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

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

Dabney Frake
Sep 27, 2017
(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:


(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)
These kitchen floors were custom laid by 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.
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