Patterns for Laying Ceramic Tile

Before you begin the installation of your ceramic tile, you’ll want to lay out the pattern on the floor to ensure that everything is organized how you want it. But how can you determine which pattern you want to achieve?

And what do you do when you want your patterns for laying ceramic tile to stay realistic and timeless, but also give the appearance of creativity and uniqueness?

Here are a number of solutions for laying ceramic tile patterns, and keep in mind that you can alternate colors and tile glazes as you lay them out to create some incredible designs.

Simple Square Tile Patterns

Straight: The straight course tile pattern is just that – all your tiles are laid in a row, just like a tic-tac-toe board. This works best if you’re alternating colors or shading, unless you prefer the look of a simple grid pattern.

Diagonal: The diagonal course is the same idea as the straight grid, however you’re simply laying the tiles down at an angle. Make sure that the tiles have the diagonal appearance from the most important entrance into the room, and you’ll have the effect you want.

Brickwork: A brickwork pattern simply requires you to lay out straight courses – but with each row alternating to sit in between the previous row. That way you have an ‘off’ look, just like square bricks.

Rectangular Tile Patterns

Brickwork: A brickwork ceramic tile pattern can be achieved in the same way as with square tiles, only you may need to be a little more careful about ensuring that the alternating courses are in the middle of the previous course, so that they don’t become uneven.

Basketweave: A basketweave pattern requires you to place 2 tiles horizontally on top of each other, creating a square, followed by 2 vertical tiles. Follow this with another square of 2 horizontal tiles.

Continue this pattern all the way across the desired surface, and when you start the next course, begin with 2 vertical tiles and follow it with 2 horizontal tiles. You’ll have a grid of squares that continually change direction.

Herringbone: A herringbone pattern is more difficult than the basketweave, as it requires you to use both rectangular and square tiles. It basically consists of interchanged rectangles and squares in a random manner – almost like you’re working with a Tetris board, but it’s your floor. Make the pieces fit together, and as long as it looks like there’s variety, you’re set!

Diagonal Herringbone: This pattern is a little more consistent, as you place only rectangles down. Make a row of diagonal tiles, where the second tile and all those following begin at the middle of the previous tile.

Then you can fit the second course of tiles underneath the first one, with the first tile fitting into the slot that’s created between the first and second tiles along the first course above. Continue alternating the tiles left and right for each course of diagonals.

Combination Patterns

Alternating Brickwork: Do the same thing as you did with the square and rectangle brickwork patterns, only alternate rectangular and square rows of tiles. For the rows of square tiles, make sure that one of the squares is in the complete center of the rectangle above. This will ensure a balanced appearance.

Windmill: The windmill tile pattern uses a large square appearance, created by placing rectangular tiles in a square, and with a square tile placed in the center. Simply continue this squared pattern across the floor space.

Image by Richard Riley- Creative Commons Attribution