Tile Floor Patterns

Samantha111September 18, 2011

I have a question on tile floor patterns. 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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I like the pattern of the first pic much better. It is interesting without being busy. I'd guess the size to be 12" because it appears that 2 rows equal the depth of the base cabs.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:22PM
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Personally I'd go with the 18". Bigger tiles seem to be more appealing now, and I don't think it will make your space smaller, I think the less grid lines will actually make it appear bigger. We're thinking of changing out 12.5x12.5" tile in our front hall (narrow as well) to 16" or larger squares. Larger tiles can = less "busy" (less grout lines). All above JMHO.
I'd guess the #1 is ~12", #2 ~10", #3 ~16" ???

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:43PM
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I'd go with the bigger, but in diamond formation.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:27PM
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Thanks for the replies. Do you think the larger tile is a more contemporary look?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 4:04PM
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I'd for sure go with larger. I think larger tiles are more contemporary if the material they are made of is contemporary. Stone-like tiles will look good with the casual french country look you want. And there are less grout lines to keep clean as a side benefit!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 4:37PM
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The tile in the first photo looks like my sun room floor which is done with 16" tile. Running bond gives the richest look to the tile and will go well with country. I think the other pattern is geometric and less country.

I'd use 12". I think the 18" tends to go a little commercial in looks and some bigger tiles can get slippery. The smaller the tiles, the more traction and thinner grout lines.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 4:41PM
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I had the same concerns when I had to redo our kitchen floor. We have a 20 X 20 in a running bond now and I love it. It makes my small kitchen look larger and there is less grout lines( which to me is added bonus). I had 12 x 12 and found the larger size expands the space.. I like the idea of putting your tile on the diagonal.
Here is the before floor:

and here is the after:

I used the same inspiration photo from houzz to show my CG the running bond pattern. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 6:09PM
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The larger tiles will make your space appear larger. The same goes for running them in a diamond pattern. If you're wanting to make the space feel more open, I would do both.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:43PM
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You didn't mention the size of your kitchen. Ours is 8x12. We decided to go with the lagrest tiles we could get.
Here's a shot or two.

The tiles are 24x24 Montauk Black Slate.
We went with a conventional brick pattern because we thought that a diagonal pattern would be too busy in our small space.
Also as others have said, the fewer grout lines, the better.
In oder to help you make your decision, you may want to get a few different samples and mock-up a layout to see what you like best.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:09AM
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In the old kitchen we changed 8x8 to 16x16 tiles and I thought it made a big difference in 'opening up' the space. Your eye follows grout lines, and the grout color can make a big difference in whether it blends or contrasts with the tile...depending on the effect you want to achieve.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:36AM
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The picture below shows how 18 inch tile look on the diagonal in a small bathroom. From tub to the front of the vanity is only about 46 inches. The larger tiles really make it look bigger than it did with the previous small tiles. One thing to consider though is that there will be more tile waste with using a diagonal pattern.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 2:25PM
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I used 12x18" slate-look tiles laid in a 1/3 overlap running bond pattern. I have a narrow galley kitchen, and it makes the space look bigger. In this picture, please just look at the floor and graciously ignore the mess on the counter.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:39PM
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If I were you I'd do 18" in the running bond pattern like LRy511. The bigger tiles will make the space look bigger. I think running bond is interesting, not busy.

To answer your other question, the tiles in the first picture look to be 12".

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 11:54PM
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This is our floor. I don't know if the pattern has a name or not. The larger tiles are 20" and the small tiles are 2", so they make up a small square that's 4 x 4. Perhaps something similar with the largest and smallest of the tile sizes available might work for you.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 2:42AM
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Thanks for all the input and photos! It really helps to see and hear about your kitchens. LRy your kitchen turned out beautiful. I had come across it earlier when searching around.

Rococogurl, thanks for clarifying things that were sticking in my gut. I think you're right on the 12" running bond for the country look I want. I was wondering if that pattern seemed to work particularly well with a stone like tile rather than the grid. I just can't picture a large format in here. It doesn't feel right as much as I love them.

What a day. I found the tile in stock and it looks nothing at all like the original sample board. Or this distributor's sample board or wall display. So I'm back to the drawing board.

