Expansive Efforts: How to Use Large Format Tiles

Large format tiles are extremely on-trend at the moment and, in what is good news for home renovators, have lots of advantages – from ease of installation to cost-effectiveness for bigger rooms. In general, any tile that is bigger than 600mm x 600mm is considered to be large format, meaning that these huge tiles are particularly apt for creating expansive spaces with an unbroken aesthetic due to reduced numbers of grout joints. Here are some of our favourite big tiles in perfect settings…

Big Ideas

In most cases, designers, architects, specifiers and DIY-ers choose large-format tiles as a design statement; very pale colour options are a sure-fire way of making a space look bigger and more streamlined, especially if used for both walls and floors. The popularity of over-sized tiles is set to continue unabated, and of course the joy of choosing either subtle cream, ivory, or white shades is that they are timeless, sophisticated, elegant and will withstand future changes to your colour scheme.

Get the floors and walls right and everything else will fall into place – neutral basics can accommodate purple or navy (or any colour!) cabinetry for the kitchen and bright, bold shades for blinds, accessories and brassware in the bathroom. Darker greys (and black too) can also work well with colourful accessories. Beautiful tiles are an affordable luxury, but it’s worth acknowledging that the larger the tile, the more precise and perfect the installation must be, so try and budget for expert installation – it’s worth the investment!

The tiles pictured above are our Dakota Dark Grey Riven 600mm x 600mm porcelain tiles, with riven finish, spot-on for a busy kitchen, and looking good with dark grey grout lines. For even larger format tiles, take a look at our Helton SilverMontclair, and Arkety Sand, to name but three, all of which come in 1200mm x 1200mm format.

Matt Black Spectacular

These Lounge Matt Black porcelain tiles measure up at 600mm x 600mm and are available in Grey and Ivory variants (they also come in a polished finish version too).  The Mapei Ultracolour Anthracite grout ensures the look is practically seamless, and the stark black/white scheme is softened with the natural tones and textures of the wooden beams and stool legs. A perfect example of ‘less is more’, for a sleek, beautiful look.

Magnificent Marble

Marble-effect tiles are the way to go – less fuss, less expense and no sealing required. These are Cararra Marble White Matt wall and floor tiles; floor tiles are 600mm x 600mm, the wall tiles come in 600mm x 300mm and 150mm x 75mm variants, so the design possibilities are endless. A super way of getting that high-end, boutique-style hotel look at an affordable price.

Living Spaces

We love the way these Florencia Grey porcelain tiles look at home in this living/working space. Tiles may not always be the first option for living and relaxing areas, but teamed with underfloor heating and some modern, angular funky furniture, these tiles pull the whole scheme together. They’re 650mm x 650mm, and have an industrial, brushed concrete appearance.

Barely There

For a subtle, low-key look which takes care of the practicalities and lets the furniture stand out, our Java porcelain floor tiles in Whisper White (and also in Amber Grey and Oyster Grey) are designed to look like natural stone, and if installed with minimal grout lines, create a natural, flowing look throughout the living space.

Get The Gloss

These glossy Muse polished porcelain tiles have an immaculate, semi-polished finish – called Lappato. They also come in a Matt finish, and three shades; Grey, Dark Grey and Beige. Suited to both walls and floors, and we can’t help but think how wonderful they would look in a luxurious en-suite bathroom (do send us your pics if you have installed them in a bathroom or shower room!). The white grout lines here look dramatic, but choosing a grey grout could soften the look further …

Great Grout

The best and most easily achievable look for large formats is to choose coloured grout that’s as similar as possible to the main tile colour. This will emphasise the sleek, spacious look. There are a few honourable exception though; glossy black or white tiles, such as tiles from our Quartz Stone range, can look just as fabulous with contrasting grout, i.e. black, dark grey, white, or Glitter Grout, if the scheme will accommodate such a striking contrast. Mid-grey or beige tiles also look good with a fine, crisp white grout line. Our recommended grout is Mapei Ultracolor available in lots of colours, so there’s something to suit all installations.

Perfect Surfaces

It’s imperative that large-format tiles (some of ours go up to 1200mm x 1200mm) are installed on a properly prepared and perfectly smooth surface. This is where it’s probably worth using a professional installer if you haven’t worked with massive tiles before. Standard plastered walls (such as newly plastered walls in a newly refurbished home) can bear tiles weighing up to 20kg per sqm. Bare, new plasterboard walls can generally bear up to 32kg per sqm. For bathrooms or shower rooms, waterproof backer board, such as our selection of Hardie Backerboard will make sure the room is protected and secure against moisture ingress and potential damage. If you have any questions, you can visit our Help Centre section or call our customer services team on 01782 223822 and we’ll do our best to provide the advice you’re looking for.

You might also like these posts on the Tile Mountain blog…

Trend Watch: Large Format Tiles

Customer Tile Style Profile: Mike & Julia’s Open-Plan Overhaul

Dark Focus For Floors

Linda has worked as a freelance interiors writer and blogger for many years; she has written for most of the major home and design magazines, including KBB Magazine, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Period Homes and Good Homes. She made the break and moved from London back to her home town of Shrewsbury three years ago and has just finished renovating her house. She also works in an interior design studio, produces copy for brochures and website, tries to tame her garden, aims to finish all the home furnishing projects she has on the go … and loves walking.