No matter what material the tile is made out of, 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, the wall as backsplash, and used to create a custom tile shower.
Square-Set or Grid Pattern
In a square-set or grid pattern, 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 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 on a 45-degree angle. This will then 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 with black and white tile. Although, it can be done with any two colors that you choose. You can even do the checkerboard pattern using the same colored tile in two different finishes, such as polished with matte. It can be laid out in a grid or 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 with small square “dots” in between them. The most popular look uses white octagons and black dots. Instead, you could reverse the classic colors. You could also use other contrasting colors. Another option is to use the same colored tiles with either a matching or contrasting grout. For backsplashes, you can buy mosaic sheets. The nice part about these sheets is that they already have the pattern on them.
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 above and below. 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! Also, 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. Another idea is to use tiles that are the same size or different sizes.
The chevron pattern is similar to the herringbone pattern, except the tiles have angled ends. The tiles will form an inverted V-shape opposed to a staggered design. Additionally, using two or more colors will create an interesting and unique look. If each tile needs to be cut to form the angled end, this pattern can be both difficult and costly. Some rectangular tiles will come with a chevron print. Mosaic sheets are also available pre-cut 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. This depends on the size of the tiles used. These patterns gives the impression that the tiles are woven together. Also, 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 vice versa) can vastly alter the look and style. Furthermore, lay them vertically, horizontally, or both.
To create a windmill pattern arrange four rectangular tiles around a square tile in the center. Also, 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 this pattern already assembled.
Pinwheel or Hopscotch Pattern
For the pinwheel or hopscotch pattern, first take any two square tiles of differing sizes and then align them on one side. Then, the pattern is 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. Since specific sizes are needed, look for bundles assembled 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 then 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 unavailable with 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. Additionally, there are tile lines available in bundles that, when placed in the correct order, create an overall design/repeating pattern.
Decos and Inserts
While not a pattern itself, decos and inserts can be used to enhance a pattern. You can add either 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.
Additional Information on Tile Installation Patterns:
Shakespeare Home Improvement Co. has a team of experienced tile installers. If you are looking to get a project done that includes any tile work, we are here to help. Contact us for a free estimate today.