The Tiles Laying Patterns You Need To Know

Yep, I’m on a bathroom roll at the moment 🙂 We’re getting there on our renovation + addition and I am sooo excited to be at lock up stage! Now it’s the crazy organisational stage of fitout and there’s a multitude of separate trades to schedule and manage.

First up is the wet rooms; main bathroom and laundry. Our plumber is busy with rough in which means I have had to cement my plans in detail and formualise EXACTLY what is where down to the mm. This doesn’t stop at where the vanity and bath goes, how high the taps are or which tiles go where….but also what pattern the tiles are to be laid in!

Soooo many details! 

And whilst I have sourced my gorgeous tiles and can demonstrate what pattern I’m after – I also need to make sure that the plans clearly state the pattern they are to be laid in. 

What are our favourite tiling patterns?

Straight or Stack Bond

Stack Bond Pattern Just In Place
Stack Bond Pattern; Photo: Just In Place

By far the simplest tiling pattern, straight (or stack bond) is where rectangular or square tiles are laid end on end or stacked to create a grid pattern. Used horizontally or vertically stack bond can help elongate a room and give the illusion of more space. Its also a safe choice if you are tackling the tiling project yourself 🙂

My main wall tiles are 600 x 300 and I’m planning on a horizontal stack bond to draw your eye down the wall towards the feature wall at the end with a large window. 

In fact, I’ve also planned my feature tiles to be in a stack bond pattern. They’re the smaller square Zellige tiles, laid with minimal grout and stacked end on end.

Stretcher Bond or Brick Bond

Stretcher Bond Tiling Pattern AmberTiles
Stretcher Bond Tiling Pattern Photo: AmberTiles

With stretcher or brick bond, square or rectangular tiles are laid in a brick pattern. Essentially tiles are laid so they overlap each other by half, resulting in offset grout lines. This creates a staggered but cohesive look that is fabulous in hiding imperfections. Stretcher bond can be laid horizontally, or vertically to help direct your eye and give the illusion of more space. 

1/3 Stretcher Bond

1/3 Stretcher Bond Pattern Photo: Kalafrana Tiles

This is a favorite! A slightly more modern twist on stretcher bond, the ⅓ pattern is where the tiles are offset by ⅓ rather than ½. This creates a stair-step pattern.


Herringbone Tile Pattern; Photo: Novale Bathrooms

One of the most classic and elegant laying patterns that creates a timeless feel. Perfect for when you want to draw an eye to a space this pattern is achieved by laying tiles in a zig-zag pattern. Note you can have either a 90 degree pattern or a more difficult 45 degree. Have a play and see which option works best in your space. 


Chevron Tile Pattern

A little bit more understated than its cousin, Herringbone, the Chevron pattern is joined end on end to create a seamless zig-zag pattern with the main difference being the ends are cut at 45 degrees to create a straight line of grout that runs wall to wall (or floor to wall). Beautifully elegant is creates interest in a subtle pattern.

Basket Weave

Basket Weave Pattern Photo: TileCloud

Using rectangular tiles, the basket weave pattern has 2 tiles laid next to each other to form a square. The following pair of tiles are laid at 90 degrees to the first and so on. The horizontal and vertical lines then alternate on the following rows giving the impression that tiles are ‘woven’ under and over each other like a basket.  


Hexagon Shape Tile Photo: Kalafrana Tiles

LOVE! These babies are going on our main bathroom floor! Fabulous for feature walls, splashbacks and creating interest. We have a large Spanish tile in a hexagon shape chosen to help hide the marks from little girls grubby feet (we live on acreage near the beach) and I adore the colour and variety in the tile we’ve chosen. 

Because of the complexity in the shape and pattern of tile chosen, our walls are very simple allowing the floor to be the hero and helping create a sanctuary.


fish-scale-feature-wall-mosiac tile laying pattern
Fish Scale Mosiac Tiles Photo: Just In Place

Small tiles laid in repeated shapes are called mosaics. Depending on size these can come in sheets to help with laying, or individually. Mosaics are a fabulous choice for splashbacks, small feature walls and niches.

TIP Make sure you select a tiler that has experience laying mosaics so that you do not see the joins between sheets once laid. This can be tricky.

French Pattern

French Pattern Tile
French Pattern Tile Photo: Harper and Harley

Not quite a tile pattern but a mix of tiles sizes and formats. I’ve added French Pattern to my list as I find it a classic and elegant choice for styles with a mediterranean influence. Our property is ‘coastal farmhouse’ and our laundry + ensuite are to have gorgeous french-pattern Travertine tiles. It’s an intricate pattern with 4 different sized tiles that requires careful planning – feel a bit sorry for my tiler!

This is not an exhaustive list of tiling patterns – there are so many! But some of my favorites that you see time and again. 

Remember to select your tiling patterns in consideration of your room as a whole. A complex pattern in one place can be beautifully highlighted by a simple pattern in another. Small rooms can be given the illusion of more space by placement of tiles that draw your eye. 

AND check your tiler has the required experience! I cannot stress this enough – your beautiful tiles will only look as fabulous as the skills of the tiler that lays them. 

Good luck! And photos of my finished project coming soon (once I lasso my tiler :-))

About to choose your tiler? Check out our Blog here for The Best Bathroom Tiling Tips to Help You Manage Your Tiler

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