The Best Tile for a Small NYC Bathroom

Perry Hiiman
June 29, 2022
The Best Tile for a Small NYC Bathroom

The city of New York is the land of dreams, and it is the world’s financial capital. For this reason, this city attracts people from all parts of the world who want to settle here. However, the standards of living in NYC will require you to trade-off space. This is why living in an apartment with a small bathroom is the norm in NYC.
When designing or renovating a bathroom, the right choice of tiles can transform a room into a roomy, most beautiful space in your home. But the selection process can seem endless, with so many variations in the color, pattern, and size of the tiles.
While designing a small bathroom, you need to be purposeful in all the decisions you are going to make. Most importantly, be deliberate on the bathroom tiles you will use because the tiles are the first thing you see when entering the bathroom.
Fortunately, you can break it down by stepping back and taking an objective look at your small space. This article gives you all the design tips you need to transform your small bathroom.

How to Design Your Small Bathroom

Small mosaic bathroom tiles can be effective for small bathrooms, and most people are likely to go for that. But have you ever thought of how large size tiles could turn out? Those tiles can dramatically transform that small bathroom.
Examples of large-size tiles include:

  • Rectangular shaped tiles
  • Square tiles
  • Wood plank tiles

Again, when choosing the colors of the tiles, you might want to stick to light shades only. Do not limit yourself though. Dark colors are also elegant depending on how you have installed them, adding appealing contrast and drama.
Let’s discuss the designs.

Rectangular Tiles in Small Bathrooms

Small condos and apartments are common in NYC and even smaller bathrooms take up the little space. But you can add up an eye-catching touch with rectangular tiles that are fantastic in a small bathroom. You can install the rectangular tiles vertically or horizontally, depending on the look that pleases you. You can also set them at a 25% offset or a straight lay. When you install off-white-colored rectangular tiles vertically at 25% offset, they will look amazing.

Using Square Tiles in a Small Bathroom

While using the square tile in your small bathroom space, you can undoubtedly get design versatility. The small size tile includes 4×4 and 6×6. When planning for the installation opting for a polished and glossy look that can reflect light or a mate effect will be a brilliant idea.

Designing Square Tile Patterns in a Small Bathroom

Some NYC homeowners imagine that strong decorative patterns may give a busy look to a small bathroom, which is not the case. Tile patterns can be so instrumental when you want to add some level of visual interest and also create a sense of space. Typical decorative designs are made by connecting four small tiles with the same pattern.

Designing Square Tiles on the Diagonal

Square tiles can give a dramatic look when installed on a diagonal, and they are very effective as they emphasize spaciousness when installed in small bathrooms. If you have contrasting colors, you can create a checkerboard. Also, for bathrooms with a vibrant wall covering, one can add a muted visual interest to serve as a counterpoint.

Large-format Tiles in a Small Bathroom

Large-format tiles are excellent for smaller bathrooms, which has much to do with the grout joints. When the tiles are large, you will have fewer grout joints, creating a greater sense of the bathroom’s spaciousness. Using the large plain white tiles gives you the impression of a spacious and clean bathroom.
Using large format tiles allows you to have fun with different grout colors. Also, large format tiles are highly polished, and they reflect light, something that a small NYC bathroom could do with, given the squeezed spaces. Large-format tiles also look beautiful when installed on the diagonal. Installing dark-colored matte-finished large format tiles in your small bathroom brings a warm and cozy effect and does not feel small or claustrophobic.

Wood Plank Tiles for Small Bathrooms

How about if you tried the wood plank tiles in your small bathroom? They can be fabulous, and you can install them in an offset or herringbone design. There are different herringbone designs; consider picking one that gives the small rooms the look of a tile rug.

Small/Mosaic Tiles

Having mosaics on the floors of small bathrooms is also a brilliant idea. Some of these designs are ceramic, marble, stone, and decorative tile designs that add color to the tiled shower without overpowering it. For example, in your tiled shower, you can have a black and white basket weave design on the bathroom floor, which can work so well with the darker shower wall mosaic.

What is the Best Tile Color for a Small Bathroom?

Most of the time, white tiles are the go-to color for tiles in a small bathroom. This is because white makes the room appear spacious, and you don’t have to stick to white. Again, bright and dark colors are unique depending on how well they get installed.
Here are some of the fantastic colors that will beautify your small bathroom.

