Best Mid-Century Modern Flooring Options to Fit Your Style
| Fact Checked By: Michael Ranta
Published: March 12, 2021 | Updated: May 11, 2021
Interior design trends are always changing, and these days, the mid-century modern style is back in a big way. If you’re creating that style for your own home, you’ve probably picked out the perfect furniture and all the right decor. But you’re not done yet! You need some mid-century modern flooring to complete the look.
So how do you find flooring to match this style? There are so many options out there, and you want something that pairs well with the rest of your room while still having some staying power. Never fear, we’re here to help!
This guide will walk you through all the flooring options that can match the mid-century look, including Terrazzo, vinyl tile, wood, and more. Let’s begin!
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What is Mid-Century Modern Style?
Mid-century modern design refers to an aesthetic in architecture and furniture during the middle of the 20th century. From the early 1930s to the mid-1960s, the mid-century modern style was the most popular look in homes.
This look is actually an offshoot of the German Bauhaus style, which was all about clean lines and functionality. It’s characterized by simplicity and not a lot of ornamentation. During this time, designers were also experimenting with contrasting textures and materials. Think plush carpet and sleek furniture, or a polished concrete floor and a fuzzy throw rug on top.
For a mid-century modern floor, you can expect to see warm tones as well as lighter colors, and some simple geometric patterns as well. This style features concrete looks, smooth hardwood, large vinyl tiles.
With those basics in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into the style trends for different flooring options.
Mid-Century Modern Wood Flooring
A hardwood floor is a staple of the mid-century modern home. Choosing wood flooring is an easy way to get the perfect look, as long as you pick the right size and color.
The great thing about this style is that you have so many options for wood flooring or even wood-look flooring, from engineered hardwood to laminate, and even vinyl planks. You can find something for your price range that will fit perfectly with the rest of your home’s aesthetic.
Plus, there’s installation to think about. With all these options you can find something DIY-friendly to install. Look for wood flooring you can float over the subfloor instead of having to nail or glue it down.
If this sounds like the perfect option for you, here are a few tips to help you choose the right mid-century wood flooring look.
Light Wood Flooring
Light wood species were more popular rather than dark, dramatic espressos. Mid-century wood flooring also had smaller plank sizes than what is popular today.
Smooth Texture and Straight Wood Grains
If you want your floor to match a ‘50s style home, make sure to choose a smooth texture. Contemporary wood-look floors often have intentionally scratched or distressed textures to give it a more charactered appearance. But that’s the opposite of what you want here.
Also, look for a subtle grain pattern. You’ll want straight grains without a lot of color variations or knots.
Shop the Mid-Century Modern Wood Flooring Look:
- 12mm Mannington Park City Oak Engineered Wood
- 12mm Mohawk Elderwood Waterproof Laminate
- Anderson Smooth Natural Timbers Engineered Wood
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Mid Century Modern Tile Flooring
Mid-century modern houses often came with porcelain tile or natural stone floors. Tiles were typically large squares, though bathroom flooring sometimes had more variation with tile size and shape.
Natural stone tile is a big deal with mid-century modern flooring, and travertine and limestone are popular for the more high-end homes in this style. The great news is that these looks can also be achieved with porcelain or ceramic tiles that look exactly like natural stone without the higher cost of maintenance.
In addition to those natural stone styles, there are other more specific and popular looks like slate and terrazzo (we’ll talk more about those in a bit).
If you want tile flooring for your mid-century modern home design, here are some style cues to look for.
It doesn’t get simpler than this. Polished concrete floors provide a neutral backdrop to the rest of the room. In the past, people would pull up their flooring to reveal the concrete subfloor underneath, and then they would sand and polish it until it shined.
If you don’t have a concrete subfloor to polish, or if it’s stained and not the most beautiful, you can easily purchase concrete-look tile flooring.
The great thing about this option is that the concrete look goes with anything, so if you want to change up your style in the future, your flooring can stay the same. Or you can always lay new flooring on top!
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Black and White Tile
For areas like the bathroom or kitchen, nothing says mid-century style quite like black and white tile. The most common patterns for this look are the classic checker and the more intricate cutout style, like octagon dot tile.
Larger tiles are typically the trend, but you can get away with smaller floor tiles with patterns like this.
