It’s now easier to create clean, sleek and modern aesthetics in a space with a variety of large format tiles. For an extra modern effect, you can get the same tiles used for the floor and extend them up the wall. Ooh la la!
In open spaces, large format tiles give the eyes relief from distracting grout lines, making the room look bigger. The visual interruption is reduced with fewer grout joints and creates a more cohesive look. Keep in mind that when large format tiles are used horizontally, they create the illusion of wider space. But if you want to make your walls look taller, you can install large tiles in a vertical way for a more exaggerated look.
You may have heard about the myth that using large format tile in a small space will make your room seem small. Well, no matter what size room you have, using large format tiles will always give the illusion of extra space. So don’t be afraid to use them in small spaces! Plus, using the same tile both on the floor and wall can be a good idea for a more unified look in your small space. Another tip that will help make your space look even bigger is using a grout color that matches with your large format tiles, as this will allow the grout lines to blend in with the décor and not distract the eyes.
Final Tips to Consider
Large format tiles have grown from the old 12”x12” to many different size options. From wood planks in sizes such as 6”x24” or 6”x36” to large squares and rectangles, there are many sizes to choose from. Determine the right size based on the desired feel in your room. For example, if you are looking for a large format tile that is large enough to make your room appear spacious but won’t overwhelm the space, you can opt for the most popular size of 12”x24”, which is a gratifying choice for most spaces. In a large entryway or living room, you can go with larger floor tiles for a more modern and unified look.
As a final tip, be sure to choose the proper mortar to ensure the safety of your surfaces. Due to the weight of the large format tiles, using mortars that are specially formulated for these tiles is very crucial. Unlike small size porcelain tiles that are installed by using thin set, large format tiles need a medium-bed mortar, since thin set has the tendency to shrink as it dries. Medium-bed mortars will resist shrinkage, ensure a secure bond, and compensate irregularities in tile and substrate.
(Read the blog: Tile Install DIY Wisdom and How to Avoid Most Common Tile Mistakes)
On the wall: Tex Ivory Atomic
Are you convinced by the impact of large format tiles? If yes, browse through our porcelain collection for even more inspiration on how you can use them to transform your home. Think bigger and create your dream space with the advantages that come with large format tiles!