Wall tiles come in a huge variety of styles and sizes to suit any taste and any kitchen or bathroom. Choosing a wall tile size can be a tricky decision, so it can be useful to understand the pros and cons of different wall tile sizes before you embark on your renovation project.
Here we look at standard and non-standard wall tile sizes and how wall tile size can impact the finished results.
Wall Tile Sizes
Small tiles are considered to be any tiles that are smaller than 12 by 12 inches. One of the most popular types of small wall tiles is the subway tile, whose size is a standard measurement of 3 by 6 inches, though any tile which is rectangular shaped with a 1:2 proportion will work as a subway tile.
This includes tiles that are 2 by 4 inches, 4 by 8 inches, or 1 by 2 inches for a miniature subway style. Other small tiles include mosaic tiles which can be as small as 0.5 by 0.5 inches, though more typically, they will be 1 by 1 inch. Small square tiles which work well on bathroom walls or as a kitchen wall splashback can be 3 by 3 inches, 6 by 6 inches, 8 by 8 inches, 9 by 9 inches, and 10 by 10 inches.
Small wall tiles can create a really intricate look in a bathroom, which works well for classic or traditional styles. They can also work well if you want the wall tiles to be the main feature in a space, creating a detailed area that really draws attention. The main drawback of small wall tiles is the fact that they can take a long time to install.
It can be more difficult to line them up correctly for a straight design, and the fact that so many more tiles are required to cover a wall means that attention to detail is essential, and more time will be needed.
More tile cutting will also usually be necessary when you get to the edges of the wall, rather than making cuts on one large tile, which will take less time. The nature of smaller tiles means they aren’t great for DIYers since they are more complicated to install, and the project can more easily go wrong.
The standard square medium wall tile measures 12 inches by 12 inches, and the rectangular equivalent is 12 inches by 24 inches. Medium wall tiles are a great compromise if you don’t like the look of large wall tiles but you don’t want the inconvenience of installing small wall tiles.
This is because they will require less cutting and be quicker to install. Medium square wall tiles can also come in sizes of 16 by 16 inches, 18 by 18 inches, and, less commonly, 20 by 20 inches and 22 by 22 inches. Rectangular medium wall tiles are also popular, with the most common measurement being 12 by 24 inches.
Other rectangular medium tiles can measure 12 by 18 inches, 16 by 24 inches, and 18 by 24 inches. Medium wall tiles work best on bathroom walls, for inside a shower area or wet room, or as the splashback around a bath.
Large wall tiles are the least common types of wall tiles, which are more often seen in commercial spaces rather than residential homes. Large wall tiles look sleek and expensive, and they create a sophisticated elegance in a space. Though large wall tiles are typically among the more costly types of tiles, the cost is balanced out by the fact that fewer tiles are needed to cover the same amount of space. Large square tiles come in sizes of 24 by 24 inches, 36 by 36 inches, and 48 by 48 inches.
Common large rectangular wall tiles can come in sizes of 24 by 36 inches, 24 by 48 inches, and 36 by 48 inches. Other large wall tile sizes are also available, as well as custom-size tiles for big projects. One of the misconceptions about large tiles is that they will be easier and quicker to install compared with small and medium tiles, but this will depend on the type of space you are working with. In a large bathroom, for example, installing large wall tiles can be time-saving.
However, in a small bathroom, you are going to have to make a lot of cuts in the tiles to get them to fit in the space, and it’s likely that you’ll end up with very few full tiles intact. For covering smaller areas, medium tiles will usually be the most efficient type of tiles to install.
Most Common Wall Tile Sizes
There is no single standard size for wall tiles, as they come in a wide range of sizes to suit various tastes and requirements. However, there are some wall tiles that come in sizes that are more common than others.
One of the most common wall tile sizes is 3 by 6 inches, which is widely used for creating a subway pattern. This is a size of wall tile that looks great and is not too difficult to install, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular for DIY tiling projects.
Other wall tile sizes which are common are 12 by 12 inches and 12 by 24 inches. Tiles that are any bigger than this are usually reserved for use on floors, where larger tiles are more common.
Larger wall tiles are also more popular in expansive bathrooms, which are considerably rarer than in smaller bathrooms. In an average-sized bathroom, wall tiles that are small to medium in size tend to be easier to install, and they also look better with the proportion of the space for a more balanced look.
Wall tiles in the most common sizes will be widely available at hardware stores and online, while for more uncommon sizes you may need to seek out specialist tile retailers.