Brick layer pattern tile layout

Best Tile Installation Patterns In 2021

January 1, 2020
Sol Farahmand


Modern Tile Patterns For Floor Or Wall Tile Installations

Tiles are incredibly useful and can be laid in a wide variety of different patterns for a wide variety of purposes that can have a huge impact on the look and visual impact of a surface.

The odds are that somewhere in your house you have tiles. You may have them in your kitchen either on the floor or on a wall. It could be they are in your bathroom, again on the floor, wall, or maybe in your shower. Tiles are great for making your home look good while being practical and easy to clean.

The tile pattern you have in your home or property can not only be visually pleasing but can serve a practical purpose like creating the sensation that something is bigger than it actually is.

Over the years tile patterns have developed a series of standardized designs that have a variety of different uses. Today I’m going to discuss a few with you. Let’s get started.

Herringbone pattern tile layout

Herringbone Tile Pattern

Let’s start with the granddaddy of tile patterns and one of the most commonly used today, herringbone. Herringbone can be seen on a variety of floors, walls, and ceilings across the world and is an incredibly successful pattern for creating the feel of space and flow. It gives space a sense of direction and movement and draws a viewer’s eyes towards a focal point.

To make this pattern, tiles are laid short edge to long edge in v shapes to make a zig zag pattern that runs at a 45-degree angle across the floor, wall, or other surface. It can be a challenging pattern to create and may need accurate measurements and cutting to get right. The effort is generally worth it as the pattern is incredibly pleasing on the eye, although it can be a little busy for large areas. Great for accents walls or strips though.

Herringbone pattern tile layout

Straightbone Tile Pattern

Straightbone is similar to herringbone and employs the same tile layout. But while herringbone employs a 45-degree angle to create v shapes that draw your eyes in one direction, straightbone tiles are laid perpendicular to each other. This gives a more uniform pattern that, while still giving a sense of movement and direction, is less successful in drawing your attention to a focal point.

Like herringbone, straightbone is most commonly found in flooring, although it is sometimes used for accent walls in kitchens or bathrooms or in accent strips that break up blank spaces or regular patterns.

Brick layer pattern tile layout

Brick Tile Pattern

Brick pattern is another popular tile pattern and consists of a simple layout that is easy to create. The finished design emulates the household brick look, hence the name brick layer, and offers a modern aesthetic.

If you want to create this look, tiles need to be rigidly rectangular in shape and be at least twice as long as they are high. They are laid in horizontal lines offset so their vertical edges are halfway along the tiles on the row beneath. There is less need to be perfect with brick layer patterns and minor mistakes will be less easy to spot.

Brick patterns are more commonly found on bathroom and kitchen walls, where they emulate the standard masonry brick pattern. They are generally less likely to be employed as borders or accents and will fill the entire surface. The pattern can also be flipped 90 degrees vertically to give a sensation of height to a room.

Stacked pattern tile layout

Stacked Tile Pattern

The stacked tile pattern is a linear pattern that is both clean to look at while offering simplicity in its design and creation. Tiles in the stacked pattern are square and laid in straight lines both horizontally and vertical (none of the offsetting you get with the brick layer pattern here). The pattern may include tiles of different colours to add a dash of colour to the surface.

The stacked pattern is suitable for all purposes and is equally at home on floors, walls, kitchens, and bathrooms. It is generally used as a whole surface covering due to its uniform look, although can be used to border busier patterns.

diagonal pattern tile layout

The Diagonal Tile Pattern

Similar to how the herringbone pattern is a less regular version of straighbone, the 45’er is a more irregular version of the stacker. The uniform lines of the stacker pattern are the same in the 45’er except the entire pattern is turned, you guessed it, 45-degrees. This gives the impression that the tiles are diamond (or more specifically rhombus) shaped, giving a more modern and energetic feel.

Whereas the stacker pattern can be found everywhere, the 45’ers busier aesthetic is often employed on floors to give a sense of movement, or walls where a regular pattern may be considered boring.

