Create a Layout

Ready to exercise those old drawing tools? Let's have some fun!


Take the measurements from your first step, draw it to scale, and start playing with the design. Fun hint- if you have Excel, set the column width to 1 and the row height to 10. Bam- a perfect grid to use for your layout!

Get some inspiration from our gallery here. These are all installations completed by Modern Bungalow. For more inspo, check out "Craftsman Fireplace" on Pinterest.


Tile sizes are nominal, not exact. They are a little smaller than the stated size, to allow for grout joints. That means if you have a 4x4 grid on your paper, you can fill it with 4x4 tiles. Easy!

Keep it simple. If you have a lot of interest from your relief tiles, keep the rest of the layout very plain. If you're using multiple colors, keep the layout more simple.

Think about proportion. If you have a very large area to cover, you probably don't want to cover it with tiny tiles. Likewise a very small surround will look odd with giant ones. 

Take it to the edge. Will any edges of tiles be exposed in your design? Typically this is because the firebox is open, or the design wraps around the corner. If so, you'll want a glazed edge for those particular tiles.

Cost considerations: In general, simpler designs with fewer motif tiles are less expensive. Fewer big tiles are cheaper per square foot than many small ones. 

Extra tiles: Plan to order about 5% more tiles than you need. Things always happen in the real world that we don't plan for in our spreadsheets, like missed measurements, a tile cracked years after installation, or other issues. We like to order extras of larger tiles that can be cut to fit different sizes in a pinch.

Custom cuts: if your layout calls for a tile size that you don’t see available on the price list, order the next size up and make a note that you need it cut to size. You want to have the tiles cut pre-glaze rather than on site so that all edges look the same if possible.