10 Common Tile Patterns Every Tiler Should Know About

If you’re looking for a versatile and hard-wearing flooring option, then a set of good quality tiles are a great choice. Tiles can be used for many different applications such as wall coverings, stove splashes, fireplaces and more. It’s no surprise that many homeowners choose tiles because they come in a wide variety of colours, styles, and patterns. Regardless of your home décor, you can find a set of tiles that fit perfectly with your interior design.

That said, choosing the right tiles that complement your home’s aesthetics is key to a successful tiling project. This is where tile patterns come in. The pattern of the tile (as well as the layout itself) plays a huge role in how a certain space is felt and viewed. By knowing the different tile patterns out there, you can make your next tiling project a complete success.

Let’s take a look at the 10 most common tile patterns that every tiler should know about.

Getting started

If it’s your first time laying tiles, it can feel a bit overwhelming when dealing with the more complicated patterns. Just give yourself enough time to learn the basics first and over time, you’ll find the complex patterns achievable. A quick tip before purchasing tiles: make sure they all have the same batch numbers to ensure even consistency in both sizing and colour.

1. Straight pattern (or stack bond)

The simplest (and arguably the most popular) tile pattern is the straight pattern. The tiles are laid out in a straight line with the grout lines forming a grid once completed. A straight pattern is relatively easy to install and requires the least thought and preparation out of all the tile patterns. For beginner tilers, we recommend starting with a straight pattern before progressing to other tile variations.

2. Diagonal pattern

A diagonal tile pattern is quite similar to a straight pattern except the tiles are laid out on a 45-degree angle, thus turning the square tiles into diamonds in appearance. This pattern is commonly used by tiling contactors in bathroom and kitchen splashbacks as a border feature. Typically, diagonal patterns are utilised in small rooms to accentuate the space and make them look bigger.

3. Herringbone pattern

A herringbone pattern is an arrangement of rectangular tiles that are commonly used in pathways and outdoor spaces. The pattern is a fancied resemblance to a herring fish’s bones, hence the name. The “V” in the herringbone pattern acts like arrows that point to a specific direction which explains why it’s used for footpaths more often.

4. Basketweave pattern

Much like the herringbone pattern, the basketweave pattern also uses rectangular tiles. Only this time, the tiles are laid next to each other to form a square. The term basketweave refers to the way the tiles seemingly disappear under other tiles that they meet perpendicularly before reappearing on the other side — just like how woven baskets appear.

5. Windmill pattern

The windmill pattern is an aesthetically pleasing tile layout that arranges four rectangular tiles around a square tile in the centre. This creates a “windmill” effect that immediately stands out at first glance. A windmill pattern is best utilised as an accent border on a wall or a shower as using it on a larger floor can make the space seem too busy.

6. Pinwheel pattern

The pinwheel pattern is a variation of the windmill pattern wherein a small square tile is surrounded by much larger square tiles. This creates a spinning pinwheel effect which can be accentuated even further by using tiles in contrasting colours. Like with a windmill pattern, the pinwheel layout can look a bit busy on large spaces so make sure to utilise it on smaller spaces like kitchen and bathroom floors.

7. Stretcher bond

A stretcher bond pattern utilises square/rectangular tiles and is laid in a fashion similar to bricks in a wall. The end of each tile is lined up with the centre of the tiles that are above and below it to create a staggered look that’s clean and consistent.

8. Cobblestone

The cobblestone tile pattern is a variation of the herringbone pattern wherein rectangular tiles are arranged herringbone-style. The difference is that the cobblestone pattern uses smaller square tiles around the edges and is then repeated to create a cobblestone look. Such patterns work perfectly on homes with traditional styling as it resembles more of a classic appeal.

9. English bond

An English bond tile pattern makes use of alternating rows of square and rectangular tiles. The square tiles are centred around the rectangles and the ends of the tiles line up between rows. You’ll often see an English bond pattern on bathroom walls or on classical architectures since it carries that same traditional appeal as a cobblestone tile pattern.

10. English cross bond

A variation of the English bond where the rectangular tiles in the alternating rows are laid out in a staggered pattern. This type of tile pattern is rarely used except for when designing old-school architectures and wall pieces.

There are plenty of other tile patterns out there for you to explore and these are just 10 of the most commonly used patterns today. Make sure to select the right pattern that suits your specific applications to accentuate the space that you plan on using the tiles for.

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