Ask Maria: What’s the Best Floor Tile for my Small Entry?

Walter S. Timmons

Choosing the best floor tile is hard – choosing a tile for a small entryway seems an even bigger challenge for this reader. Here’s my advice and some inspiration for pretty (and timeless) floor tile options for a small entryway.




Ask Maria…

Recently, I received this question from a reader Barbara (names have been changed to protect the innocent): 


“I have searched for a first floor entryway tile many months now. Under pressure to make a decision, I chose a 12″ x 24″ beige tile. I am not liking it and would prefer to make another selection, however, I am still stumped. Luckily, fate intervened and our tile installer will not be able to do the job until August. I cannot return the tile but would be willing to donate it to Habitat for Humanity if I can come up with something more appealing.”



‘Here are photos of the hickory stairway, the stairway with the old black and white checkerboard tile (above), and the beige tile set up at the foot of the stairway (below).  Any suggestions on what will look better with the hickory stairway?

By the way, I have not yet bought furniture nor has the condo been painted. I have had the two bathrooms renovated according to your Timeless and Classic guidelines with much success!’



What is the best floor tile for a small entry?

So first, I have a question for you, my lovely reader. 

Barbara mentioned she searched for ‘months’ to find a tile, however, I did one little search online for “best tile for small entry” and came up with dozens and dozens of blog posts with all kinds of “timeless options” <GASP> even-I-was-surprised.  

Even if she ended up coming home with something more ‘trendy’ as I would call it, almost anything would be better than what she did find. (And Barb, please don’t be offended, because we have ALL done this 🙋‍♀️) Choosing the right floor tile is hard as I have said many times – read more here & here.

So I’d love to hear from you. 

What are you searching online that made you end up coming home with generic 12″ x 24″ tile? Or did you not search online and instead just walked into the tile store and came home with something that seemed ‘neutral?’ Please post your thoughts below.

I posted this question on Instagram today and received this comment from a follower:

“First, there is nothing wrong with repeating what she originally had. A black and white checkerboard floor is still a timeless choice. What she was reacting to about the original tile she had, was the really bad installation with the tiny 2″ strip running long the most visual part of the entry tile.”

A black and white tile floor could be timeless, but the installation isn’t the best, I agree. The floor below would have been better. Smaller tile, installed on the diagonal.

Read more: What Everyone Should Know About Porcelain Tile

Via Loombrand

Here’s another good option for a small entryway. Also great for a mudroom, we specify this often in my eDesign department for new builds and renovations.

Amy Vermillion Interiors

Something similar to the black and white small-scale tile in my main bathroom would also be a good option:

Maria’s Main Bathroom

Here’s another beautifully styled entryway with perfect, timeless tile. Remember, it’s important to consider the flooring transition when working with existing wood floors. 

design by the spaceologists | photo by paul massey | via living etc

You could even choose a trendy tile as long as you keep it black and white. Then you’re not married to a particular colour scheme forever.

My least favourite trendy tile  is anything that gets pointy looking with triangles or geometric shapes, like this one:

Alice Lane Design

It’s just personal preference but I believe it might have something to do with how humans react to pointy vs. round. I wrote about that here.

Over to you my lovelies, I’d love to hear how you get so stumped even though there’s so much good inspiration online? Is it just too much? Let me know!

PS. Are you following along on my series on Instagram or Tik tok? The next one is ’10 Ways to Screw up your Renovation.’

Guide to Timeless Wood Flooring

Also, since I have received many requests for my curated list of timeless flooring choices in hardwood, engineered, LVP and wood look tile I’ve created this handy printable guide for YOU! It includes my favourite wood flooring options that we frequently specify to my eDesign clients.

Buy it now for $49 here.

timeless wood flooring guide pdf


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