Ceramic tile flooring patterns can visually expand narrow rooms, elongate wide rooms, and hide a room’s imperfections, if you simply use the right pattern. Ceramic tile uniquely offers wide versatility in how your floor is installed, a versatility not possible in other flooring options. Imagine how any of the the following 15 patterns can transform your project and protect your investment.
1. Straight Lay Grid Tile Pattern
Because of its simplicity, the straight lay pattern blends easily with other design patterns in your space, giving you maximum flexibility to combine this pattern with any type, color, or texture of ceramic tile. Choose a monochromatic scheme for a clean, straightforward appearance or use the grid to flaunt a more decorative tile design. The straight grid pattern works well in any size, from mini-grid mosaics to large-format panels, and is the perfect match for ceramic tile that looks like natural stone.
2. Diagonal Grid Tile Pattern
The diagonal grid pattern takes the straight lay grid pattern, turns it 45 degrees, and shifts the focus of a small room to the pattern’s widening angles. If you want a little more visual interest with the same ease of installation as the straight lay pattern, the diagonal pattern will do the trick. Use this arrangement to open up a tiny bathroom, expand a smaller kitchen, or create movement in a hallway.
3. Running Bond Tile Pattern
Draw eyes away from minor flaws in a room with this staggered arrangement. Simple to install yet visually stunning, this striking configuration is often used to help hide crooked walls or to break up the pattern of existing wall decor. You can also tilt the pattern at a 45 degree angle to give your flooring an intentional focal point or “traffic” flow.
The running bond pattern uses a 33 to 50 percent row offset from tile to tile. (Note: a 50 percent offset is often called “brickwork.”)
Irregular offsets paired with irregular lengths of wood-look ceramic tile create a look indistinguishable from hardwood, but with the added benefits of ceramic tile’s waterproof installation plus stain, scratch, and fade resistance! Discuss your ideas with your tile or flooring professional to ensure you end up with the look you want.
The checkerboard pattern is a timeless, versatile option that is equally at home in a modern farmhouse, classic revival, ranch redo, or urban loft. The black and white version of this design is classic. Mix it up by installing your pattern on a diagonal, offsetting the grid slightly, adding bold colors (or neutrals), or simply checkerboarding the same tile in two different finishes (matte and gloss). All you need are two different tiles of the same size!
5. Chevron Tile Pattern
The chevron pattern forms a zigzag design by combining rectangular tiles with angled ends. This is a beautiful choice for elongating or widening angles in a space. Like the running bond pattern, the chevron pattern can carry your line of sight along an intended path or toward a focal point.
Despite its intricate appearance, the chevron pattern installation is quite simple and only requires one tile size and type. For a more dramatic look,you could alternate tiles with different colors for each V shape to create a striped zigzag.
6. Herringbone Tile Pattern
The difference between the chevron tile pattern and the herringbone tile pattern lies in the zigzag — the chevron pattern has an uninterrupted zigzag and the herringbone zigzag design is offset because the ends are not angled.
The herringbone pattern creates a V-shaped design by placing rectangular tiles in alternating 45 degree angles. This pattern features widening angles that work well in smaller rooms, but the numerous grout lines may seem overwhelming in larger spaces. Like the chevron pattern, this design can purposefully lead you through a space.
This pattern enables you to create a fairly intricate-looking design with one tile shape and size.
7. Octagon and Dot Tile Pattern
The octagon and dot (diamond) tile pattern has been popular since before the Victorian era as a mosaic tile design. Today, octagon and dot mosaics are available on sheets for ease of installation and you will see large-scale octagon and dot patterns more often in larger spaces.
Like with the checkerboard tile pattern, the black and white octagon and dot combination is most classic. Try these variations to create a unique look: Reverse the dominant color (black octagons and white dots), change the tile colors altogether, use the same color for both tile shapes, or use a contrasting colored grout.
8. Basketweave Tile Pattern
The basketweave pattern gets its name from baskets woven from fibers at 90 degree angles. Rectangular and square tiles form this pattern, which can cover an entire surface or a specific area to create a beautiful feature or focal point. This pattern is especially impressive on a wall or floor and can be achieved with large or small tiles (although large tiles show off the design and craftsmanship of the pattern). The basketweave pattern looks complicated, but it’s simply a trick of the eye and is rather straightforward to install.