Has anyone else experienced this with tile? I've checked out three tiles now being able to get a stock box home to find they really don't look like the sample boards. This one lost all its warm tones. He brought up the whole carton. All of them were washed out. Heavy on the cream with only a little brown and gray in the mix. Hard pressed for any gold. His sample board and 5 year old wall display were lighter than the original but had lots of gold. I was going to go with it. Then the box from the current lot was opened and it was awful. I'm so glad I went down there and didn't take any chances!

How do you buy tile if it doesn't actually look like the samples they provide? The other warm colored tiles I'd selected turned out to be mostly cream and gray instead. The texturing can be quite different too. I do know it's not going to be exactly the same. What am I doing wrong here? My cabinets were supposed to go in next week.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:34PM
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Do you think some of these shops get a great deal on lots that didn't fire up so beautifully? Kind of like seconds. I'm wondering if the stores that charge more for the same tile pay a premium for the better firings.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:38PM
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We have 18" tiles in a brick pattern. I don't think it's too busy or detracts from the rest of the kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 12:21AM
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We used 18 x 18 and wanted a stone look.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:23AM
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Thank you for the running brick photos. They look great. I think that's a good pattern for me. I'm really at a loss with the tile variations. I like the look but am not sure what I'm buying with the samples! Any suggestions? Anyone else run into this?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Here is one, my son, just did for a lady.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:51PM
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I haven't run into the problem you had, but here's what I'd suggest. When you find a tile you think you love, buy a box, lay it out on the floor, and look at it in various light during the day and night. That's the only way to be sure. If you love it in the daylight, but not so much at night, you might switch lightbulbs to get more pleasant lighting. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:45AM
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I briefly entertained a safe tile in a quiet slate, something I'd originally thought of for the floor. More traditional for this area. It was a medium gray with some golden tones shown in a flooring install sample at a tile shop. Then I asked to see if there was a sample board to see how it compared. It was ice blue! The tile stores seem to think this is no big deal, lol. No returns.

After doing the rounds again, I bought a box of one of my old favorites. It's a terra cotta style that looks pretty much like this one but without the deco tile. My cabinets are a creamy raised panel. The grout would be a subtle gray like the picture. The size still worries me at 14 inches although it really doesn't look all that large on the small store floor installation. Laid out it is looking like an oversized tile. What would be your guess on this tile size?

I don't care for this tile in the horizontal running bond in here. I'm struggling between a diamond pattern (the shop shows the tile this way) or a running bond on the diagonal (which seems to look good). I like cozy so don't feel the need is to expand the space by using a diamond. I simply enjoy that pattern. It's more a matter of it's effect on the style and feel of the kitchen for me, as well as the layout of my small rectangular kitchen with it being a 14 inch tile.

How do you think the large terra cotta in a diamond pattern compared to a running bond on the diagonal would affect the style of a space? I was surprised to see this English country kitchen showing a terra cotta diamond pattern. I'd decided that seemed to be going French rather than English country. (I've also noticed Italian rooms using terra on the diagonal. This is an Italian tile.)

Please share your styling observations!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 9:56AM
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After seeing all these floors and measuring my own 18X 18 Ilva Tiles and finding out they are only 17.25" X 17.25" rectified tiles so are smaller than all the boxes say, I wish I went with a bigger tile. They are not installed but are discontinued with all sales final. My kitchen is small at 14' from wall with stove to sliding door and 10.33' long from wall with refrigerator to family room with nothing in the kitchen (if cabinets were removed). I may go with the running bond look. I love the look of the large tiles and now wish I had gone with 24 X 24 but when I saw these tiles in my neighbor's kitchen that is the same size as mine, I thought they looked so nice. I am glad I did not install the tiles when I did my two foyer floors at the end of 2008 year since I would have chosen even a smaller tile feeling all the tiles looked so big. Thank you everyone for sharing. I loved all the pictures.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 5:09PM
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I rearranged my tiles and will start a new thread with pics. I now have them on the floor in a staggered patten and put down 25 tiles and it is looking very interesting and I think I will use this tile pattern. Thank you everyone!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:46PM
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