How To Lay Herringbone Tiles

Date: November 6th, 2020 CTD Tiles

Herringbone tiles can completely transform your home. When you think of this trend you will typically think of flooring, but there has been a huge increase in demand for this pattern filtering through to other surfaces within the home, particularly feature walls. It adds interest and character to spaces and is a great way to create that eye-catching statement you want to see as you walk through the door.

If you are looking to introduce this beautiful on-trend look into your home but are unsure about it, we’re here to help! We have pulled together a step-by-step guide on how to lay herringbone tiles to inspire you. 

Watch our quick video guide:

Step 1: Tile Choice and Height

First things first, you need to pick the right tile for you. A rectangular tile is the ideal shape because of its size and length. Our Poitiers collection has a beautiful selection of 300 x 75mm wall tiles that will work perfectly for a herringbone pattern, they also come in a wide choice of colour options that fit into both modern and traditional style spaces. Our Alba and Arles wall tiles also work perfectly in the same instance, adding a decorative and textured finish. 

The tile's height should be divisible by its width. Guide to laying herringbone tiles.

At this early stage when choosing your tile it’s important to check that the tile’s height is divisible by its width, otherwise the effect won’t work as well. If you are worried about how this may look when laid, it is always recommended to dry lay your herringbone tile pattern first, whether you’re working with floors or walls. Dry laying will ensure that you are getting the positioning correct before you start installing.

Step 2: Tools and Equipment

You will then need to make sure you have all the right equipment to ensure that you are able to install the tiles with ease. This is fundamental with any installation and you will find it will make the whole process smoother. 

Tools and accessories needed to install tiles in a herringbone layout.

The products you will need are:

  • Tape Measure – For measuring out and marking tile cuts.
  • Manual Tile Cutter – For cutting tiles to fit around edges.
  • Adhesive – For fixing the tiles to the surface.
  • Notched Trowel – For smooth and even tile adhesive coverage.
  • Tile Spacers – To assist in spacing out the tiles.
  • Tile Trim – To finish around raw edges of tile.
  • Grout – For filling in joints.
  • Grout Float – To apply the grout smoothly.
  • Sponge – To remove excess grout, residue and cleaning as you go.
  • Silicone Sealant – To seal and finish between adjoining surfaces.

Step 3: Installation of Tiles

Before you lay any tiles it is crucial to find and mark the centre line of your herringbone pattern. Once you have done this, you will then need to lay out and pre-cut the first set of tiles so that you know you are getting the positioning correct. It is best to lay the tiles dry first at a 45-degree angle to make sure that you have measured, placed and cut them correctly.

Steps 1 and 2. Guide to laying herringbone tiles.

Once you have done this, you will need to apply the adhesive to the wall in small sections and begin placing the tiles in a herringbone pattern, working up and outwards until complete. Apply tile trim on the raw edges of your design for a sleek finish. 

Steps 3 and 4. Guide to laying herringbone tiles.

Once you have fixed the tiles to the surface, you will then need to leave them to dry for 18 hours before grouting.  Once dry, remove the tile spacers, and start to apply the grout with a grout float, working it in between each tile until all joints are filled. Wipe over with a damp sponge to get rid of any excess grout and residue, then seal around the edges with a silicone sealant in the same colour as your grout.

Steps 5 and 6. Guide to laying herringbone tiles.

Voilà - one beautifully tiled herringbone surface!

Poitiers Green wall tiles in a herringbone layout in a bathroom.

Poitiers, Crackle and Metro Brick wall tiles in a herringbone layout.
Pictured: PoitiersAlba and Bevel

We hope our blog has helped inspire you to create the perfect herringbone look with tiles in your home. Let us know how you get on, via our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram!

This is a simple step-by-step guide produced for inspirational purposes only. We would always recommend using a professional tiling contractor where possible to install tiles.

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