8 Ways Checkerboard Flooring is Making a Comeback

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Image: Apartment Therapy

The checkerboard pattern has enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity. This versatile flooring solution manages to fit nicely with a variety of styles, including rustic, retro, traditional, and minimal. It’s flooring for everyone! Why, you ask, is it so popular and versatile? Read on!

I find that knowing a brief history of a pattern helps one to understand how it works so well today. In ancient Egypt, the checkerboard pattern was used in hieroglyphics to decipher a scribe’s tablet. It was also found in ancient artifacts from Iranian and Roman paved floors. During the Renaissance, inlaid checkerboard tiles and marble were used in spaces as a reversion to ancient times. It was often seen as a symbol of wealth. Artists also used it as a device to depict their new notion of perspective and show off their skills. Let’s take a look at some modern ways to use a checkerboard pattern.

Black and White Checkerboard Flooring
Images: (Top Left) Halcyon Blog, (Top Right) My Paradissi, (Bottom Left) Desire to Inspire (Bottom Right) Photobucket

  1. Black and white oversized checkerboard pattern on wood. One of the most common ways to achieve the black and white pattern is by painting it on wood floors. This large-scale pattern grounds the space and creates the illusion of a larger room. The pattern ties the eclectic room together.
  2. Inlaid tile in a minimal space. This more traditional inlaid checkerboard tile creates visual interest in a space that is otherwise bare.
  3. Black and white tile in a bathroom. This ceramic tile is a less expensive version of marble and achieves a similar vibe. In an all white bathroom, it adds interest to the overall space.
  4. Colored checkerboard. This pink and black checkerboard is fun without being too “in your face”. The scale is traditional which helps the design to not appear too wacky.

Checkerboard Flooring
Images: (Top Left) Attic Mag (Top Right) Patricia Balbi, (Bottom Left) Chinoiserie Chic, (Bottom Right) Ashleigh Weatherill

  1. Ornate checkerboard. This floor is reminiscent of Renaissance flooring, as the setting is more ornate.
  2. Ornate checkerboard with gold framing. Pair it with luscious gold frames and beautiful greenery to bring in rich colors.
  3. Neoclassical checkerboard. This flooring option feels part minimal and part neoclassical. The lighter valued tiles create a less dramatic and more soothing backdrop for the space.
  4. Rustic and modern space. This painted checkerboard in natural wood and white adds just the right amount of visual interest to the space while keeping it true to the rustic nature of the room.

Would you use checkerboard in your space? What’s your favorite way to use it?


  1. Checkerboard is one of my favorites.The photos above show how versatile it is. Great ideas. I like the contrast between the pink and black in the bedroom.

  2. Checkerboard is one of my favorite shapes. I like how the above photos show how it can work in rooms with vastly different themes and styles.
    The pink with the black adds serious contrast to that bedroom.

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.