Some people think that laying a small area of tile on a diagonal is not just acceptable but can be preferable in a bathroom or another small room. While it may not seem possible, diagonal tile positioning can actually make your small bathroom look bigger. People often think that installing tile diagonally in their bathrooms involves too much cutting or that the layout will look too busy. Diagonal tile seems like it belongs only in spacious rooms. Nothing could be more wrong.

It's true that cutting on the diagonal will always be more difficult than cutting parallel to edges, but there are tools and techniques to help you do this.

1. You Cannot Easily Count Diagonal Tile

Your brain unconsciously approximates tile quantity. Diagonal positioning confuses the brain's tendency to do this.

Whether you know it or not, you count tile. You might be the literal type who sits on the toilet and in your boredom counts tiles. Most of us have elementary math so engrained in our heads that, when we see 4 tiles long by 3 tiles wide, we instantly know the total: 12.

More likely, though, your brain unconsciously takes note of tile square footage the moment you enter the room. It's something that we all learn in our early years of cognition. Bathroom designers tell us that diagonally-placed tile is virtually uncountable because it breaks up easily-recognized patterns.

2. Diagonal Tile "Opens Up" the Room and Gives It a Lively Appearance

Parallels and squares are prison-like. Diagonals have a more open look.

This is another way the shapes and patterns in our world affect our unconscious brain. The "V" shapes afforded by the diagonal tile layout create an "opening" effect. By contrast, the grid-like pattern of perpendicular installations looks more boxed-in and like a jail. You only need to look at wall tile laid harlequin style to see how vibrant and fun diagonals can be.