Maryanna’s black and white ceramic tile checkerboard floor

black and white ceramic tile checkerboard floorThere was lots of good discussion in my recent post about checkerboard floors. Should these go on the square or on the diagonal? I was initially very pro-square, but readers sent in photos and comments, and I changed my mind: Go either way! Maryanna wrote:

I have checkerboard! But mine is 12-inch 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.

Yum, Maryanna. I LOVE your dinette, too. And what brand and color is that yellow on your panelling — that is one terrific yellow — not too “green” and it really holds its own with the black and white!

  1. Gena Crowder says:

    Where did you get the dinette set? I have looked everywhere for something like those, but, I need 3 more chairs. Thanks Gena

  2. Erin J says:

    We are adding on to our vintage kitchen, and I’d LOVE to match the floor tile! It’s yellow 7.5″ pentagon-and-dot style ceramic tile. I have had no luck finding it, so I wondered if you have any ideas on where to look or if I could get it custom made somewhere? I’m determined to keep looking!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Hi Erin J, see our Bathroom Help / Tile category. World of Tile may have been your best bet, alas, they are now closed. That said, check our resources and stories.

  3. Wade says:

    We have beautiful original 1959 pink-and-black checkerboard tile in our kitchen. Are there any repros of this color scheme?

  4. Martha Pengelly says:

    Do you have black and white ceramic tile? If so, how can I contact you?


    1. pam kueber says:

      Martha, nothing is sold on this website. You need to read the story – and go to the retailer named — there is usually (although not always) a link to their website. Note: Black and white ceramic tile is abundant — you should be able to get it from any big tile store.

  5. Frank says:

    No way! We had that exact kitchen table set when I was growing up in the 1970s. I remember riding in the Country Squire way out in the Inland Empire to Lee’s Barstools and Dinettes to get it. The backs of the chairs were smoked charcoal plastic. We eventually had to get rid of them because my brother and I kept cracking the plastic when we leaned back in the chairs.

    1. Maryanna says:

      Hi Frank! Yes, I was warned about the cracking problem…and was told that’s why there were only three chairs left, out of an original set of six. I suspect the cracking lucite is the reason I’ve not been able to find replacements. But it won’t stop me from looking! 🙂

    2. Ricci says:

      I am coming across this in 2019 as I prepare to do a checkerboard floor in my kitchen. You mention driving all the way out to the Inland Emprie. That’s where I grew up.

  6. Maryanna says:

    Wow! I can’t believe I missed this post on Monday. Thanks for sharing my floor on your site. Gavin, I agree that a black border would really “ground” the whole floor, and the entire room, really.

    As for the yellow, it was there when we moved in. I’m usually very anti-yellow, but this particular shade really grew on me! Not too bright, not too gold. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet been unable to pin down the manufacturer or name. (Believe me, I’ve been trying!) If I ever find out I’ll let you know. Also, the dinette set was a $35 Craigslist find…but it only had 3 chairs. I’ve been keeping vigil for the past 3 years to find more chairs that match.

    Thanks to you all for all the kind words. I really should’ve taken some wider shots so you could see the rest of the room! Hee hee! 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Sherwin Williams’ Harvester may be a close match (but it’s hard to tell in the photo, exactly!): they say it’s an orange, but on the wall, it is a warm yellow. I tried a LOT of yellows, but they looked green or grey in my house. This one looks yellow, even by the light of a lamp at night, which I love. Polvo de Oro is nice, too – it’s a deeper shade of the color.

  7. Gavin Hastings says:

    Diagonal!!! Even for an uncheckerd floor.

    If you try this floor DIY, it is very important to begin at the exact center of the floor. In a large room, I prefer these laid with a black border. As you work your way from the center-your last full tile will be black, and the perimeter tiles will also be black, cut on the diagonal.

    The solid colors look great, but I think I would use a marbled version of the white to cut down on upkeep.

    1. Elizabeth Mary says:

      I would go even one better and have a marbled black as well. A restaurant, new to the area, has wonderful floors of some magical material where both black and white are marbled. Pictures can be seen here:


      Click on each to enlarge. When I saw them I asked the waiter if he knew what they were made of but he did not. They look like stone, and don’t seem to have seams or grout, but I wonder if it could be anything else. They are very substantial in feel, but the waiter said that when things are dropped they don’t break. I plant to get back there and find out what those floors are — as well as have another delicious meal.

      1. Gavin Hastings says:

        See how the diagonal ‘pulls” you into the room?

        Position your mouse over a perimeter white tile and imagine it in black. I think installing the flooring in this way-with a border-anchors the space.

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