Floor Tile Patterns

Samantha111September 18, 2011

Hi all,

I have a question on tile floor patterns for my small kitchen. My tile comes in 18, 12 and 6. The tile has a stone like appearance. It has color variation possibly like the first kitchen below. I'm thinking a 12" due to the small size of my kitchen. I can't picture an 18" in there although two tile shops said a large format (one was 14, then this 18) on the diagonal would look good. The main working area is narrow at about 42 of exposed flooring between the two cabinet runs although there is a slightly more open area around the bar because the base cabinet is shallow.

What's your guess on the tile size of the first kitchen?

I don't want the floor to dominate. Do you think a running bond, brick pattern is a busy pattern? Busier than a grid? I've also got a set of glass paned doors (noted on the floor plan). I like layers but don't want to get too busy. I want it to be casual, falling on the English country side.

How does a grid pattern strike you compared to a running bond?

Please share your thoughts.

eclectic kitchen design by chicago kitchen and bath Rebekah Zaveloff

mediterranean kitchen design by tel aviv architect Neta Davidie Tal Rozin Architects

traditional kitchen design by chicago interior designer Emily Mackie Norris

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Hi. Well, let me back into this. The first one is sort of hard to judge, because there is no image of a base cabinet width showing tile beneath it. I'd say, after looking at the other photos, the tile is a running bond pattern, and the tiles are possibly 14 x 14, could be 16 x 16.

The second one, I can see a base cabinet in the corner and it looks to be a 24 inch wide cab. There are TWO tiles on the floor beneath the doors. So I'd say that one is 12 x 12. It does LOOK smaller, and I think that is what the tile folks are telling you.

Then the third one. Thos tiles are larger than 18 x 18, I think they are 24 x 24. Look at the end of the bar in the center foreground of the photo. One width of tile almost equals the entire width of the cabinet depth. I figure that cabinet is, with all the wood on both front/back, plus trim, something like 30 inches deep. Those are some big tiles.

Again, none of these are laid on the diagonal. If you want to test it out how it will look, cut yourself some cardboard and lay them on your floor.

I have only one spot in my house where tile was laid on the diagonal. It was a very narrow small bathroom. We had room for maybe TWO FULL TILES on the diagonal, the rest were pieces. The tile we chose was the 18 x 18, and we also used them as the shower WALL tiles, laid straight NOT on the diagonal.

If you truly have only a narrow space, and only room for maybe ONE FULL TILE in a row of big ones, it will look pretty good I'm thinking.

I love the tile sample you have shown at the top. It looks like unglazed porcelain, which is what we used too. I also got the same tile in the 2-inch square mosaics, sold as 12 x 12 tiles, for the other bathroom floor. Not at all slippery, but that is a lot of grout to keep clean in a kitchen. For my money, I'd get the biggest format tile I could, just to keep down the number of grout joints to keep clean. Straight line or diagonal, depends on the amount of width you have to walk around. Narrow, make it diagonal.

That's just my two cents. If you are laying the tile yourself, do what is the easiest to make a professional looking job of it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 5:17PM
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I thought larger tiles wouldn't look good in a small room also. thought it'd make it look even smaller - or weird.

It doesn't. I was talking to my sister about it and then realized that she had the same larger tiles in her small (10x12) computer room. She said they used the larger tiles in all of the downstairs. So, I went to look and yep - large tiles in her small PR look fine. Looked fine in her small kitchen too. her kitchen is about 13 x 13 with a 3 or 4' sq island in the center of it.

While I had previously looked at her floors (often) that they were all the larger tiles (even in the smaller rooms) just didn't register. They didn't look weird or I'm sure I would have noticed it right away.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 5:44PM
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I also like the larger tiles. The tiles you have chosen are so pretty.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:57AM
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I have tile thoughout the main areas of my home including my small kitchen and tiny powder room. It is 18"x18" laid on the diagonal, and to me it makes the area seem larger. I recommend the largest tile you would be comfortable with for a couple of reasons: large tile is easier to clean with fewer grout lines and visually it seems to enlarge the room. I'd also recommend talking with the installer about how very thin you would prefer the grout lines as they can make them custom for you.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 6:15PM
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Thanks for the input! I do love the large tiles but will probably settle on the smaller one to keep the country look I'm after.

Well, I found the tile in stock and it looks nothing at all like that pretty sample board of medium warm toned tiles. This distributor's sample board and wall display was lighter and looked a bit different but I could have gone with it. It did have lots of gold which I liked. Then he opened a carton which was mostly creams with a little brown and gray going on. Just blah and wouldn't do a thing for my kitchen. So I'm back to the drawing board with tile.

Has anyone else experienced this? How did you manage? I've checked out three tiles now being able to get a stock box home to find they really don't look like the warm colored sample boards. This tile lost all its rich warm tones and was very washed out. Another tile had turned out to be mostly cream and gray without the browns and golds of the sample board. I'm so glad I went down there and didn't take any chances!

How do you find the right tile if it doesn't actually look like the samples they provide? Most can't be returned it seems. You buy it it's yours. Sometimes they say they can take it back with a restock fee. My contractor said they have huge amounts of leftover tile from jobs. Maybe because they have to pull so many out to get the coloring they're after?

Do you always buy a sample box before placing your order?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:12PM
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If you have a Lowes nearby, go take a look at their in stock items. Different formats tiles are available there, or can be picked up from a nearby Lowes. We got our unglazed Italian porcelain tile there.

I had a favorite color called Roman Salmon which was a sort of mottled terra cotta....very flower pot like.....which would be very nice in a country kitchen. It comes in 6" and 12" squares as well as the larger formats. I hope I can find a shot of it as used on our sun porch, and we also put it in our tiny 3/4 bath as floor tile AND as wall tile in the shower. Very strong, can stand up to all sorts of abuse.

So yes, I buy a sample box, or a couple of tiles anyway, and have quite a variety in the work shed. If you kept the box in good shape, with the receipt, you could return them to Lowes and no questions asked.....except you say I deccided on something else.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:07AM
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