One thing to note with patterns like the 45’er is that borders and edges can be trickier to get right due to the angles required when cutting.

Checkerboard pattern tile layout

Checkerboard Tile Pattern

Pattern 5a? Why not 6? I hear you cry. I said, I hear you… Never mind. The reason the checkerboard pattern doesn’t have a number of its own is that it bears a striking resemblance to the 45’er pattern. Indeed, the only difference between the 45’er and the checkerboard pattern is that checkerboard employs alternating black and white tiles to create a, you guessed it, checkerboard look.

Checkerboard is most commonly employed on whole floors (no accents here) and can be found in many different types of buildings across the world. The alternating colours give excitement to otherwise boring spaces.

Chevron pattern tile layout

Chevron Tile Pattern

The chevron pattern is another modern tile pattern that adds a sense of movement to space. It can be a difficult pattern to create and may require specially cut tiles to be successfully employed.

To create the chevron look, parallelogram shaped tiles are laid with their short edges at 45-degree angles to the longer ones in rows to create a zig zag pattern.

Like herringbone, you’ll generally find chevron tile patterns predominantly on floors where the eye-catching pattern gives focus. On walls, it can be a little busy so is often only used as an accent to other tile patterns either as a border or inset.

Hopscotch pattern tile layout

Hopscotch Tile Pattern

The hopscotch is a sort of semi-modular pattern and is perfect for creating interesting and unique designs on walls and floors. The hopscotch pattern employs 2 different square tile sizes in diagonal rows to give a sense of movement and direction. Usually one tile will be large and the other small (normally half the width and height of the larger one). The smaller tile is used to create an offset for the larger tile in the row above, giving the aforementioned diagonal lines.

Hopscotch patterns are commonly found in bathroom and kitchen wall tile patterns, where a more interesting pattern is required or on floors where larger tiles are needed. The different size tiles don’t lend well to borders and more interesting patterns can be employed as accents.

Basket weave pattern tile layout

Basket Weave Tile Pattern

The basket weave tile pattern is a relatively new pattern but has gained popularity over recent years. Tiles in basket weave are rectangular in shape and are commonly twice as long as they are wide. They are laid in pairs (or sometimes 3’s if the tile is 3 times longer than it is wide) pointing either horizontally or vertically, with each subsequent group laid in the opposite direction to the previous one. In this way they emulate the aesthetic of the old weave pattern in a wicker basket.

Like many of the patterns on this list, the basket weave can be used on walls and floors but due to its busy nature, is probably more suited to small rooms like bathrooms or kitchens or accents and insets on larger surfaces.

Cobble Stone pattern tile layout

Cobblestone Tile Pattern

The cobblestone tile pattern bears more than a passing resemblance to straightbone but is unique in its use of a larger rectangular tile combined with a shorter square tile. The addition of the smaller tile gives a less uniform look and can create a more rustic aesthetic for a surface.

The cobblestone pattern is another pattern suited to smaller areas due to its busy nature but is equally at home on floors and walls or as an accent wall or strip.

Windmill pattern tile layout

Windmill Tile Pattern

The Windmill pattern is created by using four rectangular tiles around a square central tile to give the look of windmill sails. The smaller square tile will have sides half the length of the larger rectangular one to create the perfect fit.

Windmill is a more action-packed tile pattern and is commonly employed on floors where a sense of adventure is required and where the larger nature of the tiles make filling the space easier. The center tile is often a different colour or shade to the larger ones to give a focal point to the pattern.

Cube pattern tile layout

Cube Effect Tile Pattern

If you’re looking for a thoroughly modern aesthetic or a pattern that boggles the eyes, the cube effect is the one for you. The cube effect pattern employs diamond shaped tiles laid in 3’s to create a 3-dimensional cube effect. It can be a busy pattern so is more suited to small spaces or as an accent to blank walls or a more regular tile pattern. It can be eye-catching when done right but is difficult to cut and lay.

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