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A Comprehensive Guide to Tile Patterns

Have you ever walked in a room, looked at the decor and felt like something was missing?  You have all the design components there – color scheme, furniture, accessories– but the room still feels a little dull. If this sounds familiar to you, we might have the answer you need: patterns! Tile patterns are a powerful decorative tool for designers and using patterned tile is a great way to express your personal style. Patterned tiles can not only alter the room’s appearance, but also changes the room’s scale.
 Floral Eternity White Carrara & Bardiglio Waterjet Mosaic Tile

Floral Eternity White Carrara & Bardiglio Waterjet Mosaic Tile

If you’re scratching your head wondering how to choose the right tile pattern and liven up a space, we’ve got a ton of ideas to inspire you! For kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and entryways, check out this guide before you leap into your next remodeling project and make any tile decisions. It’s not only the color or material that matters; as you discover the patterns, you’ll see that the beauty is actually hidden in the details.

What Do We Mean by ‘Tile Layout’?

Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about patterns yet. Let’s start with tile layout options. If you’ve picked the perfect tile, the next question is, how are you going to lay it out? You may have porcelain, natural stone, or glass tile. How tile is installed is the key to tying your room together. You can choose to play with angles or keep it simple with easier layout options. Either way, they each offer something truly different.  
 Mallorca Blue 2.5x8

Mallorca Blue 2.5x8 Ceramic Subway Tile

 

Grid Pattern

As the simplest form, this tile pattern is basically laid on top of each other meeting at the corners. This pattern is probably the most common and easiest way to lay your tiles. You may choose to use the grid pattern especially if you’ve got tiles which have their own inherent pattern and you don’t want to draw too much attention.

Melange Natural

Melange Natural Wood Look Floor Tile

However, there are also ways that can turn this into a more eye-catching pattern if you so desire. Try installing a tile with some smaller squares and a raised, 3D design like this patterned kitchen tile backsplash, to add a flourish to the design.
 Chateau White Square Ceramic Mosaic Tile

Brick Pattern

Another highly popular pattern, and actually the classic layout for subway tile is the brick pattern. Also called the offset pattern or the running bond, tiles are again laid in rows, but this time with an offset of either 50/50, 40/60 or 30/70. To achieve the best look, make sure the height of your rectangular tiles is at least half the size of its width. This is one of the top patterns to install in powder rooms and shower walls as well as kitchen backsplashes.

See our Guide to Subway Tile Patterns for more creative layout ideas!

Brick Brooklyn NaturalBrick Brooklyn Natural

The brick pattern is also great for floors, especially when using wood-look porcelain tiles since the layout mimics real hardwood planks and adds extra texture to the space. Below is an application of our Rovere Gris tile that is a beautiful compliment in the living area. Perfect if you love the wood look, but prefer the durability of porcelain tile. 
 Rovere Gris

Rovere Gris

Diamond Pattern

This pattern is basically a grid pattern turned at a forty-five-degree angle to create a more dynamic look. Tiles have to be a square shape in order to create this diagonal pattern. In a room where walls are not perfectly square, this diamond layout can hide imperfections easily.
 Thassos Diagonal Square And Azul Cielo Dots Marble Mosaic Tile

Thassos Diagonal Square And Azul Cielo Dots Marble Mosaic Tile

When it comes to floor patterns, diagonal style will never fade. This layout will work wonders in narrow entryways and bathrooms because the diamond pattern is known as one of the easiest ways to make a narrow space appear wider and bigger. Since your eyes are made to focus on the widest, middle part of the tiles, this trick of perception makes the room seem bigger than it actually is. Cool, right?

Harper Diamond Wooden Beige And Carrara Marble Mosaic Tile

Harper Diamond Wooden Beige And Carrara Marble Mosaic Tile

Herringbone Pattern

As there are a lot more rectangular and plank style tiles in the market today, herringbone is becoming a more popular layout option. Named for the resemblance to the skeleton of a herring fish, rectangular tiles are laid at a forty-five-degree angle to create this pattern. Any size rectangular tile works for the herringbone pattern but the bigger your tile is, the more obvious your pattern gets. Often found in larger formal living rooms, dining rooms, and even entryways, the herringbone pattern is the ideal layout especially for wood-look porcelain tiles due to their size and overall look.
 Recycled Glass Herringbone Mosaic in Blue Wood Color

Recycled Glass Herringbone Mosaic in Blue Wood Color

Herringbone is another pattern that tricks the eyes just like the diamond layout. The eye tends to focus on the ‘V’ shape instead of the room’s width, making any small room appear bigger. For this reason, herringbone works well for narrow hallways, bathrooms, and entryways. But this doesn’t limit its use with only floors; herringbone tiles are also one of the most popular backsplash options. For easier wall applications, many mosaics come with herringbone shapes built onto the mesh today. To create beautiful focal points, you can opt for a herringbone pattern over the cooktop or inside a shower niche.
 Herringbone Pearl White Thassos Shell Tile

Herringbone Pearl White Thassos Shell Tile

Basket Weave Pattern

Ever since the Victorian age, the basket weave pattern has been a popular way of decorating the floor.  It’s the repeating pattern of two brick-shaped tiles laid horizontally against two other brick shape patterns laid vertically. Enhancing spaces with its geometric symmetry and traditional look, basket weave tile can create that classic chic feel on the floors as well as on backsplash and accent walls.

