Embracing Timeless Elegance: Checkerboard Tile Design


Trends come and go, but some styles can withstand the test of time. The checkerboard tile pattern is one such style that has stepped back into the limelight. This classic design element has entered various spaces, from kitchens and mud rooms to conservatories and laundry rooms. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the resurgence of the checkerboard tile trend, exploring its versatility and timeless appeal.

Throughout History

Corridors of the Grand Trianon in the Palace of Versailles, France.

The checkerboard tile trend may seem like a recent phenomenon. However, its roots run deep in the history of architecture, dating back thousands of years. Marbled checkerboard floors were a popular choice during the Middle Ages in European architecture, particularly in churches and cathedrals. This pattern resurged in popularity during the Renaissance and Baroque Eras, while eventually making its way to the Americas during the colonial period. During this time, checkerboard floors were found in homes of wealthy colonists particularly in New England and southern colonies. 

From the Palace of Versailles to 1950’s diners, this timeless pattern has graced the floors and walls of both residential and commercial spaces for decades, proving that it’s not just a passing trend but a classic design element. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to effortlessly blend with various interior styles, from traditional to contemporary.

Incorporating Checkerboard Into Your Space

  1. Choosing Tiles: Opt for polished marble tiles in classic colors such as black and white for a traditional look. For a modern twist, experiment with a pop of color with a neutral such as green and white.
  2. Consider Tile Size: The size of the tiles can significantly impact the overall look of the checkerboard pattern. When choosing the tile size for your checkerboard design, you want to take into consideration the size of the space, as well as the effect you want to convey. A bigger room may require larger format tiles, while a smaller space would look great decked out in smaller scaled tiles. For a dramatic look, the smaller the tile; the bigger the visual impact. While using a larger tile is less overwhelming to the eye resulting in a more subtle pattern.
  3. Placement: Decide whether you want a classic checkerboard pattern layed in a straight, grid format, or on a diagonal, often coined as a diamond layout. Keep in mind how any architectural details of the room and how your checkered pattern may complement the existing lines of the space.
  4. Adding a Border: At times, a field tile is used as a border on checkerboard floors. This can be often found in a lobby or entryway. Using a border will allow you to work with more tile sizes in your space.
  5. Grout Choice: The color of the grout can significantly impact the appearance of the checkerboard pattern. To create a cohesive look that doesn’t distract from the pattern, match the grout to the lighter color stone for a harmonious balance within the space. Alternatively, choose a contrasting grout color to allow the pattern to stand out
  6. Maintenance: Remember that checker tile designs when used in floor applications, may require more maintenance compared to solid-colored tiles, as dirt and grime can be more visible on the contrasting colors. Depending on the material used, regular cleaning and maintenance will help keep the tiles looking their best.

Tiles Destined for Checkerboard Layouts

The perfect marble tiles for this timeless pattern were newly introduced to AKDO’s offerings with our Checkerboard collection. Comprised of a versatile size of 10″ x 10″ marbles in a tumbled finish, this collection effortlessly allows for a mix and match capability, to outfit any space with a checked floor or wall.

Long for a checkerboard backsplash for the ultimate retro look? Our Fort Point collection designed by Jill Rosenwald offers the perfect shades of solid 5″ x 5″ tiles to achieve this look.



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