How To Create a Herringbone Tile Pattern

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Laying herringbone tiles may seem like a tricky job, but with the right preparation and planning it can create a stunning pattern that you’ll be glad you put the extra effort into! Herringbone floor tiles are probably a bit easier as you won’t have gravity to contend with, however if you’re using the pattern on walls then just make sure you use some tape to keep them in place until you add the grout.

Tools Checklist

  • Tile Cutter
  • Notched Trowel
  • Tape Measure
  • Eye Protection
  • Dust Mask
  • Pencil/ Dry Wipe Marker
  • 1.5mm Tile Spacers
  • Spirit Level
  • Grout float
  • Grout profiler
  • Sponge
Step 1: Pick your tile

You’ll need to pick a rectangular tile to create a Herringbone tile pattern. The width of the tile needs to be half (or less than half) of the length or the effect won’t work.

Here are a 3 of our own tile options that we think look great in a Herringbone effect:

Step 2: Dry fit your herringbone tile pattern

For either floors or walls it’s best practise to dry lay your herringbone tiles to make sure you get the effect correct before making it permanent. Working from your first tile, position it at a 45° angle so that the corner is right against the edge. Now, use that first tile to lay the rest, providing the first is set at the right angle they should fall into place just fine. Remember to use your tile spacers to ensure the correct grout lines are maintained.

Step 3: Cut any overhanging tiles

Once you reach the opposite edge, it’s likely that some of your tiles will need to be cut in order to fit correctly. Mark them up accordingly using a pencil or dry wipe marker. Use your tile cutter to cut the tiles to size and then use a file or sandpaper to smooth the edges. You may want to number your tiles for future reference to help you remember the order.

Step 4: Mix the adhesive

Depending on the type of adhesive you’re using the instructions may vary, it’s best to follow the instructions on the packaging. Only mix small amounts as and when you need it to avoid wastage as it will start to set immediately.

Step 5: Apply adhesive to your surface

Apply your adhesive to an area of your surface, again, you’ll only want to apply a small section (around 1m2) to avoid it setting. Hold your trowel at a 45° and spread the adhesive evenly across the surface ensuring the notched grooves run in one direction.

Step 6: Lay your tiles

Following the pattern you mapped out in step 1 start to apply your tiles to the adhesive. Stick the first tile, press down and twist to ensure the adhesive the adhesive takes properly. Insert a tile spacer between the edges and repeat until you’ve recreated the pattern from step 1. Remove any excess adhesive and clean the surface as you go along.

For more detailed advice see: ‘How to tile - Laying Tiles’

Step 7: Grout and Finish

The last step is to grout and finish you tiles, we’ve written a more detailed guide on how to do this here: ‘How to tile - Grouting and Finishing’