Tiles are one of the most versatile and hard-wearing floor and wall covering materials that you can use. Many homes feature tiles in their kitchen, bathrooms and other rooms. When starting a tiling project many homeowners look for the right colours and patterns but do not think about how the tiles should be laid.

Choosing the right pattern is vital to make the most out of your tiles and create an impact in your home. The way tiles are laid can have a big influence on how a room is viewed and how it feels. If this is your first tiling project, it is important to remember that while some of the patterns below may seem confusing or complex. With careful planning and laying the tiles out on the floor before you fix them, you can achieve any of these patterns.

When choosing your tiles, make sure that you pick tiles that are from the same batch. Tiles from different batches can vary in colour and finish slightly.

Brick Bond Tile Pattern

Brick Bond

Brick bond is one of the most common patterns used when using brick shape tiles, like metro tiles. Brick bond is designed to replicate the layout of a brick wall. This layout was first used with metro tiles when designed created the metro tile for use within the New York Subway during the start of the 20th century.

Achieving the brick bond layout is easy. Simply create a single line of tiles along the wall or floor with a consistent gap between the tiles. Once you have the first line of tiles you can start on the second line by aligning the edge of the tile with the centre of the tile on the previous row. Remember the gap that you are using as the tile should be moved slightly to compensate for this gap.

The brick bond layout is most commonly used with rectangular tiles. However, it can be used with square tiles creating a staggered but cohesive look with even simple tiles.

Straight Tile Pattern


The straight pattern, also known as stack bond, is the simplest tiling patterns. The tiles are laid in a simple grid layout with all the edges lining up with all the tiles surrounding it. The straight patterns work best with square tiles but it can also work with rectangular tiles.

Laying your tiles in the straight pattern is perfect for floors with large format tiles like polished porcelains, marble effect tiles and patterned tiles. A trick to achieving a clean look is to purchase spaces in the shape of a cross. This means fewer spacers will be used and you can achieve a clean and modern look.

Diagonal Tile Pattern


Using the straight pattern but turning the tiles 45 degrees create the diagonal pattern. Utilising a diagonal pattern can make a room appear bigger as well as create a simple feature within a room. Tiles are most commonly used with this pattern to create decorative splashbacks or as a feature wall in a bathroom.

Diagonal layouts can be used with any square or rectangular tile. Care should be taken when using this design as getting the rotation off by just a few degrees will show with the more tiles that you lay.

Herringbone Tile Pattern


Herringbone has been the biggest pattern trend in recent years. Herringbone allows you to create striking floors and walls which help draw the eye to a focal point with the room. The herringbone pattern is used only with rectangular tiles.

The tiles are laid in a "V" pattern with the short edge of one of the tiles lining up with the end of one of the longer edges on another tile. This pattern is the repeated across the surface.

Herringbone patterns have been used recently for feature floors with wood effect or marble effect tiles, as well as splashbacks and features within kitchens and bathrooms.

Chessboard Tile Pattern


Everyone has seen a chessboard floor. The chessboard is the process of taking two colours or patterns of tiles and alternating them in the straight layout to create the effect of a chessboard. The chessboard layout is most commonly used with square or rectangular tiles and typically feature black and white tiles. But in recent years there has been a trend of mixing in patterned tiles or using alternating patterns all over the surface.

Basket Weave Tile Pattern

Basket Weave

Also using rectangular tiles, the basket weave pattern takes two or three tiles and lays them with their shortest edge along the long edge of another tile. It is worth remembering that you will need tiles which when the short edge is multiplied by either three or two and including the grout gaps is the length of the longest side of the tile.

Basket weave has been used with real wood floors for decades and the most common tile to use the basket weave pattern is wood effect tiles. Basket weave has also been used with metro tiles and crackle glazes tiles to create a feature or a splashback.

Windmill Tile Pattern


When using four rectangular tiles along with a small square tile you can create the striking windmill pattern. The pattern takes the four rectangular tiles and places them with their long edges along each side of the square tile in the centre. This look can appear very busy but is perfect for creating a prominent feature within a room.

A great tip to think about is using a contrasting grout colour to highlight the pattern. However, this can make the room appear very busy if used too much.

Pinwheel Tile Pattern


Similar to the windmill, pinwheel patterns utilise four large square tiles surrounding a single small square tile. Pinwheel, also known as hopscotch, is most commonly used on floors with pattern tiles along with plain tiles to create small features within the floor.

Cobblestone Tile Pattern


Cobblestone patterns are on the rise with. The cobblestone pattern features rectangular tiles creating a herringbone pattern with small square tiles surrounding them.

This pattern is the one of the hardest to achieve and should be carefully planned to ensure that you order the correct amount of tiles and the layout comes out as expected.

English Bond Tile Pattern

English Bond

English bond takes the standard brick bond pattern and swaps each alternating row with square tiles. This creates a brick style layout which is broken up by the simple addition of square tiles.

One small trick is to order square tiles which are half the width of the longest side of the rectangular tiles. It will help create a strong look with simple tiles. The English bond layout is most commonly found in kitchens with simple tiles like metro tiles and small ceramic tiles.

Hexagonal/Honeycomb Tile Pattern


Hexagon tiles are quickly becoming one of the most popular tiles for creating feature floors and walls. Hexagon tiles can easily be laid with each side lining up with the other tiles, creating a hexagonal grid of tiles.

Hexagonal, also known as honeycomb, has quickly risen to become of the biggest interior design trends in recent years with many manufacturers developing new ranges of hexagon tiles, ranging from wood effect to marble effect and more.

Now that you know the different ways that you can lay tiles, you can start planning how you tiles will look. Whether you are after a basic look or a prominent feature, it is important to carefully think about how you will lay your tiles.


Ryan King