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All the Details About the Stone Checkerboard Floors In The Dining Room–They’re Finished!

January 20, 2020  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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The dining room floors are done and we’re in love! We went with a checkerboard pattern on a diagonal using a more natural-looking stone (as opposed to a stark black and white), but they’re actually matte porcelain tile from Bedrosians! They are oozing with character and feel warm and bonus, are super durable. We originally introduced this idea with a slew of inspiration photos here, and it’s kind of surreal that ours are now in place.

These are the exact tiles we used from Bedrosians. This is the dark one (Nero) and this is the light one (Magnifica Calacatta Oro). I can barely believe that they are porcelain because they look SO much like the real thing.

The installation took about 3 days, plus 1 day of grouting, and we captured the whole, fascinating process in this fun video that’s a mix of time lapse and close ups and fun effects thrown in for good measure.

The last time we shared the dining room, the heated floors just got installed and self-leveling cement was poured. It cured over the weekend and they started laying the tile first thing Monday morning.

The very first thing they did is notable. They found the exact center of the room and placed the first tile there. At first I was like, hmph! interesting! But that quickly turned into awe as I realized the symmetry it created around the entire room. All the edges are identical and it makes me so happy.

We went with 1/16″ leveling spacers (they ensure the whole floor stays level) that can get kicked off as soon as the floor sets. When they arrived the following day, they always kicked them off and started new.

I got the question a lot: Why tile only in the dining room? The funny thing is, I almost chickened out and extended our wood floors into this space, but then I remembered our reasons why. We really wanted this room to feel special and unique. This style of floors is so classic and I knew the room could take a show piece. There are also SIX doors from the outside leading into the dining room (5 french doors and 1 big arched door that will be at the end of the room) so we wanted it to be a really durable floor, too. And ultimately, it’s an entertaining space–so a beautiful, durable, classic floor that would serve as the backdrop for us, our friends and family for years to come was definitely the answer.

(Below is the room last fall so you can see the original arched door that will go back in and then below that is a progress photo from early last week)

  

Each tile is 24″x24″, but the lighter tile only came in a 30″ square so they cut down every one. We’ll be using the scraps elsewhere in our home. The happiest coincidence was definitely the way the black triangles hit the center of every door and wall. I asked our tile layers how they DID that. And he said, we found the center of the room, but that was luck! (I guess it wasn’t all luck–we found the center of the room when deciding where the doors went, too.)

We looked at 25 swatches of grout and picked the one that matched the darker tile perfectly. The grout lines are so small, it really disappears. The end result feels warm and classic. We’re dying to load in the furniture that’s stacked up all over the house (check out where we’re headed with that in this post), but we’re patiently waiting for the completion of the double sided fireplace and all the trim work this room is also getting.

The fireplace is underway right now (should be nearly finished this week!) and I think that original arched door should be back in place sometime soon, too! This space was never a part of the house. It was an enclosed hot tub room when we bought the house, but now I can’t imagine our home without it. And yes, our first dinner party here will have formal invitations. :)

What do you think?

  1. Cassie Klassen says:

    Do you know the color of the grout you used in the dining room?

  2. Sara says:

    Hi! I love your checked dining room. I’m trying to do the same but for my kitchen! Do you mind sharing with me the dimensions of the room you did the checkered tiles on? Thank you!

  3. Jess says:

    if one were to want to use these color combo in a kitchen what color cabinets would you go for?

  4. Katie Grace says:

    OMG! This is GORGEOUS. I was just getting ready to order honed marble for our new additionwhen I came across this. WIthout a doubt just as beautiful and so much easier than marble. How were the edges when they cut down to 24×24? Did they have to do anything extra that you know of? My husband is just trying to gauge how much extra work it will take for him to mkae it all uniform.

  5. brooke says:

    Love this floor. Can I ask a few questions about how it cleans and wares?
    1. It’s matte finish but is it sealed? Does it absorb oils/stains?
    2. How are you cleaning this floor?

  6. jenna says:

    With the mandatory quarantine, you inspired me to finally update my kitchen and dining room combo with this tile. Will you share the grout that you chose? I can’t find where you linked it. Thanks so much and great job!!!!

  7. Candace says:

    Man, this room really is a testament to why a craftsman/skilled installer is SO ESSENTIAL for certain applications! I can lay tile, but look at their consistency and perfect lines!

  8. Wendelyn Muckerheide says:

    This looks amazing! If I may ask; what color grout did you use?

  9. Katie says:

    Hi! I’ve run across your blog here and there over the years but never got fully reeled in. (Did you write a post a looooong time ago about questions you ask each other to stay connected and feel loved? Or was that someone else? Because I loved that post but can’t seem to find it.)

    Anyway I just stumbled on you again while researching dining tables and I just love your style. I live in Italy right now so I’m hoping to find a “real deal” table, but it’s hilarious how RH and other US companies imitate the Italian style as well as (if not sometimes better than) what I can find here. Thank you for giving me hope that when we have to return to the states in a few years, maybe I’ll be able to create a touch of the European feel in our future home.

