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5 Tile Elements – Create Simple Fascinating Stunning Designs

You don’t have to turn to sophisticated computer design programs or expensive interior decorators to create a captivating mosaic floor or backsplash. Altering one or more of the basic elements in an unexpected way is generally all you need to do to add a “wow” factor to your tile layout.


1. Shape

Sometimes, you don’t have to work very hard to create a visual interest in a tile arrangement if you select shapes that already look fancy or unusual.

  • Arabesque: A combination of exotic and classic, the textured edge of arabesque tiles can add subtle curiosity to a single color or monochromatic design.
  • Circle: Round tiles, also known as penny tile, can be used in an almost infinite combination of colors and sizes to enhance curved walls.
  • Fish Scale: First seen in the 1700s, fish scale tiles can be arranged in a number of different layouts, such as fans, rows or circles.

If you’re looking for an understated but intriguing effect, vary the shape and the size of the tiles rather than the color.

2. Texture

There are several tile properties that you can mix and match to create texture in your layout. Try pairing different materials in unexpected combinations, such as glass with stone or metal with marble. Or, glass with cement decorative tile, like this gorgeous install.

Tile finish is also a great way to create more dimension in an otherwise simple design. Iridescent tiles add a pop of interest when placed in intervals, and create a visual focal point when used exclusively on an accent wall. Tumbled, natural and filled and unfilled finishes are actual textures that you can see and feel and are perfect for rustic decor styles.

3. Color

The easiest path to a stunning tile design is also the most terrifying for most people. However, if you can let go of your fear of color, you can achieve amazing results.

The first step is to get over the notion that everything must match and coordinate perfectly. It’s going to be all right if your kitchen backsplash and window treatments are different shades of green. In fact, variations in color create their own sort of textural interest: Think about a bouquet of blue flowers and how well they complement each other.

Another technique you might try is to create an ombre effect across an entire wall, starting with a pale shade of your favorite color at one end and gradually darkening all the way to the other.

4. Orientation

Varying the tile orientation is generally the most effective when applied to a regular design, such as a subway pattern. For example, install the tile horizontally on your bathroom walls, but offset the shower enclosure by rotating the tile 90 degrees to vertical.

Mixing horizontal and vertical orientations can also create a lot of interest when using tiles with a brushed or wood grain finish. Square shapes can be arranged in a checkerboard pattern or at random, which can offset the design just enough to catch attention.

Finally, patterns such as chevron and herringbone don’t have to be laid in the traditional directions. Try inverting or rotating them 45 degrees for a stair-step look.

5. Pattern

If you genuinely want to get creative, then tile pattern is definitely the method to use. Your options are almost unlimited but using traditional shapes in unconventional ways could make your home the talk of your social circle. Small hexagonal tiles can be used to create intricate or simple designs and alternating colors or gradually inverting the patterns is a bold way to create a one-of-a-kind look.


Are you still wondering how to arrange your standard tile pieces in a unique, eye-catching way? Mosaic Tile Outlet has tons of online resources for you: Check out our Look Book or blog for inspiration, and browse our tile and mosaic collections to start planning your own masterpiec


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