Halftone and op-art caught my eye, and a local opportunity could provide a good source for a tile project. It would comprise two different colors of tiles, with identical size and dimensions.

The halftone pattern would be made by cutting corresponding tiles to make a new whole, i.e. 20/80, 30/70, 50/50, 70/30, 80/20. For example, pretend that each [bracketed] group below represents a compound tile, made from fractions of cut tiles.

[00000+] [0000++] [000+++] [00++++] [0+++++]

these examples show related effects



The cuts can be made horizontally or diagonally at varied angles, as long as the bisecting line passes across the entire width of each tile. This will leave a uniform space for grout in every possible ratio of tile fractions, and provide a uniform size of each compound tile.

The floor would be installed in a bathroom of a house where I live. However, I might rent the space some day, and don't want to install anything that would spoil a deal for a potential tenant. DAE know an example of halftoning done tastefully, without looking garish or odd? Selecting two tile colors that don’t substantially differ from one another might tone down the effect, and make a subtle transition from one color to the other.

This project demands many cuts, careful attention and much time, so I don’t want to begin unless I have a better idea of how well it might go.

Tl; dr – how can I properly do a halftone tile project, so I can avoid a noisy eyesore that will repel tenants and require expensive rework?

4 Answers 4


Subtle, toned down, tasteful... all subjective; but I think you have the right idea. IMO you could do it using muted neutral colors, warm or cold, and not risk utterly offending anybody. I am thinking of like taupe/tans/browns/creams or shades of grays.

As mentioned by others, careful work and proper installation would go a long way to assure the longevity of acceptance. Contrary to others, I think nobody else is likely to invest the care for design and perfection of your art (and art it is) than you. The design is intriguing and would no doubt be beautiful done correctly. So study application technique, use quality tools and materials, pick colors 5 times before you settle on the right color, and go for it!


the project turned out OK with a transition from light gray to white. the 90 cuts took some time, but went faster once I developed a technique.

cut tiles ready to secure

finished grid

halftone tile from gray to white

  • I am so glad you did it! That looks awesome, excellent job. May 19, 2017 at 15:24

Your question is rather subjective. If your primary concern is appeal for tenants or future owners, don't do it, IMO. It appears cool, but the prospect for sloppy work ruining the effect is high, or the contemporary art design may not be appealing to future owners either. If you don't care what future owners think, then please yourself and go for it. But again, such intricate careful work can be expensive or time consuming. Hire a professional if you don't have experience yourself doing complicated tile.


I like the term "noisy eyesore". I like houses that have something exciting and different. We'll often try a new design in a shower or bathroom before we try it in a more "public" place, like a kitchen or entry. We tend to spend more time in those areas, so they need to be more "agreeable," thus subtle.


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