The pattern you could use to lay floor tiles will, to a large extent, depend on the type of floor tile you have. Floor tiles can come in just about any combination of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. The more intricate the mix of the different possibilities – the more difficult your job will be in creating floor tile patterns to choose from.
Preparation for Designing your Pattern
Always prepare some design ideas on graph paper before you start to actually lay any tiles. On the graph paper, mark out the dimensions and shape of the room to an adequate scale. You can then either draw on the shape of the tiles and some pattern ideas or cut out, to the same scale, some shapes to represent your floor tiles.
You can then move the ‘tiles’ around on the graph paper to see what some different patterns would look like. An important thing to remember here is that you should start your design from the center of the room, never from a corner or wall edge.
Square Floor Tile Pattern Options
Square single color tiles are the easiest to design patterns for. Your choice here is to have them in parallel lines ‘square’ and adjacent to a wall of the room or by having a corner of a tile facing the wall of the room and arranging them in a diamond pattern.
If you have square tiles that are a mixture of colors, but are other wise plain (ie. no pattern on them); you will need to decide whether or not you want a regularly re-occurring pattern of colors or a random pattern of colors.
With a lot of different colors available to me I would always favor a random pattern as re-occurring single colors can look very regimented. To obtain a good random pattern you should not ‘think’ about it. Just mix up the different tile colors into one big random pile and work through the pile whilst randomly picking from it.
Alternatively, if I had just three colors how about this for an idea …. I could have one color creating diamond shapes, another color around the diamonds and the third color as a border to the room?
Rectangular Tile Patterns
Rectangular floor tiles give you a few more options when designing a pattern to lay them in. Again you could lay them in parallel and adjacent to a wall of the room, but this can also look very regimented.
An alternative in keeping the tiles in straight lines would be to lay them diagonally across the room. You’d still have straight lines of tiles but because the pattern is on the diagonal to the room it seems less apparent.
A third option is to design a ‘herring-bone’ pattern. This is where one tile is placed lengthways with another tile place at a right-angle (90 degrees) in one of its corners. The resultant pattern has the tiles butting up to one another giving an appearance of the cloth ‘herring-bone’ design.
The herringbone design can be very effective with single color tiles, many people also think that this design makes the bonding of the pattern look stronger. If all the tiles are of one single color then the design patterns are quite restricted. If you have several different colors of tiles then a ‘random’ design would be recommended.
If your floor tiles have patterns on them your choice in designing a laying pattern for them might be quite restricted. You will have to decide – can the patterned tiles be used randomly or do they, in themselves, have to follow a certain pattern? Whichever might be the case, try to avoid having patterned tiles in the corners and borders of the room. If a tile has a pattern on it you should be able to see all of it.
Photo by ctd 2005