How Tile Patterns define your space

Posted by Mike Belk on Oct 05, 2020

The arrangement of the tiles in our living spaces has a decisive influence on the feeling of space. Different laying patterns can set unique accents and make a bathroom appear smaller, larger, wider, or narrower. There are certain things you must consider when choosing the tile patterns as they can define the entire ambiance of your space.

Which tiles are suitable for the room structure?

Both the shape and color of your tiles affect the overall look of the room. You visually expand the area and the room with large tiles in light colors. If you want to make a small bathroom look more spacious, ideally pay attention to a narrow joint pattern. You can make large bathrooms cozy with contrasting tile combinations. Dark joints to light tiles optically create a more spacious room and make it look more homely. Wall tiles in landscape format are well suited for narrow tube bathrooms. When installed vertically, they are also suitable for stretching bathrooms with low ceilings. If you want an unusual bathroom design, there are special shapes, such as hexagons or mosaic tiles. With more neutral designs, on the other hand, you create space for individual decorative elements that you can replace or redesign as you wish. It makes your room more versatile in the long term.

Which tile laying pattern is suitable for a room?

Before you decide on a certain tile, think about the way you want to lay it. The best way to do this is to clarify the following questions:

How big is the room?

A herringbone pattern makes little sense in a six-square-foot bathroom. Conversely, large rooms appear visually more interesting due to a varied laying pattern.

Diagonal or right-angled?

Depending on whether you lay the tiles diagonally or at right angles, the entire feel of the room changes. As a rule of thumb, you should plan for ten percent with a diagonal installation and around five percent with a right-angled installation.

Diagonal or Diamond Tile Pattern | BELK Tile

Do you need a special look?

For example, with tiles that look like wood, you probably want a tile image that mimics a wooden floor. Then the wild association fits very well. If the room is to appear quieter, more businesslike, you should choose a more neutral laying pattern for the tiles.

When choosing the tile you want, you should always keep the spatial effect in mind. Professionals also first tile the walls, then the floor. If the wall and floor tiles are the same formats, the floor joints align with the joints on the wall. The laying pattern is then selected accordingly.

Possible laying patterns for wall and floor tiles

Whether classic cross joints or a fancy herringbone pattern, you can choose from different types of bonding when laying the tiles. Each tile laying pattern has its advantages in terms of its effect on the room structure and the overall picture.

The Cross Joint

Lay your tiles in the cross joint if you want a simple look. The classic laying pattern is particularly suitable for large tiles. The arrangement of the tiles – whether on the wall or the floor – is even and straight. It creates a harmonious and calm atmosphere in the room.


The tiles are perfect for all spaces, thanks to the fact that they are resistant, easy to clean, and pleasing to the eye.

For a more traditional, parallel pattern, you can install them in rows and columns. An important aspect of this type of installation is that you must be careful and respect the sequence. If you want to give it a more creative touch, use cheerful colors, and use bright finishes. Space, where the neutrality of the wall defines the permanence of your room, requires natural light and a spacious environment.

Modular or Parallel Tile Patters | BELK Tile


Rectangular tiles or mosaics are ideal for forming patterns where we want to achieve a feeling of greater length and highlight some characteristic elements. You get one on top of the other along with space where you want to place them. The lines are ideal for highlighting the area. You can also play to place pieces of different colors and arrange them in a way that creates a contrast to give a movement effect to the wall. For a more elegant effect, keep the combination of neutral tones, with small bright touches. Some tiles maintain continuity and pattern, creating feelings of depth in the spaces where we find them. These designs are highly recommended for small rooms or to divide environments without having to resort to elements that reduce the dimensions of the space.

By sections

When you decide the space of the house where you will place the tile floor, you can be inspired by this pattern by sections for its design. Make sure to choose two types of ceramics first, one with a neutral and solid tone and the other that has a striking design with original figures. Then get some slats that go well with both tile designs. The step before the final installation will be to place the large mosaic-style design in the center of the room and divide it into sections with the slats and later with the matching unicolor tile. This way, you will have an original floor that will make any room stand out.

If the house is small, this is an original idea that will allow you to achieve this division effect without placing walls or furniture that limit the space. You can choose from two different types. For an orderly and harmonious effect, make sure that one of the designs is smooth and in a neutral tone, which will allow you to place a more detailed model without overloading the environment.

Fishtail Tiles

This design requires perhaps a little more work than the previous ones. It depends on its correct installation to obtain the desired result. It should have is a herringbone shape that includes a V that is repeated throughout the pattern. Make sure the tiles are arranged diagonally. It is recommended that you contact an expert if you decide to apply this design for tile floors. The installation can be a bit complex, and you want to have a good final result. Rectangular and square tiles also work to recreate this complex fishtail pattern.

