Are you feeling a bit cramped in your small kitchen? Don't stress!

With the right tiling tricks, you can create the illusion of a more spacious area. Here's how you can use tiles to make your kitchen in Australia look bigger, brighter, and more open.

1. Go Light with Your Tile Colour

Light colours naturally make spaces feel larger. Opt for light-coloured tiles like off-whites, light greys, or soft beiges. These shades reflect more light, giving your kitchen a more airy and open feel.

2. Choose Larger Tiles

Using larger tiles means fewer grout lines, which creates a seamless, more expansive look. Consider tiles that are at least 300x600 mm in size. This trick is particularly effective on the floor, creating a sense of continuity.

3. Extend Tiles to the Ceiling

Don’t just stop at the splashback; extend your wall tiles all the way to the ceiling. This draws the eye upwards, giving the impression of a taller kitchen. This is especially effective above the sink or cooktop.

4. Reflective or Glossy Tiles

Tiles with a gloss finish or that have a reflective surface can bounce light around the room, making it appear more spacious. Consider high-gloss ceramic or glass tiles for splashbacks.

5. Consistent Colour Palette

Stick to a consistent colour palette for both your wall and floor tiles. This uniformity reduces visual fragmentation, making the room appear larger. If you want to add colour, do so with kitchen accessories or plants.

6. Diagonal Tile Layout

Laying your tiles diagonally can trick the eye into seeing a wider space. This works because the longest lines in the tile layout (the diagonals) are made more prominent, which visually enlarges the room.

7. Use the Same Tiles on Floors and Walls

Continuity is key. Using the same tiles on the floor and the walls creates a seamless look that opens up the space. This works particularly well with neutral, light-coloured tiles.

8. Slim Grout Lines

Choose thin grout lines in a colour that closely matches your tiles. Thick, contrasting grout lines can make the space feel busier and smaller. Slim grout lines create a more unified tile surface, enhancing the feeling of spaciousness.

9. Vertical Tile Patterns

Just like with vertical stripes on clothing, vertical tile patterns can make your kitchen walls appear taller. This is a great trick for low-ceiling kitchens, making the room feel less squashed.

10. Mirrored or Metallic Tile Accents

Consider incorporating mirrored or metallic tiles as accent pieces. These can be used as part of the splashback or in specific areas to reflect light and add depth to the space. However, use them sparingly to avoid overwhelming the room.

Bonus Tip: Keep it Clutter-Free

No matter how well you design with tiles, a cluttered kitchen will always feel smaller. Ensure you have sufficient storage to keep benchtops clear and maintain a sense of order and spaciousness.

Expanding Your Kitchen Space: Types of Tiles and Their Pros & Cons

When choosing tiles to make your small kitchen appear bigger, it's essential to understand the different types available and their unique characteristics.

Here’s a deeper dive into some popular types of tiles and their advantages and disadvantages.

Porcelain Tiles


  • Durability: Porcelain tiles are incredibly durable and resistant to scratches and stains, making them ideal for a high-traffic area like the kitchen.
  • Low Maintenance: They are easy to clean, requiring just a simple wipe to keep them looking fresh.
  • Water Resistance: Porcelain is less porous than other tile materials, making it more resistant to moisture – a big plus in a kitchen environment.


  • Cost: Porcelain tiles are generally more expensive, both in terms of material and installation costs.
  • Installation Challenges: They require a professional to lay them correctly, especially on uneven surfaces. Porcelain is less forgiving, and improper installation can lead to tile lipping, where edges protrude above the grout line, creating an uneven surface.
  • Hardness: While this makes them durable, it also means they're hard underfoot, which can be uncomfortable if you spend long periods cooking or baking.

Ceramic Tiles


  • Versatility: Available in a vast range of colours and styles, ceramic tiles are perfect for customising your kitchen’s look.
  • Cost-Effective: They are generally less expensive than porcelain tiles.
  • Ease of Cutting: Easier to cut than porcelain, making them more suitable for DIY projects.


  • Less Durable: Ceramic tiles are more prone to chips and cracks than porcelain.
  • More Porous: They can absorb more water, which might be a concern in very humid environments or in cases of spills.

Glass Tiles


  • Reflective Quality: Excellent for splashback, as they reflect light and can make a space feel more open and bright.
  • Colour Variety: They come in a wide array of colours and can add a modern touch to your kitchen.


  • Cost: Glass tiles can be on the pricier side.
  • Installation: it can be costly to cut glass mosaic tiles when the surface measurements dont work full sheet widths. Specialist cutting may be required by glass gutters using machinery rather than tiles using had tools or wet cutters.
  • Fragility: They are more fragile during installation and can chip easily. Expect higher brakage costs and allow for more wastage when you estimate your quantities.
  • Maintenance: Fingerprints and smudges are more visible on glass, requiring frequent cleaning.

Natural Stone Tiles


  • Unique Look: Each tile is distinct, offering an elegant and high-end feel.
  • Durability: Certain types like granite are very durable.


  • Porousness: Some stone tiles are porous and require sealing to prevent stains.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is needed to keep them looking their best.
  • Cost: Natural stone can be one of the more expensive options.

Vinyl Tiles


  • Affordability: One of the most cost-effective options.
  • Comfort: Softer underfoot, which is a plus for those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
  • Easy Installation: Suitable for DIY enthusiasts.


  • Durability: Less durable than other types and can be prone to scratches and dents.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Might not offer the same upscale look as other materials.


Choosing the right tile for your small kitchen is a balance between aesthetics, budget, and practicality. Whether you go for the durability and elegance of porcelain or the affordability and comfort of vinyl, each type of tile has unique characteristics to consider. The key is to select a tile that not only makes your kitchen look bigger but also suits your lifestyle and kitchen usage.

Incorporating these tiling tricks can dramatically change the perception of space in your small kitchen. Remember, the goal is to create a visually cohesive and light-enhanced environment. With thoughtful tiling choices, your kitchen can become a place where you love to spend time, no matter its actual size.

Would you like more details or additional tips on any of these points? Let me know, and we can delve deeper into making your small kitchen a spacious haven!