    I’m also very sorry for the loss of your cabin. She looked like a real beauty. Obviously it’s such a relief that no one was there, but what you wrote about it having a soul really resonated with me. Lessons of love and attachments in life are always tough ones to bear. <3

  10. Vicki says:

    The floor is stunning and the room will be so beautiful! It is remarkable how everything lined up so beautifully. Guess everyone knew what they were doing! So much fun to follow along.

  11. steph n says:

    I look forward to see what art you put on the walls. Over the years only one piece of art have you chosen that I didn’t personally care for, but all others have blown me away. I especially love the moody ones you pick.

  12. DeAna says:

    Okay, I’ll message you my address for that invite. Lol????
    No, but seriously, are you going to be offering tours? Could one just come and sit in a corner of your dining room? Asking for a friend…

  13. Marina says:

    Holy crap – the view from the large arched door, through the dining room, and through the archways into the living room…AMAZING!!!! It’s just so beautiful. I can’t believe there was a time when you were only going to have one archway! So happy to see this coming together for your family. You will make so many memories in here!

  14. Stephanie says:

    I was secretly hoping for some kicking-out-the-tile-leveling-spacers footage in the video, John @younghouselove style, hehehe.

    In all seriousness, the tile looks SO GOOD. I can’t wait to see this room once everything goes in!

  15. Susan says:

    I love it! Checkboard just seems so timeless. And I love anything on the diagonal. It drives my husband nuts. Every tile job he says to me now… “we’re not doing it on the diagonal!”

  16. Kate says:

    I love the floor and think it is gorgeous. I am curious why the decision was made to do five doors on one side instead of windows. Thanks!

  17. Stephanie says:

    This is already becoming one of my favorite rooms that you’ve designed, and that’s saying a lot! It’s stunning. Fun to follow along and see the evolution of the space.

  18. Claudine says:

    Oh my WOW! It is more beautiful than I imagined! I am actually not at ALL a fan of black and white checked tile…but these tiles are stunning and together, they are a dream. Just have to day – my favorite clip from the video is the girls dancing & spinning on the new floor. :)

  19. Jackie says:

    This is so beautiful- I just love it. You always nail it with your tile choices. love love love

  20. PJ says:

    I love how the small details make the space! I had to zoom into the picture to see the grout. Love that it’s almost “invisible”!

  21. Linda Grubbs says:

    Fabulous! I can’t wait to see this gorgeous room when it’s finished!

  22. Shannon says:

    I have wondered if you ever share who you use for the local admirers?

  23. Brianne says:

    I have to say… I’m an architect and my tastes tend more modern/midcentury so initially I was a little wary of the more traditional checkerboard pattern. But holy moly, this is stunning, you have totally converted me to the idea and I can’t wait to see what you guys do furnishing the space.

  24. Wendelyn says:

    What is the color name of the grout you used?

  25. Kate says:

    Hi! These floors are breathtaking!! I’m new to your site so I probably missed this, but why was the decision made to go with 5 doors on one side instead of windows?

    Can’t wait to see the finished space! Hard to believe it wasn’t original looking at these photos!

  26. Diane says:

    So gorgeous and timeless! Perfect when cleared out for dancing at one of your daughter’s weddings some day!

  27. Alicia D says:

    It’s so beautiful! I think you’ll be very happy you chose porcelain. I clean homes for a living and the natural stone floors like travertine and marble stain easily and you have to be very careful what you use to clean them because a lot of cleansers will damage the sealant on them, so it makes them difficult to clean. You were smart with your choice!

  28. Arli says:

    STUNNING!

  29. Sarah says:

    Your design continues to inspire. We built a washroom around the one in your previous home and have zero regrets. We loved the mirrors and lights and duplicated them in our Reno.
    I would love to know more about the doors your chose for the dining room. We are replacing a garden door this year. ????
    Thanks in advance!

  30. Mary Lou says:

    So beautiful! I can picture the calligraphy place cards too!

  31. Julie S says:

    That insta closeup of the floor (with your feet in loafers) sold me on what was previously a materials choice I wasn’t entirely sure about. Suddenly I caught this vision of a substantial, ageless stone and wood home with an old world feel. Mmmm yes!

  32. Jillian says:

    SO dreamy!!! Love watching the whole process and LOVED that fun video- well done, Andi! It is turning into such an incredible space!

  33. Maya says:

    This is so so so beautiful!! I loved the video too!!

  34. Kiera says:

    What a beautiful room and the fact that it will also be so full of function makes it doubly beautiful. This room will be the backdrop to so many memories for your family. Not only Thanksgivings and Christmases but birthday parties, sleepovers, hot summer afternoons and chilly white snow days.
    The picture where you can see all the way through your living room into the breakfast nook & kitchen I saw the arched cabinet you bought for the kitchen phase I and thought it was another doorway and couldn’t place where in the world that door led…and then I realized it was that cabinet. The arches match perfectly.

