Tile Combination and Layout Ideas
There are so many choices involved in material selection. Not only do you need to choose color and size, but tile layout as well. Here's some general design rules we follow, plus some specific collections and ideas to pull off popular tile combinations and patterns. People are easily visually overwhelmed, and while it may be tempting to install all the fun mosaics and colors there’s probably a simpler way to pull off the look you want. Be conscious of the whole picture.
Lead your eye through the room with directional patterning
Do something that will highlight a subtle element of interest and not simply the size of the room. Start at the door and point your herringbone pattern towards the shower. Utilize a diagonal-set square tile. Mix it up with a 45 degree angle on your wood-look plank porcelain tiles.
Try Waterwood from Daltile to achieve this look.
Stack your subway and flatten your finish
Subway tile is here to stay. Thank goodness there's so many variations of it now to keep things interesting. Go matte for a more modern look, and consider stacking the tile in a grid rather than off-setting them.
Consider the light in your space before choosing matte. It is considered quite modern, but may not add light to a darker space. Glossier tile can add interest and reflect more light.
White or light colors can create openness
Think of it as adding an extra source of light to the room. Whites and lighter colors will reflect any light the room does have and amplify it. For this reason, people will often choose their darker colors for the floor. It provides balance in the room, and you can always pull some darker tones from the floor up into an accent tile band, light fixture, or other post-construction detail.
(Like the bevel look? Try Hawthorne Ceramic Wall Tile.)
Or go dark
All rules are made to be broken, and a nice dramatic dark wall can add just as much interest in a small space as a fun pattern or shape. Perhaps consider a dark grey subway tile or deep 12x24 for your wall. Even think about carrying your floor tile up onto the walls for cohesion and modern flare.
Utilize geometric shape for interest
Perhaps you want to draw the viewer’s eye away from the fact that it’s a smaller space, or just bring more attention to the brand new tile instead of the boring bathtub and fixtures. Add a fun shape that your guests will walk away remembering.
This is one of the most popular looks in tile! It's incredibly timeless and lovely, so we've got you covered for sources: Konzept Porcelain Tile or Bee Hive Porcelain Tile (for a giant 24" hexagon). Need more? Visit the Geometric and Specialty Shaped Tiles Collection.
Now let's get into tile layout
Got a square tile?
How about rectangle?
Or even a mix?
If you decide to go with brick-set, just remember to not offset by more than 1/3 of the tile. A certain amount of bowing is allowed in production of larger porcelains, and setting them at 50% can cause your floor to have "lippage", or tiles that stick up higher than others.
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