Style Suitors: Why Black & White Tile Should Stay Married 4Ever

Style Suitors: Why Black & White Tile Should Stay Married 4Ever

Dabney Frake
Aug 23, 2016
(Image credit: Elizabeth Roberts)

Basic black and white tiles are blessedly affordable on most, if not all, kitchen renovation budgets. But, as much as we love the look and price of a classic checkerboard floor, it's refreshing to explore other patterns possible with this simple combination. Here are ways to elevate these standard building supplies to something more custom and personal, without diving deep into your pockets.

Plain & Pattern Mix

(Image credit: Elizabeth Roberts)

This beautifully renovated bathroom designed by Elizabeth Roberts cleverly uses classic tile and gives it a great spin.

Thick Outer Frame

(Image credit: Fireclay Tile)

When designing this handsome kitchen, Fireclay Tile used a thick band of black subway tile frames while the rest of the floor is made up of staggered white subway tile.

Tapered Off

(Image credit: Nuevo Estilo)

This familiar patterned kitchen floor from Nuevo Estilo takes an unexpected turn when it starts to scatter at the threshold of the next room.

Half & Half

(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

Instead of a regular herringbone pattern, A Beautiful Mess divided the room in half and used black on one side and white on the other. It was as easy to install as one single color, but more bold, graphic, and unique.


(Image credit: Alice Lane Home)

In this bathroom from Alice Lane Home, black tile mimics decorative molding and elevates the shower to something more elegant and refined.

Jagged Border

(Image credit: Hunted Interior)

When making over this bathroom, A Hunted Interior chose to finish off the tile will with a toothed border that adds interest.

Thin Pencil Border

(Image credit: HGTV)

HGTV has this sharp-looking bathroom with just a thin black pencil tile running through the otherwise all-white wall. That one detail makes it clean and finished.

Bold Stripes

(Image credit: Pencil & Paper Co.)

Smaller hex tiles make up the broad bands of color in this modern laundry room renovation from Pencil & Paper Co.

Checkerboard Twist

(Image credit: Tristan Auer)

I know checkerboard is expected, but Tristan Auer thought up a nice take on the traditional when he created large squares out of many smaller ones.

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