No matter what material the tile is made out of (ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, or stone), square and/or rectangular tiles can be applied in various different patterns. A contrasting grout color can make the tile installation patterns stand out even more.
Tile can be installed on the floor, on the wall as backsplash, and can be used to create a custom tile shower.
Tile Installation Patterns:
Read on to learn about different tile installation patterns.
Square-Set or Grid Pattern
In a square-set or grid pattern layout, tiles are laid out side-by-side in straight lines. This way, the grout lines end up resembling a grid. Rectangular tiles can be laid out either horizontally or vertically. Arranging rectangular tiles vertically on the wall can make the wall appear taller. The grid pattern can look boring when using a plain tile.
Diagonal or On-Point
The diagonal or on-point pattern is similar to the square-set pattern except the tiles are laid on a 45-degree angle. This will turn square tiles into diamonds. Diagonal tiles have a more interesting look and can make the space appear wider.
The checkerboard pattern, which uses two different colored tiles of the same size, is a classic and timeless look. The pattern is most often done in black and white tile, but it can be done in any two colors that you choose. You can even do the checkerboard pattern using the same colored tile in two different finishes (ex: polished, matte, honed, glazed, unglazed, glossy, textured, or lappato). The pattern can be laid out in a grid pattern or in a diagonal pattern. To change up the classic look, try off-setting the tiles.
Octagon and Dot (Diamond) Pattern
The octagon and dot (diamond) layout has been a popular pattern for floors and backsplashes since the Victorian Era. The pattern consists of large octagons and small square “dots” that go between them. The most popular and classic look uses white octagons and black dots. To change up the look, you could reverse the classic colors. You could also use contrasting colors (ex: gray octagons and dark blue dots or beige octagons with brown dots). Another option is to use the same colored tiles with either a matching or contrasting grout. For backsplashes, mosaic sheets are available with the pattern already laid out.
Staggered/Off-Set/Brick/Running Bond Pattern
The staggered pattern – also known as the off-set pattern, brick pattern, or a running bond pattern – is reminiscent of a brick wall. In a 50/50 off-set, the end of each square or rectangular tile is lined up with the center of the tiles that are above and below it. The 50/50 of-set is the more traditional look. Other off-sets (40/60 or 30/70) create a more natural look. This pattern can be done both horizontally and vertically. It can even be done on a diagonal! Using rectangular tiles in two different widths can change up the look and break up the monotony that using tiles of the same width will create.
English Bond Pattern
This pattern is created by laying out rows of alternating rectangular and square tiles. The square tiles are centered on the rectangles, and the ends of all the tiles line up between rows.
English Cross Bond Pattern
Similar to the English bond except that the rectangular tiles in the alternating rows are staggered like the pattern in the off-set tile pattern.
Herringbone or Zig-Zag Pattern
The herringbone pattern – also known as the zig-zag pattern – is created by lining up two rectangular tiles at a perpendicular 45 degree angle. This essentially creates an ‘L’ shape with the two tiles. The pattern is then repeated. This pattern can be created using tiles that are the same size or tiles that are different sizes.
The chevron pattern is similar to the herringbone pattern — except the tiles have angled ends (instead of straight). The tiles will form an inverted V-shape opposed to a staggered design. Using two or more colors will create an interesting and unique look. This pattern can be difficult and costly if each tile needs to be cut to form an angled end. Some rectangular tiles will come with a chevron print. Mosaic sheets are also available precut and laid out.
Basket Weave Pattern
The basket weave pattern is created using square and/or rectangular tiles. The pattern can be laid in various different ways depending on the size(s) of the tiles used. Each of the various patterns gives the impression that the tiles are woven over and under each other. Using a tile that has a linear pattern or texture will create a bold weave. And a tile with a more subdued pattern will lead to a soft, subtle look. Different colored tiles will also create a distinctive look.
The cobblestone pattern mimics the cobblestone paving technique. Square and rectangular tiles are laid out in a certain way to create an eye-catching pattern.
The corridor pattern uses square and rectangular tiles laid out in alternating rows that stagger the tile. Playing around with the sizes of the tile (ex: small squares and large rectangles or large squares and small rectangles) can vastly alter the look and style. The rectangular tiles can be laid out vertically, horizontally, or both.
The windmill pattern is created by arranging four rectangular tiles around a square tile in the center. The square tile can be the same color or a contrasting color. When using a contrasting color or decorative square tile, this pattern will emphasize the square tile and create a striking textured pattern. This pattern can be more labor intensive and time consuming to lay out. Mosaic sheets are available with the pattern already laid out.
Pinwheel or Hopscotch Pattern
For the pinwheel or hopscotch pattern, take any two square tiles of differing sizes and align them on one side. The pattern is then repeated. Use contrasting colors, two different materials, or decorative tiles/inserts to create a decorative and varied appearance.
Versailles or French Pattern
The Versailles pattern utilizes square and rectangular tiles in several different sizes to create a random appearance. Because specific sizes are needed to create the Versailles pattern, look for a product that is sold in bundles specifically to create the look.
Many layout patterns are also available using three or more square and/or rectangular tiles in different sizes. Some of these patterns can be difficult to layout on the floor, but mosaic sheets are available for backsplashes.
Modular Tile Pattern
Some manufacturers produce tile lines that come in multiple shapes (squares, rectangles, hexagons, octagons, etc.), sizes, and colors. These tiles can be combined to create geometric patterns.
Uncommon or Unusual Shapes and Sizes
Tiles that come in uncommon or unusual shapes and sizes can be used to create patterns that are impossible to make using square or rectangular tiles. Shapes such as hexagons, octagons, elongated octagons, and circles are uncommon tile shapes. Using these shapes – especially in multiple colors – can create unique and uncommon patterns. There are also mosaic sheets available in flower, fish scale, arabesque, and other patterns.
If you want to skip the headache of selecting different tiles and arranging them into a attractive pattern, you can go with a patterned tile. There are tile lines available where the same pattern will repeat on every tile. There are tile lines available in bundles that – when placed in the correct order – will create an overall design/repeating pattern.
Decos and Inserts
While not a pattern itself, decos and inserts can be used along with square and rectangle tiles to create a pattern. You can add a lot or only a few depending on the look you want to achieve. Decos and inserts are a way to break up a monotonous surface with accents and pops of color.