9. Diamond Rug Tile Pattern
Tile rug patterns create a feature or accent within another tile grid. The diamond rug is the most popular. This design inserts a bordered diamond grid into the surrounding tile pattern (usually a basic straight grid), the result being similar to that of a rug.
The diamond rug pattern is great for differentiating certain spaces in your home or creating a unique focal point. Consider this pattern for entryways to mark the change from outdoor to indoor space, as well as hallways, living rooms, and bathrooms (we love this pattern on a shower floor or wall).
10. Crosshatch Tile Pattern
To create this design, lay pairs (or multiples) of alternating stacks of tiles in a perpendicular pattern.
The crosshatch pattern shares the complex broken grid look of the herringbone pattern, but is much less overwhelming on large floor spaces.
To use the crosshatch pattern on a large floor space, increase the number of tiles in each stack. In the living room pictured above, each grouping contains six tiles, and the pattern is set at an angle for a design that pulls double duty to lead you into the next room.
This is a simple installation process requiring only one size and shape of tile.
11. Windmill Tile Pattern
The windmill tile pattern is formed by using four rectangular tiles to create a frame around a center square tile. You can use this pattern in a wide range of sizes. Mosaic windmills are attention grabbers and are best suited to smaller areas, such as bathrooms, paired with a simple decor scheme. Many manufacturers are now mounting mosaic windmill patterns on strips and sheets, making them much easier to install.
Large-scale windmill patterns offer excellent opportunities to showcase unique tiles, such as tile printed with a Mexican Talavera design. Use the unique tile in the center position and monochromatic rectangular tiles to frame it.
12. Hopscotch Tile Pattern
The hopscotch tile pattern is made up of a combination of large and small square tiles that create a playful, interlocking design. Stick with a consistent color scheme to give the pattern itself all the attention, or center the design by using a contrasting tile color for the small squares. You can also introduce rectangles into this grid for a modified hopscotch tile pattern. See our tile schematic template for reference.
This layout requires some careful planning. We suggest that you lay out the entire area (dry fit without adhesive) before installing so that you can see how the pattern will work in your space.
13. Vertical and Horizontal Grid Tile Patterns
A straight grid using vertical or horizontal rectangles creates a modern, minimalist surface that works equally as well in large-format ceramic tile as it does mosaics. The simplicity and elegance of this grid make it ideal for tiles with texture. Color plays a significant role when using this grid, shifting easily from serene to dramatic depending on the color choice. Using verticals or horizontals in a straight grid installation gives one of the easiest installation patterns pizazz without complexity.
14. Corridor Tile Pattern
The corridor pattern is so named because of the repeating “walkways” that it creates in your design. This is basically a grid that is divided by columns of smaller rectangular or square tiles. You can make each “corridor” into divisible tile sizes for the creative example we’ve shown. If you want an interesting backdrop for a monochromatic color scheme, you’ll find a friend in this pattern.
15. Parquet … Surprise! Tile “Pattern”
This intricate pattern is actually created in large-format square ceramic tiles (in this flooring example, they are laid in a diamond grid pattern). This classic, exquisite flooring look is achieved through a manufacturing advancement that bakes the texture and tones of wood into the ceramic tile.
The advantage of ceramic tile is the durability to stand up to wear without damage — no high heel dents like you might see in traditional wood floors! Ceramic tile is highly resistant to scratches and scrapes and won’t fade from the sun (confidently redecorate and move your furniture around). Additionally, you can use this look in every room of your home, including the bathroom and kitchen, where water-prone wood dares not to go. (Also note in this photo the vertical grid pattern on the wall with ceramic tile wood-look panels.)
Ceramic tile brings easy elegance and durability to any room. Choose one of these popular patterns or go for your own unique design— only ceramic tile gives you such wide options to express your personality. Reference our template of tile schematics for additional patterns and then add your personal touch for a beautiful, durable floor that will stand up to years under your feet.
For more tips on tile selection and planning your project, download our Field Guide to Tile. If your project involves tile for a kitchen or bathroom, also enjoy our special guides on kitchen and bathroom tile.