How to Set a Pattern in Floor Tile

2-4 hours

Bring personality to your floor by creating unique tile patterns

Add angled tiles of various sizes and colors in unusual patterns to bring some personality to your floor. This guide will help you learn how to plan and set a pattern in floor tile.


Do a Dry Run
Do a Dry Run  - Set Pattern Floor Tile

• Prepare the floor and install backer board.
• Use graph paper to draw the pattern to scale, accounting for all the tiles. Use this drawing to guide you as you install the pattern.
• Draw chalk layout lines that represent both the interior and exterior areas of the border and the tiles within the field. Using these lines as a guide, dry lay all the tiles, making sure that the layout will not produce tapered rows.

Cut a Guide Board
Cut Guide Board  - Set Pattern Floor Tile

• Cut a piece of plywood ½-inch thick to the dimensions of the interior of the border.
• Spread and comb thin set on the area just inside the border and across to the nearest wall.
• Set the plywood guide on its layout lines and arrange the border pieces in order on top of it. Set the border pieces in the thin set.

Test the Insets
Test Insets - Set Pattern Floor Tile

• Dry lay the centerpiece on its layout lines and dry lay the surrounding tiles.
• Where there are inset cuts to make, first cut cardboard templates for a test fit. If they work, use them as a guide to cut the tile itself.

Cut the Insets
Cut Insets  - Set Pattern Floor Tile

• For every diamond inset, hold the pattern tile centered on the corners of the cut tile and trace a cut line around the edges.
• Cut all of these tiles at the same time.

Install the Rest of the Tile
Install Rest Tile  - Set Pattern Floor Tile

• Pull up the plywood guide board and trowel thin set in the central area.
• Set the pattern in place as per your drawing.
• Let the mortar cure, grout and clean the tiles, and seal them if necessary.