7 Creative Ways to Incorporate Patterned Tile on Your Fireplace

A fireplace is the perfect canvas to express your style. Use patterned tiles to create a distinctive design that sets the tone for your room.

Large-scale patterned tiles help prevent the space from feeling too busy. Chatham terracotta brick tiles (opens in new tab) tango with Scintilla black star pattern tiles for a decorative duo that shines.

Subway Tile

A fireplace wall is the perfect place to go bold with color and texture. You can use plain or patterned tiles that are eye-catching and blend well with the rest of your living room decor.

Subway tile is a classic look for fireplace walls, but it’s not limited to the traditional horizontal “brick” pattern. You can also lay them vertically or in a herringbone pattern.

Try a darker tile for a dramatic accent against the room’s dark furniture. You can even incorporate an intricate pattern, like this black matte zig-zag tile. This style fits perfectly with the nautical theme of this space, complete with shiplap walls and plaid furnishings. The textured tile creates an exciting contrast with the smooth mantel.

Textured Tile

For instance, the texture of your tiles, a paint fireplace tile, can add an interesting visual dimension to the installation. Tiles that are textured or rough have a natural feel that can enhance the ruggedness of an existing fireplace.

Zellige tiles have a design moment and are an excellent option for those who want to bring natural texture to their space. These handmade ceramic tiles’ imperfections, varying colors, and glazes can make your fireplace cladding unique.

The textured chevron tile on this fireplace accentuates the star-like pattern of the antique encaustic tile and pulls the room together. Although the fireplace is non-functioning, the decorative tile helps elevate it into a show-stopping focal point in this contemporary home.

Glass Tile

Although tile is typically seen as a kitchen or bathroom material, it’s also an excellent choice for fireplaces. This option is eye-catching, adds a touch of shine that other materials can’t, and can be used in any style, from traditional to modern.

Mosaic tiles can add an intricate appearance to your fireplace design, transforming it into a work of art. These tiles feature a rainbow of colors and shapes, making them perfect for bringing a unique look to your living space.

Glass tiles reflect light, which helps make small rooms feel larger. Choose a lighter color to create the illusion of an open space, or opt for darker tiles to ground a room with a warm, inviting atmosphere. If using glass tile, use fire-safe grout to ensure your fireplace design complies with safety standards.

Geometric Tile

Geometric tile adds pattern and texture to a room in a unique, eye-catching, and expressive way. Geometric patterns are a form of repetition that can have a soothing effect. They also add a sense of order, symmetry, and logicality to a room.

Patterned tile adds a bold, artistic flash to any fireplace surround or floor. You can choose from various shapes, colors, and textures to add the look you want to your space.

The key is to be creative with your design. Just be sure to use non-combustible tiles approved for hearths and fireplaces, adhere to your local building codes, and are installed by a qualified professional. Heat and smoke can damage grout, melt adhesives, or discolor glazes. Remember that patterned tile can be overwhelming if used on an entire surround, so it’s best to stick with a small accent wall or tile inside the fireplace.

Moroccan Tiles

Known for their handmade look and earthy colors, Moroccan tiles genuinely are a work of art. They captivate the eyes and are perfect for those who want to add a touch of exotic flair to their home.

Typically found in homes, palaces, and mosques throughout Morocco, these beautiful tiles have become essential to the country’s rich cultural heritage. Traditionally called Zellige or Zelige, these intricate tiles are named for the artistry and skill needed to produce them.

Bring the beauty of Morocco to your fireplace by lining it with Moroccan tile. For the best results, use a neutral color scheme and keep the rest of the room simple. The result is a room that exudes elegance and class. It will be the envy of all who visit.

Wood Tile

The patterned tile on this fireplace creates an eye-catching accent while complementing the wood hearth and trim. This design by Andee Hess of Osmose Design features zellige tiles, which are ceramic, handmade, and glazed. Because of their unique look, no two tiles are alike. This creates a beautiful contrast between the tiles and the white and beige colors throughout the room.

Adding a pattern to your fireplace surround makes it an attractive focal point in the room, even when there isn’t a fire blazing. Be sure to choose non-combustible materials, like the porcelain or quartzite used here, that are rated for high heat and have a heat rating on their packaging. Using stone-look tiles also helps to create a more natural and rustic look for your surround.

Herringbone Tile

If your fireplace is surrounded by wood, consider installing a herringbone tile surround to create a visually stunning focal point in your living room. This pattern looks similar to a chevron but is created with equal-sized rectangular tiles instead of triangular ones.

Herringbone tile is also available in various colors, designs, and finishes that work with almost any design style. Choose from frosted Art Deco-inspired patterns for a glamorous look, metallic designs for a contemporary look, or even iridescent white glass tile for a shimmering finish.

Whatever tile you use, talk to your local tile installer about adding this design element to your project. They can ensure that the new cladding meets any fire safety requirements for your area.