Flooring Pattern Guide

So you’ve picked out your new flooring, agonized over your choices (tile or hardwood? light or dark? what size? which grout matches?) and you’re getting ready to lay it. Smooth sailing from here, right?

Well, right… but one more decision you need to make, and it’s a biggie: your floor pattern. Depending on the size and shape of the room(s) that you’re flooring, this choice is not always an easy one; today we’re going to help you with a comprehensive guide to the myriad different flooring patterns.

Browse through the pictures below to get an idea of what you like and what will work in your space, and let us know in the comments what works for you in your home.

When tiles or floorboards are laid parallel to and in line with one another, it’s referred to as “stacking” or straight lay:

Straight lay gives the room a symmetrical appearance that can be adapted for any decorating style. It works well with square tile:
Similarly, flooring can be laid straight but diagonally for a bit of a twist (it also makes the room look bigger):
Add interest to a diagonally laid floor with a checkerboard pattern or accent tiles in the corners.
(Yes, it can be done in wood!)
When flooring is laid in a “bricked” pattern, the tiles or boards are parallel but staggered or offset. This adds visual interest, especially when pieces are not uniform in size and/or color:
If you want to use different tile sizes, there’s a pattern for you too:
This one’s called “hopscotch” – every small square is surrounded by larger ones.
A pattern with three or more sizes is called a modular pattern, like the popular Versailles:
One of the most commonly asked questions in regard to flooring patterns: what’s the difference between herringbone and chevron?
This is herringbone:
The tiles and boards are perpendicular to one another, meeting flat end to end.
This is chevron:
Here, the ends are cut and meet point to point, forming a continuous zigzag.
Unusual painting:
And we haven’t even covered carpet! (Stay tuned for a carpet post…)