What are the Different Types of Bathroom Tile Patterns?

Lori Kilchermann

Bathroom tile patterns range from the simple to ornate and are only limited by imagination. Bathroom tile patterns featuring squares and rectangles include basket weave and herringbone. Pinwheel and windmill patterns are also often-used choices. Hexagon, round and oval tiles can be used to create a variety of intriguing patterns, and artistic tiles and borders can add an individualized element to a bathroom's decor. The type of bathroom tile patterns used can also set the tone for a room, from the more traditional brickwork to a contemporary hopscotch pattern.

Rectangular tiles are popular in bathrooms.
Rectangular tiles are popular in bathrooms.

Modern, contemporary bathroom tile patterns can typically be achieved using sleek lines and brilliant colors. Brickwork is a tile pattern which features parallel rows of square tiles. Hopscotch is a modern-style pattern which features two sizes of rectangles, one large and one small. The large rectangles are placed so they are centered on each other diagonally, and the smaller rectangles fill in the gaps where they meet.

Modern, contemporary bathroom tile patterns can typically be achieved using sleek lines.
Modern, contemporary bathroom tile patterns can typically be achieved using sleek lines.

The running brick pattern features rows of rectangle-shaped tiles spaced much like traditional brick work. Each row is placed so that each "brick" is centered half-way between the brick below and above it. This creates a symmetrical, repetitive pattern.

Bathroom tile patterns can feature a pinwheel design, which uses square and rectangular shapes. Four large square tiles are surrounded by small square tiles at each corner. The remaining space is filled in with rectangular-shaped tiles. The pattern is repeated as often as necessary to fill the desired area.

Two of the simplest bathroom tile patterns are the straight course and the diagonal course. The straight course features rows of square tiles positioned with flat sides matched and perfectly centered above and below each other. The diagonal course features evenly-spaced diagonal rows of squares turned so their pointed tips meet.

The windmill and the offset bathroom tile patterns give the illusion of randomness, but their seemingly haphazard pattern piece placement is repeated over and over again to also provide a sense of uniformity. The windmill pattern features a small square center tile surrounded by four larger rectangle tiles. Each row contains a repeating pattern of a large square tile next to a small square tile and a rectangle tile. The pattern features repeated rows of this same pattern, which are offset from the row above and below.

More traditional bathroom tile patterns include the herringbone and basket weave patterns. The herringbone pattern features one size of rectangular tile alternately placed vertically and horizontally. The basket weave pattern features a pair of rectangle tiles placed side by side next to another pair of identical tiles. The pairs are turned so the divided line between the pair of tiles alternates from vertical to horizontal.

Modern bathrooms use minimalist tile designs.
Modern bathrooms use minimalist tile designs.

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