Tile layout patterns
You have an idea about the kind of tiles you want, but how do you decide on a layout? We’ve put together the most popular tile patterns so you can quickly find the one you like most. From the simple to the intricate, be inspired to create the tile look you want.
The straight lay
Create the illusion of depth or width with the popular Straight Lay pattern. The human eye naturally follows straight lines, so long grouting lines on the floor lead the eye through the room, creating depth or width, depending on whether the tiles are laid horizontally or vertically.
The Straight Lay is the simplest tile pattern, and it’s very popular because it creates a clean contemporary look. It’s a great choice for first-time tilers, and thanks to its simplicity, it works with all décor styles.
Make narrow rooms look wider with the Diagonal layout on the floor. How? The focus is taken off the narrowness of the room and shifted onto the wide angles of the tile borders. People will see the tile grout lines spreading out across the room, giving the illusion of width.
The Diagonal pattern is simple and easy to install, and can be used on floors and walls.
Creating a tile border? The Diagonal is a good layout choice when used next to other tile patterns. You’ll see the Diagonal used a lot on walls and in showers that use the Straight Lay as the primary pattern.
The brick/running bond/offset
Want a room to appear wider? Then the Brick pattern is a good layout choice for walls as its long horizontal lines subtly create the illusion of width. Perfect for rectangular and subway tiles, the Brick pattern sees the end of each tile lined up with the centre of the tiles directly above and below it, creating a staggered but cohesive look.
It’s a very versatile pattern—it can be used on floors and walls, and can look traditional or contemporary depending on the tile and the surrounding décor. Wickes tip: Use a contrasting grout colour to create a contemporary and stylish look that emphasises the layout. We love white subway tiles with grey grouting.
The Brick doesn’t have to run vertically—play around with angles to create a unique and modern look.
The brick at 90 degrees
Got low ceilings? Then rotate the Brick pattern on walls to create the illusion of height. This layout also has a very contemporary feel—perfect for updating rooms in need of a new look.
The 1/3 brick
This pattern creates a stair-step look with each joint offset 1/3 from the row of tiles below it. Create the illusion of height with wall tiles by rotating the pattern so the tiles run vertically.
An oversize Brick pattern isn’t technically different from a standard Brick, but the effect is different, especially with stone or stone-effect tiles. It minimises the visual impact of the grout, giving the tiles a seamless appearance.
Need to hide imperfections? The Brick is one of the best tile patterns to conceal uneven surfaces, crooked walls and small differences in tile size.
Give the illusion of space in smaller rooms with the Herringbone tile pattern on floors. This layout works particularly well in hallways, as the angles draw the eye through the space into the next room, while giving the illusion of width. It also looks great on patios and pathways.
Tiles are lined up at a 45-degree angle so that they are all parallel. This is repeated in reverse on the other side of the tiles, like a mirror image.
The Herringbone pattern is a great way to make plain tiles seem instantly more interesting. Play with the layout to achieve the look you want:
- Set floor tiles at 45 degrees to the room to create a chevron design. This elongates small rooms because the angle draws the eye towards the back of the space.
- Lay floor tiles at 90 degrees to the room for a more structured and calming look.
This layout is slightly more challenging to install than the other layouts above.
This two-colour alternating pattern uses square tiles and looks just like a checkerboard. Black and white tiles are used most often, but you can use any colours you like. Wickes tip: If you choose to use other colours, keep the rest of the décor very simple. This layout has a big impact, and could become overwhelming if lots of colour or pattern is used around the room.
You can lay the Checkerboard in Straight Lay or Diagonal (see above) and is one of the easier patterns to install.
The basket weave/crosshatch
Named because it looks like the stitching of a woven basket. There are two versions of the basket weave.
Tiles are lined up in groups of either two or three vertically or horizontally to form a square. If the first square is made up of vertical tiles, the adjacent squares will be made up of horizontal ones.
A more complex layout made up of brick shaped tiles and smaller square tiles arranged to truly resemble the weave of a basket.
It can be used on floors and walls, and works best in smaller spaces (over a large area the pattern can become a bit overwhelming).
Make small spaces feel bigger with the Windmill tile layout. Named because it looks like a turning windmill, this pattern works well on floors, splashbacks and border patterns. Four rectangular tiles form the shape of a large square with a smaller square tile in the middle.
Make it your own by using a different coloured centre tile, or choose two contrasting shades to show-off the pattern’s intricacy.
The Versailles is almost always seen on floors and outdoors, and creates a feeling of organised chaos. It’s pleasing to look at because it appears random, but the tiles actually fit together in a repeating puzzle-like design. It’s one of the hardest ones to install, but it looks very impressive.
Wickes tip: To make a small room feel bigger, choose large or very small tiles.
The Pinwheel is often confused with the Windmill. But where the Windmill has rectangular tiles around a small square centre tile, the Pinwheel has four large square tiles around a small square tile.
Use two colours to show-off the design.