Porcelain Surfaces: Is Bigger Better?

Posted on May 22, 2019
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Featured Image: Monolith Glazed Porcelain Tile From Arizona Tile

Extra-large tile sizes are growing in popularity recently, and we can’t get enough of the sleek, contemporary, expansive look that big tiles can give to a room. If you know you love porcelain tile but you aren’t sure what size to use for your floors or walls, we can help. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of large format tile (tiles that measure at least 15 inches on one side) compared to standard sizes.

Image: Fusion Piombo Large Format Porcelain Tile From Arizona Tile

What to Consider

If your wall or floor is sufficiently flat and level, it is probably a good candidate for large format tiles such as Piombo. “Sufficiently flat” means as level as possible—a maximum discrepancy of 1/8 inch over 10 feet. Big tiles are generally not a great choice for surfaces that are not this flat. There are a few reasons why:

  • When tiles are not level with each other, it causes excess lippage at the edge (meaning a tile is too high or too low compared to the tile beside it). This can be unattractive as well as a tripping hazard on floors.
  • When installing the tile on a not-so-flat surface, the installer may need to repeatedly lift and reset tiles to ensure they’re smooth and level. This can lead to tile waste and make the installation process take a lot longer.

So before you set your heart on huge, dramatic porcelain tiles for your space, ask your contractor to assess whether the surface is adequately level. If there’s just a handful of low or high spots, your contractor may be able to level the surface with patches or a self-leveling underlayment. However, some floors are just too irregular or rough to support big tiles.

Image: Eramosa Glazed Porcelain Clay Tile From Arizona Tile

When Bigger is Better

If your installation surface is nice and flat, congratulations! You can probably choose large format tile for this space. Here are a few reasons why bigger might in fact be better:

  • Larger tiles require fewer grout lines, which can be visually appealing (giving your room an open, expansive look) as well as easier to clean.
  • Large tiles complement a particularly large or open room, where smaller tiles with lots of grout lines might make the space look busy.
  • On that note, big tiles are also a good choice for small rooms! The extra-large size of the tile visually elongates the room to help it appear larger as the Eramosa Glazed Porcelain expands the entryway in the image above.

It’s easy to see why large format tiles are becoming more popular—and why an increasing range of extra-large sizes are now available. Whether you’re looking for new floors or walls for your kitchenbathroomliving room, entryway or other space, large format tiles could be the dramatic, modern answer to your renovation needs!

Talk to an expert at your nearest Arizona Tile location to see large tiles in person and determine whether they might be a good fit for your home.

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