Most homeowners will have a specific room in their house that just feels cramped—even if there’s hardly anything in it. Sometimes a narrow space can appear even smaller than it actually is with the wrong flooring or paint color. When it comes to flooring, there are many steps you can take to try to make a narrow room look wider.
To make a narrow room look wider with flooring, you need to choose the right type of flooring, pattern, color, and finish that compliments the walls. Typically light color wood floors are best for making a room look wider. However, dark floors can add more depth to a room if the walls are a light color.
Throughout this article, you’ll learn the following information about narrow rooms and how to make them appear wider with flooring:
- The different flooring types
- How to choose the right color flooring
- Which patterned flooring works best for small rooms
- The best choice for tiles and planks in a small room
- Other tips to make a narrow room look wider
Choose the Right Type of Flooring
To make your room appear wider, you need to choose the right type of flooring. If you don’t have any plans to paint the room or just like the color, choosing a style that already compliments the rest of the room is the first thing you should do.
There are many different flooring types. However, the most common types include the following:
What Type of Flooring Makes a Room Look Bigger?
Most of the time, you have to take your wall color and wall design into account when deciding on the type of flooring.
While there is no specific type of flooring that always makes a room appear larger, light-colored laminate, vinyl, or carpet flooring are typically used for this purpose. Tile and hardwood are great options when the tile and planks are large, as they create more depth in the room.
It’s essential to look at the rest of the room to pick the best flooring for you.
For example, if the walls have a busy-patterned wallpaper, tile and carpet might not be the best option; instead, a simple light-colored hardwood or linoleum will be more effective.
Do Big Tiles or Small Tiles Make a Room Look Bigger?
Tile flooring is prevalent in many bathrooms and kitchens, often the smaller rooms or areas in the home.
Therefore, many people pick simplistic tile flooring, thinking it might help make the area appear larger, but that’s not always the case.
Big tiles make a room look bigger. On the other hand, small tiles can create a cramped-feeling space since they create more lines and grout areas on the flooring. So, using big tiles in a small room gives the appearance of a bigger room.
The less the tiles draw your eye, the better. However, even the largest rooms can become more cramped and claustrophobic if the flooring or walls are too busy with patterns.
Does Wide Plank Flooring Make a Room Look Bigger?
Another flooring option is planks, whether hardwood or laminate. This type of flooring is popular in many homes today.
However, choosing the right kind is essential if you’re trying to make a small room appear larger.
Broad plank flooring will make a room look bigger, especially if the planks are light-colored. In addition, wider planks will create the visual of a larger room because there are fewer lines and grooves involved.
Like tile flooring, choosing a hardwood or laminate flooring with large planks won’t draw the eye as much to the floor because there is more surface area between each plank.
Choose the Right Pattern
Flooring patterns are also essential to consider when looking for flooring to make a room appear wider.
While some people may think a basic-looking floor is the best option, that’s not always true. It can significantly depend on the color and design of your walls, and there are patterned floors that create more depth in a room.
Does a Patterned Floor Make a Room Look Smaller?
A patterned floor can make a room look smaller if the pattern is excessive and blocky. However, some patterns can make the room appear larger. For example, laying flooring in a diagonal pattern rather than straight will give the impression of a larger space.
Both hardwood and carpet flooring can be placed in a diagonal pattern to create the illusion of more space.
While it’s technically not giving you more room to work with, the illusion tricks you into thinking the area is larger.
What Floor Tile Pattern Makes a Room Look Bigger?
When you think of tile floors, you probably automatically think of the typical checkerboard-style flooring.
However, you can lay down tile in different ways besides the usual way that creates the look of a bigger room.
Laying floor tile in a diamond pattern will make a room look bigger because it strays away from the usual block pattern, making the room appear elongated. Using large tiles rather than small ones also creates the appearance of a bigger room.
While laying tile in a pattern different from the typical block pattern will create the illusion of a bigger room, be careful not to choose tiles that are busy with patterns themselves.
A light-colored, basic tile laid in a diamond pattern will give the best results.
Choose the Right Color
A floor’s color is one of the most important things about it, especially if you’re trying to make the room appear larger.
For example, a floor that’s too dark and won’t reflect any light can make the room appear cramped, while lighter colors feel airier.
Do Dark Floors Make a Room Look Smaller?
While dark floors are not typically used to make a room appear bigger, the walls and ceiling will determine if dark flooring will work in your favor.
Dark floors typically give the appearance of a smaller room because darker colors absorb light rather than reflect it. However, if the room’s walls and ceiling are a light color, dark flooring can offer a nice contrast that might increase the overall depth of the room.
