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8 Different patterns you can use with tile.
An exquisite material that everyone undoubtedly has in their home is Tile. When there are a plethora of options available in the market, it is quite a task to choose the perfect tile. But, there is no task greater than choosing the pattern of a tile. There are vitrified tiles, ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, cement tiles, stone tiles, quartz tiles, and even glass tiles available, and making a decision is the first step. Once you have obtained your tiles, it’s the laying that brings out the beauty of the material and how it frames the space. We often forget how scale, size, pattern and lighting can create a completely different aesthetic. So to help you understand which pattern layout is the best for each of your bathrooms and your kitchen, here are the top tiling pattern choices.
1. Straight lay pattern:
This is probably the most common pattern of them all and the easiest to achieve as well. It is a job for a novice craftsman and a homeowner who isn't bothered with fussing over the pattern of their tile. Here, the tile is simply laid side by side in a straight line, to give an overall grid pattern. Depending on the size of the room, it can be very cost effective and easy to apply with minimal wastage, because there is no actual need to cut the tile. It’s an apt pattern for a simple look that doesn't distract from the other design features. But if you want this pattern and still want a look that stands out, then use a contrasting grout to highlight the pattern of the tile.
2. Diagonal/ Harlequin pattern:
This is extremely similar to the straight lay pattern except for the fact that the entire pattern is at a 45- degree angle. It is achieved by rotating square shaped tiles into a diamond shape and consequently placing them next to each other continually in the same angle. In terms of design, this is probably the closest way to achieve a simple aesthetic while still not wasting too much material right after the straight lay of course. Due to the fact that only the edge of the design requires the tile to be cut in half diagonally which can alternatively be used again in the same designs edge. When used for flooring this pattern can be useful in unconventional shaped spaces, and it pulls focus to the pattern.
3. Running Bond/ Brick pattern:
This pattern is a classic. To achieve this look, square or rectangular shaped tiles may be used, although the latter is the most popular choice. The first row of tile is laid simply and the second row is started in such a way that the corner of the second row is offset to the centre of the tile from the first row. This is continued for the rest of the rows where they alternate creating a brick like pattern. The advantage with this pattern is that if the tile is of a particular wood colour and look then this may help mimic a wooden look. But for this case, different consequent tile lengths with altering offsets need to be used to get the wooden plank look.
4. Herringbone/ chevron pattern:
This pattern may as well be the most fashionable of all the patterns here. The tiles are laid in an angular pattern, in rows of tile strips forming a V shape. For this pattern you can get regular tiles cut or purchase small strip tiles from the get go. Due to the detailed nature of this pattern, skilled labour with experience in tile cutting is required to achieve a good Herringbone pattern. The way in which the ‘V’ shape is formed with small tiles essentially forms a continuous zig-zag pattern which is right on trend. This luxurious pattern can be amplified by using coloured tiles of the same colour spectrum with slight variations to achieve a blended colour block pattern, which gives an illusion of width and depth . This pattern may be used all along the flooring or even as a strong standout accent detail in your bathroom wall or backsplash.
5. Basket weave pattern:
This is one of the more traditional tile laying methods, which has now branched out into different types. But the original method is to have two rectangular shaped tiles set horizontally against two more rectangular tiles which are vertical. The traditional basket weave tiling is simple and offers a unique look which is intricate but isn't too hard to do. Another method which is more complicated is one where rectangular tiles are set in an interlocking pattern with smaller square tiles filling the space in between usually in a contrasting colour. This basket weave is labour intensive, and nowadays there are readymade options available in the market.
6. Windmill pattern:
If you have detailed tiles such as Talavera pottery style tiles, or other handmade tiles then this is the perfect pattern for you. This requires four rectangular tiles which are placed in a clockwise pattern around a square; more decorative tile. This is a labour intensive tile design which now has readymade options available in the market. This pattern is usually used with deep terracotta colours which work with the pottery style central tiles. Alternatively it may be used in a smaller more monochrome palette as well. The windmill pattern commands attention and is usually the focus of the room.
7. Pinwheel/ Hopscotch pattern:
This elegant pattern uses four different sizes of tiles and is among the hardest to create. A small, square tile is surrounded by larger square tiles. It has a tailored appearance of randomness. In fact, great care needs to be taken for the repeated pattern to be laid in a manner that portrays chaos.
Best left to expert installers, it's typically used on floors. The overall effect is very unique and this pattern may be used to add textured tiles within.
8. Solid Slabs:
Although typically more of a minimalist feeling tile, this is a great idea for contemporary houses that doesn't want a ‘busy’ look. This simple technique gives an open look that creates an illusion of size. The technique here lies in joining the slabs seemingly seamlessly. Solid slabs may be used for kitchen backsplashes and even the shower. Even though huge tiles may be expensive, they will shine in small spaces which are more visible, such as kitchen back splashes or bathroom accent strips.
Now that we've shown you how different patterns can be used to make a seemingly simple material such as tile take centre stage or even compliment a space for that matter. It is up to you to make an informed decision as to what you think you would choose when remodelling your home.
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Ar. Mrudula ReddyMaster of Landscape Architecture