Tile Layout Design Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Tile flooring can be as plain or as interesting as you choose. A different layout design of a tile floor can take seemingly boring tiles and turn them into a piece of art. As you think about the different layout options for your tile floor, remember to think about the different shapes and colours you can incorporate into your design. Tile comes in many different shades, textures and colours.

On the Square

Most tile floors are set on the square. This is the simplest way to design and set a tile floor. Locate the longest exterior wall in the room. These walls are typically straighter than interior walls. Layout and set the tiles in a row along the wall and fill in the remaining floor, matching the tiles with the first row of tiles that you laid out.


A diagonal or diamond shape tile layout is almost the same thing as the square layout. However, the diagonal layout is rotated 45 degrees so the tiles appear to be laid on a diagonal. Achieve this look by snapping a chalk line from one corner of the room of the opposite corner of the room. Measure to the centre of the line and mark it. This centre point on the line will act as a starting point when you begin laying out your tile.

Brick Layout

Rectangular tiles have become very popular in recent years. Instead of typical square floor tiles, use rectangular tiles on your floor. Stagger the joints of the tiles in a brick-like pattern to get a different look and feel for the flooring of your room. The joint of each row should correspond with the centre of the tiles on the previous row.


A herringbone pattern is one that also utilises popular rectangular tiles. The rectangular tiles are interchanged with square tiles to create a random pattern that seems to "flow" over the floor. A diagonal herringbone is a bit more consistent and uses only rectangular tiles. The tiles fit together to create a zig-zag type of pattern that also "flows" over the floor.


Mosaic tiles can be installed over any floor with minimal planning and a lot of success. Simply lay the tiles in a random pattern on the floor. Mosaic tiles can also be used as an inlay to a square or diamond-patterned floor.

Different Sizes

While it is usually easier to lay one size of tile on the floor, different sizes of tiles can create interest for your tile flooring. Mix small tiles and staggered larger tiles for a pinwheel effect, or lay larger tiles in the middle with a boarder of small tiles around the outside of the floor. Using these different sizes of tiles will open up many different tile-layout options.

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About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.