How to Layout Herringbone Tile: A Step-by-Step Guide


Hey there, Reader! Are you ready to embark on a tiling journey that will add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of laying herringbone tile like a pro, even if you’re a complete beginner. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, grab our tools, and dive into the fascinating world of herringbone tile patterns!

how to layout herringbone tile

Understanding the Basics

1. Choosing the Right Tiles

Before we start laying down those beautiful herringbone patterns, it’s crucial to handpick the perfect tiles. Opt for rectangular tiles, preferably with a length twice their width. This will create that classic, visually stunning herringbone look. You can choose from a wide range of materials, such as ceramic, porcelain, or even natural stone, depending on your preferences and budget.

Take your time to consider the overall color scheme and style of the room where you’ll be installing the herringbone tile. Whether you want a sleek and modern vibe or a cozy and rustic ambiance, there’s a tile out there waiting to elevate your space.

2. Preparing the Surface

The key to a flawless and long-lasting herringbone tile installation lies in proper surface preparation. Begin by ensuring that the subfloor or wall is clean, dry, and free from any dust, dirt, or debris. Fill in any cracks or holes using a suitable filler and make sure the surface is level.

Next, apply a thin layer of tile adhesive, also known as thin-set mortar, using a notched trowel. This will help create a strong bond between the tiles and the surface. Take care to work in small sections, as the adhesive can dry quickly.

Laying Herringbone Tile: Step-by-Step

1. Starting With the Base

To create a solid foundation for your herringbone pattern, you’ll need to establish a straight and level reference line. This will ensure that the tiles align perfectly and maintain the desired symmetry. Measure the center of the wall or floor and mark it with a vertical line using a chalk reel.

Begin by applying a layer of tile adhesive along the reference line, using the flat side of the trowel. Make sure it’s wide enough to accommodate the width of your chosen tile. Then, comb through the adhesive with the notched side of the trowel, creating ridges to improve adhesion.

2. Creating the Zigzag Pattern

Now, it’s time to start bringing that herringbone pattern to life! Begin by placing the first tile at the bottom of the reference line, pressing it firmly into the adhesive and wiggling it slightly to ensure good contact. Continue adding tiles along the line, placing them at a 45-degree angle in relation to the vertical line.

As you proceed, make sure each tile is properly aligned and snug against its neighboring tiles, creating that signature zigzag effect. Don’t forget to regularly check with a level to maintain a straight and even pattern.

3. Filling in the Gaps

As you reach the edges, you’ll likely have some gaps that need to be filled. Measure the space left and mark the tile accordingly. With the help of a tile saw, carefully cut the tile to fit the required dimensions.

Place the cut tile in the gap, ensuring it fits snugly and aligns with the rest of the pattern. If necessary, you can use tile spacers to ensure consistent spacing between tiles. Repeat this process until the entire area is covered with a glorious herringbone masterpiece!


Congratulations, Reader! You’ve successfully learned how to lay herringbone tile like a pro. Now that you’ve mastered this timeless technique, why not explore our other fascinating articles on tile design, maintenance tips, and inspiring DIY projects? Keep honing your tiling skills, and soon enough, you’ll be transforming spaces into stunning works of art!

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