Patterned Flooring is Back: A Look At This Hot Design Trend

Home decor in 2024 is all about color, pattern and personality. There’s been a huge shift away from neutral tones and warm grays into bolder, brighter colors.

Julee Ireland, an interior design architect and founder of Home Renovation School in Santa Monica, California, says there’s a sense of nostalgia in home design today. “For example, the ’50s and ’60s style of midcentury modern is making a big resurgence,” she says. Naturally, she adds, herringbone, parquet and checkerboard flooring are returning with it. “Patterned flooring is sophisticated, timeless, fun and adds a dynamic visual interest to the space.”

Installing a patterned floor may seem risky given flooring’s high cost and permanence. However, it can achieve a flawless look when done correctly.

[Related:What Are the Best Alternatives to Wood Flooring?]

Patterned Flooring Is a Timeless Look

Jenny Slingerland, home designer with Black Ink Interiors and a content creator with the Instagram account @Black.Ink.Interiors near Phoenix uses the word trend carefully. “It implies something is in right now but might leave in a year or two or three,” she says. To her, patterned flooring isn’t a trend, it’s a timeless design element.

The origins of patterned flooring date back thousands of years. Herringbone has roots in ancient Italy, while checkered flooring appeared in Egyptian temples.

The resurgence of traditional home design is bringing back patterned flooring with a playful twist. Some people pair traditional herringbone or parquet with patterned wallpaper or bright paint colors. Others are also mixing bolder tile colors, like a deep red hue instead of traditional black for a checkerboard tile.

Patterned Flooring Options

Patterned flooring can be any material from wood to cork or tile that creates a specific pattern when laid. It will not be horizontal but zigzags or intricate squares that repeat themselves. Some of the most common patterned flooring options are:

— Checkerboard tiles

— Hand-painted tiles

— Hex tiles or pinwheel tiles

— Herringbone

— Parquet squares

— Versailles parquet panels

— Mosaic or brick tiles or parquet

Tiles are a popular patterned flooring material because they are easy to personalize. There are tiles cut into shapes of flowers, pinwheels and geometric designs. Hand-painted tiles take it further, offering more intricate designs in endless color options. There are also checkered tiles, which uses two traditional square tiles in a checkered pattern. This can be done with any color tile, but black and white are the most common colors for pairing.

Parquet and herringbone flooring are made from wood and used in more traditional spaces that date back to the 1600s and early 1900s. Versailles panels is a variety of parquet with a specific pattern and, as its name suggests, is the flooring used in the Palace of Versailles in France.

[Read: 5 Tile Trends Home Buyers Are Loving Right Now]

Rooms That Work Well With Patterned Flooring

Some rooms naturally lend themselves to certain patterned flooring materials. “Checkerboard tile is great in entryways. I love mixing that with wood. We’re also seeing a lot of checkerboards on patios and outdoors while handmade tiles are really big in bathrooms right now,” says Ireland. The classic pattern of parquet or herringbone is great in a dining room or study, but can also be used in a living room or throughout the entire home.

“Any time I take on a project, I like to think of the building architecture and try to stick to that,” says Marco Zamora, a designer and creator with the Instagram account @want.zamora who renovated his 1920s French-style building in Los Angeles with peel and stick checkered tiles. “Patterned flooring is not specific to one area or generation, it’s more of a nod to older design and architecture across the globe.”

A patterned floor can work in any style of home. in “You can choose a sleeker marble to match a more modern home, versus an older home, you may want to use a more classic look like hardwood herringbone,” says Slingerland.

How Much Does Patterned Flooring Cost?

Patterned flooring usually costs more than traditional flooring due to the detailed woodwork or tile cutting involved. Some companies make parquet flooring in engineered hardwood and luxury vinyl plank at a comparable price to nonpatterned floors of the same material. However, most patterned flooring is a premium price compared with traditional flooring options.

Expect to pay around 80% to 90% more for a patterned luxury vinyl plank or hardwood. Tile is usually a more expensive flooring option. The tile material impacts pricing. For example, marble will cost more than ceramic tiles. Patterned tiles can also be more challenging to install due to the detail of laying the cut tiles.

[READ: 5 Outdated Design Trends That Are Aging Your Home]

Is Patterned Flooring Right For You?

Flooring is a fairly permanent home improvement. You can always change out flooring, but it’s an expensive job. Replacing flooring also requires you to remove things like cabinets or vanities in bathrooms, which could increase costs further. Understandably, some homeowners may be hesitant to install patterned flooring.

“If you’re nervous about adding patterned flooring, start in smaller rooms, like the laundry room or a powder room,” says Slingerland. If you are renting and can’t make permanent changes to flooring or simply want to test the waters, try using peel and stick tiles to create patterned flooring.

Zamora added peel and stick tiles to the existing tile flooring in his rental kitchen. It matched the style of his home but the burgundy tiles added more color and made it feel more personalized, he says.

With temporary solutions like peel and stick tiles, you can go bold with color like Zamora did and change it without spending a lot of time or money. However, if you’re going the permanent route, it’s better to stick to neutral, timeless colors and go bold with wall paint or crown molding.

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