Help creating a custom tile material

Hello everyone, I am attempting to create a custom tile material. The individual tiles are 1.772" x 11.024" x 0.315’ You can see in the attached file that I have an original tile component that consists of two individual tiles aligned end to end. I copied that component 4x’s to make a section of tiles 2 across by 5 rows deep. I made that 2x5 section a group. Then I made the mat which is 1/8" larger that two -2x5 tile sections and 1/16" thick. I created another component named “Mat-1” Then I placed both tile sections onto the mat.

Basically I’m attempting to model accurately a specific tile and create a material swatch that I can use on an interior layout design of a bathroom. I am doing this properly or is there another way to create custom materials?

I have tried to find training resources/videos but have not found anything that fits what I am trying to do. Perhaps someone can point me to a few links.

You will see in the attached model that I pulled the mat component up so that I could colorize the the mat simulating different grout colors. This may not be the proper way to accomplish the ability to alter grout colors.

Than you,

Custom Tile Material.skp (164.5 KB)

I added a single tile in which I have rounded the edges.

It depends on your presentation approach - are you going to do a closeup photo realistic render and need to show the displacement (bump) of the tile surface?
If so what renderer are you using - it may be able to do the displacement for you without any modeling in SU.
There are online resources for creating tile patterns (not sure about grout colours), such as -

Mosa tile generator

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Thank you for your reply, I had not considered the final rendering process as part of my inquiry. Being new to SketchUp i have limited experience and knowledge of proper modeling process and alternative methods. I will look at the Mosa tile generator as suggested. Being able to show displacement depth would be nice. suggestions for rendering options would be appreciated.

Thank you,


You can certainly make use your tile model to create a texture if you want. I’m using your original model with the staggered tiles here.

On the left is a texture made with the tiles without radiused edges. On the right, I radiused the edges. When looking at the wall at some sort of normal viewing distance the radiused edges aren’t apparent.

Here’s a close up screen grab and you can sort of see the shading on the right. Is it worth the added work? You’ll have to decide.

In the foreground of the first screenshot you can see your tiles. For this pattern you don’t as many tiles as you had created. You don’t really even need as many as I have. To make the pattern seamless, I divided the edge tiles where there’d be no vertical grout line. There narrowest tile in each course is 1/2 in. wide. The tile at the opposite end of the course is the balance of the overall tile width.

The “grout” is placed behind the tiles. It is flush with the long sides and extends half the grout width beyond the narrow ends of the tiles.

I set the Camera to Parallel Projection and the standard Top view. Zoom Extents to fill the model window with the model as much as possible. I selected a style (my default style) with the background color set to white and sky and ground turned off. I edited the style and turned off edges and profiles. The model looks like this:

I exported the image as a PNG and in Options, I enabled Transparent Background. In the image editor, the image opens looking like this:

Select only the transparent pixels and invert the selection…

…crop to the selection…

Save the file and back in SketchUp import the image as a texture. My preferred method for that is to draw a rectangle with at least one dimension that matches the dimension of the area the texture is to cover. Then use File>Import to import the image as a texture and apply it to the rectangle. That lets me see it applied immediately and it will automatically be the right size.

You mentioned editing the grout color. I would do this in an external image editor because you can select just the grout lines and paint them the new color.

If you want to create a displacement map to use in a rendering application, you can do that starting with the image of the tiles if you radius the edges so you get that shading.

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If you wanted to use Mosa tile pattern downloads, you could change the grout color by using an image editor. You would have to select the grout lines from your Mosa tile texture and delete them, then save the image as a png which would give you a texture with transparent grout lines. You could then apply the tile texture over a flat surface the color of your grout (which would show through the transparent grout lines in the tile texture).

That seems like a lot of work to change the color of the grout lines. Why not just edit the color in the image editor like I did in my example above?

Making transparent grout lines would be when you need to try different grout colors and you could quickly change a background color behind the tile texture with one click.

You can quickly change the color of the grout and see what you’ve got without the transparency but either way works.

Thank you Dave,

Did you notice the single tile that I modeled with radius edges? It has a small open section where I drew the initial arc to be used with follow me to create the radius top surface. I tried to erase the edges but that caused entire sections of the face to disappear. Is this being caused by arc lines not meeting the edges exactly?

Would I use gimp as my file editor in your example above? Or is that image features referred to here “I exported the image as a PNG and in Options, I enabled Transparent Background. In the image editor, the image opens looking like this:” native within sketchup?

What dimension are you referring to when you say:

This texture would be applied to several walls within a room that have irregular dimensions.

In response to the grout coloring, I don’t know what I don’t know so I end up going down the wrong path.


It looks to me as if it’s because you are working at too small of a size. Typical tiny faces thing.

You could use GIMP. I use PaintDOTnet.

The native SketchUp editor doesn’t have all those functions. In SketchUp’s Preferneces>Applications, select the exe file for your image editor of choice.

I used the long dimension of your tiles plus the width of the grout line so that I made the texture the same size as your tiles.

So you will want to make sure you apply the texture to the faces and not to a group or component. Then you can position the texture on each face to get things to line up the way you want at the corners.

Thank you Jack,

I’m discovering that there are many different ways to do things. Learning all of this is going to take quite some time. I appreciate your input and willingness to help.


Sometimes, the grid pattern is considered more important:

In this template, several layers represent the different usage: design-to built-to render