The Checkerboard Tile Trend: A Timeless Look That Requires Careful Execution

Photo & Design: Studio McGee

In the world of interior design, trends come and go, but there’s one classic pattern that seems to stand the test of time: the checkerboard tile. This iconic look has graced floors and walls for decades, evoking a sense of nostalgia while also feeling relevant today. I won’t lie, it’s definitely having an undeniable moment right now. So, like with any design trend, mastering the checkerboard tile pattern requires a thoughtful approach. In essence, you really want to ensure it enhances rather than overwhelms or dates your space. It’s definitely possible with a few key tricks. But like anything in the design world, this sort of thing is very subjective. This really is just my opinion on the matter, so take what lands with you and definitely leave the rest if you tend to disagree. It is your home after all and you are the one that needs to love it.


The checkerboard pattern’s timeless appeal lies in its versatility. Whether you’re aiming for a vintage vibe or your aesthetic leans on the more modern side, I love that it can be adapted to suit a variety of styles. But striking the right balance seems to be key. I feel like too much of this particular pattern can sometimes feel a little chaotic. To avoid this, try to use the checkerboard design as a focal point in the space, keeping the rest a little more subdued. It really does like being the star. Plus, going this route ensures you aren’t jamming too many trends (even if they are rooted in timeless elements) into a single room.


Alternatively, you could play with various colours and tones to get the look you’re after. While the classic black and white combo is eternally elegant, I personally love a more subtle palette. Soft greys and tone on tone marbles can feel calming, all while remaining timeless in their own right.

Additionally, the size of the tiles plays a significant role in the overall impact. Larger tiles tend to create a more modern feel, while smaller ones evoke a cozier ambiance. I, personally, like to land somewhere in the middle. Very Goldilocks, I know. But I find the medium-sized scale doesn’t demand too much attention, all while still adding interest. An art!

Lastly, material matters here. This wouldn’t be the place to scale back. Go for the real tumbled limestone, the honed marble or the hand-made terracotta. They’ll patina beautifully over time and I assure you that you won’t regret it.

Here’s a few examples of beautiful, timeless spaces with checkerboard tile. I feel confident these babies will look timeless and unique for decades to come.

Photo & Design: The Bell Design Group

Photo: Shinola Hotel via USA Today

Photo: Stoffer Photography | Design: Jean Stoffer Design

Photo: Inigo | Design: Matilda Goad

Design: June and Blue



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