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Tile Pattern Must-have Guide

When it comes to designing your home with tile, you might be a little intimidated. I have created this easy to use guide to assist you when you are tasked with this seemingly impossible decision. Determining what type of tile is a job in itself. Not surprisingly, when it comes to laying out your pattern on a floor or wall there are many options. With this guide, you can show your selection to your tile installer to help convey your vision. This step will alleviate any confusion and miscommunication and leave you with an even more successful end product.

Off Set/Staggered (classic style)

Also known as a running bond, this typical brickwork pattern has each tile start at the center of the tile below it. This is a clean and classic layout for subway tiles on walls and floors. Brick-look tiles in this layout create an industrial vibe in your space. This pattern also flatters handmade-look tiles while adding authenticity.

1/3 offset

The 1/3 offset tile layout option puts a contemporary spin on the offset/staggered tile above. Each tile in this 
floor pattern offsets the tile below it by one-third of its length, creating a staggered diagonal effect. This layout is often used with one-, two, or three-color designs.


This layout is a basic pattern where square tiles are set in a straight line to create a look that’s simple and clean. Rectangular tiles look modern and clean in this arrangement.

Stacked Vertically

In this pattern, tiles are stacked vertically, emphasizing the height of your space by making your walls seem taller. Subway tiles suddenly take on new life and geometric appeal in this layout. Vertically stacked large-format tiles serve to extend your walls and floors in both directions. Add texture, and it’s enough to take an all-white wall to the next level.


This pattern is made up of V-shaped rows of 45-degree angled tiles. This layout is a classic but more graphic way to install large or small rectangular tiles. Popular on
backsplashes, subway tiles attain new heights of style in a herringbone layout. A contrasting grout color highlights unique designs


This pattern uses a smaller square tile at each corner of a larger square to mimic the look of a spinning pinwheel. This layout is a popular flooring pattern, especially with ceramic tile or in small bathrooms. The subtle pattern created by the pinwheel layout offers the
opportunity to incorporate an accent color or tile into another area of the room, tying the whole look together.


The design possibilities are endless when you have the freedom to create. This layout is perfect for unconventional spaces. Experiment with three, four or more colors to make a big impression. Get creative and install your tile in a layout without a distinct pattern. Create bold and graphic interest using black and white hues.


This elegant floor pattern uses a combination of square and rectangular tiles to create a puzzle-like, repeating design. We love using the Versailles layout on floors with natural stone like travertine.


This timeless design uses a mosaic of tiles with tiny squares that resemble the over-under stitching motion of a woven basket. Basketweave mosaics deliver soft patterning and can be styled in a traditional or contemporary way depending on the surrounding tiles and decor.


This cooktop picture framed layout uses square tiles laid at a 45-degree angle. Diagonal is also a great way to make your floors appear wider. By laying coordinating tiles on an angle, you create subtle interest without distracting from the main color.


Similar to herringbone, this layout has the shorter end of the tiles lined up to form a mitered 45-degree joint. Unless your tile is specifically designed for this
layout, it will have to be cut to fit.

As you can see, there are many tile layout options for your home. As long as you are clear with your vision, and communicate with your installer, you will have an excellent end result. Are you having trouble deciding on what TYPE of tile you should use? Feel free to use our helpful tile guide.

And as always, if you need help with your next home renovation, we would be happy to help. Visit our services page for design package options and estimated pricing. 

Selected images and text are courtesy of The Tile Shop, our preferred tile retailer.

Happy Designing, Jill XOXO

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