Design by and photo courtesy of Park & Oak Interior Design
Sometimes a trend transcends current fads and styles and has true staying power, and often that so-called trend is actually a timeless design element that just so happens to be having a moment of popularity. That's definitely the case with checkerboard patterned floor tiles, which can evoke feelings of a grand entrance to a formal home, or remind us of the kitchen table in our grandparents' home. Whether you are drawing on the nostalgia factor or want to dress up your space, there is a version of checkerboard tile that will fit the bill.
Tone it Down
If you want to try the look but high contrast isn't your style, consider using a more tonal approach. Choosing two tile colors that are closer in color to each other will bring all of the pattern and classic vibes, but in a more modern toned-down way. For another modern step, lay the tile straight, rather than on a diagonal, and pair your new classic-modern flooring with lots of texture and organic notes, like the light cabinetry shown here.
Try it Tiny
For a playful take on this traditional tile, size the tile down. Tiny black and white squares may bring on feelings of racing flags, so this is another place where a different color approach might be necessary (of course, if NASCAR is your thing, then by all means!). We love this fun idea in kids' baths, where it's gender-neutral and just classic enough to have staying power beyond the little years.
If checkerboard works on the floor, why not take it up the wall? A richly veined stone is the perfect candidate for showcasing on a vertical surface and we are always into using traditional design in a fresh and interesting way.
Take it Outside
The most traditional iteration of checkerboard tile flooring is a combination of black and white stone tiles laid on a diagonal. The formal-factor can be increased if the tile have a polished finish and a border is incorporated around the edges of the room. To hit a more casual note, run the tiles to the edges (find the center of the room and lay the first tile there so the edges are symmetrical) and choose a honed, or matte, finish. If the upkeep of natural stone isn't appealing, try one of our stone-look porcelain options, which are a great choice for sheltered porches or sunrooms.
While working on the renovation of this 1920's home, designer Whittney Parkinson's team uncovered the original blue cement tile in the kitchen and she knew she wanted to incorporate the material into the new design. She chose a checkerboard pattern for the new laundry room as a way to pay homage to the historic roots of the home and add to the nostalgic feeling of the new spaces. Choosing to add color to the pattern is a strong design choice, and she balanced it nicely with neutral mushroom-colored cabinets and white walls.