Choosing How to Lay Your Tile Flooring

How you lay your tile flooring is best determined by the size of your space, the shape of the tile, budget, and your personal preference. Although patterns you can choose are virtually limitless, the most common ones include the straight lay, diagonal, checkerboard, brick, and herringbone. Within these main styles are many variations that we’ll touch on in today’s blog.

Straight Lay

The straight lay for tile flooring is the most common found, especially in mass built housing. It’s the least expensive tile installation pattern and utilizes the least amount of tile. You can use this with square or rectangular tiles. Just because it’s the most common doesn’t mean it can’t create visual interest. Because the grout lines are all straight, you can lead people’s eye to a focal point in the room with a straight lay floor. This pattern works with almost every color and style of tile and because of its simplicity, it works well in an otherwise busy room.


Most commonly used with square tiles, they become diamond shaped. Designers will tell you that laying a diagonal tile floor will make the space feel bigger. Keep in mind there will be slightly more waste when laying a diagonal floor but it’s still simple to install. You’ll also find a lot of square wall tile hung in a diagonal pattern


A checkerboard floor pattern is most often done with a straight lay pattern but can be found in the diagonal pattern as well. It’s not so much about laying the tile differently as it is about using two contrasting color tiles, most often black and white resembling a checkerboard. This classic pattern remains popular after many decades. One trick some tile manufacturers use is offering one piece of tile with the pattern already in it. This makes it easier for the tile installation company but limits your color options.


Sometimes called a running bond pattern, this is especially popular with rectangular tile. The pattern itself looks like brickwork and is another classic pattern. If you’re considering this on your floor, you have to decide in which direction to lay it. When your rectangular tile is several different colors, this method creates a great deal of visual interest. When you’re using wood-look tile, this is the best option to continue the perception of wood flooring.


This complicated looking floor tile pattern is a great choice for small or narrow spaces but only works with rectangular tiles. Almost any pattern or color tile looks great in this pattern.

Of course, you can consider many other patterns such as basket weave, windmill, and modular but these require several different size tiles to achieve. They are also much more time consuming to lay so expect a higher installation cost than some of the more simple patterns.

No matter what pattern you want your tile installation company to use, make sure they have the experience to get the job done right the first time. The Seer Flooring team will work with you to help select the right tile for your space and the best pattern to showcase your room and tile. Give us a call today at 727-785-1930 for your professional tile installation.