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  • Writer's picturevicky

Choosing Tile and Laying Patterns

Whether choosing tiles for a kitchen, bathroom or powder room it can be a mine field. There are so many options when it comes to choosing tiles and its important to decide not only on the colour and pattern but the shape & laying pattern.

Where possible get sample of the tile(s) you are thinking of using, and test out by laying on the floor. The Porcelain Superstore ( provides a great service on sample tiles, and I often order samples in multi colours to test out patterns.

The hexagon tiles in the photo are 4 of the colourways available in the Palms Springs collection (Autumn 2020) from the Porcelain Superstore.

The shape and laying pattern of a tile can either add height to a room, create space in a small room, provide a simple backdrop to a sink or add drama.

Brick Bond Pattern

The brick bond pattern can either be laid horizontally or vertically. This horizontal brick pattern is a really popular simple tile pattern. It is more popular with tiled floors but also has the great advantage of hiding imperfections in crooked walls.

Lay using a rectangular tile where its height is at least half the size of its width when laid lengthways. Then you can simply lay your tiles horizontally with an offset of 50%. A varied offset (40/60, 30/70, etc.) creates a softer, more natural look.

Laying in a vertical pattern is perfect for a feature wall in your bathroom or kitchen, adding height to the wall space. Its laid in the same way at horizonal brick bond but just turned to run in a vertical pattern.

Photo credit: Instagram @sandstone_and_sawdust @kerrykirkphoto @alison_giese

Stack Pattern

Similar to the brick bond pattern but the tiles are stacked one of top of each other. It can be a great pattern if you don't want the tiles to distract from other design features.

With a white tile it provides a modern look that works well with clean shapes and crisp angles, and plays against the fixtures (taps and lighting) in the bathroom in the photo below.

Conversely the black tiles in this photo add real drama to this bathroom.

Photo credit: Instagram @bathrooms_of_insta @concept_renovations @studioblackinteriors


The Herringbone tile creates a sense of space in a small room – it is an elegant way to expand a small room – but can be too busy for a large room. The Herringbone pattern is very similar to the chevron but using parallelogram shaped tiles.

To get the look in this photo use a subway-style tile laid so that they point up a wall or floor in a “V” shape.

You can define the space further by using a contrasting grout or a tile match colour for a more free-flowing pattern.

Photo credit : Instagram @grohe_uk @huisjevanfloortje


Hexagon tiles are my favourite and add a playful addition to any space creating a geometric look. I think it’s the maths nerd in me that is drawn to this tile shape.

The hexagon can be used to enhance space with depth and visual interest.

A tip for laying these tiles is to lay (if you can) in tile sheets which can save time.

Photo credit: Instagram @storybird_interiors

I also love the way that a handful of tiles can add drama to a sink space.

Using just 5 tiles you can create a dramatic sink backsplash. With such a small number of times needed you might be able to afford to splash out a bit and choose a tile that would otherwise be cost prohibitive.

The Black Palm Spring tile from the Porcelain Superstore is similar to this tile and at less than £1.50 per tile (price from website on 17th October 2020) a space can be changed for next to nothing.

Basket Weave

The basket weave pattern is something a bit different and not a pattern I have seen used many times but it works well in smaller spaces – powder rooms (in my house known as the downstairs loo) and small shower units.

Laid with two or more tiles together so that the perimeter of them altogether is identical and together makes a square.

A modular pattern can also be made up using 4 tiles, where the perimeter of all 4 tiles makes up a square.

Final Thoughts

I hope that has blog has helped you understand how tiles can be used in a space - whether to enhance or bring drama. With thousands of options available it can be overwhelming and it you would like help with designing a space, or choosing a tile, please get in touch.

You can contact me through this web site or any of my social spaces.

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