15 Bizarre Flooring Designs You Won’t Believe

Take one look around the Internet, and you’ll see people tend to take flooring for granted. If you find results, it’s usually someone trying to sell their services or showcase new, unused designs. A little tougher is finding what’s already in use and distinguishing it from the rest of the pack. When you do, you’ve found something special!

And so it’s in that spirit we bring you these 15 Bizarre Flooring Designs You Won’t Believe. From optical illusion-inducing carpet to flooring made of pennies to designs that give new meaning to the term “cool and usual” this list has something for everyone.

1. Olle Hemmendorff’s Kitchen

Leave it to a creative mind like Olle Hemmendorff’s to come up with this less-than-traditional black-and-white take on classic wood flooring. The enigmatic Hemmendorff, who formerly served as the creative director of the Joy advertising agency before leaving in 2008 to pursue a freelance career in advertising, fashion and design, wanted to do something much different in his apartment than the standard boring old wooden floor. After laying out vinyl contact paper, he commenced his work of art that has become an Internet meme if there ever was one. Of course, it helps to be a professional designer. We’re sure if we tried something like this it would look more like 400 square feet of doggie-scoot.


2. Projection Flooring Design Patterns

There are dozens upon dozens of different designs that you can bring to a projection flooring system. Rather than list them all here, it’s best to give an overview. Many shopping malls across the world are bringing projection flooring into their walls to use for advertising, design, and/or entertainment. Using a projection system, you can “create” a soccer match, a dance floor, or even give off the impression of walking on water.


3. Jim Thompson Government Building

The heavily stenciled concrete tile pattern within the Illinois-based Jim Thompson Government Building makes liberal use of geometry to create a sense that someone is watching you-perhaps Big Brother? While we’re sure that wasn’t the intended effect-or was it?-this floor design looks like it could blink at you any moment. Still, with all the shapes, in many cases distorted, its amazing to see how it all works together to create a sense of beauty that is wondrous and original.


4. St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church

The sport of basketball and hardwood floors go hand-in-hand in popular culture, but the folks at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim, Calif., have found an alternative solution. Using cork-yes, the very stuff you’d pop out of the wine bottle for Eucharist-the facility boasts one of the most unique floors in the world, though you may end up missing the squeak of the sneakers.


5. Propeller Island City Lodge

The Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin, Germany, designed by Lars Stroschen, is famous for having no two rooms the same. Stroschen has built a number of oddities into his labor of love, including a room, which has coffins for beds and another that resembles a prison cell. The coolest floor design in this location goes to the slanted floor, which gives off the impression that nothing in the room is straight, and the bed seems to hover from the ground.


6. London’s Burrito Restaurant

Watch your step! That may be the warning going through your head when you take a look at the Burrito Restaurant floor in the Spitalfields area of London, but there’s really no need to panic. What you’re looking at is a colorful, tiered “ledge-step” design that makes it look like every customer is one step away from tumbling to his (or her) death. Well played by the design team at Something from Us.


7. Kunstraum Munchen

The Kunstraum Munchen in Munich, Germany, is an art museum that has the kind of wave pattern flooring, which can convince you its more akin to swimming than walking. Designer Heikie Weber’s ripples and waves are a bit disorienting at first, but the unique tapestry plays with dimensions better than any other option we’ve seen. A true work of art in itself.


8. Dynamic Pattern Flooring Design

You might call this offering from designer Alistair Bramley “ahead of its time.” The futuristic look of the flooring is just a prototype, but it’s a prime example of where design capabilities are headed. Bramley created this prototype to formulate “wave patterns” among the foot traffic, which could then be used to adhere to existing pathways. With more and more floor designs moving to interactive, it’s easy to see how Bramley’s efforts could lead to constantly changing designs within the room itself based on use. Is it us or is this world getting more sci-fi all the time?


9. Self Reflection is Greater than Self Projection

The “Self Reflection is Greater than Self Projection” installation is not actually in a physical location, but designer INSA along with BAF Graphics, who handled the digital printing for this project, have shown the display from time to time within the U.K. The floor, along with the rest of the room, consists of reflective globes with an array of sexy pop imagery. Not for everyone, the floor offers a salute to “graffiti, pop culture and fetishism,” according to the BAF Graphics website.


10. The Standard Grill

We’re not sure how much change you’d pick up if you tried to remove the flooring at the Standard Grill in New York’s Standard Hotel, but we’re betting it would be enough for a cup of coffee, at least. It’s also unlikely you’d be able to heft it all out of the establishment without someone noticing. Great example here of using something you would typically take for granted to form a unique, and bizarre, flooring design.


11. Basilica of St. John Lateran

Go to the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, and you’ll find a stunning pattern that makes the entire ground look like it was built from heavy stone, and that it’s all coming right up at you. While many marvel at the complexity of the dimensional aspects of this groundwork, we personally will never look at the old classic video game Q-bert the same way again.


12. Marriott Solana Ballroom

The Southlake, Texas, Marriott Solana offers a unique taste of West Texas, even though it’s closer to East Texas, with sand dune flooring that is a lot easier on the feet than the shifting sands of desert country. To see the carpet “in action,” you’ll have to take a walk, or waltz, through the hotel’s ballroom. It is one of the more famous optical illusion floors in the country, both functional and aesthetically pleasing.


13. Sacramento International Airport Pedestrian Bridge

If the Willis Tower’s glass floor (see next entry) is a little much for you heights-haters, then maybe Sacramento International Airport’s pedestrian bridge, which connects to the parking garage, will prove more palatable. Seyed Alavi designed this digital print floor depicting the aerial view of Sacramento directly under its pedestrian traffic. One of the most famous bizarre flooring designs of its kind, the floor serves as a memorable introduction into the city.


14. The Willis Tower

Today, it’s known as the Willis Tower, but you may know it as Chicago’s iconic Sears Tower. When visiting Willis, you may want to steer clear of the Skydeck, which rests an imposing 103 stories in the air. That’s 1,353 feet, or roughly 151 Robert Wadlows for all you history buffs. In addition to making Wadlow, an Illinois native and the world’s tallest man to ever live, look like a munchkin, this part of the Tower is famous for its breathtaking glass floor, which basically uses the Windy City itself as a design pattern, while scaring the bejeezus out of us folks, who are afraid of heights.


15. The Vampire Cafe

Located in Ginza, Tokyo, everything about this bloodsucker banquet is weird. In fact, the floors may be the closest to normal thing you’ll find at the Vampire Cafe, but they’re still not your typical choice for home or business carpeting. The black carpeting is adorned with a grid of red blood cells that fit in perfectly with candlelit coffins and heart-shaped tables and chandeliers. When stopping in for a bite, watch your neck!


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