There are a number of ways to finish tile, whether you are using stone, ceramic or wood tiles. If you have tiles that are the same shape and size, you will be doing a straightforward job, since all you have to do is to decide on a pattern. For a unique look, you can combine tiles that are of different shapes. You can also combine different colors or shades of the same color.
The square is the most traditional ways to finish tile. It is also called “jack on jack” or “grid pattern.” The tiling starts at the center of the floor, which allows the tiles at the outer peripheries to be cut. Square or rectangular tiles of any size are used; they are aligned with the tile edge facing the wall or cabinet.
If you want to create a unique design for standard tiles you can finish them in a diagonal pattern, which is similar to the square finish. In this design though, the tiles are arranged in a 45-degree angle, producing a diamond arrangement when viewed in relation to the wall. The corners are laid pointed toward the edges of the floor. You can also do this finish with tiles that have more than 4 corners but the diamond pattern would be less apparent because of the greater number of corners.
This finish has tiles laid in rows. It is also known as “offset” or “brickwork” pattern. After laying the first row of tiles, each succeeding row is placed a step behind, making the center of the first row tiles even with the joints of the tiles on the next row. This particular finish can be completed with any tile shape that can be laid in a row.
Mosaic finish has been used for hundreds of years. It is made with shaped or small square tiles. Different colors or shades of the same color are used to create texture. A square pattern can be used, and colored shapes or images can be created within the pattern. You can purchase mosaic tiles in boxes or with removable backings, which makes them easy to install.
A more complicated method of finishing tiles is the herringbone pattern. When completed, this finish creates an appealing visual effect. Rectangular tiles are used with the shortest end of each tile installed on the longest end of the tile below it. You can create a traditional design using a single color. A farmhouse effect can be created with 2 or more colors.
To make it easier to lay this pattern, start with a tile that laid at a 45° angle to a wall or cabinet. Doing so will ensure that all succeeding you lay run at an angle to the edges of the floor or cabinet.