How to lay a ceramic tile brick pattern

Updated February 21, 2017

Ceramic tile is generally laid in a grid pattern, starting at the centre of the room, with two intersecting lines serving as the guide. Laying ceramic tile in a brick pattern requires a third intersecting line, parallel to one of the others, which allows you to alternate the starting point from row to row. You can lay square tiles in a brick pattern, but the effect is much more dramatic if you get rectangular tiles. The process of installing, spacing, cutting and grouting is the same as any other tiling project.

Stretch your chalk snapline across the middle of the floor in one direction. Snap the line. Lay it in the opposite direction. Snap the line. The floor should be cut into four equal squares. Determine which line you want to be your length line (the direction that the long side of the tiles will run) and which will be the width line (the direction of the narrow sides of the tiles).

Measure the long side of a tile. Divide the measurement in two. Lay a second snapline parallel to your width line, as far from it as the divided measurement. Example: If the tiles are 7.5 by 15 cm (3 by 6 inches), then the second snapline should be 7.5 cm (3 inches) away from the width line and parallel to it.

Spread thinset mortar over a square metre (a few square feet) at the intersection of the lines in the middle of the room, using your notched trowel. Press your first two tiles into place with the long sides along the length line and the narrow sides next to one of the two width lines.

Place tiles in the next row up, with the narrow sides along the other width line, so they're staggered with the previously laid tiles. Put spacers between the tiles as you lay them.

Continue spreading mortar and laying tiles in staggered rows, starting them alternately between the two parallel width lines and moving across the floor. Cut the end tiles as needed on your tile cutter. Let them set overnight.

Pull out the tiles spacers. Grout the floor by spreading the grout over the tiles with a grout float, pressing it into the spaces and wiping it off the face. Wipe down the surface with a damp sponge to take up the excess grout.


Wear eye protection when cutting tiles.

Things You'll Need

  • Chalk snapline
  • Tape measure
  • Rectangular ceramic floor tiles
  • Thinset mortar
  • Notched trowel
  • Tile cutter
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
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