Ultimate Collection of Free Textures on the Web | Background Patterns | Seamless Tiles | High Resolution
When it comes to website backgrounds, background tiles or tile patterns, you may have a hard time finding high resolution textures on the web. Sure, you could go to one of the stock photography sites and search for paid website graphics, but how do you know if you have found the best web page backgrounds available, and you haven’t missed any free textures out there? Doing a search on Google won’t always bring the best results, and most of what you’ll find are backgrounds that cost money.
That’s why we made this post. The ultimate collection of background patterns, background tiles and free textures for your website. All high quality. All for graphic designers. You can download them for free and use them in Photoshop to fit your web pages.
Definition of Texture
Let’s first take a look at what the difference is between patterns and textures. Basically, these are two different expressions in design, describing different elements, and they are not the same. And as this post is about website backgrounds, we should make the difference clear before we start.
Background patterns are tile patterns with which you can create a seamless pattern. This means that the borders of this kind of graphics fit into each other seamlessly, without revealing to the eye where one tile ends and where another one starts. We covered techniques on creating patterns in Photoshop and how extend that knowledge and play around with Photoshop patterns in the past. Adobe Photoshop comes with a pattern function that is intended for seamless tile patterns, and we recommend you read these website background tutorials first. It is always better to know how you can create your own graphics.
Background textures, on the other hand, can be a seamless pattern, but they don’t have to. Don’t be confused – the secret lies in the definition of texture in graphic design. Texture is an element of design and is best described as “the feel of an object”.
Interesting reads on the elements of design can be found here:
- Using Texture: Real World Examples at Creative Curio
- Textures and Patterns Design Showcase at Smashing Magazine
- The secret Rules of Composition in Design at Nubloo’s Graphic Design Blog
- Design Notes: Texture by James T. Saw
It is important not to confuse the element of design (texture) with web backgrounds (textures). We can put it this way:
- Background textures make use of texture.
- Background textures can be patterns.
- Background patterns can be seamless.
Whoa. Confused already? Don’t be. Let’s just get to the most extensive list of textures you’ve ever seen on the internet.
Please check out the license of any background image you wish to use with your graphic designs. They are all free, and most of them are also free for commercial use, but some require a backlink or another sort of reference. The license is usually noted on the download pages.
We are making a start with high resolution textures that are not seamless.
1/ Wood Textures
This is a great set of free textures that were scanned from real wood plates. 720 dpi. 100 different wood textures with an average filesize of 6 MB. Download these high resolution textures right here.
2/ Paper Textures
This is a collection of 30 free paper backgrounds; all are high resolution textures. Some of these are perfect for a grunge style background; you can even make your own Photoshop brushes with them. Go to the download page for these paper textures on Creative Closeup right here.
3/ Grunge Paper Textures
Yet another freebie over at BittBox, this time it’s 4 old, crunchy, grunge paper textures in high resolution. The download is 18 MB large. Go and get them.
4/ Wall Textures
Here comes a collection of 24 free high-res textures – stone / wall / concrete, whatever you’d like to call them. They come from BittBox for free download – go there from here.
5/ Metal Textures
If you’re looking for metallic textures for your graphic designs, have a look here. DeviantArt is a good place to go anyway; this is their metal textures gallery. Check it out.
6/ Rust Textures
Also on DevianArt, there is a collection of high resolution rust textures for use in your designs. Go there right here.
7/ Hair Textures
If you want to apply hair to your web page background, here you go: this is a collection of hair textures on DeviantArt. Go there now.
8/ Old Book Textures
BittBox did us all the favor of scanning an old book and offering the resulting hi-res images for free download on his site. Great for grunge style designs – go check it out here.
9/ Grunge Textures
Urban Dirty features “free texture stock photography for your artwork, designs and desktops”. Right now, they feature 404 (four hundred and four) grunge, dirty, destroyed, etc. textures. the collection includes wall textures, plastic textures, metal textures, concrete textures, and more – all in the “grunge” category. Most photos are at 180 dpi and 3027 x 2304 pixels large. Wow. Check them out here.
10/ Grunge Textures 2
Texture King is another website for free stock textures. They cover “grunge, dirt, plaster, concrete, rust and more”. The free downloads come as ZIP files and are all high resolution. Go to Texture King here.
11/ Grunge Textures 3
This website has a lot of “free high resolution textures for digital art, 3D rendering, web design and print projects”. Categories include aircraft aluminium, drains, vents and grates, graffiti and vandalism textures, metal, mud and clay, spills and splatter, trash and garbage, and more. You can visit Grungetextures right here.
Various Texture Galleries
The following websites are galleries that have textures and web backgrounds within a variety of categories.
12/ CG Textures
This site has a large collection of high resolution textures that also work well as a desktop wallpaper. Categories include brick textures, concrete textures, textiles, ground, grunge textures, metal textures, nature, paper textures, plastic textures, rust, scrap, signs, splatter, water textures, wood textures, floral backgrounds, and more. Go to CG Textures here.
