You may have a home with one type of flooring throughout the entire house, but it is more likely that your flooring needs vary depending on the room of the house. Most people do not have carpeted bathrooms but often have carpet in the bedrooms. Likewise, hardwood flooring may be in your entryway or living room but you may have tile in the kitchen. The transition between types of flooring may happen naturally when rooms are clearly divided with doorways, but with the popularity of open floor plans it can make these transitions very noticeable.
Switching between flooring types can be jarring but it does not have to be with good planning! Here are some tips for floor transitions that blend seamlessly.
1.Make it Irregular
Floor transitions that happen with a straight line can actually be more jarring to the eyes than an irregular transition. Use the patterning or shape of your tiles or the planks of your floorboards to create a transition that meets at a geometric or diagonal line instead of a straight one.
2. Use Furniture
Covering the seam between two flooring types can tie the room together and help define the space, particularly in a room with an open floor plan. An island or breakfast bar in the kitchen can separate the tile floor of the kitchen from the hardwoods in the living room seamlessly.
3.Add a Buffer Zone
If you have two styles of flooring that clash with each other, consider creating a buffer zone of another flooring material that can tie the two looks together. Tying everything together with an accent tile can also add visual interest and depth to the space.
4. Carry the Border Across
If your flooring transitions right where a new design feature starts, such as the island in the kitchen, consider using a thin border of the other flooring material before transitioning to the new flooring type to help bridge the transition. A small border of tile around the base of a kitchen island before hardwood begins can tie the look across different rooms.
5. Choose Similar Colors
If you are trying to make the bridge between types of flooring look natural without dividing up the room too much into chunks, use flooring colors that are similar. Beige carpeting in the living room that is similar in shade to the stone tile color in the dining room can keep your floor plan feeling open.
Dark hardwood floors are a favorite of homeowners and have never gone out of fashion. The look of dark wood floors is currently very trendy and will always be a popular choice. Realtors often say that homes with very dark floors are always very appealing to buyers!
Dark hardwood floors are beautiful when well-maintained, but also show wear much easier than lighter stained wood floors. They have a reputation for showing every little scratch, smudge, or dust. Even extra hard dark woods like Brazilian Cherry still scratch over time, none of them are immune. All hardwood floors pick up nicks and scrapes over time but they are far more noticeable on a dark background than on a light- colored floor.
If you are installing floors in your house, consider a lighter option, particularly if you have children who are naturally rough on floors or pets, since their toenails can scrape up the finish of your flooring very quickly. If you must have dark hardwood, avoid a floor with a highly glossed finish. While dark woods will always show scratches more easily, a glossy surface will only magnify the appearance of nicks and scrapes, as well as highlight every fleck of dirt. A satin finish is preferable, with the further towards matte meaning a lower reflection of light.
Choosing a lighter-shade of dark wood is also an option to achieve the look you are going for while minimizing the appearance of wear and tear on your flooring. Chestnut brown is lighter than a deep coffee brown, but similar enough that the look and feel of your design would not be too different. Patterning or a wood with a variety of tone can also help minimize the appearance of lines. Your flooring specialist could help you choose a wood that has a lot of variation from plank to plank, giving your floor a customized look that could easily hide the scratches and dents that come from typical wear.
Another look that hides imperfections is a distressed or hand-scrapped dark hardwood floor. This is a rustic look that is very beautiful, while also saving you from endless floor cleanings to maintain a spotless dark wood floor.
Dark flooring can be easily used in a master bedroom or other lower-traffic area of the home where the floors will receive less wear and tear. Dark wood floors look amazing with natural light shining through windows and create the feeling of an airy space. For more trafficked areas of the home, consider a lighter colored hardwood that will match your design and feeling you would like for your home.
You may be interested in a home with hardwood floors that are not to your taste or have realized that a different shade of wood would fit in better with your style. is you can usually change the color of your flooring if you want to!
When you refinish your floors, you can change the color of your flooring. Most hardwood floors can be made darker, lighter, redder, or anywhere in between. If your flooring is solid hardwood, it can be sanded and refinished in a different stain for a different appearance. Engineered hardwoods can be refinished under certain circumstances while laminate flooring should just be ripped up and replaced with laminate in another style.
Refinishing hardwood floors involves sanding the floors, typically three times, to ensure your hardwoods are smooth and will properly accept the stain for a better and longer lasting look. The wood should look like new, raw hardwood once this is done.
Next, a stain is added. If you decide to go “natural”, then you can skip staining. Stains come in all shades, light or dark or red tones such as mahogany. Every wood floor is different so you will need to test the stain you have chosen on your floor to make sure that it looks the way you would like. Choosing a stain based on how it looks on the can or a catalogue is not an adequate representation of how the stain will look on your specific floors.
Once your stain has been chosen and your floors stained, the final step will be adding a layer of polyurethane to the wood floor. Each coat takes about 24 hours to dry and usually 2-3 coats are applied to the floors. Floors will also need to be buffed between the application of each additional coat. This will help the floor to be smooth while also allowing the polyurethane to absorb better and last longer.
With polyurethane, you have the option of choosing what finish or sheen you would like your floors to have. They can be satin, glossy, semi glossy, or matte. A satin finish is currently the most popular option, it shows scratches less than a glossier option. If you decided to leave your hardwood looking natural, you would skip a stain and go straight to a polyurethane finish.