White Tiles

They are the most popular tiles in small bathrooms, which is why the bathroom will look bigger and brighter with white tiles. If white tiles feel a little boring, you can choose to bring nature into them using plants.

Grey Tiles

You can choose to use grey tiles when you want more warmth in your small bathroom, and at the same time, you want to use a neutral color on the tiles. Grey tiles give your bathroom a luxurious and light look.
However, if you feel grey might be dull you can add some interesting design features for your bathroom to look unique. For instance, you can have a ribbed glass wall and a ribbed bathroom sink.
Also, think of installing dark grey tiles. They work well for small bathrooms. With a glossy gray tile, you will achieve a reflection of light. You will get a brighter touch when you have dark grey wall tiles combined with green vanity and toilet and black, white, and yellow floor tiles.

Blue Tiles

Blue tiles on a small bathroom look splendid. Light blue tiles look good, but that doesn’t mean dark blue ones are boring. Dark blue tiles will also give you an excellent look in the bathroom. A small bathroom with a large window in the shower, for instance, will provide a nature vibe when it has light blue tiles.
Note that when you use any dark-colored tiles, including dark blue, you will need to pick glossy tiles. Glossy tiles make the dark tiles feel less dark because the gloss in them reflects light.

Pink Tiles

Ever thought of having pink tiles on the floor of your small bathroom? Pink makes everything look good, and that includes your bathroom. Nowadays, the light pink shade has almost become neutral. You can get a cheerful, soft, colorful bathroom with pink tiles.
Vertical pink tiles are suitable as they make small bathrooms look roomy. You can also mix the pink tiles with blue and get to enjoy the beauty. Adding an excellent geometric design to your bathroom tiles can also achieve a fun look.

Green Tiles

Green tiles are also beautiful, and it is trending currently. If you are one of the people who like your bathroom with a natural look, then go for green tiles. You can go for dark green tiles for a moodier and natural look. Remember to ensure that the dark green tiles you choose are glossy.

Black Tiles

Black tiles give a rich look to small spaces like your bathroom. You can choose to install black tiles, but you must ensure that you have paid good attention to the bathroom’s lighting. These tiles need good lighting, and also with these tiles. Remember to have the glossy, just like all the other dark tiles. Use black tiles but don’t allow them to make your bathroom feel dark.

Colorful Floor Tiles

Colorful wall tiles are great. But if you are not sure about putting colorful tiles in your bathroom, you can always decide to use a color touch on the floor. When you have white wall tiles, your bathroom will have a fresh look; it will have light and will still be colorful.
An example of a color bathroom is a small bathroom with pink-white floor tiles boardroom; this is where you combine white subway tiles with pink and white floor tiles. These tiles add a colorful and lively look. Such is an inspiration for you to choose a color in your small bathroom.
If you are short on space and there is nothing you can do to extend it, do not worry. Creating a highly functional space that looks elegant can be tasking. You can make your small bathroom appear spacious with the following tricks.

  1. Include lots of natural light. It makes the bathroom look brighter as small spaces may seem dark and open up the area to look more prominent.
  2. Paint the ceiling the same color as the walls, which continues the seamless appearance through the entire space so that it appears bigger.
  3. Install tiles to the ceiling. This will ensure no horizontal dividing lines on the walls, which opens up the space and gives the impression that the ceiling is higher.
  4. Use clear glass in the shower. Shower curtains and patterned glass make the bathroom look tiny. Transparent glass shower screens reflect light better and open up the space.
  5. Use more enormous mirrors. Reflecting more light makes the bathroom look more extensive, and do not just hang a small mirror.


The goal of renovation and remodeling is to ensure satisfaction upon completion of your project. Construction can be very frustrating, and without a professional contractor, things can go wrong.

About Author

Perry Hiiman

Perry Hiiman was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. He planted his roots in Manhattan, New York in 1992. A few years later, Perry met his wife and had three lovely daughters. Perry has always been excited about home improvement and design. He has been in the service industry for over 25 years. Perry and his partner founded New York Kitchen and Bath in 2001. They pioneered the One Stop Shop concept of home improvement and design firms. In addition, Perry is a New York State licensed contractor, OSHA certified, and a New York State licensed mold assessor. He specializes in custom design and is genuinely passionate about what he does—bringing people’s dream projects to life.

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