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14 Common Types of Tile Patterns

assorted designs of linoleum tiles

Decorative tile can be a great way to spruce up any part of your home. The many different colors and patterns available will satisfy even the toughest critic, but sorting through them all can be tedious and time consuming, especially if you aren’t sure what you want. So, keep reading as we list several of the most popular types of tile patterns, so you can start designing the home of your dreams.

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The 14 Types of Tile Patterns

1. Chevron Tile

Chevron Bricks
Image Credit: aitoff, Pixabay
Defining Characteristic: V-shape

The chevron pattern uses long rectangular tiles to form a continuous pattern of the letter V. It has a clean look that can make a room feel larger, so it is a good choice for cramped quarters.


2. Herringbone Tile

Herringbone tile
Image Credit: Carlos Montelara, Pexels
Defining Characteristic: V-shape

The herringbone pattern is a popular pattern similar to the chevron, but you arrange the pieces slightly differently to create the V shape. It’s a traditional layout, with examples dating back to the 17th century, and is still common in kitchens and bathrooms.


3. Subway Tile

Subway tiles
Image Credit: Yarmstsnk, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Simple and neat

The subway pattern gets its name from where it began, in the subway system of New York City. Architects chose this pattern in the early 1900s when looking for an affordable design to use in the station. It uses rectangular tiles like the previous example but arranges them straight, like a brick wall.


4. Geometric Tiles

Geometric floor
Image Credit: anaterate, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Mind-bending

Geometric tile patterns can use several different tile shapes to create a unique pattern that bends the mind when you inspect it closely. For example, you will often see a mix of square, hexagonal, diamond, and other shapes that fit together to create a single pattern. It’s a popular choice for bathroom floors because the different tile shapes help create more traction.


5. Stacked Tiles

Grout Tiles
Image Credit: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay
Defining Characteristic: Uniform appearance

Stacked tiles are popular because they provide a uniform appearance to any wall or floor where you use them. To create the stacked tile pattern, simply stack the tiles on top of and next to each other to create straight lines. It’s a common modern choice that helps make any room feel larger.


6. Checkerboard Tile

checkerboard floor
Image Credit: ImageFlow, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Gameboard appearance

The checkerboard pattern is similar to the stacked tile pattern, but it alternates the colors of each tile, usually white and black, but any two colors are acceptable. The result resembles the gameboard for checkers or chess, and it is an especially popular choice for bathroom floors.


7. Offset Tiles

installing non-rectified tiles on the wall
Image Credit: DUO Studio, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Brick pattern

The offset tiles pattern is related to the pattern of the stacked tiles but offsets them instead of keeping them in a straight row. The offset pattern resembles most brick walls that you see, as it’s a common pattern for that usage. Since it is so familiar, many people like to use it for both walls and floors.


8. Pinwheel Tiles

Pinwheel pattern
Image Credit: Viktoriia Ablohina, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Looks like a square pinwheel

The pinwheel tile pattern is a fun pattern that puts a small square tile in the center of four larger rectangle tiles, producing a design that resembles a square pinwheel. In many cases, the center tile will be a different color than the surrounding tiles, helping to strengthen the illusion.


9. Basketweave Tile

Basketweave tile pattern
Image Credit: Radovan1, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Woven appearance

The basketweave pattern is similar to the pinwheel but uses longer rectangular tiles to create overlapping ends that make the pattern on the floor or wall look more like a weave than individual pinwheels or flowers.


10. Diamond Tiles

Diamond Tiles
Image Credit: Adhitya Teguh Nugraha, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Looks like a square pinwheel

The diamond tile pattern is a variation of the stacked tile pattern. This option alternates the color of every other horizontal row of tile. You then turn the tiles 45 degrees so they resemble diamonds instead of squares. Using this tile pattern can help make your room feel larger, especially when you use it with floor tiles.


11. Arabesque Tiles

Arabesque
Image Credit: Magda Ehlers, Pexels
Defining Characteristic: Elegant appearance

The Arabesque tile pattern is also known as the lantern pattern, and it uses small tiles with a unique and complex shape. The pieces fit together tightly to create dramatic patterns, and you can make it look even more amazing by using several different colors. These tiles are often used in decorative spaces and on the floor, but they can be difficult to clean, so they are not great for showers.


12. Scale Tiles

Scale Tiles
Image Credit: chaitavat kongchatree, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Elegant appearance

Scale tiles are a unique pattern that uses odd-shaped tiles that fit together tightly. When you apply these tiles to the wall or floor, the result looks like the scales of a fish. You can use different color scales to make the effect more interesting and realistic. The downside to these tiles is that you can usually only get them in ceramic or porcelain, since the odd shape of the tiles makes them impractical for use with more expensive materials like marble or granite. These tiles can also be hard to clean because the grout lines are so small.


13. Strips Tile

PVC flooring with decoration
Image Credit: Luckeyman, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Complex design

The strips pattern uses long, thin rectangular tiles to create a complex and elegant appearance anywhere in the home. Since the tiles are so thin, applying them can take a great deal of work, but it’s well worth the effort. Using different shades of the same color or different colors can help you create interesting patterns.


14. Hexagon Tiles

Hexagon Tiles
Image Credit: Dariusz Jarzabek, Shutterstock
Defining Characteristic: Futuristic appearance

Hexagon tiles have six sides and enable you to create complex designs that wouldn’t be possible with traditional four-sided tiles. Using complementary and contrasting colors will even let you create images that often look surreal or futuristic.

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Summary

There are many different ways to tile your home besides the standard stacked tiles approach. Choosing another option can help breathe new life into your home, even if it’s just changing from stacked tiles to a checkerboard pattern. Many patterns also help the area look bigger, so it feels like you have more room in your home. Patterns that look great in any situation include the chevron and herringbone, and many people also enjoy the pinwheel and basketweave patterns. If you have experience with tile, the Arabesque and scale patterns are challenging to install but will get all your friends talking.


Featured Image Credit: Alex Verrone, Shutterstock

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