Usually the lightest color you can have for your floor is the natural wood color, unless you bleach or whitewash your floor. Most homes have a light-colored hardwood like oak or maple so all colors are available, from light to very dark or red. Homes with Brazilian cherry or Walnut floors have very naturally dark wood, and will be more limited in their hardwood floor colors since it would be very difficult to make these floors appear lighter.
Studio apartments are increasingly popular as many people enjoy living in the city or close by with easy access by public transportation. While usually a smaller space, studio apartments combine all the essentials such as a kitchen, living room, and bedroom in one large room. A studio apartment usually has one full bathroom and a closet, you may get lucky and have a small washer/dryer unit!
Since a studio apartment is one space with multiple functions, it can be hard to choose a one-size fits all flooring solution. You could choose the same type of flooring for the entire room or combine materials to help divide up the space, for instance a tile floor kitchen and bath while the rest of the apartment is carpeted or hardwoods. Flooring in a studio apartment can be tricky, but a flooring specialist can help you decide on the right option for your budget and preferences. A landlord who is renting an apartment versus someone who owns their own space may have separate needs as well.
Carpet is a popular option due to being easily replaceable as well as budget friendly. Carpet does tend to show wear and tear quickly, as well as attracting and trapping dust and dirt. It can be difficult to keep clean, particularly if you have children or pets. Dark-colored carpet in a tight weave may be better than plush, light-colored carpet, particularly if you are a landlord renting the apartment and expecting turnover between renters. Carpeted spaces can worsen allergy or asthma symptoms for individuals who suffer from these conditions without regular, thorough cleaning.
Laminate flooring is versatile, budget-friendly and can be customized to mimic the look of tile or wood. It is easy to clean and can tolerate a lot of wear and tear. Installing it is very simple and it is appropriate for the majority of the apartment, although laminate does become excessively slippering when wet and may be a poor fit for the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry area if you have one.
Hardwood floors are beautiful and will definitely elevate the look of your apartment. Choosing a dark, wide plank can give your studio apartment a modern vibe while a lighter colored wood will make your space feel larger. Hardwoods, however, are very expensive, although for a smaller space there may be a budget-friendly option. Pets and moving furniture around can damage hardwoods and may need polishing or refinishing when you are ready to move.
Tile flooring is more expensive than laminate or carpet but works well throughout the entire home since it is moisture-resistant and can be used with ease in the kitchen and bathroom. Tile will last for a long time and holds up well to children and pets.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, buying flooring is a big commitment. You want to make sure that the flooring you choose is going to fit your home, your family, your long-term goals, and your design. We’ve seen it far too often when the flooring chosen is a super-trendy style, that may not match the rest of the home, or how the home functions. When it comes to tile, it’s an even bigger commitment due to the work put in when installing. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before installation.
- Will I/Should I keep my baseboards?
Before installing tile, you will most likely need to remove all the baseboards. Most flooring, if not all, require a small gap between the edge of the floor and the wall to allow room for movement. If you the gap is covered with quarter round, this will affect the aesthetic. You won’t have to install quarter round if you install new baseboards after the tile has been installed.
- Do I have any issues with my foundation?
This is a big one. If the foundation shifts, your tile will too. This leads to cracks and breaks that cost a lot of money. Softer, more flexible floors can handle the shifts no problem, but tile doesn’t have that kind of flexibility.
- Is the tile being installed on a second floor?
If your tile will be on a second floor, you will need to have a waterproof subfloor installed as well IF it’s being installed on top of a wood surface. When wood gets wet, it swells, if it swells and the tile is directly on top of the surface, the tile will break or crack. If the area being tiled is large, the installation costs can add up quickly. This goes for open floor planned homes with a pier-and-beam construction too.
- Should I paint before or after the installation?
This one is kind of up to you. Personally, we think it’s a lot easier to make mistakes with paint on an old floor than to get it on (and stain) a new one. If you get paint on your old floor it’s not as big of a deal. On the other hand, during installation, incidences happen, and a nick or two may happen to your floors, and the walls may get dirty from stray dust. You may want to touch up blemishes after installation.
- Will the staircase be refinished too?
If the staircase will be in tile as well, you’ll have to consider how to finish the edges of your steps. Tile rarely has a matching stairnose piece available so your other options would be a bullnose, an unfinished edge, or a metal finishing piece. Take a look at the many options we have available to see what is the best option for you. If you don’t plan to get tile on the stairs, make sure the stairs are stained, or have a carpeting on them that suits the colors found on the tile.
- Will kids or pets make an impact on tile selection?
Houzz puts it best, “Take a look at color-body and through-body porcelain tile. Although they’re slightly different (through-body porcelain is unglazed, while color-body has a glaze), each ensures a little extra scratch resistance by having a color or glaze that runs throughout the tile’s body. In other words, if it scratches, you’re not going to see a noticeable mark. These tiles are well-equipped to survive foot and paw prints.” (source: www.houzz.com)
Go over each of your questions with one of our designers before deciding on and selecting tile. We will make sure all of your bases are covered so you can enjoy your flooring regardless of where life takes you!