Six Best Tile Patterns For Your Floors

  • 01 of 07

    Introduction

    Tile Pattern
    Lucy Pike / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Just as mortared bricks are often laid in ornamental, decorative patterns on a wall, terracotta, stone, or even vinyl tiles on a floor can be laid out in a variety of decorative styles. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages.

    Six basic floor tiling patterns are described below, any one ​of which can add interest to your flooring decor. Which one you choose will depend on the effects you seek, and on the level of confidence in your layout abilities. 

    This article focuses on the advantages...MORE and disadvantages of these tile patterns, not their installation. Installation methods will vary, depending on the type of tile being installed. Each will have their own set of required tools and methods for installation. 

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Straight Lay (Grid) Pattern

    Old World-Look Bathroom With Large Tile, Frameless Shower
    Bedrosian's

    The ordinary grid pattern (known in the trades as a "straight lay" pattern), in addition to being rather dull to look at, can sometimes less durable; because of the long, straight joints, the seams can be susceptible to cracking. Still, it is a relatively easy pattern for DIYers to install, and can be quite successful, especially when used with fairly large tile sizes. 

    Advantages

    • Simple to install.

    Disadvantages 

    • Transmits cracks easier than if tile were staggered.  A crack that develops in...MORE a seam will often continue to neighboring seams.
    • Lacks visual interest. 

    Number of Different Tile Sizes/Shapes Required

    • 1

    Suggested Tile Size (Inches)

    • 12 x 12 or larger. (Avoid small tiles, where grid pattern will be visually "noisy.") a

    Number of Tiles Needed (Per 100 Sq. Ft.)

    • 100  (assuming 12" by 12" tiles).

    Difficulty of Installation (Scale of 1 to 5, Easy to Hard)

    • 1
    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Running Bond (Brick) Pattern

    Tile Patterns - Brick
    CreedCraft Tile

    A very common and relatively easy pattern to achieve is the running bond, which features rows of tiles in which the seams are offset by exactly half the width of the tiles.

    Even though this "brick" tile pattern is simple to lay out, you do need to accurately space the joints. When you miss your mark on one tile, the mistake gets multiplied all the way down your row.

    If you have issues with the spacing, the way to compensate is by cheating on your grout lines as you go down the row,...MORE decreasing or increasing the width of the grout lines ever so slightly until you make up that distance.

    Advantages

    • Easy to install for novices. Next to simple grid (straight lay) pattern, this is the simplest to install. 
    • Breaks up the typical grid-like tile pattern, making it more attractive.
    • Little tile is wasted.
    • Reduces stress on grout seams, reducing the likelihood of cracks.

    Disadvantages

    • Some precision required in laying out the tiles to maintain accurate spacing. 
    • As a very common pattern, it may lack visual interest. 

    Number of Different Tile Sizes/Shapes Required

    • 1

    Suggested Tile Size (Inches)

    • Any square of rectangular tile.

    Number of Tiles Needed (Per 100 Sq. Ft.)

    • 100 (assuming 12" x 12" tiles)

    Difficulty of Installation (Scale of 1 to 5, Easy to Hard)

    • 2
    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Herringbone Pattern

    Tile Patterns - Herringbone
    Ken Mason Tile

    In the herringbone pattern, tiles are arranged in alternating 45° angles to produce a V-shaped pattern. It is almost always done with rectangular tiles. Even though we can still classify it as an easy tile pattern to install, it can be fairly challenging. The "V"-shaped repetition seems easy at first, but it's easy to get lost in the tile pattern's overall complexity.

    Still, herringbone tile patterns are a solid tile design technique that you may want to consider. It works well in...MORE smaller rooms.

    Advantages

    • Attractive tile pattern on small scale, making it ideal for small spaces. 
    • Structural stability.

    Disadvantages

    • Can be challenging to keep your tile pattern straight as you go along.
    • Pattern may be too complicated and "busy" for large rooms.

    Number of Different Tile Sizes/Shapes Required

    • 1

    Suggested Tile Size (Inches)

    • 6 x 12

    Number of Tiles Needed (Per 100 Sq. Ft.)

    • 200 (assuming 6 x 12" tiles)

    Difficulty of Installation (Scale of 1 to 5, Easy to Hard)

    • 2
    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Basketweave Pattern

    Tile Patterns - Basketweave
    Copyright Lee Wallender

    The basketweave pattern is so-named because it resembles the texture of a basket made from fibers weaved at 90° angles. It is created with rectangular tiles laid in pairs at 90° angles to one another, and it is quite easy to lay out. Basketweave tile patterns offer the best of both worlds, combining the "broken-grid" appearance of herringbone tile patterns with the ease of right-angle layout

    This tile pattern is less distracting than herringbone over larger expanses of floor; because you...MORE maximize the number of tiles in your installation area, there is little tile waste.

    Advantages

    • Highly attractive.
    • Unique pattern that will draw attention.
    • Easy to install despite its complex-looking design.

    Disadvantages

    • Might be too visually chaotic across large expanses.

    Number of Different Tile Sizes/Shapes Required

    • 1

    Suggested Tile Size (Inches)

    • 6 x 12 or other small rectangular sizes.

    Number of Tiles Needed (Per 100 Sq. Ft.)

    • 200 (assuming 6 x 12" tiles)

    Difficulty of Installation (Scale of 1 to 5, Easy to Hard)

    • 3
    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Cobblestone Tile Pattern

    Tile Patterns - Cobblestone
    Copyright Lee Wallender

    The cobblestone pattern aims at duplicating the look of cobblestone paving on heritage brick street work and walkways. It is one of the lovelier tile patterns--unusual, eye-catching, and well worth the work. Cobblestone tile patterns require some patience. Ten tiles of two different sizes comprise the repeated section, and it can be hard to keep track of what you're doing during long work sessions. Yet this tile pattern will definitely help you break your floor out of the "box" of...MORE conventional grid tile designs. 

    Advantages

    • Distinctive, unique.
    • Great for older and more classic styles.
    • Offers traditional look.

    Disadvantages

    • Has a fairly large area of repetition.
    • A somewhat difficult pattern to install. 

    Number of Different Tile Sizes/Shapes Required

    • 2

    Suggested Tile Size (Inches)

    • 6 x 12" and 6 x 6"

    Number of Tiles Needed (Per 100 Sq. Ft.)

    • 250

    Difficulty of Installation (Scale of 1 to 5, Easy to Hard)

    • 3
    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Corridor Pattern

    Tile Patterns - Corridor
    Copyright Lee Wallender

    The corridor tile pattern is a simple, two-tile style, featuring alternating rows that stagger the tile sizes. It is essentially a grid-like tile pattern but broken up with intervening rows of narrower, rectangular tiles.

    Some homeowners make the mistake of introducing a different color for the "corridor" rows. However, this can give the floor the appearance of "jail bars." With corridor tiles patterns, you may want to keep all tiles the same color.

    Advantages

    • Simple to install.
    • More...MORE interesting than straight-lay grid pattern. 

    Disadvantages

    • Danger of the "bar-like" effect mentioned above.

    Number of Different Tile Sizes/Shapes Required

    • 2

    Suggested Tile Size (Inches)

    • 6 x 12 and 12 x 12

    Number of Tiles Needed (Per 100 Sq. Ft.)

    • 133

    Difficulty of Installation (Scale of 1 to 5, Easy to Hard)

    • 3