Wall and floor tile can have any size or shape, especially among artisan tile manufacturers. But an infinite number of sizes would make kitchen and bathroom design difficult. So, common practice dictates that the majority of tiles have certain prescribed sizes.
Sizes are dependent on materials and intended uses. For example, glass is a popular material for mosaic tesserae in smaller, 1-inch square sizes. But glass does not work in larger 1-foot or greater sizes. Flooring tends to favor larger format tile, as it is faster to install and provides a smooth, continuous surface.
01 of 09
1-Inch Square Mosaic
Mosaic tile is made up of individual tesserae in 1-inch by 1-inch squares. Typically, twelve rows by twelve columns of mosaic tiles are joined to form a sheet that is roughly 1-foot by 1-foot square. The mesh backing that holds the tiles together can be easily cut from the back with a utility knife. Tiles can be individually pried off, if needed, to fill in small areas.
Mosaic tile is most commonly used around the home as wall tile as kitchen or bathroom backsplashes.
The most popular materials for mosaic are ceramic, porcelain, and glass, followed by stone and metal.
02 of 09
2-Inch Square Mosaic
Mosaic tile with each individual tile sized at 2 inches square is available in either loose or mesh-bound form. Unlike the 1-inch square tile, whose look is achieved as an aggregate of all the tiles, these 2-inch square tiles are large enough that individual tiles' texture and colors are discernible.
Two-inch square mosaic tile is used in kitchen and bathrooms for backsplashes and walls. In some designs, it is also used for flooring.
Two-inch square mosaic tile is found in ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone, and metal materials.
03 of 09
1-Inch by 2-Inch Mosaic/Subway Blend
Mosaic tile of this type is sized at a 1:2 aspect ratio, where the width is twice that of the height. This tile is not large enough to truly call it subway tile, and it has more of a mosaic tile appearance. This subway/mosaic mix is bound on the back with mesh.
This tile is commonly used on walls, most often with kitchen or bathroom backsplashes, or as wall wainscot.
This tile comes in a variety of materials: ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone, and metal.
04 of 09
4-Inch by 4-Inch Square Tile
Square 4-inch tile has long been the workhorse of tiled kitchens and baths. It is also the smallest tile that has crossover potential, finding its way onto countertops as well as floors.
Four-inch square tile is found in a host of applications: tiled countertops, backsplashes, showers, tub surrounds. Four-inch square tile is also the smallest tile you find commonly used for floors.
Four-inch tile is found in ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone, and metal.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
3-Inch by 6-Inch Classic Subway Tile
Subway tile is easily identified by its 1:2 aspect ratio (height to width). The smallest size tile that can be called true subway tile is 3 inches high by 6 inches wide.
Subway tile is used on bathroom walls, kitchen or bathroom backsplashes, showers and tub surrounds. It is rarely if ever, used as floor tile.
Subway tile is most often made of ceramic or porcelain, though sometimes it is made of glass or metal.
06 of 09
12-Inch Square Tile
Tile measuring 12 inches by 12 inches represents the start of floor tile sizes. This is the smallest tile found in great abundance on floors. Smaller sizes can be found but in far fewer numbers. Twelve-inch square tile is a favorite of do-it-yourselfers as it is easy to handle and will fit in most snap tile cutters and wet tile saws.
Though used mainly on floors, 12-inch square tile is sometimes found on walls.
Twelve-inch square tile is most often made from ceramic, porcelain, and stone.
07 of 09
4-Inch by 24-Inch Plank Tile
Plank tile is a newer entry into the tile market. This long, narrow tile is meant to mimic natural wood plank flooring. The smallest size found is usually 4 inches wide by 24 inches long, though widths can go as high as 12 inches and lengths up to 4 feet.
Plank tile is used for flooring. It's a good substitute for wood flooring where wood cannot be used: chiefly in bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, and other high-moisture environments.
While plank tile flooring is intended only for floors, it is sometimes creatively used for accent walls, wainscot, and backsplashes.
Plank tile is only made from ceramic or porcelain, never from stone. Plank tile contains no wood or other organic materials.
08 of 09
12-Inch by 24-Inch Tile
These big, rectangular tiles are one of the most popular and fast-selling floor tiles on the market, as they have a look that is considered by many to be more sophisticated than 12-inch square tiles. Often they are found in linen-look textures.
Tiles of this size are most often used for flooring but can also be used for walls in larger spaces.
Materials commonly used in 12-inch by 24-inch tile are ceramic, porcelain, and stone.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
24-Inch by 24-Inch Tile
Tile that is 24 inches square is the biggest tile you will find on the residential consumer market. These tiles are so large that they lend a grand, stately look to many residences.
This tile is almost always used as floor tile. One advantage of these super-large format tiles is that, as an installer, you have fewer tiles to lay. Yet the tiles you lay must be laid with ultimate precision.
Large format tiles demand a room large enough to show them. Avoid laying tiles of this size in small or even moderately sized bathrooms.
Common materials for 24-inch square tile include ceramic, porcelain, and stone.