Kitchen trends come and go—and lately, the cycle of "in" and "out" seems to be spinning more rapidly than ever before. One thing we thought would never be retired—tile floors in the kitchen—seems to have been taking a break from the spotlight recently. Blame it on the rising prominence of the modern farmhouse aesthetic or Scandifornian style, but suddenly, our beloved tile floors were few and far between. Instead, everywhere, was wood flooring—and we mean in every single room of the house.
But, the pendulum is swinging back toward our tried-and-true tile, and we couldn't be happier to see it. Not only is tile a serious MVP for durability—and what room needs more durable flooring than the heart of the home?—but it's a great way to add depth and visual interest in a spot where it'll get a lot of play.
If, like us, you're #TeamTile, read on. We've rounded up some of our favorite timeless tile ideas for the kitchen floor. Each one has a classic look that's sure to stand the test of time and become a home favorite for many trend cycles to come.
Create a Color Family
It's a well-established fact that most tile has some color variation to it, and, depending on where you're sourcing your tile, you can see how a particular style scores in variation from piece to piece.
If you're particular about all your tiles looking more or less interchangeable, we get it, as some rooms require that level of specificity. But, in a larger space like a kitchen, we're all in favor of letting variety be the spice of life.
Pick a color family and embrace the unique character and depth of a mixed result—it'll add a vibrant, energetic touch to your floors.
Lay Them Right
Of course, the tile you choose is only the first decision of creating a new flooring look. The next step is picking how to lay it. If you're working with long rectangular tiles, you have quite a few options, but one that we predict to rise in popularity is the herringbone motif.
Past years had their herringbone moments for backsplashes and bathroom designs—usually in conjunction with subway tile—but there's a warming trend around matte natural stone herringbone. It's a bit more fresh, modern, and understated, which are all reasons we're flocking to this look.
Play With Patchwork
On the other hand, this look is far from subtle, but it holds a special place in our hearts for its personality-packed appearance. In a neutral kitchen like this one, the floor is really the place to show off your quirky side.
A random patchwork design in concrete or porcelain tiles is a brilliant way to stray from the pack and assert your personal style.
Draw a Border
Looking for the best of both worlds? This slim strip of eye-catching tile injects a pop of contrast in this sleek city apartment, leaving plenty of space for wood flooring in the main living area.
Adding just a spot of tile is a smart way to retain the warmth and organic feel of wood flooring while reaping the benefits of a spill-and-stain resistant material in your most high-traffic areas.
Craft a Checkerboard
This is one tile style that never gets old. A high-contrast checkerboard of black and white oversized squares sets the stage for a modern dose of drama.
In keeping with the design world's current obsession with natural stone and elegant veining, our favorite checkerboard motifs of the moment pair brilliant white marble and deep black.
These natural stone options have richer, more unique character than flat black and white porcelain, so the finished look is that much more stunning.
Shrink Your Scale
If the checkerboard idea has captured your imagination but you're up for a little more of a challenge, try playing with scale to put a fresh spin on it.
Here, the classic black-and-white motif feels a bit more 50s-inspired in the best possible way. The meticulous alternating grid is impossible to resist, especially with the subtle way it travels up the baseboard a bit. After all, it's all about the little things, right?
Make It Matte
Another large-format tile we're loving lately is a simple mid-tone grey, again finished with some particularities and variegation in shade. It's a simple, versatile look that mixes well with a variety of home design styles, but again, it's far from boring thanks to the organic look of each individual tile.
Try Some Terracotta
Large terracotta tiles have long been a staple in Southwest and West Coast homes—but they're having a major moment right about now, maybe owed to the color's rise in popularity as a paint hue or the desert-chic trend.
These iconic tiles range from golden honey to burnt orange-brown, adding yet another layer of distinctive color and texture to any kitchen space.
Small-scale tiles—such as the ubiquitous penny tiles used in trendy bathrooms—are having a comeback of their own. While it's certainly more time-consuming to lay enough tiny tiles to cover an entire kitchen floor, there's no denying that the impact of the resulting look is big.
Complementing the neutral subway tiles that surround the walls, this small-scale tile feels like a cool inversion of the expected.
Embrace the Unexpected
Of course, the most timeless tile style of all is the one you love and want to live with. While most of this stunning kitchen keeps things new traditional, the standout cement tile design on the floors is a fresh and vibrant departure that instantly brings a smile to our faces. Kitchen bliss, achieved.