  35. Beth says:

    Julia, I love this! Is the black textured or is it completely smooth? I have been looking on the website and comparing it with your photos.

  36. Linda says:

    I can’t help but think wouldn’t it be wonderful hosting a wedding banquet for your girls in this space. Tearing up already with that thought.

  37. candi says:

    Never have I loved a space more! I am dying over this tile floor! I showed my hubby and started brainstorming how I could have it in my life! lol! So gorgeous!

  38. Kristin says:

    it’s stunning! Really beautiful.

  39. Danielle says:

    Were the tiles really not the smae size? The dark say 24″x24″ but the light say 30″x30″. Did the have to cut every single light tile?

  40. Jasmine says:

    Beautiful! I love this (to me) unexpected choice. Also, I can’t get over how those black tiles magically centered on the doors… it seems SO unlikely that the door spacing is exactly the same as the tiles.

  41. I’m in love! The symmetry is soo good. I love those tiles too. It’s so classic and will never go out of style.

  42. Kim B. says:

    Julia, it is SO gorgeous and I know with your furniture and fixture choices, it’s going to be exquisite.

    Looking at your space, it puts me in mind immediately of the long checkered hallway at the Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire valley. Here’s a stock photo

    https://www.alamy.com/the-long-interior-bridge-gallery-of-the-chteau-de-chenonceau-designed-and-built-in-the-16th-century-in-the-loire-valley-of-france-image227242781.html

    • Julie S says:

      Yeah, I keep thinking the style hearkens to a glorious country chateau or English country house, not “cottage” lol :) But that ship has sailed ;-)

  43. yasmara says:

    Wow, it looks FANTASTIC. Really stunning. I’m super impressed with how meticulous your tile crew was – they cleaned up! And as soon as I saw it, I thought “dance floor opportunity,” so it was fun to see your girls twirling on it!

    Truly inspiration worthy!

  44. Venita Dimmick says:

    I LOVE the matte finish, it looks almost ethereal, kind of dreamy. We are looking at marble vs porcelain for our master bath renovation, any suggestions on not going with marble? I am leaning away from it for upkeep purposes, but my husband loves the marble! Help a girl out :)

    • Julia says:

      Nothing will ever beat the beautiful organic, living finish of real marble. But this comes pretty close without any of the stress.

  45. A says:

    Turned out beautiful! Doors aligning with tile is a function of working from the center of the room for both elements AND the fact that the door size and offset are multiples of 12”.

  46. Meg T says:

    This is stunning! I have always wanted a classic checkerboard and I love it with the stone look tile!

  47. Rachel says:

    Ahhh this is so stunningly gorgeous! Definitely the room that I am most excited to see finished.

  48. Janet Salem says:

    Well it’s just amazing looking. And I love the pair of openings on either side of the fireplace. I love the view from each one. Question about the heated floors: just how reliable are they? How would you ever repair them if something went wrong?

    • Julia says:

      Our home is about 25 years old with the heated floors elsewhere still going strong. Our heated front sidewalk just went out this winter and the electrician said we just need to replace the thermostat mounted in the garage and it would be good as new. So I think pretty reliable!

  49. Molly says:

    This is FREAKING GORGEOUS! I cannot get over how stunning these floors are – killer!

    • Molly says:

      Also – that video! Loooove how fun it was! Between the music and the cuts and effects – felt very lively and fun! Love!

  50. Kimberly says:

    I can’t believe it’s porcelain! We are in the process of picking out tile for our new dining room (it’s also a big room that we’d like to do different flooring for) and I’ve kind of landed on dark slate but this post has me wondering if I could find a porcelain look a like? Also, the tile layers are obviously so, so good!! ????????

  51. Liz says:

    Beautiful flooring. The interesting part of the video was the support device/scooter that the guy used. I’m sure it helped his back, legs and knees.

    Is the refurbished door going to be wood tones or painted black?

  52. Jill says:

    I’m picturing your daughters as teenagers and how you created such an amazing space for special occasions like dinner before dances. It was always a struggle to find age appropriate ways to participate in more ‘grown up’ activities when they really aren’t grown up yet!

    • Chantal says:

      I love picturing this as well! Can you even imagine being a teen with your first group dinner date being catered by Chris Marcum?! Those lucky girls.

  53. Amanda says:

    Looks awesome! And I can’t wait to see where you use the extra tile!

  54. Emily says:

    This is not my style at all . . . but I love it! How grand and ballroom like. :)

  55. TP says:

    Never considered doing a border with the black tile?

    • Julia says:

      Briefly. But we felt like that look was a little more formal than we wanted. We really like to bring in a casual vibe to a more traditional style.

      • Bethany says:

        I thought this floor was going to read sooo much more formal than it does. It does feel like a casual spin on a formal style and I LOVE how it turned out. Can’t wait to see it loaded with furniture!

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