Stoneware tile installation layouts: tips from the designer

Geometries, combinations and unique creations: these are the characteristics that inject real personality into our spaces. The style of the space we want to design may vary according to the tile installation layouts that we decide to use. To make our projects unique and exclusive, unlike any other, here are some really good tips on the types of installation patterns for tiles and, most importantly, how best to use them.

First of all, there are a few little tricks that can help us to radically alter the appearance of the space: colour pairings that make the room seem bigger, for example, or combinations of different sizes that inject greater personality into walls and floors.

Let’s consider tile installation layouts for a bathroom wall: if we play around combining Alter and Ego, the two collections by Provenza, we can create an incredible mix of the age-old charm of oak wood and the uniqueness of the granite and limestone blend.

Alter is the collection inspired by nature and the authenticity of salvaged oak, and is processed and coated with coloured resin to make it contemporary and highly original. Ego, meanwhile, has a different source of inspiration, that of an ancient Mexican stone, tempered by the passing of time, which is processed and used to showcase its blend of granite and limestone.

Both collections are made up of various sizes and colours: but how can they be combined to make the bathroom as characteristic as possible? Let’s begin with the colours. With regards to Alter, the colour that marries best with an intimate space like the bathroom is Miele, a highly sophisticated and delicate shade that goes perfectly with the very light Avorio of the Ego collection, which is capable of really elevating the stone surface. Installation layouts for rectangular tiles, like the ones we have just mentioned, should ideally be very simple and follow linear and precise geometries to give the entire space a sensation of peace and tranquillity.

Layouts, spaces and geometries

Designing a tile installation layout is not easy. You have to take account of both the size and conformation of the space: if it is spacious or narrow, if the walls are at right angles or have irregular corners, a classic feature of historic buildings. One final issue to consider before choosing the most suitable tile installation layout is the plan of the space, if it is square, rectangular, L-shaped or C-shaped. These are the main points to evaluate before deciding which geometries to create on the floor or walls.

Blends of textures

Let’s begin with larger environments: in this case, particularly if the rooms are overly spacious, it is possible to create highly personalised and original aesthetic solutions. In other words, to choose floor installation layouts which involve the use of various blended textures, different sizes and multiple colours. This merger of styles gives the room greater dynamism, distinguishing it from classic monochrome floors. These layouts requires extremely precise preliminary designs to ensure perfect results and, at the same time, an aesthetic that pushes the boat out without jarring or creating confusion.

Traditional installation layouts

There are other spaces, other rooms, where it is necessary to use decidedly classic and traditional tile installation layouts for walls or installation layouts for floors. This is because many spaces are already very particular for other reasons, be it very high or decorated ceilings, barrel vaults or original wooden beams above the loft floor. This is why the designer would certainly recommend more classic types of tile installation layouts.

Straight installation

One of the most famous is straight installation whereby the tiles are laid parallel to the walls of the room. This solution is suitable for many covering materials and also combinations of different styles. But in what rooms should we really think about adopting this installation layout for tiles? In modern, minimalist spaces, but also in spaces that require the use of large sizes and in places where it is necessary to minimise the presence of joints.

Diagonal installation

Other traditional tile installation layouts include “diagonal” and “running bond”. In the former case, the sides of the tiles are at a 45° angle to the wall. This solution is applicable when the walls are not at right angles to each other and is able to eliminate the perceived geometric irregularity of the space. Good examples of projects which work well with the “diagonal” layout are the rustic style with stone-effect or terracotta: see Ego by Provenza.

Running bond installation

Last but not least, another traditional tile installation layout is the running bond, a solution in which the tiles are once again in parallel, as in the classic installation layout, but this time staggered. This pattern is perfect for installation layouts with rectangular tiles, and suitable for both smaller and larger sizes. The full effect of this pattern can be seen with the wood-look slabs of the Alter by Provenza collection.

Alternative sizes and layouts 

Moving onto alternative installation layouts for tiles, let’s see which solutions can be adopted to create original spaces with strong visual impact. They don’t have a precise name, nor do they have overly rigid designs to respect, they simply use different sizes in a harmonious way. Let’s imagine, for example, a very sterile, minimalist and simple kitchen: this is precisely where a touch of originality makes the difference! This being the case, we decide to lay our tiles according to a “freer” layout, creating designs by assembling a palette of colours, from lighter to darker shades, and various porcelain stoneware effects. We design circular forms that create amazing 3D spatial effects, or spiral layouts to make the kitchen one of the most characteristic rooms in the house.

The alternative tile installation layouts stem from a very simple desire: to be different. When it comes to standing out from the crowd and being remembered, creativity and innovation are key qualities, and that is why it is good to flaunt them when designing your own home, showroom or restaurant.

Installation layouts for wall coverings

The tile installation layouts adopted for walls are similar to those that we have mentioned for floors, but must take one other additional factor into consideration: the decor. When you design the wall coverings of a bathroom or a kitchen, the two rooms in which we are most likely to tile the walls, it is essential to take account of the cooktop or, in the case of the bathroom, the fixtures. In short: everything must be completely harmonious. In these two rooms, as well as their aesthetic function the coverings are also crucial for protecting the walls and this is why it is essential to identify the right solution: aesthetics and technical performances must coexist in harmony.

Another factor to consider when designing a tile installation pattern is whether the layout goes well with the design chosen for the floor already present in the space. Make sure not to create too much confusion or mix too many layouts as this could have a jarring effect on the room.

How to choose the right tile installation layout

Choosing the most suitable installation layout for the space is definitely the most important aspect to bear in mind when embarking on an interior design project. But the question is: how to choose the right one? Very simply, it will be necessary to take account of all of the factors mentioned in the article. Tile installation layouts should be chosen according to:

- the size of the space

- whether the walls are at right angles to each other

- the type and function of the room

- if the floor in the room already has a particular layout it is important that it goes with the one chosen for the walls

- the style of the decor

If you have got to the end of the article, you will certainly have read lots of good advice for establishing which tile installation layouts are most suitable for your space as well as a few tips regarding two collections which coexist harmoniously in the same room.  


19 February 2021


From our blog

Totalook: interview with the designer