3 places to buy black and white checkerboard floor tile – in resilient vinyl sheet

black and white checkerboard floor tileIf you are designing a diner style retro kitchen, laundry room or even basement, you might want to consider this black-and-white floor tile in resilient sheet vinyl from Mannington, Armstrong, or Tarkett.

In my experience, sheet vinyl is low cost and super easy to keep clean. The Mannington design features 9″ squares — this was the classic, mid-centurblack and white checkerboard floory scale. Other makers have larger, 12″ squares. And Armstrong has both solid and marbleized squares to choose from. You also can achieve the black and white checkerboard look using 12″ x 12″ VCT tiles, which are going to require regular polishing and buffing… in lineoleum from Forbo/Marmoleum or Armstrong… or by using ceramic tile, which will be harder under foot.

Click the following links to get the manufacturers who make these patterns:


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  1. Gavin Hastings says

    Look at the 2 pictures…

    I think that this flooring looks best when set with the squares at a 90 degree angle . It brings some depth to an otherwise square room.
    With VCT tile, I would create a solid 6-8 inch black border around the room….which could be done with sheet goods, ALOT of planning and a wee bit more $.

    • Jon M says

      I’m guessing you mean at a 45 degree angle, as 90 degrees would make it look exactly the same as normal!

  2. pam kueber says

    Tiles that are set on the diagonal — especially when they are high contrast — always make me dizzy. Relatedly, I think it calls more attention to the floor than you want… Not my favorite thing. In that first photo, I’m thinking that is a small mudroom, which may be able to handle it.

    • Gavin Hastings says

      Take a Dramamine prior to stopping by for coffee…. : )

      The floor tiles will be the least factor in any “dizzinees” you feel !!!! Your head will literally SPIN ….
      Have a nice rainy day.

  3. Jeanne says

    I did my last (1948) house’s kitchen with Congoleum 12″ squares on the diagonal. It was a galley style kitchen and it actually (visually) enlarged the space (or gave “depth” as Gavin mentioned). I think it sort of breaks up all the horizontal lines of the cabinets. I used white and charcoal grey marble-pattern tile.

    I’m partial to the diagonal, although the house I had previous to the one mentioned above (a 1952 ranch) I did black and white tiles in the basement set horizontally. It was a much larger space and worked well.

    I’m done with the black/white look and looking forward to a more subtle pattern of Marmoleum in my current 1952 bungalow. :-) Some day I’ll be done with this house and will be able to sit back and relax, lol.

    • pam kueber says

      Yes, I think that for truly small spaces on-the-diagonal works well… but for larger spaces (like my 15′ x 15′ kitchen), I think it would be too much flooring drawing too much interest… Of course, this all comes down to personal preference…

  4. Gavin Hastings says

    I’m going out on a big mouth rainy day limb here, but:

    Many times I feel the same way about things shown here…but chalk it up to the fact that the title is “Retro-Rebovation” and not “Retro-Restoration”.

  5. Gavin Hastings says

    On a semi-semi-semi-related topic:

    Unfortunately, most women will never see the diagonal black and white tiled Men’s Room of Radio City Music Hall….It stopped me dead in my tracks and I let out an audible “oh my God….”
    As big as a football field and with more black than white; I half expected Tuxedo-ed tap dancers to parade out of the stalls ala “A Chorus Line”.

    Ladies, should you ever get there…make it a point to get “lost”.

  6. Robert says

    Love this tile, but knowing me, if I install it, I’d have to get the obligatory neon wall clock for the kitchen….and then the stainless steel coffee pot….a 50’s diner style Formica and chrome set and another vintage table radio to complete the look.
    The joys of being a mid century design freak.

  7. Maryanna says

    I have checkerboard! But mine is 12″ ceramic tile rather than vinyl. Mine is also set on the diagonal. I went round and round about it with the guy we hired to lay the tile (no big surprise there) but I insisted, as it opens the room up more and seems less “off” if the squares don’t line up perfectly along the cabinets or walls. Here’s a photo of the dining nook for reference: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2562/4096498389_eb75baea40_z.jpg

    • Gavin Hastings says

      “Round and Round”?
      No surprise there as the installer had to make a zillion angled cuts vs. -measure once- straight cuts at the perimeter! It looks great.

    • pam kueber says

      Your floor tiles on the diagonal look great, Maryanna. I am converted and take back what I said before about preferring checkerboards squared. I can see now how they can look great either way…

      • Maryanna says

        Aw, thanks Pam! Obviously every room is different, but perhaps the fact that they’re 12″ rather than 9″ may help cut down on the busy-ness of the pattern? I simply wanted to avoid having awkward partial-tiles along the perimeter that would look like strips instead of squares. If that makes sense.

    • Molly says

      Hi! Maryanna! Your ceramic looks great. What color is your grout because it doesn’t seem to be very noticeable.

  8. LizK says

    It’s strange, I think it looks overwhelming in a large space, as seen in your pics… but I did this with commercial-grade vinyl tile in a small kitchen and it turned out great. I might be having to do this in my new (old) kitchen, once I get the carpet and linoleum layers pulled up. I’m hoping for Douglas fir, but I don’t know what condition it’s in.

  9. Amy says

    My quick two cents: B&W floors area nightmare to keep clean! Whatever might not show up on a white floor, shows up clearly on the black squares. And vice versa, of course! It never looks clean. It literally was the most work intensive floor I’ve ever had and would NEVER do one again!

  10. says

    I put the Congoleum checkerboard linoleum in my kitchen last June. I love it! The white portion tends to get dirty really fast though, probably because there are no speckles like traditional tiles. It’s also really soft feeling, which I like, but sometimes you can see the depression in the linoleum of things like chair feet. They featured my before and after on Design Sponge. Scroll down to the brown kitchen if you want to see!


