Floor Tile Pattern Dilemma: Diagonal or Straight?

coacharkJuly 28, 2008

We are remodeling a long and narrow bathroom. When you enter the bathroom there is a width of 3.5 feet from the edge of the vanity on the left wall to the entrance to the no barrier shower and the tub surround on the right wall. The distance from the door to the back wall is 13.5 feet....a straight shot. The toilet is in an alcove at the far end of the room. The main floor will be 16" square tile; the no barrier shower floor is 2" squares in a compatible color/texture, and the waiscot, tub surround, and shower walls are subways in a matte finish.

We thought we should lay the main floor on the diagonal to make the room look less narrow, but suddenly I'm having second thoughts. Would it be better to lay the floor in a straight pattern to keep everything symetrical due to the subways? Your thoughts/experience on this are appreciated.

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What about BOTH?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:40AM
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modern life interiors

If you lay the tiles in a diamond pattern, it is necessary to purchase more tiles than making square.
There is a great deal of waste in the cutting.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:27AM
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I would absolutely lay them on the diagonal. It will make a huge difference in opening up your "bowling alley". It will be worth the extra time and expense.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:33AM
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I agree with astridh. My bathroom is 14ft x 90 in (loong and skinny, in other words) and I currently have straight tile. I look at it daily and wish it were on the diagonal.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 2:27PM
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Another vote for diagonal. I am so glad we went that route even though my tile guy wasn't thrilled! The diagonal points push the walls out and make the room look bigger.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:55PM
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Thanks, everyone. It's good to hear that no one thought the diagonal would look too busy with the subway tiles. That is what started me to really worry. The tile is already purchased for the diagonal pattern so I know we have enough material to do it that way. I believe last minute jitters are getting to me!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:16PM
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I have a mix of tiles set on the diagonal and squared and it looks great. It's a nice way to break up the pattern, especially in a long skinny room.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 12:57AM
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Another vote for diagonal, especially if your room is not quite "squared".

We have a bathroom that I thought was perfectly squared, but when we laid the tile, I learned that the two opposite walls are not quite parallel. Now that the floor tile is laid, you can really notice this, because that's where your eyes go in a small room... the floor!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:24AM
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Like writersblock, there's an area where I regret not spending the money and having the tiles go on the diagonal. Not worth ripping out the tile as is, but if yours have yet to be installed, go for the diagonal given your description of the space or, as others have suggested, a mix of diagonal and straight.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:24AM
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The rule for laying diagonally and have it look it's best, is to have enough room for two full tiles to fit point to point without any cuts.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 4:43PM
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There are also other patterns besides straight and diagonal.

Also check out the patterns at the Marazzi site

Here is a link that might be useful: marazzi tile patterns

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:50PM
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The marazzi site is really helpful! Thanks, Kevin. We only have one size of tile for the main floor so I believe the diagonal will be the best choice. We can get 2 full tiles point to point like brutuses suggested. The subway will be in a brick pattern for the wainscot and the shower. This all could end up very busy....but I have tried to stay simple with everything else. Once again, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 9:16PM
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coach, as long as you don't have wild colors of tile, your designs won't be busy at all. Can't wait to see it finished. We're doing a brick pattern of 9 x 12 in the shower and around the tub and then diagonal on the floor. Not too busy at all because it's all beige and boring. LOL

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:10PM
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Brutuses, Thank you! I just tried my 12 X 12 samples and I can only fit 2 on the diagonal in my skinny long foyer hallway and three on the diagonal in my front foyer that I had thought was wider! I guess 12 X 12 is the best sized tile for my foyers. i want to go with bigger tiles for my kitchen on the diagonal.

Bill Vincent, what is the name of that tile in the bathroom that I love and I know would look great in my bathroom? Is it a porcelain ceramic? My monitor has it very light but with shades of variation in it and very rich looking.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 1:12AM
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It's been a long time. Even the date stamp lies!! I did the installation in my sister's bathroom in 99, but took the picture to show someone when I went down there for a family get together. I know it was a glazed porcelain, and I have a feeling it might have been a Daltile, because I've used one very similar since then. I'll see if I can get the name of the Daltile, because it just so happens I have some in my garage. Buried, but it's there! :-)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 8:07AM
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Thank you Bill for such a quick reply. You do beautiful work. I wish you lived around me in Northern NJ.

I'll check back to see if you had time to find the name of the tile an the color. It is perfect in that bathroom!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 1:24PM
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I still haven't gotten to it yet (I'm in the process of moving, made alot more difficult yesterday by the loss of the transmission on my truck!). I SHOULD be able to get to it tomorrow night. Here's a pic of the tile I have. As you can see, it's very close:

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 9:33PM
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Do diagonal. I just did. Makes the room appear larger.
Also more interesting.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 12:03AM
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Thanks gunter for letting us know that diagonal will make the room bigger. Thanks Bill for the pretty pic and the tiles do look very similar. We will wait for your response on the name of the tile. I am so sorry about your transmission going on your truck. Is the tile smooth or rough and does it have pits that try to look like real stone? Is is just pretty and looks to me like real stone.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 1:57AM
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Thinking of laying the 12" tiles on a diagonal in the kitchen - it is a galley and area between the cabinets is 6 feet by 14 - any suggestions?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 12:50PM
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Hi this is an old post but hopping your still round! I have a choice of 12 x12,12x18 and 18x18 tile for a small long and narrow Bath width is 37 in x 7 feet, any suggestions on a pattern? Any help appreciated thanks

    Bookmark   October 1, 2014 at 7:48AM
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laxrox: best to put your question in a new post. You'll get more answers.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2014 at 11:52AM
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