10 tile patterns you need to know
Tiles are a versatile and hard-wearing floor and wall covering that can be found in many areas of the home. But making your next tiling project a success isn’t just about choosing the right colour and style - how the tiles are laid will have a big influence on how a space is viewed and feels.
If this is your first time laying tiles, don't be put off by some of the more involved patterns. Just give yourself plenty of time to lay out the design carefully and you'll find that these patterns are achievable.
Also, a quick tip when purchasing tiles, make sure all tiles used have the same batch numbers so there is no variation in colour or size.
Straight (or Stack Bond)
The most common and simplest tiling pattern. The tiles are laid in straight lines so the grout lines end up like a grid. A great tip when buying your tiles is to make sure that they all have the same batch number. Different batches may have slight colour variations that will show up in the finished product. You’ll find the batch number on the packaging.
Diagonal is similar to the straight pattern except the tiles are laid on a 45-degree angle, turning square tiles into diamonds. This style can be used with a border as a feature in a kitchen splashback or for an entire floor to make a small room look bigger. It’s perfect for the bathroom.
Perfect for hallways or outdoor paths, as the “V” in the pattern acts like arrows pointing you in the right direction, the herringbone pattern is achieved by laying rectangular tiles in a zig-zag pattern.
Also using rectangular tiles, the basket weave pattern has two tiles laid next to each other to form a square. The following pair of tiles are laid at 90 degrees to the first and so on. The horizontal and vertical tiles then alternate on following rows. This gives the impression that the tiles are woven over and under each other like a basket.
To create the windmill pattern, four rectangular tiles are arranged around a square tile in the centre. Using a square tile and grout in a contrasting colour to the rectangles really make this pattern stand out. It can look busy on a floor but is good for a shower or as a border.
Pin Wheel (also called Hopscotch)
Similar to the windmill, this design uses a small square tile surrounded by much larger square tiles to create the effect of a spinning pinwheel. Tiles in contrasting colours should be chosen for the best effect.
Stretcher bond uses square or rectangular tiles that are laid like bricks in a wall. The end of each tile is lined up with the centre of the tiles that are both directly above and below it. This creates a staggered, but cohesive look.
This pattern starts with rectangular tiles laid in the herringbone style. Around the edges of these it has smaller square tiles to create a larger pattern that is then repeated across the floor. This is a look suited to more traditional styles.
English bond uses alternating rows of rectangular and square tiles. The square tiles are centred on the rectangles and the ends of all the tiles line up between rows.
English Cross Bond
Similar to the English bond except that the rectangular tiles in the alternating rows are staggered like the pattern in a stretcher bond.
Check out these easy-to-follow D.I.Y. tiling projects