    • Maryanna says

      Wow! I love that chartreuse! I’m actually considering that color for my walls, which are painted paneling. I think it’s great with the (diagonal) checkerboard tile. Lovely!!

  11. gsciencechick says

    I have always loved the black and white checkerboard look. Our next door neighbors had it.

    Thanks to those who posted pics. Just gorgeous! Love the lime cabinets, too.

  12. Suzanne says

    I had the kitchen & (laundry room) floor in my 1941 cottage in Burbank, CA done with Tarkett. I designed the diagonal pattern to give the illusion of a larger space, & the double border to mimic Armstrong’s wonderful patterns of the 40s.

    Will try to send a photo.

  13. MCM is Grand says

    We had the same black and white vinyl flooring installed in our former home (built in 1953) . The kitchen had the original cabinets & tile, so this helped to bring back that 50’s vibe. I miss that floor! Thanks for these great photos and comments!

  14. says

    I just started laying down my Black and White 12×12 tile floor last night and was so thrilled after the first row went down that I actually danced back and forth from the tile cutter. I love how the diagonal looks but I am doing the work myself and this is only my 2nd time doing tiling so I figured I better stick to what I know.

    Its alwasy good to know there are other people out there who love my floor as much as I do.

  15. Angela Christianson says

    I ABSOLUELY LOVE Checkered black and white vinyl flooring!!! To me it exudes old world Italy with a vintage modern flair! What’s not to love about it! It’s colorful, it’s fun, it’s fresh and goes with practically any decor.
    Love, Checkered designs favorite fan!

  16. debbby says

    i am searching for gray and white diagonal vinyl flooring but i am having “NO” luck……can anyone out there help me ????

  17. Guy H. says

    I love vinyl flooring! great stuff. Sturdy and good looking!

    These pictures are all beautiful.

    I am torn on the checkerboard kitchen tiles… on one hand I love the way they look.

    But, on the other hand, it reminds me of a 50’s diner… not a home kitchen.

  18. Patty (in Dallas) says

    When I did my semi-retro kitchen in my ’55 ranch, I put down commercial black and white 12″ vinyl tile (or, rather, I had it put down. I wish I could remember the brand off the top of my head — it’s been a couple of years.

    I love it. I had wanted black-and-white floors since I was ten. I had a hard time finding plain black and plain white and was close to going with the swirly vintage-linoleum look when I found them.

    I went with the square pattern as opposed to diagonal, because I always kind of felt the diagonal was for marble foyers in Victorian mansions and the 90-degree look was for ’50s diners. I have no idea where I got that idea, though. I since have come around to liking both styles equally. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pattyindallas/2342541792/in/set-72157601821936072/

  19. Wayne says

  20. says

    I know this is an old thread, but we’re getting prepared to lay a VCT black and white floor in our 13×13 40s farm-cottage kitchen. It won’t be completely retro, but I’ve painted cabinets off-white and we’re using schoolhouse lights. Dithering about diagonal vs. straight and also wondering if anyone else waxes and buffs these floors and just how much hassle it is…

  21. Angela says

    I had Mannington Gold brand b&w vinyl sheet years ago. Didn’t care for the product (shrinkage!) but LOVED the look. New (to us) house…want to revisit the checkerboard tile in kitchen, considering Armstrong tiles. Here’s the issue: this eat-in kitchen has lots of funky angles (3-sided bay window that overlooks sunroom & an angled entryway to living area on same side as the bay — yikes!) I just keep picturing odd lines, especially along the perimeter, with both diagonal and squared alignment. Need some input, stat! Thx!

    • says

      Can you line the squares up so they will be parallel to the diagonal of the entry way? You should start in the middle, so all the lines along the edges, should be equal (ha! easier said than done…)

  22. Hazzy Ratchford says


  23. Lisa says

    Does anyone know where I can buy the black and white square vinyl. I live in the Houston area. I would like it to be in stock so I dont have to wait to order it. Having a party soon! Anyone have any ideas??

  24. Carolyn says

    We really want to do black and white checkerboard for our kitchen. Currently have cork which is great to stand on – but the colour choice by the previous owner was um… “disappointing” and it is quite scratched up in a few areas.

    We would love to keep the warmth and softness of cork but haven’t found any good opaque cork tiles to do a checkerboard pattern.

    We are wondering if we could lay the vinyl (thinking of the Mannington 9″ squares) OVER the cork – or is that both stupid (this question would be sacrilegious on cork sites :). We have also heard mixed reviews about painting cork floors.

    Any advice?

  25. Travis says

    Thanks much for posting this information. I have been looking for a couple months for small, true black and true white check with no luck. Found this article yesterday and last night found a store that carries Mannington. I’m in Los Angeles and the store actually keeps the Mannington Checkpoint floor in stock as they supply the studios with flooring. This will be installed in my 1951 kitchen and laundry room as soon as I can get an install appointment.

  26. mary wellman says

    I am looking for large retro black and white laminate flooring for my farmhouse I want to do my dining area my kitchen and my bathroom in this design. need help locating

    Thankyou, Mary Margaret Wellman RN MI

  27. Sharon says

    I have been looking for the black and white checkerboard sheet lineoleum for a very long time. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado and do not know where to look for it. Can somebody tell me where I can get it in my area. I don’t want the tiles. Can you also get me the cost ? I don’t want the kind that you have to polish. Just plain balck and white smooth.
    Thank you !

    • pam kueber says

      We do not sell anything here, Sharon. Refer to the companies profiled in the story – I am sure you should be able to ask them about local distributors. Or, take the list to your local flooring company and have them help you get one of these. They will also tell you the cost.

      Click on the links — the are in bright blue!

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