How to Design Floor Tile Layouts


Putting down a new tile floor gives you the opportunity to create a designer look for the whole area, whether it's the bathroom, kitchen or entryway. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of colors and shapes, allowing for numerous pattern variations. In designing your floor tile layout, you can employ the use of software drawing applications, or you can do the same job the old-fashioned way, with pencil and paper. For simple floor layouts, a pencil drawing will generally suffice.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Measure the floor to be tiled. Establish a scale for your drawing, for instance one inch on paper to one real foot of measurement. Draw the floor's shape to scale.

  • Mark the scaled drawing with a grid. Make the grid to scale with the size of the largest tile you'll be using. So if you have large one-foot by one-foot tiles, then they would be one-inch by one-inch on the grid scale. If the tiles are only six inches on a side, you'll need a one-half inch grid. Be sure to center the grid by having a row or column exactly through the center of the room. Along the edges, the grid squares may not be full-sized, indicating where you'll need to cut tiles.

  • Establish a color pattern. Simple patterns are with color only, meaning the grid itself represents where the tiles will go, each grid representing one tile. Color the squares on the grid to represent the color you want and design a pattern accordingly.

  • Alternatively, you can establish a shape-based pattern. For more complex patterns, using more than one size or shape of tile, sketch a larger scale grid on a separate sheet of paper. Typical patterns will have some tiles the full size, filling a grid square, then use several smaller tiles places longways and vertically, mixed with smaller squares, to fill a neighboring grid. On the separate sheet, sketch out different ways you can fit the pieces together like a puzzle. On the scaled drawing, decide which grids will have the complex pattern and which will be full-sized tiles. Or have all grids made up of the complex pattern.

  • Follow your layout design, starting with the center line to make sure your flooring is balanced.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your scaled drawing doesn't neatly fit on a sheet of ordinary paper, use a large sheet of paper, like butcher's paper, for your drawing. For designing larger rooms, tape several sheets of paper together.

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  • Photo Credit Belur Temple Floor image by Ahmed from
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