Source: Architectural Digest

Top 7 Best Mid Century Modern Flooring Ideas

This post is all about mid century modern flooring ideas.

If you are renovating a mid century modern home or simply love this vintage design, look to these 7 retro yet classic mid century modern flooring ideas.


Mid century modern design is the style that defined the 50’s and 60’s. Known for its sleek lines, bold colors and a focus on functionality, mid century modern furniture and decor are a timeless design style that many are still inspired by. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright were admired for their designs as they incorporated nature and the harmony between form and function. After World War II, America saw a surge in the housing market which led to a large amount of new housing developments for the middle class. Thus, architects and designers during that era built homes under this new design influence.

Nowadays, mid century modern homes are quite common throughout the country. Elements like large windows, angular features and a focus on eco-friendly materials make this style a favorite of new homebuyers.


New millennial homebuyers are showing a renewed interest in Mid Century Modern design for many of the same reasons it first became popular. The big windows and attention towards eco-friendly details make the homes feel big and airy, as well as acutely connected to nature. In addition, a cornerstone of Mid Century modern design was utilizing new and unique materials for home building which we will speak to throughout this article. 


The materials used specifically in mid century modern flooring were very important to the overall design. In the mid-twentieth century, new and exciting types of building materials and technologies were developed, and thus used throughout the new home designs. Mid century modern flooring materials like terrazzo, vinyl, and cork flooring were all new and considered top of the line materials to use.

Continue reading to learn about mid century modern flooring ideas.

1. Ceramic tile

Ceramic tile is a classic type of Mid Century modern flooring. Easy to clean and less susceptible to wear and tear, ceramic tiles are a great choice for more spill-prone areas like bathrooms, kitchens or mudrooms. They are also the most scratch-prone type of flooring. Both large and small ceramic tiles are making a major comeback in recent years. Adding fun patterned tiles to your home can be a great way to add visual interest to your flooring. Ceramic tile costs vary depending on the tile, but can cost as little as $2/ sq ft or up to $20/ sq ft. Shops like Floor and Decor and Tilebar are excellent sources for unique ceramic tile.

Patterned ceramic tile as shown in this mudroom is incredibly chic; ceramic tiles are great to use in small areas or all-white spaces.

Pair your tiles with a colorful vintage rug for an eclectic vibe to your bathroom.

2. Concrete floors 

Economical and environmentally friendly, concrete flooring is incredibly durable and goes well with minimalist designs. Concrete is a material that looks quite industrial and modern. Concrete floors can be both matte or sealed with epoxy to give it a glossy shine. Although this is an extremely popular choice for modern and minimalist looks, concrete flooring does have a few drawbacks. 

Concrete flooring can be fairly cold unless radiant floor heating is installed underneath which can be costly. In addition, concrete floors can be hard on your feet and also loud as the material does not absorb any sound. In addition, cracks in concrete can also be common. However, concrete flooring is one of the cheaper options that can create a big design impact. Concrete flooring is relatively affordable and typically costs about $2-$6 per square foot. Reach out to your local flooring company for a precise quote on material and labor costs. 

As seen here, matte concrete flooring is simple, looks clean, and doesn’t take away from surrounding design details like rugs or art.

On the other hand, concrete flooring with gloss looks luxurious and minimalistic. It’s a statement on its own and can become a main focal point to a home.

3. Hardwood floors 

Hardwood floors are without a doubt the most timeless and classic flooring you can find. Wall to wall wood floors have always been popular and during the 50’s, there was no exception. Hardwood flooring is thought to be very durable but let it be known that certain finishes can be quite prone to scratches and all wood is susceptible to water damage. Yet, hardwood floors can also be very hypoallergenic and ideal if natural elements are important to your overall home design. Because of their neutral and timeless look, they are often the gold-standard when choosing flooring. 

Although completely timeless and eco-friendly, hardwood flooring is one of the more expensive flooring types. Hardwood flooring can cost around $6-$18 per square foot but it can be a wise investment for your home.  Hardwood flooring will never go out of style, and can be refinished and restored multiple times over so it may be a worthwhile investment for your home. Especially if your hardwood floors are well maintained, it will render your home more valuable when you eventually come to resell it. 

Warmer wood tones are typically associated with mid century modern designs and can easily be restored to their original beauty when renovating.

Both lighter wood flooring with richer wood elements look great when mixed together.

In addition to hardwood floors, having a variety of hardwood architectural details throughout your home like railings, beams or wood paneling are also great to include. Using a variety of wood hues are key to adding visual interest.

4. Terrazzo Floors

Terrazzo floors are one of the most luxurious and expensive mid century flooring types – but also one of the most beautiful. Terrazzo was created by combining a cement base with a mix of other rare and precious minerals – like marble, granite, and quartz. The end effect is stunning- colorful flooring that makes a bold statement. However, It can be quite expensive and labor intensive, sometimes costing up to $10 to $23/ sq ft to install. 