Duomo 3D Basket Weave Nero Marquina Mosaic Tile 
Duomo 3D Basket Weave Nero Marquina Mosaic Tile

Depending on the color and material chosen, this old-world pattern can actually be modern, traditional, or transitional. Stone tiles create more traditional looks, whereas porcelain and ceramic can give a modern feel. Even though this pattern is originally laid by using individual rectangular tiles, today the basket weave pattern is commonly available in mosaic tile form.  This version often has inserts within the pattern to make the design stand out. Basket weave mosaics are a favorite for bathroom and shower floors due to their slip-resistance and timeless look.
 Sand Valley And Thassos Large Basket Weave Mosaic Tile

Sand Valley And Thassos Large Basket Weave Mosaic Tile

Chevron Pattern

Very similar to the herringbone pattern, chevrons are showing a major moment in flooring right now. The chevron layout is basically rows of tiles creating ‘V’ shapes, meeting at mitered angles. It creates such an immediate movement that your space gains a visual interest even with plain and simple rectangle tiles. Using contrasting tile colors is a very on-trend way to work the chevron look into flooring.
 Fabrique White Chevron Glass Mosaic Tile

Fabrique White Chevron Glass Mosaic Tile

And for wall applications, chevron shapes often come in mosaic forms built onto mesh sheets making it easier to apply. A great example to elongate your decor is adding chevron tiles all the way up to the ceiling. Not to mention that marble also adds a sense of luxury to this bathroom decor.
 Textured Wooden Beige Chevron Marble Mosaic Tile

Windmill Pattern

Resembling the blades of a windmill, this is a stylish pattern choice especially if you have special tiles to highlight your design. If you are planning for a vintage style update, this pattern has the classic feel you need. The windmill pattern is made using brick tiles that frame a central square tile.
 Diagonal Double Weave Crema Marfil Marble Mosaic Tile

This pattern works well if you have wonderful tiles to show as a centerpiece within the pattern, or it can also be a treat for the eyes when used as a border only. Just like other patterns, the windmill pattern is also available in the mosaic form for easy installation. Keep in mind that small mosaics can result in highly textured patterns, so better to use with a plain decor unless you want a very busy look. 

Unexpected Shapes

If you crave for more creativity and want to carry your design to the next level, try tiles with unexpected shapes. Tiles with unexpected shapes will give you unusual patterns and will help create unique designs you’ve never seen before. If you want a look that can’t be replicated with rectangular tiles, have a look at some unexpected patterns we’ve gathered that will definitely spark your imagination!
 Steampunk Brown Glass and Resin Polished Mosaic Tile


Geometric tiles are one way to enliven up the interior to create more impressive and interesting designs. This year, geometric patterns will still be one of the most sought-after design trends and will keep popping up in our homes. Geometric patterns come in a wide range of materials, finishes, and hues, offering you an array of delightful pieces to pick from. You can choose vibrant colors to create some excitement or opt for colors that blend into the color palette of the room - like the hexagon tiles below.
 Recycled Glass 2" Hexagon Mosaic In Wood Color

Recycled Glass 2" Hexagon Mosaic In Wood Color

Another way to incorporate geometric shapes in your decor is adding some horizontal movement with elongated shapes. Elongated shapes work well especially in powder rooms, shower walls, or small kitchens where you want some visual expansion. To keep the classic look of a black and white bathroom, try to use marble tiles in same neutral tones.

Silver Etched White Elongated Hexagon Mosaic Tile Silver Etched White Elongated Hexagon Mosaic Tile

Tiles with curvy patterns can also create unexpected looks by evoking natural elements, such as the waves and wind, and creates calm and natural settings. Beautifully curved, intricate mosaics offer fabulous patterns on your walls and floors for completely artistic designs. 
 Color Bone Slate Mosaic Tile

Color Bone Slate Mosaic Tile

Penny Round Tiles

Round penny tile is making a huge comeback because its pattern is versatile, timeless, and looks gorgeous in a variety of settings. Whether you are planning a vintage look with your kitchen backsplash or trying to minimize the look of your bathroom, penny round patterns will always be in style. We love the classic retro look that pairs white penny tiles with black grout! But you can also go with the black pennies if you are trying to achieve a perfect contemporary look or choose colored tiles for a more edgy design. 

Calacatta Gold Penny Tile Polished

Calacatta Gold Penny Tile Polished

Different tile layouts and shapes provide endless design opportunities and as you can see, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.

If you have a tile project coming soon, don’t forget to check our collections to discover more product options and decide on your favorite patterns that can transform your home!

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