13/ Free Foto
The site Free Foto requires that you agree to mention them with a backlink before you can use one of their free textures for your website. They also ask for an email address, but that shouldn’t be a problem… They do have a few nice free backgrounds in a decent resolution. Go check them out here.
14/ Ben Cloward’s Textures
The character animator Ben Cloward gives us a beautiful collection of high resolution textures for free use. They include brick and cement textures, cloud textures, snow, stone and stucco textures, and even skin textures. Check them out.
15/ Dr. Web Textures
Dr. Web Magazine lists quite a few hi-res background textures, including metallic textures, wall and wood textures, sand, stone and plastic backgrounds. Go visit the site here.
16/ luGher Texture
A gallery for nature related textures – all in good quality, including categories such as wood, soil textures and earth, pavements, ancient brick walls, broken walls, marble, and more. Check them out right here.
Another site with a nice little collection of free texture backgrounds for your website or desktop. Check them out here.
18/ Amazing Textures
Amazing Textures is a collection of free textures, including walls, stone and brick, wood and metal, doors, buildings and tiles (as in bathroom and kitchen), and more. They also have a section of tiled textures. You have access to the free textures in medium quality but if you want to download the high-res textures, you have to register (also free). Check out Amazing Textures right here.
19/ Texture Warehouse
A great stock gallery site for free background textures that you can use in your designs. A large variety can be found here – asphalt, brick, marble, paint and glass textures, plastic textures, rubber textures and much more. You gotta check them out – right here.
20/ 3D Place
Yet another site for free textures, 3D Place features a gallery ranging from hair, fur and leather textures over fiber textures to all kinds of paper textures (yellow pad, cream paper, recycled paper, moon paper, and paper towels). Oh well, what are we saying, just go check it out!
This website holds a whole bunch of user generated, free textures in a lot of categories, among them man-made (like guns), human (anatomy), food and panorama. Check 2Textured out here.
22/ Texture Love
Texture love has lots of free textures for you, all in high resolution. You can vote on the textures and push them into or out of a “most popular” list. Go to this gallery right here.
If you’re looking for a seamless background, you might find what you are looking for in this category. The following websites are full of free backgrounds for your website. Here are the seamless patterns and tile patterns.
23/ Retro Backgrounds
This site has an abundance of retro backgrounds for your website. Seamless, of course. They are sorted by style and color and we’re sure that you will love them all. Check Citrus Moon Patterns out right over here.
24/ Retro Background Patterns 2
And of course, when it comes to retro background patterns, this site can’t be left out. Squidfingers is the portfolio of Travis Beckham, has been featured before on Beeex.net (158 Free Tiled Retro Background Patterns), features just that and is a must for seamless patterns. Go to this great website right here.
25/ Retro Backgrounds 3
Evan Eckard has put up a wonderful little site full of free retro backgrounds of all kinds and colors. From dark backgrounds over floral patterns to vintage style textures, you’re served well and even are able to leave a comment on the patterns. Check this gem out now.
26/ Floor / Brick Textures
Rafael Ibarrondo of Tirad.com brings us a collection of historic floor, brick, and wall textures, that can be used to create a seamless pattern. The photos are original terracotta floors from the Marienburg Castle in Germany (~ 11th century). Very nice – download these free patterns from this page.
27/ Stone Patterns
StockTextures seems to be halfway under construction, yet they already have some nice seamless patterns of photo-realistic walls, stones, rock surfaces et cetera. They ask for registration prior to a download, but the tile patterns are free. You can visit them here.
28/ Vintage Patterns
Baroque patterns. Floral backgrounds. Vintage patterns. Call them what you like, our friends over at Snap2Objects deliver 6 of these for free download. These backgrounds also have been featured on Beeex.net before, and they can’t be left out in this collection. You can find these patterns here.
29/ Baroque Patterns and Floral Backgrounds
The Inspiration Gallery features a whole lot of baroque patterns from the beautiful renaissance and rococo era. The damask wallpaper patterns are indeed a pleasure to the eye and usually come in creamy, sand color tones of lighter tints or darker shades. Another large category contains floral backgrounds, as well as ivy and leaves. Marble, moiré, mottled and country charm are some of the other categories. Go take a look.
Looking for a seamless pattern for your website, but don’t wanna fire up Illustrator or Photoshop? Better so, why get dirty when you can easily get free backgrounds using these pattern generators.
30/ Stripe Generator 2.0
This is a genuine Web 2.0 Ajax Stripe Generator which lets you create seamless patterns on the fly. You can choose the orientation/angle of the stripes, their width, colors and/or gradients. A full-screen preview is also available, so that you can check how your web page background will look before you download the pattern. Go to the Stripe Generator right here.
31/ Background Generator
This is a great little toy: Just like you’d create an icon, pixel by pixel, you simply design your pattern and see it grow seamless on the rest of the screen. We featured the tiled background generator on Beeex.net before – you can go use it right here.
