Art and Design

Not Square

Not all mosaic patterns use square pieces. You can make an amazing mosaic pattern using other shapes.

This floor in a cottage in Ceredigion used long pebbles. The owner found the pebbles nearby and fitted them together carefully. The beautiful flowing pattern is not created with colour but by the direction of the pebbles. You can see:

  • wide strips where all the pebbles point towards the end of the room
  • a square in the doorway where the pebbles point the other way
  • bands where the stones are diagonal to make a herring-bone pattern
Long pebbles as floor in a cottage in Ceredigion

Floors like this are popular in Spain. Here is one where long pebbles in a herringbone make strips to form complicated patterns. White pebbles fill the gaps.


Craig Bragdy make amazing mosaics today at Denbigh. Look at their projects for floors and swimming pools. Do they use the same kind of pieces as Roman mosaics or something different? Do they have the same kinds of colours and patterns? 



Either group field trip or independent study. For group visits teachers should contact church or chapel owners in advance to ensure that they will be open.

Churches and chapels often have tiled floors made of hexagonal, square or triangular tiles. Traditional colours are red, black and white, but sometimes there are other colours and even designs stamped into the surfaces. Visit some local churches and chapels and look at their floors to answer these questions:

  • How many different colours of tile are there?
  • What different shapes of tile are used?
  • Are the tiles laid to make a bigger pattern?


Possible to visit:

  • Local churches and chapels
  • Penarth Pier to see the Craig Bragdy mosaic floor