Shop the Mid-Century Modern Tile Flooring Look:
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Mid Century Modern Carpet
Carpets add warmth and plushness to your home, and they’re another great option for a mid-century modern style. For this look, keep an eye out for fun geometrics, playful colors, and creativity with texture.
One drawback to carpeting in this style is that it’s pretty unique, and it might not mesh well with new decor if you want to change your look. That’s why many people will choose hard floors like wood or tile, and then pair it with an area rug to get the best of both worlds.
On the hunt for some mid-century modern carpet for your home? Follow these guidelines to get the perfect look.
Warm Colors and Contrasts
You have a lot of options when it comes to color. On one end of the spectrum, there are a lot of warm neutrals with some geometric patterns or solid colors.
If neutrals aren’t your thing, go for oranges, blues, or greens. Contrasting colors aren’t unheard of for this style, especially if your floor is the visual centerpiece of the room.
Cut and Loop Texture
A cut and loop carpet allows you to create patterns with texture. This look features a contrast between looped Berber fibers and cut, looser shag-like fibers. With this style, you can enjoy a dynamic look and a unique feel underfoot.
If a cut and loop carpet doesn’t appeal to you, you can also opt for Berber or shag on its own, and it will still fit the style.
Especially in the later years of the mid-century style period, carpets with geometric designs were very popular. Stripes, bold squares and triangles, and more abstract shapes are all part of this style. You can go as conservative or as bold as you want.
Look for patterned carpet tile to get even more creative with the geometric looks.
Shop the Mid-Century Modern Carpet Look:
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Mid Century Modern Vinyl Tile Flooring
You’ll see a lot of people talk about VCT flooring when it comes to the mid-century modern style. This refers to vinyl composite tile, which is made of a mixture of vinyl and ground-up stone.
It’s not as common these days, and it’s a more porous floor that requires more maintenance than standard vinyl. Honestly, you can get the same looks with luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and it’s a lot less hassle, so that’s what we recommend.
With vinyl tile flooring, you can get wood looks, stone looks, or the Terrazzo style that is so sought-after for mid-century floors. Just like porcelain tile, vinyl tiles of this style are most common in large squares, and you won’t see a lot of small, busy looks.
Follow these tips to choose the perfect vinyl tile flooring!
High Gloss and White Vinyl Tile
A high gloss, white vinyl tile floor is probably the most popular look for the mid-century style. It’s a simple, retro-futuristic backdrop for bold furniture and decor. Sometimes the tile is all white, and sometimes you’ll find gray or subtle color speckles.
Black and White Vinyl Tile
It’s hard to think about the ‘50s and ’60s without remembering this classic retro look reminiscent of diners and kitchens. Black and white checkered vinyl floors are a go-to look.
It’s bold and eye-catching, but the style is neutral enough that you can use it for multiple room styles, from the classic diner vibe to something more chic.
Shop the Mid-Century Modern Vinyl Tile Look:
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The Terrazzo look can be found in both vinyl and porcelain tile, but it’s so popular that it deserves a shoutout all on its own. The original Terrazzo flooring was made from a mixture of stone or glass fragments and cement, which created the iconic speckled look.
Terrazzo tile is often gray, but you can also find it with pops of color, especially oranges, reds, and pinks. This flooring almost always has a glossy finish to create that retro-futuristic look. You’ll often see it in commercial spaces like grocery stores, but it’s the perfect addition to your home, too.
For a more natural tile look, consider slate flooring. Slate floors were a huge hit in the ‘60s and even today they offer beautiful stone looks.
What you’re looking for in this option is a darker palette with lots of color variation. The most popular look is light and dark grays with a touch of reddish-brown. You should also opt for larger tiles to complete the look.
These days, you don’t need to shell out the money for real slate to get the look. There are plenty of slate-look flooring options, such as porcelain or even vinyl.
Cork was a traditional flooring option during the middle of the last century. While it doesn’t look like your typical wood planks, it’s technically a kind of wood, and it’s eco-friendly, too!
With cork tiles, you get a simple installation and a unique look. They also provide some resilience and springiness underfoot.
This is an affordable option, but keep in mind, this doesn’t have the staying power of wood planks. If you’re not sure if you want to stick with mid-century modern floors forever, you might want to steer away from this one.
If you want to design your space in the mid-century modern style, the right flooring is essential. Hopefully, this guide has given you the inspiration you need to complete your look and design the home of your dreams.
If you know what you’re looking for, why not take the next step with some free samples?