the clé tile pattern primer

by clé tile | published: Jan 22, 2020

our post on patterns to ponder for our various brick tiles showed several visuals of our favorite installation layouts. here, we aim to break down the most popular to help you plan your next installation of any rectangular tile, from our subway collection to various thin brick options.

there are limitless possibilities for patterns that you can create. you can also play with different tile and grout colors to further make your pattern your own. these guides are a great place to start to find your ideal combination of tile color, installation pattern, and grout.


a herringbone pattern is made up of rectangular tiles laid at 45 degrees that meet at straight edges to form a zigzag pattern.

the only cuts needed for this pattern are edges and trim. tiles do not need to be cut and the end of one tile adjoins length of the other plank. the angle of the herringbone should always be 90 degrees, as one straight edge is placed against the other.

a bathroom backsplash with clé tile carrara subway tiles installed in a herringbone pattern a whimsical floor with clé tile zellige bejmat tiles in natural, gold, and moroccan sea salt installed in a herringbone pattern


this pattern is created when sets of tiles are laid perpendicularly. each set alternates between vertical and horizontal installations. then, the direction of the sets of tile alternate in the next row. important to note that this can only be achieved when the short side of the tile needs to be exactly half the length of the long side (4×8, 3×6, etc). most commonly, basketweave is 2-3 tiles per set.

clé tile zellige bejmat tiles in moroccan sea salt installed in a basketweave pattern on a kitchen backsplash a tiled floor featuring clé zellige bejmat tiles in natural, installed in a basketweave variation pattern


the simplest and cleanest of all, this modern look is made when tiles are stacked so that the grout lines are continuous throughout, forming a grid. this is a great way to make a traditional tile feel more modern. also, this can be done both vertically and horizontally.

a kitchen backsplash with clé tile modern farmhouse brick in brindled blue on the wall a kitchen backsplash with clé tile zellige bejmat tiles in weathered white

running bond

whether installed vertically or horizontally, this is the most recognizable pattern of all, and is often referred to as either offset, a brick pattern or subway pattern. the tiles are staggered in alternating rows with the end of each tile centered on the tile above and below it.

clé tile modern farmhouse brick in cream gloss on the bathroom wall clé tile + fornace brioni cotto rosato tavellas installed on the floor

stacked variation

mix and match? absolutely. you can take two patterns and join them to make your own. below left: an examples of how we alternated a simple stacked row with a row of running bond; and right, the use of grout joints can make their own pattern, adding a variation to a vertical stack.

clé tile carrara subway planks installed on a shower wall in vertical and horizontal patterns a shower wall with clé tile modern farmhouse brick tiles in cream gloss installed in stripes

for even more pattern play, check out our lookbook and get inspired by some clé tile installations.