For a narrow room, you’ll typically want to go with a lighter-colored floor. However, a darker floor with a light-colored ceiling can give the room an elevated appearance, making it seem larger.
What Color Flooring Makes a Room Look Larger?
Most people select light floors when the goal is to make the room appear wider, and there are many light color options.
Light-colored flooring, such as white or light grey carpet, and even white-washed wood can give the appearance of a larger room. This is because light colors reflect light rather than absorbing it. Therefore, the lighter the flooring, the wider the room appears.
What Color Floor Is Best for Small Rooms?
Light colors, such as white, light oak, or light grey, are best for a small room because they give the room a lighter and more airy appearance. Also, because small rooms are already cramped, keeping the colors in the room lighter will open it up.
Make sure when choosing a light-colored flooring for your narrow room, you choose a flooring that compliments your walls.
Getting a light-colored floor that clashes with the rest of the room won’t make your room appear larger but can instead make it seem smaller.
Choose the Right Finish
The flooring finish is another factor that affects your room’s perceived size. You can apply several different finishes to most floors, including:
Which Finish Makes a Room Look Bigger?
A gloss or semi-gloss wood finish will work best for making a narrow room appear wider. The more glossy a floor is, the more light will reflect off of it.
Therefore, a hardwood floor with a glossy finish can create the illusion of a bigger room.
However, as The Flooring Girl points out, glossy finishes tend to show dust more than other finishes and need to be cleaned more often.
What Other Ways Can I Make a Narrow Room Look Wider?
If you’ve tried the different flooring tips and you’re still not happy with the narrow feel of your room, don’t fret!
Many other factors affect how wide your room will look. These include the wall and ceiling color, furniture, and lighting.
Change the Wall and Ceiling Color
Light walls and ceilings can make rooms appear bigger and elongated. So, if you’ve already switched out your flooring, try painting the walls or giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint.
Often, people don’t think about going over their ceiling when painting, but it can really brighten up and expand a room.
If you’re looking for ceiling paint, I recommend the INSL-X Color-Changing Ceiling Paint from Amazon.
This ceiling paint is white, however, it looks pink when it’s wet. Therefore, it makes it easy to apply an even coat, and you’ll easily know if you missed any spots. This paint works well on both smooth and textured ceilings, and it’s fast-drying.
Have the Right Furniture
Unfortunately, the furniture in the room might make it feel cramped and crowded. Choosing great furniture in smaller spaces, such as benches or couches with extra storage, is a great way to utilize the space.
If you’re trying to make a bathroom appear bigger, I recommend the Tangkula Bathroom Wood Storage Cabinet from Amazon. This cabinet is small and compact, but it can hold many everyday bathroom necessities, such as shampoos, soaps, and toilet paper.
This way, you can get rid of the larger shelving in the room, which will open up the area and make it appear bigger.
Another great option is to add mirrors to the small room. Adding mirrors, especially to rooms that lack windows, gives the appearance of a window by adding dimension. Depending on the room, you may even be able to add a wall of mirrors.
If you’re looking for compact, easy-to-install mirrors, I recommend the Ruomeng Full Length Mirror Tiles from Amazon. Because they’re mirror tiles, they’re easy to install. They come with double-sided foam tape, so all you have to do is stick it to the wall.
These mirror tiles are decently priced and come in three different sizes so you can choose which best fits your room.
Adding several rows of these to a wall in a narrow room will make a beautiful mirror wall to help expand the room.
Look at the Lighting
Lighting is essential in making a room appear bigger. Without the proper lighting, rooms will appear small and closed off.
Also, natural lighting from windows is critical. Therefore, if the narrow room is lacking windows, it’s going to seem a lot smaller.
While adding windows to a room will be a large project and may cost you a lot, it’s a great way to add more light and make a room appear bigger. If the room is a common room in the house, it’ll probably be worth it in the end.
Before deciding where you want a window to go, you’ll have to make sure there isn’t a support beam in your intended wall.
If you’re working with a small room, there’s probably limited space to choose from, so get a professional to inspect your house and see if adding a window is an option.
Dealing with a narrow room can be frustrating when trying to decorate because anything you put in the room can make it feel cramped.
However, renovating the floors can do wonders for the look of a room, and the right flooring can make a narrow room appear much wider than it actually is.
Choosing the right type, pattern, color, and finish flooring that best complement your room will benefit you the most.
Usually, a light-color flooring with light ceilings and walls will make a narrow room appear more expansive.
I hope this article was useful, thanks for reading!
Cheers, tools owners!