How to tile in a brickwork pattern

Updated February 21, 2017

Laying out tile in specific patterns adds an stylish element to the tiling project. Several patterns use basic square and rectangular tiles. The standard layout positions tiles so that each vertical and horizontal seam lines up across the structure, creating square or rectangular grids. A brickwork pattern mirrors the layout of a brick wall and breaks up the vertical seams while maintaining the horizontal seams. The key to laying out the pattern is to start off alternating rows with a half tile.

Measure tiles with a measuring tape to identify the proper width. Mark the centre point of the tile with a marker. Cut several tiles in half with a tile-cutting saw.

Lay out your first row of tiles, using full tiles.

Start your second row of tiles with a half tile placed directly over the top of the first row in the corner. Complete the row with full tiles.

Alternate the first tile of each subsequent row with a full tile followed by a half tile until the floor or wall is completely covered.

Spread premixed thinset onto the floor in a 3- to 5-foot section with a notched trowel to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Drag the notched edge of the trowel over the thinset to remove excess and leave 1/4-inch grooves.

Press the first tile down beginning in the corner of the section. Lay the second tile down adjacent to the first. Insert a tile spacer between the two tiles.

Place subsequent tiles along the row with spacers inserted between any adjoining edges. Work until the section is filled.

Apply more thinset and continue laying tiles in the appropriate pattern until the floor is covered. Allow the thinset to dry according to drying times listed on the container. Remove the tile spacers. Cut tiles as necessary to fit edges and around fixtures.

Drag premixed grout over gaps between the tiles with the flat edge of the trowel to fill the gaps, working in small sections. Wipe excess grout off the tile with sponge dipped in a bucket of water. Add more grout until all the grout lines are complete. Allow the grout to dry for 72 hours before applying any type of sealant or allowing foot traffic.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Tile-cutting saw
  • Premixed thinset
  • Notched trowel
  • Premixed grout
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Bucket
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