This pattern has a certain complexity since the right effect lies in its correct placement. V shape is repeated throughout the pattern, so you have to arrange the tiles diagonally for this format. You can use square or rectangular mosaics in vibrant red, a great idea to spice up the front of a kitchen. This layout looks very nice and dynamic, suitable for walls and floors.


Placing the tiles this way would create unique designs and spaces as they do not follow any pattern. They will only have to be of the same geometric shape. This choice will make the environments where you place them, filled with life and creativity, being the focal point of a room without a doubt.

Now that you know the tiles patterns that are ideal for any room in the house, you will have a world of possibilities to decorate the floors and walls. You have to choose a creative and original design to give life to the selected area. If you want fresh ideas for the design of your tiles,


The tile floors are also perfect for open spaces such as patios or terraces. Line pattern tiles are ideal for highlighting the area. You can interlock them and lay them opposite each other to create a mosaic effect on the floor. You can use innovative ideas with the patterns for the room you like. Try to place the focal point in the center of the space, and the rest you can keep it with a neutral or unicolor design.

Striking tiles

Tiles are ideal for all spaces, but the kitchen is where they are used the most. They are resistant, easy to clean, and pleasing to the eye. For a more traditional, parallel pattern, you can install them in rows and columns. An important aspect of this type of installation is that you must be careful and respect the line you carry. If you want to give it a more creative touch, you can combine the shades.

Edges of the walls

It is the perfect example that tiles can be used in any space in the house. You don’t have to limit yourself only to the kitchen area. It can also be a great decorative element in the living room. Placing a wall with tiles at the entrance will be the original and creative element that you wanted so much. Forget about wallpaper or paint – ceramics are durable, easy to maintain, and adds a lot of aesthetics. It is a great technique to keep the finishes neat to use tile strips for the corners and edges. It will be the perfect contrast with the rest of the tiles you have placed.


In the half-bond, the tiles are arranged offset at regular intervals on the half. From row to row, the top tile covers the bottom two. This irregularity nevertheless creates a coherent overall picture that is particularly suitable for rectangular formats. Lay metro tiles in this way, for example, to underline their extraordinary appearance.

Third and Quarter Association

In a third and quarter bond, the tiles are offset from one another by a third or a quarter. It creates an attractive staircase pattern. Lay small-format tiles in quarter bonds if you want a varied wall design in your bathroom. The third and quarter dressing is also suitable for a large bathroom, as it does not stretch the space additionally.

Wild Association

While the joints in the wild association all run in one direction, the rest of the arrangement of the tiles is almost arbitrary. They follow one another without a structure, with the severed end of the last row laid as the beginning of the next. This pattern is particularly suitable for tiles with a wood look, as it emulates the arrangement of floorboards on the floor.

Herringbone Pattern

This extravagant beauty is available in both wood and stone floors often use. If you opt for tiles in a narrow bar shape, this laying pattern is also suitable for your bathroom. The area is visually broadened, especially in very narrow bathrooms. Note that the pattern is less suitable for wall surfaces, as it creates visual disturbance when applied to four walls.

Herringbone Tile Pattern | BELK Tile

The Diagonal

Laying diagonally, the joints of your tiles cross each other at right angles and form a diamond pattern. This type of laying is particularly suitable for square tile formats and brings out chessboard or retro patterns in particular. Since the view follows the joints to the side, narrow and long bathrooms become wider with the diagonal arrangement.

The 'metro' type tile never goes out of style

In 1904, the first New York subway line was inaugurated with this tile (from which it takes its name), lining the walls of the tunnels. More than a century later, it is a decorative icon among coatings. Subway tiles have been present in houses since then, both in retro and more contemporary styles. Today, it remains a trendy coating both in its pure form and in updated versions.

A Classic in White

White never fails. White tile with a smooth surface but with imperfections and lowered edges brings out an excellent character of your room. The kitchen and the bathroom are the environments in which this type of coating is most used, but we can always use them in other rooms.

Classic White subway tile patterns

A retro and urban Combo

If you like the vintage effect in environments, although updated with today's pieces that meet all the requirements to bring comfort to your space, the classic metro tile defines you. The charisma is precisely set by the original subway tile, in an approximate size of 7.5 x 15 cm. it is rectangular in shape, white, enameled, and with beveled edges. It gives both an urban and a retro effect. 

Author : Mike Belk

Mike Belk

Designation: Founder & CEO
Bio: A graduate of Ohio State University with an MBA in Business, Mike Belk has been in the tile and stone industry for over 20 years. Mike is the owner and founder of Belk Tile. He has become one of premier tile experts in the nation. Not only does Mike love every aspect of his job, he strives ensure your experience is the very best. He runs a successful blog and, when not immersed in the world of tile, is an avid golfer and wine maker. Mike enjoys interacting with customers and wants to hear from you today. Make sure to check out his podcast of Tile Talk by Mike Belk.