Engineering blog
08 Apr 2020

What are Tile Mockup Designs and Why Do You Need Them?

Working with tiles is both exciting and frustrating – you want to experiment, but also fear how the final layout will turn out. Are you going to love it? Will you be disappointed? Will you have to compromise? If questions like these are gnawing at you, we suggest getting a tile mockup designed from tile shop drawings.

In today’s Knowledge Series, we explore what these drawings are, the key components that they include, and why you need a tile mockup before deciding to get on with the grout and tile installation live on the ground.

What is a tile mockup?

In manufacturing and design, a scale or a full-size model of any design is called a mockup.

Mockups are primarily used for evaluation, teaching, promotion, and feedback. These can be as simple as assembling and dry-laying several pieces of tiles together to visualize a finished layout, or as extensive as a full-blown sample installation with either grout or using tile drawings to create digital renders.

A tile mockup shows the range of colors and textures in the tiles, patterns, offset, color, and texture of the grout joint, and details of accessory items. This way, there are no surprises, disappointed customers, or unfulfilled expectations upon completion of the project.

The Tile Council of North America provides the TCNA Handbook for Glass, Ceramic, and Stone Tile Installation as a guide, which emphasizes the use of mockups at several places. For instance, the Aesthetic Classes section in the V3 and V4 categories of the guide mention using mockups before final installation:

“It is recommended that the range (of color and texture) be viewed before selection, and that a mock layout be made.”

This goes on to show how essential mockups really are in demonstrating to an end user exactly what to expect.

Where do tile shop drawings fit into this?

Stones and tiles can be cut only once, and this makes it necessary to have accurate shop drawings. Both suppliers and contractors benefit from shop drawings for tiles.

Suppliers need tile shop drawings for determining the exact quantity of materials required for completing a project, while contractors count on detailed shop drawings to assemble components properly, make cuts on-site, and perform adjustments.

These drawings also represent the contractor’s interpretation of the construction document set with regard to the scope of work as mentioned in the contract. Quality custom shop drawings for tiles detail and document all design parameters.

Project managers also use these drawings for requesting manufacturing materials, undertaking fabrication and installation, and take-offs.

With the right tile shop drawings, every stakeholder in the project knows their assigned roles clearly, and expert drafters leverage this information to create effective tile mockups.

What are some places that require a tile mockup?

Basically, any place that you want to cover with tiles can benefit from a tile mockup design. These could be rooms inside your house, dedicated spaces inside different rooms, or areas outside your house.

Some of the commonly preferred places include:

  • Floors and walls such as bathroom floors and basin walls

  • Kitchen counter tops

  • Reception desks in offices

  • Backsplash areas between kitchen counter tops and upper cabinets

  • Staircases

Key components of detailed shop drawings for tiles

A typical set of custom shop drawings for creating a tile mockup contains the following 6 elements:

One: Cover sheet

The cover sheet contains crucial initiation and completion information such as contractor details, site location, revision blocks, architect and contractor approval stamps and their comments.

Two: Key floor plan sheets

Floor plan sheets contain locations of all works as shown on shop drawings. These are drawn to a scale of 1/8″ = 1′-0″ (or the 11×17 size sheet), and all the work is keyed with sheet numbers for quick access.

Three: Enlarged floor plan sheets

These sheets contain details pertaining to floor tiling plans, dimensions, elevation markers, tile and grout specifications, and detail balloons with sheet numbers. These plans are drawn to a scale of 1/4″ = 1′-0″ (or the 11×17 size sheet).

Four: Detail sheets

A typical detail sheet includes dimensions, perimeter construction details, and notes on tile and stone numbers. This sheet is drawn at 3″ = 1′-0″ (or the 11×17 size sheet).

Five: Elevation sheets

These sheets include details related to wall tiling, dimensioning, tile and grout specifications, and detail balloons with sheet numbers. These sheets are usually drawn to scale at 3/8″ = 1′-0″ (or the 11×17 size sheet).

Six: Reception desks and counter tops

All joint locations, sink details, stone specifications, dimensions, and detail balloons with sheet numbering are included in these detailed shop drawings. The sheets are drawn to scale at 3/4″ = 1′-0″ (or the 11×17 size sheet).

To design a set of complete working drawings, you need to provide a full set of architectural drawings and your quote or scope of work. A set of reference works either in the form or online links or roughly drawn are an added advantage.

Who all benefit from tile shop drawings?

A shop drawing company works with architects, suppliers, manufacturers, contractors, and fabricators to ensure that a project is on track.

  • Suppliers

    Suppliers rely on tile shop drawings to ensure that they’re providing adequate amounts of materials to builders, manufacturers, and fabricators. They use custom shop drawings to:

    • Determine the necessary materials for a project

    • Meet the construction demands

    • Facilitate the fabrication process

  • Fabricators and manufacturers

    Detailed shop drawings allow manufacturers and fabricators to meet a project’s exact specifications. They follow diagrams in the sheets to match specifications laid out by clients, contractors, and engineers.

  • Contractors and sub-contractors

    While on site, contractors and sub-contractors need a medium to communicate with each other and be on the same page with regard to details and changes – a role tile shop drawings play efficiently.

Why is a tiles mockup necessary for your project?

  • To set expectations for what the final installation will look like.

    With accurate tile shop drawing services, your clients can have a realistic expectation of what their finished space, floor, or wall will look like. Making changes to virtual designs is easier than performing a rework on tiles.

  • It is easier on the wallet.

    If your client doesn’t like the pattern of or contrast with the grout, all you have to do is change the texture on the digital render and choose something else. This is easier and more economical than demolishing an entire floor and re-doing it.

    A tile mockup laid out with shop drawings for tiles enables your client to better comprehend the variations of the look and feel of the end design without having to redo everything over and over.

  • Instant changes equal instant approval.

    Maybe you are collaborating with a super-busy client who cannot do site visits often, or maybe the client is outsourcing the work of her own client, who is based in some other country, leading to a time-clash. Whatever’s the situation, you can avoid those tedious back-and-forth mail trails by adding changes in real-time and getting instant feedback and approval.

    When you work with expert shop drawing services providers like BluEntCAD, you don’t have to worry about waiting for days, hand-tied, to receive your designs and approve them. Our experienced drafters can instantly incorporate changes that you want and get the design approved while you discuss your next travel plans with us.

Sound exciting? Request a callback now.

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Your Citation

CAD Evangelist. "What are Tile Mockup Designs and Why Do You Need Them?" CAD Evangelist, Apr. 08, 2020,

CAD Evangelist. (2020, April 08). What are Tile Mockup Designs and Why Do You Need Them?. Retrieved from

CAD Evangelist. "What are Tile Mockup Designs and Why Do You Need Them?" CAD Evangelist (accessed April 08, 2020 ).

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