While the rule of thumb for tiles used to be that smaller was better – particularly in small spaces – today’s attitude toward tile is the bigger the better. Large format stone tiles in particular are a great addition to any area of the home.
Contrary to the belief that large tiles can’t be used in small spaces, a large format tile actually makes smaller areas look larger. Large tiles have fewer grout lines, which means that the area looks less busy and isn’t broken up into a grid that displays the size of the room.
For stone tiles, using a large format has an additional benefit of making the stone appear less “busy” in color, pattern, variation, and grain. While some stones have a quiet grain or pattern, others vary tremendously from piece to piece. Using small tiles with such wild stones mean a floor or wall that has a lot of movement – so much so that it may overwhelm some areas.
A larger tile, however, confines the grain and pattern. There is less blending required by the installer in order to create a pleasing layout.
Large format stone tiles do have some considerations to make during installation, however. The floor needs to be perfectly level in order to support the body of the stone without cracking or creating “lippage”, the condition where a corner of a tile sticks up above the rest.
Any stone tile 16-inches or larger in size should be back buttered during installation to help prevent any voids in mortar coverage, and the mortar bed itself should be thicker than average to help support the weight of the stone.
While it may take installers some time to get used to installing larger stone tiles, the effect when they are done is well worth it. Large format stone makes a dramatic statement wherever it’s installed, enhancing any area of a home or office.