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It’s Official: This Overlooked Budget Flooring Looks Great Absolutely Anywhere

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Melo-Drama)

We are used to seeing vinyl composite tile (VCT) in certain contexts — namely large commercial spaces, sterile hospitals, and functional school buildings — because it’s durable, practical, and costs less than $1 per square foot. For smart interior designers and home owners, however, it’s a capable material that can be configured in tons of creative patterns — whether it’s a traditional checkerboard kitchen floor, or something more custom and daring. Explore all the patterns possible with this endlessly functional, versatile and affordable flooring:


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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

We featured Erin — set stylist and decorator meets psychic healer —and her home in Los Angeles a couple of years ago. When she bought the place, it was structurally sound yet still a wreck, and she restored the 1920s house on a limited budget. For her kitchen floor, she chose VCT tiles in a smattering of similar colors, which is playful still cohesive.


(Image credit: Lucy Interior Design)

This sweet Minneapolis laundry room by Lucy Interior Design pairs Schumacher A-Twitter wallpaper with a classic black and white alternating pattern, with tile from Armstrong. Neither will go out of style.

Wide Stripes

(Image credit: Galbraith & Paul)

Although Galbraith & Paul’s Pomegranate wallpaper is the main focus here, I was distracted by the thick green and white striped floor pattern, created with green and white tiles.

Gingham or Plaid

(Image credit: O’Hara Interiors)

This classic choice is great way to add a traditional touch to a floor. Above, a craft room from O’Hara Interiors stuck to a black, grey, and white palette throughout the house.


(Image credit: Kitchn)

When Amanda renovated her Portland kitchen, she chose budget-friendly VCT laid out in a basketweave pattern, which, although looks intricate, is pretty easy to pull off. She used Mannington brand in three colors: Prairie, Cameo White and Midnight.

(Image credit: Design Studio West)

Design Studio West created this retro kitchen that’s cheerful and bright, breaking up an all white floor with lime green tiles in between.

Zig Zag

(Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens)

A zig zag pattern adds tons of movement to this kitchen floor from Better Homes & Gardens.


(Image credit: The Brick House)

When Morgan tore out the old checkerboard floor in the Brick House, she replaced it with all-black VCT tiles. There are an equally appropriate choice for her vintage-style kitchen, but a little more modern that the traditional black & white pattern.

(Image credit: Melo-Drama)

Being a renter didn’t stop Krys from ripping out her wall-to-wall carpet (with her landlord’s permission) and installing a pure white floor in its stead. At under $1 per square foot, it’s a perfectly do-able project that you won’t feel bad spending that much money on.

Stacked Subway Tile

If you’re up for cutting the tile, then a huge world of possibility opens up. This kitchen from Domino’s Book of Decorating again uses a limited palette but the smaller subway-like tiles really shakes things up.

Tumbling Cubes

(Image credit: Crogan Inlay Tile)
Crogan Inlay Floors, which would significantly up the cost, but if you are up for the challenge of doing it yourself, this geometric pattern makes a major design statement. The 3D effect is dynamic.