Design Dilemma: Patterned Tile Floors | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Patterned Tile Floors

Cement tiles Victorian style hallway

With “maximalism” as the newest design trend for 2017, we’re seeing much more pattern at home. And one place we’re seeing it is in the newest fascination with patterned floor tile. Traditional in Europe, in places like Italy and Spain, as well as used widely in South America, patterned floor tiles have been less popular in the United States. But increasingly, some bold homeowners are ceding to the desire to move beyond safe neutrals in choosing a flooring material. The move toward patterned floors also reflects a new fascination with all things “vintage” and many of these floors were standard in houses in the early 20th Century. Installing one now is a risk, to be sure, as a patterned floor is a fairly permanent statement that can’t easily be covered up. But if you choose wisely, the pay off can be substantial. You will have a look that is highly individual and very stylish.

Above, for instance, a London townhouse makes a strong design statement by choosing a black, white and brown patterned tile in the entryway. Although the tiles appear to have been laid diagonally, they have actually been laid in a standard grid layout. Their pattern tricks the eye into seeing a diagonal line. These tiles have an Old World feel, as they were typical in many turn of the century houses in Europe.

Here, another entry also sports patterned tile, but by choosing gray and white, offering less of a contrast, the look comes off as more modern.

Shelgate Road

Below, a modern kitchen has adopted the same sort of look as the London townhouse for a “rug effect.” Black and white is always chic, always classic. Although the cabinetry in the kitchen is modern, the floor feels like something you might see in a house in the 1920s.

Peaceful kitchen

In another kitchen below, a note of quirky, playful color has been introduced by an energetic pattern:

Painted Kitchen

And in the kitchen below, a more subtle floor tile adds a note of vintage elegance which is continued in the selection of vintage chairs and wooden table.

Feature Floor

And what about patterned floor tiles in the living room, in place of a rug? Talk about maximal!

Kips Bay 2016d

Also here:

Living Room

And here:

Coventry Grey Patterned Floor Tiles - Direct Tile Warehouse

If you’re worried that a patterned floor is too confining or too busy, you can always try out a much smaller dose in the bathroom and shower.

Guest bathroom

And here:

Hamilton Terrace

And here:

Palace Court

Are you ready to get on board with this trend?

Here are a few tips to successfully adding a patterned floor in your home:


  • If you’re a novice to pattern, choose a patterned floor in a small area. A small foyer, a bathroom, a kitchen, are perfect places to introduce tile where you are least likely to experience buyer’s remorse.
  • Stick to classic looks and color combinations. Although it may be tempting to do something really bold and colorful, you’re safest best is to stick to tried and true looks that have withstood the test of time. That means black and white tiles and patterns, or patterns and colors that offer less contrast.
  • Smaller patterns will be read as a “neutral.” Another way to take a chance with pattern is to opt for a smaller one, that the eye will read as less “busy” than a very big, bold pattern.
  • Let your floor be the focal point. Keep the rest of your furnishing low-key if you’re going with a very bold tile.

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