10 Best mid century modern flooring Ideas

terrazzo mid century modern flooring living room
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Explore the best Mid Century Modern flooring ideas to elevate your home’s design, from iconic 1950s choices to contemporary twists. This comprehensive guide offers advice on how to select flooring that both complements and enhances your space.

If you’re on the hunt for flooring options that’ll do justice to your Mid-Century Modern décor, you’re in the right place. I’ve been down this road, scrolling endlessly for ideas, and let me tell you—it’s not just about picking a floor; it’s about choosing one that synergizes with the entire room.

So, whether you’re renovating or just considering a change, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of flooring types that will bring out the best in your Mid-Century Modern setup. Ready to transform your space from the ground up? Let’s check out the flooring choices that can truly complete your design vision.

What Flooring Was Used in Mid Century Modern Homes?

The Mid-Century Modern design movement of the 1950s and ’60s wasn’t just a visual trend; it was a full-on lifestyle change that embraced simplicity, functionality, and natural elements. So when it comes to flooring, think beyond just what matches your coffee table and consider the ethos of the era.

In true Mid-Century fashion, flooring was far more than a mere afterthought—it was a carefully chosen element designed to complement the architecture and furniture. And just as the era was all about long-lasting, quality items, the flooring options of the time reflected durability and style. Concrete floors, for instance, were not only modern but also incredibly durable, often seamlessly extending from the interior to exterior spaces for that open-concept feel. Cork was another popular choice, celebrated for its organic texture and comfort underfoot, aligning with the era’s fascination with natural materials.

The 10 Best mid century modern flooring Ideas

1. Hardwood Floors

hardwood mid century modern flooring

Hardwood floors are quintessentially Mid-Century Modern. Think of any iconic interior from this era and chances are, it had hardwood flooring. Why? Because this style is all about natural materials, and wood is about as natural as it gets. The clean lines and inherent beauty of hardwood align well with Mid-Century Modern’s philosophy of form meeting function. When opting for hardwood, you’re making a timeless investment that complements the sleek, modern furniture and geometric patterns often found in this design style.

  • Color Suggestions: For an authentic Mid-Century Modern vibe, go for light to medium wood tones like oak, maple, or even cherry. These shades help to keep rooms feeling open and airy, which is a hallmark of the design movement.
  • Cost: Hardwood is a bit of an investment, but it’s one that pays off in spades when it comes to adding value to your home. Expect to pay between $6-$12 per square foot, depending on the type of wood and finish you choose.

2. Concrete Floors

concrete mid century modern flooring

Concrete floors offer that sleek, minimalist vibe that’s perfectly aligned with Mid-Century Modern aesthetics. In this era, architects like Frank Lloyd Wright were experimenting with open spaces and seamless indoor-outdoor transitions, and concrete flooring can serve that vision well. Being durable and easy to maintain, it’s an ideal choice for high-traffic areas and for those seeking an industrial flair.

  • Color Suggestions: Natural gray is a timeless choice, but you can also explore stained or tinted concrete in earth tones to add warmth.
  • Cost: Surprisingly affordable, the cost of concrete flooring ranges from $2-$6 per square foot, not including special finishes or treatments.

3. Ceramic Tile

large tile mid century modern flooring

Ceramic tiles have a functional beauty that’s ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, and their geometric shapes can echo the iconic patterns seen in Mid-Century Modern design. The tiles of this era often featured unique color combinations and shapes, offering a tasteful pop to any room.

  • Color Suggestions: Subdued hues like taupe or soft gray, or monochrome schemes, work best to let your Mid-Century furniture and decor shine.
  • Cost: The cost for ceramic tile varies but typically ranges from $5-$10 per square foot.

4. Terrazzo Floors

terrazzo mid century modern flooring living room

Terrazzo brings a touch of opulence and customization into your Mid-Century Modern space. Known for its speckled appearance, terrazzo was popular in the ’50s and ’60s for public buildings and is now making a comeback in homes.

  • Color Suggestions: Lighter bases with pastel or bright specks reflect natural light, enhancing the open, airy feel of Mid-Century spaces.
  • Cost: It’s on the expensive side, ranging from $10-$50 per square foot, but its longevity and unique look might justify the price.

5. Cork Flooring

Cork was a popular choice in Mid-Century homes because of its organic texture and comfort underfoot. It adds a softer touch to the often angular and sleek furniture choices of the period.

  • Color Suggestions: Stick with natural tones from light beige to medium brown.
  • Cost: At $4-$8 per square foot, cork offers an eco-friendly choice at a moderate price.

6. Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT)

This budget-friendly option gained popularity in the mid-century due to its durability and ease of installation. Its versatility in patterns allows for creativity, perfectly matching the playful yet practical spirit of the era.

  • Color Suggestions: Go for patterns that mimic natural materials or opt for bold geometrics.
  • Cost: This is a cost-effective choice, ranging between $0.50-$2.50 per square foot.

7. Carpet

carpet mid century modern flooring living room

Though not as popular as other options, carpet found its way into Mid-Century Modern bedrooms and living rooms offering a cozy counterpoint to more austere materials.

  • Color Suggestions: To keep the focus on your Mid-Century Modern furniture and accents, stick to neutral tones like gray, beige, or cream.
  • Cost: Depending on the type and quality, you’ll spend between $2-$7 per square foot.

8. Linoleum Flooring

No, it’s not a throwback to your grandmother’s kitchen. Modern linoleum has evolved into a chic and eco-friendly flooring option. Back in the day, linoleum was valued for its durability and ease of care, and it fits well into the practical yet stylish Mid-Century Modern home.

  • Color Suggestions: Earthy tones or pastels can work well. Some modern linoleums even mimic textures like wood or stone.
  • Cost: It’s a budget-friendly option, ranging from $2-$5 per square foot.

9. Slate Flooring

For those who want to add a touch of rustic modernity, slate flooring offers a textural contrast to the clean lines commonly found in Mid-Century Modern interiors. It’s particularly effective in entryways or as a transition from indoor to outdoor spaces.

  • Color Suggestions: Stick with the natural color variations that slate offers, from muted grays to rich blacks.
  • Cost: On the pricier side, expect to pay between $4-$10 per square foot.

10. Bamboo Flooring

bamboo mid century modern flooring office

If you’re after an eco-friendly hardwood alternative, bamboo is an excellent choice. With its straight grain and warm tones, it complements Mid-Century Modern furniture beautifully.

  • Color Suggestions: Natural or caramelized tones are both excellent options for a Mid-Century look.
  • Cost: Bamboo is fairly economical with prices ranging from $3-$8 per square foot.

How to Choose the Right Flooring for Your Mid-Century Modern Home

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not just looking to slap any floor into your space and call it a day. You want your flooring to feel intentional, to seamlessly blend with your Mid-Century Modern aesthetic. So how do you make sure you’re making the right choice? Here are some key considerations:

Understand Your Space’s Needs

Every room has its own unique needs when it comes to flooring. Kitchens and bathrooms, for example, require water-resistant options, making ceramic tile a sensible pick. On the other hand, living rooms and bedrooms can afford softer, cozier options like cork or carpet.

Sync with Your Color Palette

Mid-Century Modern is known for its unique mix of subdued and vibrant colors. Your flooring should either complement or contrast this palette, but never clash. For instance, if your furniture and decor are vibrant, you might want to stick with neutral tones for the floor to provide balance.

Textural Elements

In Mid-Century Modern design, texture is everything. The juxtaposition of different materials and textures—think a leather couch on a sleek concrete floor—can add depth and intrigue to your space. When selecting flooring, consider how it will interact texturally with your furniture and decor.

Quality Over Quick Fixes

True to the spirit of the era, quality is key. Mid-Century Modern is all about pieces that not only look good but are also built to last. Instead of seeking out the cheapest options, focus on flooring that offers durability and longevity.

Budget and Installation

Lastly, let’s talk money. Costs can vary dramatically depending on your material of choice, but don’t let that deter you. A higher upfront cost might pay off in the long run in terms of durability and aesthetic appeal. And don’t forget to factor in installation costs; some flooring types are easier to install than others, which could also impact your budget.

What Classic Flooring Never Goes Out of Style?

While trends come and go, hardwood floors and ceramic tiles have proven to be timeless choices that never seem to go out of fashion. Both of these options offer a blend of durability and style that fits seamlessly into a Mid-Century Modern aesthetic as well as other design styles.

What is the Most Popular Modern Flooring?

Recently, engineered hardwood and luxury vinyl tile have surged in popularity. These options provide a blend of style and practicality, featuring the look of natural materials with the benefits of modern construction techniques.

Mid Century Modern Flooring Recap

There you have it, ten fabulous flooring options that can elevate your Mid-Century Modern space to new heights. From the timeless appeal of hardwood to the retro charm of terrazzo, your choices are as diverse as the era that inspired them.


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