How To Pick The Right Checkered Floor

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Does a checkered floor appeal to you because it’s classic? Or do you like them because they’re quickly gaining momentum as a design trend right now?

The same beautiful checkerboard flooring trend is everywhere on social media! Seen over and over again on your Instagram feed, you eventually exclaim, “I’m obsessed!” Or you say, “now everyone is doing it, but I wanted it before it was trendy!”

9 Types of Checkered Floors For Your Home

We’re putting in a checkerboard marble floor in our scullery, and so I did quite a bit of research before committing to such a high maintenance stone. I am breaking down 9 types of flooring that work well for a checkerboard pattern, with sizing tips and beautiful inspiration pictures.

black and white checkered floors in a living room
small checkered floor tile in an entry
the fox group
black and white checkered floor in a foyer
Design by Bria Hammel Interiors | Photography by Spacecrafting Photography

How To Pick Checkered Tile Size

Sizing Tip: if you’re not finding the size you want, cutting rectangular tiles or too big tiles is an option. This will add more to your install cost, but will allow you to custom fit your needs.

Large /Open Spaces

In larger spaces (high ceilings count too!) go with medium to oversized tiles.

Medium Sized Spaces

Envision how the size of the tiles will effect a medium sized room. Large checkered floor tiles will give you a bigger impact and feel less busy. An example of this is below:

large checkered floor in an entry
Lisa Tharp
large checkered floor in an entry way
Lisa Tharp

The smaller your tiles are, and the more the floor tiles are shown, and the busier the floor feels in the space.

Below is what a 12×12 sized tile looks like:

12x12 checkered floor tile bathroom
Jaimee Rose Interiors

Small Rooms

In smaller rooms use medium to smaller sized tiles. When working in a small space, if you go too big with the tile they won’t be seen as much.

Below are two small spaces with small, and medium sized tiles:

small checkered floor tiles
Sarah Gordon Home
a mudroom with checkered floors next to hardwoods

9 Types of Checkered Floors

There are ways to incorporate checkered tiles with all kinds of finishes and budgets. This is not your cheesy 1950s diner, think of old Victorian hallways or royal palaces of the Renaissance era! Consider the following:

  1. Marble Floor
  2. Granite (can work outside!)
  3. Limestone
  4. Porcelain
  5. Ceramic
  6. Painted cement (outside!)
  7. Linoleum
  8. Wood floors using contrasting paint
  9. Wood floors using contrasting stains

Related: 9 Top Kitchen Trends of 2022

1. Checkered Marble Floor

Marble’s reputation as a luxurious material were what what peaked my interest. Marble is a timeless element, and using a marble checkerboard pattern is an idea being made fresh again by many talented designers right now.

Below is honed Carrara mixed with noir sully marble tile:

marble black and white checkerboard kitchen floor
Home of Joel Mozersky via Camille Styles

Thassos (a pure white marble) and Carrara marble tiles in a soft gray and white below:

checkered floor in a butlers pantry
Clark and Co Homes

And again, Thassos white rectangular marble tiles cut in half and paired with 12″ Bianco Carrara square honed marble below:  

marble checkered tiles
House of Jade

Be aware, marble tiles can scratch, especially in high traffic areas (I’m imagining my dog chasing my 4 kids right across the marble). Floor spills must be blotted up immediately, to prevent staining.

Read about the pros and cons of marble flooring in a kitchen here. For homeowners who can give their flooring proper attention, marble floors are a great choice.

arched doorway in a dining room
scullery with gray and white marble checkerboard floor

We just finished putting in 18″ x 18″ marble tiles in our scullery seen above! Read about the details of this floor here.

2. Granite Checkered Floor

Used as a floor, granite is a highly resilient material with little maintenance needed. Granite flooring also works outside, too.

granite checkered floor outdoor on a porch
Granite gray checkered tiles by The Fox Group

3. Checkered Limestone Tile

Limestone is undeniably gorgeous, and affordable considering it’s a natural stone. Be aware the stone is porous and scratches easily, so it requires regular maintenance. Below is a limestone floor, installed in a checkerboard pattern and giving the space an old world patina feel.

limestone flooring in a hall
Marie Flanigan

4. Porcelain Checkerboard Floors

If you don’t want to worry about scratches and stains and you want something affordable, look into porcelain tile floors. Porcelain is man made and low maintenance. Glazed porcelain means it has a glaze on top that acts as a protective finish

Below are 12×12 glazed porcelain tile floors placed in a laundry room with dark grout:

porcelain tile
read about these floors at Robyn’s Southern Nest

For tiles that look more like marble, match the grout to the tile, use as thin a grout line as you can get away with, and look for marble lookalikes. Below is mix of 24×24 porcelain tiles with 1/16″ spaces:

black and white checkered floor

5. Ceramic Tile Floors

A similar but more affordable floor when compared to porcelain, ceramic tile is also great for heavy foot traffic and looks great in a checkerboard pattern. Mudrooms or kitchens are a prime location for ceramic.

black and white pantry with ceramic floor
O’Hara Interiors
stairs in a home
O’Hara Interiors
a black and white bathroom

6. Painted Cement

Are you the DIY type? Painting a cement floor is a budget friendly way to jump on the trend and spruce up your outdoor space.

checkered cement floor on a patio
Pretty On Fridays’ blog has directions on how she created this checkered masterpiece here.

7. Checkered Linoleum Flooring

Environmentally friendly, durable, and cost effective, linoleum is a fine choice when the budget is small. Generally speaking, checkered linoleum flooring won’t add value to your home, but it can certainly look attractive in the right spot!

linoleum checkered floor

8. Checkered Painted Wood Floor

The fun thing about checkered wood floors using contrasting paints, is that with a little research and time, this is a project you could tackle yourself.

If your floors are not in good shape, paint will help cover and hide the imperfections a stain just can’t conceal! Paint can bring in some color and even better – you don’t have to do as much prep work. The major drawback to the paint is that in spaces with heavy foot traffic, the paint will need to be repaired over time.

stairs in a house with a white entry
wood checkered floors using paint, source
painted yellow wood floor
This Old House | Instructions on how to paint a checkerboard floor are here

9. Checkered Stained Wood Floor

If you like the texture and knots in wood flooring, go with a checkered wood floor using stains. Even a dark stain will still show more of the wood’s texture than a paint. A drawback of staining floors is you have to prepare the wood floors, which takes time. Sanding and staining hardwoods is messy, big work.

On the upside? Stained checkerboard floors can handle heavy foot traffic, unlike painted floors.

huge checkered wood floor
Lisa Tharpe
checkered wood floor
Classy Clutter has a DIY tutorial on her stained checkered wood floors
checkered floor by stairs
Lisa Tharp

Checkered Floor Obsession

Here is a nugget of wisdom: in 2022, a checkered floor is both timeless and trendy, so whatever your reason for loving them – you are justified.

Will checkered tiles date your home in ten years? By very definition a trend can’t remain the “it” ingredient of a room forever, but checkered floors are an enduring design element, that will just take more of a backseat again – just where it has always been.

So like I told my husband, if it’s good enough for the Palace of Versailles, then who am I to say no?

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