Types of Tile Patterns

Tiling patterns not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space but also contribute to its functionality. With a plethora of tile patterns available, designers and homeowners can create unique layouts that cater to various styles and preferences.

Some popular tile patterns include herringbone, chevron, and basketweave, which offer distinct visual effects and textures. Additionally, the combination of different tile sizes and shapes can lead to versatile and innovative designs that elevate the overall appearance of any room.

Tile Pattern Basics

Tile patterns are an essential aspect of interior design and architecture, bringing depth and visual interest to spaces. Diverse tile patterns can be achieved by using a variety of techniques that focus on symmetry, repetition, and scale. By understanding these elements, you can create stunning patterns for your next project.


Symmetry is a fundamental design principle that evokes a sense of harmony and balance in tile patterns. Creating symmetrical patterns often involves arranging tiles so that they mirror each other along a central axis. Examples of symmetrical tile patterns include checkerboards and herringbone. Here are some popular symmetrical tile patterns:

  • Checkerboard
  • Herringbone
  • Diamond


Repetition involves using the same tile shape, color, or pattern multiple times to establish a cohesive and unified look. This technique allows for the creation of more complex patterns that are visually appealing. Some repetitive patterns are simple, like the grid pattern, while others are more intricate, such as the windmill or pinwheel pattern. A few examples of repetitive tile patterns are:

  • Grid
  • Windmill
  • Pinwheel


Scale refers to the size and proportion of tiles in relation to one another and the overall space. By playing with different tile sizes, you can create a visually striking effect and make small spaces feel larger or vice versa. Combining small and large tiles or using different shapes within a pattern can create dynamic and engaging designs. Some tile patterns featuring varying scales include:

  • Graduated color patterns
  • Mixed mosaic patterns
  • Large-format tiles with smaller accent tiles

Types of Tile Patterns

Tile patterns can greatly influence the overall appearance of your space. This section explores various popular tile patterns to help you make an informed decision for your project.


The straight pattern is the most common and simplest pattern used in tile installations. In this pattern, tiles are laid side-by-side in straight rows and columns. The resulting effect is a clean, grid-like appearance that works well in any space.


Similar to the straight pattern, the diagonal pattern involves positioning tiles at a 45-degree angle to create a diamond shape. This pattern adds visual interest to the space without being too overwhelming, and can make a room appear larger than it actually is.


The herringbone pattern gets its name from the visual similarity to a fish’s skeleton. In this pattern, rectangular tiles are laid end-to-end at a 45-degree angle, creating a V-shape. This intricate design infuses the space with character and can be a stunning focal point.


In the basketweave pattern, rectangular tiles are arranged in pairs, creating a woven appearance. This classic design adds a touch of texture and movement to the space, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a timeless look.


The windmill pattern features a small square tile surrounded by four larger rectangular tiles, creating a group that resembles a windmill. This versatile pattern works well in both traditional and contemporary spaces.


Also known as the hopscotch pattern, the pinwheel consists of a small square tile placed between four larger square tiles. This design adds a playful element to floors and walls and can be easily customized with various tile colors and sizes.


The chevron pattern is created by laying rectangular tiles end-to-end at an angle, forming a continuous zig-zag pattern. This visually dynamic design adds a bold, modern touch to any space and can be used both horizontally and vertically.


Featuring six-sided tiles arranged closely together, the hexagon pattern offers endless possibilities for customization. This geometric design can be used with a single tile color or a combination of colors, providing a unique and impactful look.


The Moroccan pattern is an intricate, repeating design inspired by traditional Islamic art. These tiles often feature bold colors and elaborate patterns, making them a stunning choice for those looking to create a statement in their space.

Pattern Combinations

Tile patterns can be combined to create stunning and visually appealing designs. It is important to consider the size, shape, and color of the tiles when selecting a pattern combination. This section will briefly discuss a few popular pattern combinations, along with some interesting facts related to each.

1. Herringbone and Subway: A perfect blend of traditional and modern elements, the herringbone pattern paired with a classic subway tile layout can add visual interest to floors and walls. According to the Tile Council of North America, subway tiles have been a popular choice for interior design since the early 20th century.

2. Checkerboard and Hexagon: A fusion of geometric shapes, the checkerboard pattern combined with hexagon tiles can create a unique and captivating design. This combination is ideal for adding visual depth to a space. A study conducted by the Ceramic Tile Institute of America found that geometric patterns accounted for approximately 12% of total tile sales in 2020.

3. Basketweave and Mosaic: The basketweave pattern, known for its intricate appearance, can be beautifully paired with mosaic tiles to create an exceptional design. Mosaics are an ancient art form, dating back to at least the 3rd millennium BCE. The versatility of mosaics allows for endless pattern combinations.

Here is a table detailing these pattern combinations along with their visual appeal and level of difficulty:

Pattern CombinationVisual AppealDifficulty (1-5)
Herringbone and Subway4.53
Checkerboard and Hexagon4.24
Basketweave and Mosaic4.85

When planning a tile project, it is essential to consider the desired aesthetic and level of challenge associated with various pattern combinations. While some combinations may prove more difficult to achieve, the results can be well worth the effort.

Tips for Choosing the Right Tile Pattern

Choosing the right tile pattern requires careful consideration, as it can greatly affect the overall aesthetic and functionality of your space. Here are a few tips to help guide your decision-making process.

First, consider the size and shape of the area you’re working with. This will help narrow down your choices, as certain patterns work better in small spaces, while others are more suited for larger areas. For instance, diagonal patterns, such as herringbone, can create a sense of space, making them ideal for small rooms.

Next, think about the style of your room. Do you prefer a classic, modern, or eclectic look? This will influence the type of tile pattern you choose. For example, a classic style might feature a traditional grid pattern, while a modern style could incorporate more geometric designs, such as hexagons or chevrons.

Now, consider the purpose and high-traffic areas of the space to determine the best pattern for durability and ease of maintenance. For example, staggered patterns tend to be better at hiding imperfections and spills, while more orderly patterns might require more upkeep.

Finally, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns for added visual interest. Break up large expanses of the same pattern by incorporating borders or accent tiles, or combine different patterns to create unique designs.

When selecting a tile pattern, there are some popular options to consider:

  • Grid pattern
  • Diagonal pattern
  • Herringbone pattern
  • Hexagon pattern
  • Chevron pattern
  • Staggered pattern

Remember to keep the room’s size, style, purpose and maintenance requirements in mind when choosing a pattern for your space.

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