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Brick Installation: How to Choose the Best Tile pattern Layout

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Choosing the right tile for your project is only the start of your design decision-making. Once you’ve chosen the optimal thin brick product for your project, you’ll have several other factors to consider before you’re ready for installation. Alongside the type of mortar or adhesive you use, you’ll need to choose which grout color and type is right for your project. Finally, when you have all the necessary materials to begin installation, you‘ll need to decide what installation layout is best for your space and which aesthetic appeals to you most. This article will address several layout options to help aid your decision-making process.


Running Bond or Subway Tile or Offset

The running bond or subway tile is the most common installation pattern for brick and other ceramic tiles varieties. In this pattern, each row of tiles is typically offset by half a width (1/4 or 1/3 off sets are also a popular option). To install, do one row at a time, butting the bricks end to end. On the next row, cut one brick in half for the end pieces and install so that the bricks run exactly centered to the previous row. Repeat these first two row patterns again and again until your installation is complete. Pros to consider for this install pattern: 1) Requires minimal cutting and measurement 2) Easy pattern to install 3) One of the sturdiest patterns 4) Easily follows a gentle curve.


Alternative: Diagonal Running Bond

Turning the running bond or subway tile to a 45-degree angle gives a less standard application than the original and works well over curved and uneven spaces. Cons: Every brick that reaches the end will require custom cutting. You will need to order a little extra to account for the cuts. Other Alternative: Vertical Running Bond



This zig-zag pattern creates an elegant look that looks exceptional on floors or accent walls and great with our Snohomish color mix or whitewashed brick. Pros: Gives more formal character to your brick project. Can be adapted to fit around a slight curve if needed. Cons: Requires several cuts along the perimeter. Bit more time consuming than other installation patterns.


Spanish Bond

In this design pattern, four outer bricks form a square that encases a half brick or square brick. Pros: Great for kitchen floors, entryways, sunrooms/mudrooms, back splashes. Cons: Cannot be adapted easily to fit over curves or uneven ground


Basket weave

In this installation pattern, pairs of bricks alternative vertically and horizontally to create a woven, almost tapestry-like appearance. Commonly used on flooring in entryways, sunrooms/mudrooms, and patios. Pros: This pattern works well on straight paths, requiring infrequently cutting (only on the ends). If used on a perfectly rectangular area could require little to no cutting. It adds more visual attractiveness and character to a space. Cons: Does not work as easily around curved or uneven surfaces.


Alternative: Diagonal Basket weave

Rotating the basket weave diagonally allows for even more visual depth. Looks great on flooring in entryways, hallways, sunrooms/mudrooms and patios. Pros: Pro: Will round curves nicely Con: Requires a lot of custom cutting all around the perimeter of the space


Jack on jack, Stack or Straight Lay The same as running bond except that tiles are fit squarely in neat rows instead of alternating in placement. This creates a basic, repeating grid. Another common pattern, especially for tiles in bathrooms, exterior surfaces, or kitchen backs plashes.


For additional information about our brick tile options, please visit our Thin Brick products page. Feel free to email us at design@realthinbrick or call our main line.

Got questions? Call or Text us at 206-399-4087


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