32/ Tile Machine
Just like the above, this is a tile generator which you can use to create free seamless textures. It works similar to the background generator. Check it out here.
33/ Pattern Cooler
Now this is a wonderful innovation. From the countless available patterns on this site – mainly retro and vintage style, all seamless tiles – you select one and in the next step, you are able to change every color of the design. So from a blue background with light blue circles and a yellow dot, you can go to a dark green background with pink circles and a yellow dot. It’s all up to you. After that, you get to set the size of the whole thing and what you get is a perfectly seamless background pattern of your own. Go check this cool site out right now.
34/ Texture Generator
Yet another background generator, only this time with the option to apply texture to the seamless tiles. You select your favorite retro design of the pattern, define a color, its size, and a texture; what you get is your own seamless web background. Great stuff, check it out here.
Various Pattern Galleries
The following websites are galleries that have seamless tile patterns within a variety of categories. Usually, the tiles are smaller and not high resolution.
35/ Backgrounds Archive
You will find tileable web page backgrounds en masse on this site, and also free desktop wallpapers. Website background categories include bricks, edibles, fabric, grass backgrounds, leaves, marble backgrounds, metallic textures, paper textures, rocks, sky patterns, space, stones, stucco, swirls, water textures, and wood; the free desktop wallpapers have categories such as animals, art backgrounds, aviation and automobiles, cartoon backgrounds, celebrities, cities and countries, food and drinks, and more. Check the Backgrounds Archive out right here.
36/ Gallerie 1
Most of these background patterns can be used as a seamless pattern, yet some are high resolution textures which appear not to be tileable. Some good ones are features here, if you can cope with the German category titles – which shouldn’t be too hard, just click on a category and take a look
37/ Absolute Cross
38/ Blender Texture CD
At first glance, this website also reminds us about retro background patterns, yet there are some hidden gems among their free textures. The site holds a collection of typical Photoshop patterns that are mostly tileable – well, actually they are not meant for Photoshop, but for Blender, the (very cool) free open source 3D creation suite (much like 3D Studio Max or any other 3D graphics program). But what’s the difference? JPEGs they are. Go ahead and check them out on this page.
39/ 2D Valley
This website has a collection of background tiles that can be used for Photoshop patterns as well. The range is from wood and stone over fabric and metal textures to wallpaper textures and tiles. Go to this site right here.
40/ The Limelite
This site has three pages packed with seamless background tiles. The imagery is mostly object oriented, which means that you will find mostly tiling objects here; but also walls, for instance. They even have one or two animated web backgrounds, which doesn’t mean that you should use them. Check this site out here.
41/ Repeat XY
Repeat XY is a great site for seamless backgrounds with a “search by color” funciton. They have a lot to offer and if you’re looking for great, free web page backgrounds, you should definitely check this site out.
42/ PlanIt 3D
Both tile patterns and texture backgrounds can be found here, in a whole bunch of categories. Watch the license, they want you to give credit to them if you use one of their free textures on your website. Go to this site here.
43/ Pattern4u by Kollermedia
Jürgen Koller runs this great website and blog and features user-generated patterns and web page backgrounds. A variety of categories include vintage patterns, grass textures, paper wall textures, wood textures, and much more. Check out this site right here.
What doesn’t fit in the textures category, and doesn’t fit in the pattern category, must still have a place. Here is a list of free backgrounds that can’t be called either of the above, but still deserve to be featured.
44/ Spiral Backgrounds
A gallery of spiral background wallpapers. Beautiful and inspiring – if not for your website, maybe as your desktop wallpaper? Go to this gallery here.
45/ Smashing Texture Gallery
Smashing Magazine held a texture contest earlier this year and the outcome was a gallery full of unique backgrounds and textures, most of them high resolution. The categories are: wood/bark, stone/walls/brick, metal/rust/industrial, nature/flowers/plants, water/ice/drops/liquids, sand/earth, fabric, paper, glass, fire/ashes, food, plastic, and misc. Check these free textures out here.
46/ Cool Backgrounds
Paulo from the website Abuzeedo compiled a list of 36 cool backgrounds for your website. Both colorful and dark, they can be downloaded for free right here.
WHAT?/ Rainbow Backgrounds
Yes, we know. Terrible. But MySpace users have the right to exist, too. Sometimes. So here come some cool MySpace backgrounds that have rainbow colors in them. Colorful as hell, and you can go to the gallery here. Make no mistake – use them with Comic Sans.
And no, we do not feature animated web backgrounds.
Here we go, this was the Beeex.net Ultimate Collection of Background Patterns, Tiles & Textures for Websites – we tried to create a complete list and find only the best high-quality textures for you.
Do you know of any site we forgot? Add your favorite free pattern or texture site in the comments, if you like!
~ Beeex Happy Team
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If you liked this post, you might also be interested in:
- 158 Free Tiled Retro Background Patterns
- 6 Dark, Baroque Floral Background Patterns
- Web-based Tiled Background Generator
- Huge Collection of Free Destroyed Background Images