Create Your Own Tile Layout (Here’s How)

Madrid White 8x9 Hexagon Porcelain Tile

A tile layout is the pattern in which your tiles are laid on the wall or floor. While there are many classic layouts, such as grids and offset subway tiles, choosing a less common layout can make your tile even more eye-catching.

If you’re new to laying tile, you might be tempted to jump in and start installing it along the straightest wall in the room. However, you’ll find that beginning at the center of the space results in much better symmetry!

In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss multiple layout options and explain how to prepare for successful tile installation.

First Steps

There are a few things you’ll need to do before jumping into your tile project!

1. Measure the room and your tiles.

Measuring tape and other tools

When you’re setting up a layout, it’s crucial to know several different measurements.

First, you’ll need to know the room’s square footage and your chosen tile’s dimensions, as this will help you determine how much tile to purchase. (We recommend buying 10% more than you think you’ll need to account for cracked tile or any mistakes that occur during the installation process.)

Be sure to write down both the room’s dimensions and your tile’s dimensions.

2. Find and mark the center of the room. 

Carpenter square

Next, you’ll want to mark guidelines or layout lines with a chalk line tool. Measure the room’s walls with a tape measure and determine the midpoint on each. Then, snap a chalk line between the marks on opposite walls.

Establish a second perpendicular chalk line using a carpenter square. Your two lines will intersect at the center of the room.

3. Make sure your layout grid is square.


Now, it’s time to ensure the guidelines in your layout grid are completely square, meaning that they form right angles (90°). We’ll use the 3-4-5 rule to do this.

Start by marking a point on one of the chalk lines that is three feet from the center. Next, mark a point on the intersecting chalk line that is four feet from the center.

Make a diagonal line between these two points. If your lines are square, then your diagonal line will be five feet long.

If it is not five feet long, then you’ll need to adjust your guidelines to be perpendicular.

4. Create a scale blueprint with graph paper.

Graph paper, pens, and markers

Now that you have accurate guidelines, create a blueprint using graph paper. Whether you plan to keep things simple or create a more complex layout, drawing out your plan will help installation go more smoothly. This is especially true if the space isn’t a perfect rectangle or square.

Be careful with your measurements, and don’t forget to include any doorways, fixtures, vents, cabinets, and other obstructions that may impact the installation process.

Select Your Tile Layout

There are so many ways to lay out your tile! We’ll go over several of them below.

Grid/Straight Stack

Perhaps the most common (and iconic) tile layout is the traditional grid, which consists of square tiles that are stacked in a grid pattern. You can see an example of this layout on the floor in the photo below.

 San Fran Aqua 8x8 Porcelain Tile

A variation on the grid layout is the horizontal straight stack, which can be achieved with rectangular subway tiles. This creates more of a modern, contemporary feel.

Zellige Emerald Green 2x16 Ceramic Tile 

Another similar option is the vertical straight stack, which features rectangular tiles arranged vertically in a grid. Using this tile layout on a wall is an excellent way to make a space feel taller.

 Zellige Dark Gray 2x16 Ceramic Tile


To achieve a diamond or diagonal layout, simply install your tiles at a 45-degree angle. This twist on the classic grid makes floors appear wider.


Perhaps you want to have one type of tile on the majority of the floor, bordered by a different type of tile. We recommend snapping chalk lines perpendicular to the walls to mark out the area where the border tiles will go. It’s wise to double-check all of your measurements when planning a bordered layout.

Offset Brick or Subway Tile

Offset subway tile is another traditional choice. Mix things up by offsetting your tiles by one-half, one-third, one-quarter, or another measurement. For best results, remember that the smaller the offset is, the longer your tiles should be.

 Zellige Midnight Blue 2x16 Ceramic Tile


Calacatta Gold Mini Chevron Mosaic 

Create a stylish chevron pattern by purchasing tile cut at an angle and connecting the ends to look like a V-shape or arrow.

Chevron can be challenging to install, so if you want to get the look without the extra effort, keep an eye out for chevron mosaic tile like the Calacatta Gold pictured above. This type of tile comes in squares with a chevron pattern and isn’t much more difficult to install than your typical square tile.


Honey Onyx Mini Versailles Mosaic 

The Versailles tile layout is considered to be one of the most complicated options, thanks to its combination of squares and rectangles in varying sizes.

Like the chevron above, you can skip the hassle of creating a Versailles layout yourself by opting for a mosaic version.


Zellige White 2x16 Ceramic Tile 

Herringbone and double herringbone are excellent choices for creating visual interest, especially if you incorporate multiple colors.

Herringbone consists of columns containing sloping parallel lines. All the lines in one column slope in one direction, and the lines in the next column slope in the opposite direction, resembling fish bones.

Meanwhile, double herringbone, which consists of two connected rectangular-shaped tiles instead of one, results in more of a braided look.


The pinwheel layout adds a small square tile at each corner of a larger square. The effect is reminiscent of a spinning pinwheel, and this layout is a great way to incorporate an accent tile or accent color into the room.


Calacatta Gold Marble Random Strip Mosaic 

A complex layout can be anything you’d like it to be. This is your chance to create something totally unique! Maybe you want to mix multiple different tiles in varying shapes, colors, sizes, and designs–it’s completely up to you.

Just keep in mind that the added artistic flair also means a more difficult installation process. Your graph paper blueprint will be especially important if you choose to go with a complex layout!

No matter your chosen layout, don’t forget to dry-fit your tile before installing it, adding spacers between each tile to account for grout lines.

Discover the Tile of Your Dreams at!

Not sure how you’ll manage to find the tile to achieve the layout you’re imagining? Look no further. has a wide range of tile options to choose from. Whether you prefer porcelain, glass, ceramic, or natural stone, we have them all in various sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns. Every order comes with fast delivery, insured shipments, and easy returns.

Click here to view our selection, or find more DIY tips and tricks and design inspiration on our blog.

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