Terrazzo floors can be achieved by two main ways. One way is poured terrazzo which is poured over existing cement flooring and mineral chips are added. The second type of Terazzo flooring incorporates Terazzo tiles, which similarly to ceramic tiles, can be laid out to create a pattern. The latter is typically easier to install. 

Like upgraded concrete floors, terrazzo is a sophisticated material that is both functional and sought-after for its unique beauty. 

Terrazzo tiles are available in both large and small sizes so your design can be both the perfect backdrop or a stand-out focalpoint to your design.

The tile shop Tilebar sources beautiful terrazzo tiles in a multitude of color varieties.

5. Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is a great sustainable and eco-friendly flooring type. Similar in aesthetics to real wood, cork is very abundant yet requires less environmental strain to produce unlike traditional wood. Cork is harvested from the bark of living trees, whereas typical hardwood comes from trees that have been cut down. Cork can also be very hypoallergenic; the material repels dust, dirt and is even said to have antimicrobial properties. 

Cork flooring can provide the look of real wood flooring, but is much cheaper and a more sustainable option. The price of cork flooring varies greatly but is generally still inexpensive, around $2-$12 per square foot. Cork flooring is very common and can be found at many local flooring and hardware stores like The Home Depot

Similar to wood flooring, cork is available in a variety of colors. Cork flooring looks especially modern in lighter colors.

Cork flooring can have unique graining patterns that can add a textural element to a room.

6. Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT)

Vinyl composite tile or VCT is a flooring type that was developed in the mid 1900’s, which is a mix of vinyl and composite stone. In homes, it can be purchased in 12-18” squares that are glued to the subfloor. Vinyl tiles come in varieties of  patterns and prints, and can even resemble hardwood or stone. Vinyl composite tile can be very affordable, costing about $3 per square foot. Vinyl composite tile is very easy to clean and maintain. 

However, while being very affordable, there are some tradeoffs when utilizing this type of flooring. Vinyl composite tile  is not the most sustainable option as this material cannot be reused or recycled. In addition, vinyl composite tile is also known to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or dangerous chemicals that are off-gassed and commonly found in furniture. All of these drawbacks are something to consider when evaluating this mid century modern flooring type.

Vinyl composite tiles are great to use when you want the look of colorful ceramic tiles for less. These tiles come in all sorts of colors that can look lovely in kitchens and bathrooms.

Retailer Hudson and Vine offers great vintage-looking VCT tiles that make quite a splash.

7. Carpet

Carpet is one of the most common flooring types and it lends itself great to mid century modern style. Carpet flooring is soft and warm on feet and is most often found in bedrooms, rec rooms, basements or living rooms. There are so many different styles of carpet from cut pile or loop pile, as well as all different kinds of materials, such as wool, nylon, or polypropylene (also called olefin). But which one is best? 

Of the different kinds of pile, loop pile is considered the most modern as it’s low profile, dirt resistant and doesn’t leave foot imprints. There can even be patterns within the carpet from the direction of the loops made. However, it does have its drawbacks – loop pile is not quite as soft or as padded as alternative cut pile.

Loop pile is the opposite of your typical shag carpet. It’s low profile and very durable.

Cut Pile carpet has a pile that has been sheared off which makes it the softest and most padded carpet style. However, cut pile carpet can become quickly matted, leaving footprints and vacuum trails. Cut pile carpet can also be harder to clean. 

Cut pile is longer and therefore softer for feet. Cut pile carpet also provides more texture due to the pile length.  

Carpet pricing also varies on material, but it typically costs between $0.65 to $12 / sq foot. It is best to work with a local carpet company to see swatches in person and to find the best deals on carpet.

When used sparingly, carpet with fun patterns and colors can be a beautiful added feature In mid century modern homes as it was quite common back then to have carpet. However the word ‘sparingly’ is key! If used too much, colored carpet can easily make your home feel dated. Another rule to follow is to never install carpet in the bathroom! For hygienic and mold reasons, installing carpet in a bathroom is never a good idea. 

If installing bold carpet to a whole room seems like a large commitment, look to using large area rugs instead. They come in many different bold patterns and colors and can be swapped out at a very affordable price. Mid Century Modern patterns like large geometric shapes will look great in your Mid Century modern home. 

When choosing carpet types, be sure to think about whether this area will be a high traffic or low traffic area as that will help you in making a decision.

Beige or Tan loop pile carpet is also perfect for rooms with high traffic like entryways or hallways as they can stand the test of time, as well as be the beautiful neutral backdrop to your home. 

With mid century modern flooring, there are a multitude of types that offer both stylish and functional aspects. To determine what type of flooring best suits your needs, one has to consider the cost, aesthetic, and function that each flooring type provides. Hopefully this guide of mid century modern flooring ideas inspired you to choose the right mid century modern flooring that is perfect for your home.


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