Tile provides a lot of benefits for homeowners in the Chicago, Lake View, Ravenswood & Lincoln Square areas. It is durable, water-resistant, and can be a lower-cost flooring option. Whether your next tile project is for floors, counters, backsplashes, or walls, it’s important to consider the various tile patterns available. While the list of patterns is practically endless, we’ll cover four basic ones to consider for your home.

straight tile pattern with square tilesStraight

Straight refers to the most basic tile pattern: all tile edges align, and the tiles are laid parallel with the room’s walls. This is the most common way to lay large, square flooring tiles. This pattern provides a simple and clean layout. Use it to prevent distraction from another centerpiece in the room, or if you want to draw attention to the tile material itself, such as marble.

If you think a straight tile pattern is boring and is just used for plain flooring layouts, think again. This tile pattern brings a unique twist to subway tile, which is usually placed in a staggered layout. Also, you can create vibrant backsplashes or shower walls by placing small mosaic tiles in a straight tile pattern.

staggered tile pattern with subway tileStaggered

The staggered tile pattern has several names including stretcher bond, running bond, and brick layout. Tiles are placed in a similar format to stacking bricks, with each row shifted over by half a tile’s length. As stated earlier, this is a popular pattern for subway tile, but it can also be used for larger rectangular tiles or for square tile. Straight and staggered are the two most common tile patterns.

slate tile in diagonal patternDiamond

The diamond tile pattern rotates square tiles at a 45-degree angle. This is a great way to add some uniqueness to your design without being overpowering. Use the diamond pattern with large square tiles to make a small space appear larger. Or use it with smaller tiles to add intrigue to your backsplash or shower wall.


The name of this tile pattern refers to the skeletal structure of fish. The rectangular tiles are placed at 45-degree angles from one another, creating a pattern that resembles a series of pointed arrows. Depending on the size of tiles used, this can provide a very intricate design. You can use this pattern to point the eye towards a focal point in the room or to direct the path of travel.

marble herringbone pattern

Tile Pattern Variety

Tile patterns increase in complexity when two or more tile shapes are incorporated. Basic tile patterns can be modified into several more complex variations. Consider mixing tile patterns to add intrigue. This can be done to create centerpieces in flooring or walls.

If you need more help deciding on a tile pattern for your space, call the experts at Floor Coverings International North Chicago. We provide free, in-home design consultations. Our design associates and installers are happy to take on the challenge of your next tile project.

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Photo Credit: © Joe Gough © Artazum © Elena Talberg © Jodie Johnson