How to Lay a Versailles Pattern Tile

Written by john walker
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How to Lay a Versailles Pattern Tile
Patterns are used to break up the seams of standard installation. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Laying out tile in a pattern follows set patterns or random placement of the tiles. A common pattern that gives the appearance of randomness is the French or Versailles pattern. The Versailles pattern uses tiles of four different sizes specially arranged to create a relatively large puzzle piece. The overall assembly of the pattern starts in the centre of the surface and works outward, joining the different puzzle pieces to create the overall pattern in the floor or wall.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 4 tiles, 16-inches by 16-inches
  • 4 tiles, 8-inches by 8-inches
  • 2 tiles, 16-inches by 24-inches
  • 2 tiles, 8-inches by 16-inches

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place one 8-inch by 8-inch tile in the centre.

  2. 2

    Position two 16-inch by 16-inch tiles with one above where the right edge of the larger tile is flush with the right edge of the smaller tile, and one to the left so that the top edge of the second larger tile is flush with the top edge of the smaller tile from Step 1.

  3. 3

    Place one 8-inch by 16-inch tile on the bottom of the section so that the 8-inch edge presses against the 16-inch square tile from Step 2 and half of the 16-inch edge is pressed against the base edge of the square tile from Step 1.

  4. 4

    Place a 16-inch by 24-inch tile in the corner created by the rectangular tile from Step 3 and the square tile from Step 1 so that the 16-inch edge runs horizontally, extending out to the right of the structure.

  5. 5

    Position a 16-inch by 16-inch tile immediately below the 16-inch by 24-inch tile so that the left edge of the square tile is pressed against the short edge of the rectangular tile from Step 3.

  6. 6

    Lay a 16-inch by 24-inch tile with the 24-inch side running horizontally immediately to the left of the tile from Step 5 and pressed against the base of the rectangular tile and half of the base of the first 16-inch square tile. Place a 8-inch square tile against the last half of the base of the first 16-inch tile and against the left edge of the 16-inch by 24-inch tile.

  7. 7

    Place an 8-inch square tile immediately above the first 16-inch square tile with a 16-inch square tile right above the 8-inch tile. Position an 8-inch by 16-inch tile with the 16-inch edge pressed against the 8-inch square tile and the original 16-inch square tile.

  8. 8

    Position the last tile, an 8-inch square tile, so that the right edge is flush with the right edge of the top-right 16-inch by 24-inch tile. The 8-inch tile must be on top of the large rectangle with the right edges flush to complete the overall design.

Tips and warnings

  • Lay the tile onto a flat surface before you begin installing the tile. Erect the design one tile at a time so that you can see the positioning and location of each tile. Draw a life-size template on a piece of scrap cardboard or butcher's paper to act as a guide during the installation or leave the original layout assembled for reference.

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