Tile Layout Patterns & Ideas

Updated March 23, 2017

Tile patterns and layout plans vary from the simplest grid design to complex alternating styles. Before considering the layout of your tile, first choose the material, finish and colour. Grout comes in a variety of textures and colours, so look at the combination of the tile with the grout as well. Prepare the surface before beginning any installation project.

Brick Pattern

The brick pattern layout for installing tile works with both rectangular and square tile shapes. Brick patterns are one of the most common installations for bathroom tile in shower and tub stalls. Kitchen backsplashes in a brick pattern also work well. Brickwork is simply a straight course of tile in each horizontal row with the vertical tile lines not in line. Brick patterns are a traditional choice and complement country and colonial designs. Highlight the unusual qualities and finish of natural stone, such as granite, slate or marble tile, with a brick layout.

Alternating Pattern

Add visual interest to your tile work with an alternating layout. An alternating pattern requires two or more tile styles to complete. Typically, you will lay one horizontal row in one tile followed by an abutting horizontal row of your second tile style. Generally this style works best with tiles of slightly different shapes (one rectangular and one square, for example) or tiles in distinct colours. For a dramatic aesthetic use two contrasting colours, such as orange and blue. To achieve a more subtle design impact opt for tiles in similar hues, such as a moss green paired with sage. Use alternating patterns for an exciting countertop or backsplash. If you install an alternating pattern on the floor, choose simple designs and finishes for the remainder of the room and allow the alternating pattern to serve as a focal point.

Grid Pattern

For a traditional look install tile a grid layout. Grid layouts work particularly well for tile floor installations as they are easy to install and create a simple and versatile look. Choose a straight design in line with the wall; for more visual interest and to break up the space install the grid at a 45-degree angle. The latter will require a bit more expertise for accurate installation. Use square tile for a grid layout to create a clean and contemporary look. Monochromatic tile creates an attractive finish in the grid pattern. For an eclectic look lay an alternating black and white tile in a grid layout.

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About the Author

Augustus Clipper began writing professionally online in 2009. His areas of expertise include home gardening, landscape architecture and interior design. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and his Master of Arts in English literature from New York University.