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Flooring Transitions and The Open Floor Plan


Open floor plans where one “room” flows in to the next without any walls to actually delineate them are a challenge for designers and homeowners who would prefer different flooring options in different areas. The problem is not really the flooring itself but, instead, how to bridge the gap between the two differing materials.

The traditional way to solve the problem is with an item known as a transition. A thin strip of of metal or wood is installed across the gap and actual meeting of the two materials is obscured. Many designers object to this unimaginative way to solve the problem and have developed more interesting solutions. Here are just a few

Front Hallway to Living Room (tile/wood) – A rectangular greeting space of tile is used just inside the front door that flows into the tiled main hallway. A wood floor from the living is room is then butted up against the edge. The wood is dark and the tile white with an accent color similar in tone to the wood. The result is a stunning rectilinear floor that maintains the integrity of the two spaces.

Kitchen to Family Room (carpet/wood) – While some folks will tile the entire space that forms this communal area, others prefer tile in the kitchen for utilitarian purposes but the warmer feel of wood in the family room. One inventive designer ran the wood well into the kitchen and saved the tile for areas in front of the work spaces and around the kitchen island. The look is somewhat off-kilter but really works in a contemporary décor.

Bathroom (tile/wood) Some designers really like to push the envelope and include two different flooring materials in the same space – even one as small as a powder room. We have seen natural stone installed as a rectangle to set off a vintage bath tub with wood in the rest of the bathroom and an undulating transition from wood on the periphery of the bathroom to the tile in the rest of floor. Both make eye catching additions to the home and are the sign of true creativity.

Dining Room to Living Room (tile/carpet) – In this installation, the homeowner chose stone for the dining area but the cozier feel of carpet for the living room. They did, however, try to match the colors of the stone and carpet. The result is a very workable solution – spills in the dining room will not mar the floors while the carpeting allows for warmer feet – but still maintains the feeling of one large open space.

Living Room to Hallway (tile/wood) – A change in elevation makes an ideal place to transition from one flooring material to another. If you are lucky enough to have a sunken living room. Consider tile for the entryway and main living space with a wood floored hallway. The color combination can be dramatic to emphasize the aesthetics of the grade change – and probably making the step down a little safer too!

You can see pictures of each of these transitions and a few more! here. For more detailed information on flooring transitions in particular or if you have tile questions in general, please visit us at Great Western Flooring Co. Find us online at www.greatwesternflooring.com or speak with us directly.

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