Building & Renovating

10 Ways To Use Patterned Tiles Without It Looking Too Crazy

Yes, you can mix and match patterned tiles! Plus, we give you important tips on how to install them.

Photography: Dairy Darilag & Kurt Alvarez (Main Photos)

Most of us avoid patterned ceramic or cement tiles, sticking instead to the subtle comfort of plain white, beige, or gray tiles. But the use of patterned tiles in homes goes back centuries, especially the cement-patterned (also called encaustic) tiles you usually see in Spanish-colonial bahay-na-bato and ancestral homes.

If you install the tiles in the proper way, these could give your room depth, texture, and a burst of color. Here are some tile design ideas when you decide to take the pattern plunge:

1. Jazz up your stair’s risers.

If your stairwell needs a boost, look down at its most neglected area—the stair risers. Seeing different patterns (and colors!) per riser is a delightful surprise.

READ: 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Tagaytay

2. Accent your home’s façade.

You may think that cement tiles are only for interior walls and floors, but the durability of these tiles—especially the cement varieties, like the ones seen here in the Malaga showroom—means they could withstand the wear and tear of the elements. Imagine this as a boho accent to a rustic home!

3. Cover the entire floor.

Traditional and contemporary-Filipino homes like this one by architect Arlene Maslog could get away with large swathes of patterned cement tiles. Stick to one pattern for cohesiveness, and go for warm, Pinoy tones of russet, terracotta, and mustard.

READ: Tropical Filipino Design for a Family Home

4. Visually define a different area.

If you’re working with an open layout for your living areas, your floor can benefit from a clear delineation, say, from a dining area to a kitchen. Just make sure the color palette of your patterned tiles matches that of your plain tiles.

5. Disguise a column.

Instead of hiding an awkward column or another architectural element you can’t get rid of, make it into an accent design detail by covering the entire thing with patterned tiles.

READ: A Charming Country-Style Home for a Family of Four

6. Install a playful backsplash.

Decorator Gwyn Guanzon designed a playful backsplash for this contemporary-Pinoy kitchen by mixing up different patterns and colors of Machuca tiles. It all works because he kept the rest of the kitchen’s color scheme neutral.

READ: A Modern-Filipino Townhouse in Quezon City


7. Embed into a cement wall.

Gwyn embedded rich, Persian-rug-patterned ceramic tiles into his raw concrete wall to offset the Brutalist flavor of his design and to allude to the many rugs seen in his apartment.

READ: A Stark and Laidback 88sqm Condo

8. Embed into a cement floor.  

Patterned tiles can add color and interest to a plain, industrial-style concrete floor, as seen in this project by UP Interior Design students. This is also a cost-effective move to add pattern and color without spending too much.

READ: Students Create a Bright and Dramatic Makeover for PWDs

9. Highlight a partition.

Instead of hiding an awkward but necessary toilet partition, make it into a focal point of the room by covering it in patterned tiles in shades from the same color family.

10. Create a pattern with patterned tiles!

If you’re brave enough, create a wall or floor pattern with patterned tiles, as seen here. Use the same size and shape of tiles, and remember to stick to the same color palette to avoid confusion.


  • If you plan on mixing patterns, stick to a cohesive color palette—be it warm or cool—to avoid visual chaos.
  • If you have a limited number of patterned tiles, centralize the installation to create an “area rug” for your room.
  • Create a pathway of patterned tiles leading from your gate to your front door; use cement tiles as the color pigments are mixed into the Portland cement, making it withstand high foot traffic without wearing out.
  • Use mortar to install cement tiles, and apply a penetrating sealer afterwards for extra protection.



Machuca Tile

867 Gen. Solano St.,

San Miguel, Manila

Tel. (02) 735-1797

Malaga Tiles

Km 64-64 Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Rd.,

Brgy. Lumil, Silang, Cavite

Mobile 0999-974-0670

AIS ITrade

  • Unit 2-6, Forum South Global,

7th Ave. cor. Federacion Drive,

Bonifacio Global City

  • Unit D12, Axis Entertainment Ctr.,

Vibo Place, N. Escario St., Cebu City

Tel. (032) 253-3580

La Europa Ceramica Tile Center

Unit G06 Robins Design Center

31 Meralco Ave., Pasig City

Tel. (02) 631-3688

More on

5 Ways To Work With Patterned Tiles

Expert Advice: What You Need to Know About Cement Tiles

5 Beautiful Kitchen Floor Ideas


Latest Stories

Avoid A High Electricity Bill This Summer While Keeping Your Home Cool

You don’t need to leave the AC unit turned on 24/7

How I Moved Out of the Family Home and Survived Living Alone

A young photojournalist shares the triumphs and struggles of living independently

This House in Pasig Has Been Under Renovation For Years

Architect Pierre Briones transformed a dated property into a stunning home filled with wooden touches, designer pieces, and handpicked accessories

This TV Show Does Home Makeovers In 15 Hours

And some of the decorators (and one judge!) are Pinoy. Check out this amazing makeover show.

This Museum In a Bahay Na Bato Is a Lesson In Pinoy History

In photos: The Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Intramuros will delight your mind and eye, not only your tastebuds

This Elevated Walkway In Ortigas Makes Pasig A More Walkable City

The walkway is one of a series of new pedestrian areas rising in Ortigas Center

How Do You Divide Conjugal Property When You Get Annulled?

It's not as simple as 50/50.

4 Questions To Ask Your Interior Designer

Develop a healthy relationship with your design professional for a beautiful home

Designer Pieces We Love in Derek Ramsay’s House in Alabang

The actor doesn’t shy away from investing in pieces that make his home distinct and personal

6 Ways To Increase Storage At Home

From custom-designed pieces to minimalist shelves, explore clever ideas to amp up your storage potential

Here's How To Keep Your Clothes Wrinkle-Free When Traveling

Get perfect OOTD's with this handy (and travel-friendly) gadget!

Neutral Colors Make This 50sqm Condo Unit Extra Homey

Taking inspiration from an accent wall, interior designers Honey Mutia Cervantes and Rosa Manduriao were able to achieve a modern yet comfy look for a one-bedroom vacation home in the city
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!