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Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Our guide to rectangular tile layout, explaining patterns we have used, patterns we love, and patterns we think you may enjoy applying to your home!

When renovating or simply updating your home, tile is often an essential piece of your new decor. While it is easy to narrow your selection down by color scheme, there are still so many options to choose from when it comes to shape, material, pattern, we could go on! In this feature on tile, we will be focusing on rectangular tiles and the various patterns that can be used for installation.

A Herringbone Pattern

Herringbone Pattern: Vertical Orientation

A herringbone pattern is essentially created by placing two rectangular tiles together in a 90 degree angle or “L-shape” and repeating that pattern. Generally created in a horizontal or vertical direction, the herringbone pattern is a great way to add dimension and texture to make your backsplash, flooring, or other surface stand out from the ordinary. It is versatile to a variety of design styles too, with a unique form that fits the more traditional settings as well as the newer, contemporary settings. We have used a herringbone pattern in flooring, shower walls, and kitchen backsplashes. In fact, our very fist episode of Going For Sold featuring a home with a beautiful herringbone pattern backsplash in the kitchen, made with a delicate, white rectangular tile.

A Brick Pattern

Also called an off-set or a running-bond pattern, the brick pattern is a simple way to bring added dimension to a space using a classic, rectangular tile. A 50/50 off-set is the most popular look with this pattern, meaning that tiles are arranged in a brick pattern, meeting at the halfway mark of the tile above. However, for spaces that may need a softer look, brick patterns can also be arranged in a 70/30 or 60/40 pattern, creating a more flowing look to the surface. We love this pattern and have used it in a variety of homes.

Brick Pattern in 50/50: Vertical Orientation

Recently, we used a 50/50 brick pattern for a kitchen backsplash, with Zellige tile - a premium Moroccan tile that brings a glimmering beauty to any space. It is recommended to not use grout with these tiles in order to preserve their old-world quality.

A Linear Pattern

Linear Pattern: Horizontal Orientation

The traditional linear pattern, also referred to as a stacked pattern, involves a simple pattern, which as the name indicates, stacks the tiles to match up with one-another. Tiles are installed in this pattern for a clean look, often associated with the farmhouse style of decor. Linear patterns can be made in a horizontal or vertical direction. Regardless of the orientation chosen, this pattern is more unforgiving than most and must be done with utmost precision in order to ensure the finished product has straight lines and a clean look. We seldom use this tile pattern with single-color rectangular tiles but have used it frequently with patterned tiles, so as to keep consistency with the pattern design.

A Basket Weave

A basket weave pattern is yet another way to use rectangular tiles in a creative fashion. As the name would indicate, this pattern of tile installation occurs when alternating pairs (or a larger group, depending on your tile size) of rectangular tiles are installed perpendicular to one-another. The repeated patten will, in the end, make the surface appear to have a woven-like pattern, adding dimension and texture to your space.

Basket Weave Pattern

And then the endless other possibilities…

While these four main tile patterns offer some ways to install your tile surfaces, they are only a small portion of the options available. As other tile shapes are taken into consideration or patterns of differing shapes are contemplated, the possibilities can seem limitless. At the end of the day, we always tell our clients to choose a pattern that fits - whether it is with their personal preferences, their design style, or their budget (always important!), a pattern that fits with you is always going to be the pattern that works best!

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