How to Combine Tile and Wood Flooring

Most homes feature more than one type of flooring, typically hardwood floors or laminate that looks like hardwood in rooms such as the dining room or living room, then tile or vinyl in the bathroom or kitchen. But what if you want to combine flooring types in one room?
You can do that with some artful planning and expert guidance.

Consult a Design Pro

You may have seen a cool design in Architectural Digest or House Beautiful. Now, you want a floor that looks just like it but matches your home.

Consulting a design professional first can save you time and money. That’s because the professional flooring expert knows which materials work well together and which colors.

A professional also knows when the transition area between the two flooring types works best in the room. This matters most if you want the two designs to meet in the center or just off-center of a single large room.

Potential Combinations

You may already have hardwood floors installed. You want to add interest to the room or divide it without installing a faux wall or curtain divider. Flooring can do this.

What combinations work well with hardwood flooring?

Tile Inlays with Hardwood Flooring

Use a tile inlay installation on top of one hardwood flooring area. This adds visual interest. Tiles come in various shapes, and your flooring installer can design a mosaic for you or another pattern. Vary the colors of the tile to create patterns or spell out a word.

The change in color and texture can create an inviting entryway to a room or delineate a conversational space. Defining the breakfast nook area offers another use for this type of design.

Glass Tiles and Hardwood Flooring

Use glass tiles to create a mosaic that connects two hardwood floors that use different woods. For instance, a glass tile mosaic of one foot in width running between oak and mahogany flooring offers visual interest. It creates unity between the two different wood colors and textures.

Finding textures that work together presents another of the challenges of using two different flooring types in the same room. Some materials, such as vinyl flooring or linoleum, don’t work in the same room as wood flooring because they offer no texture. On the other hand, pebble tile can create an interesting contrast to ebony flooring, especially using a white pebble tile.

Going from Room to Room

Transitions between rooms, such as the bathroom and hallway or bedroom, present no challenge to a professional flooring installer. In these situations, use either metal transitions or reducer molding to divide the two rooms and ensure you alleviate any trip and fall dangers. Use the same types of options when moving from a room that uses carpet to one that uses hardwood flooring or tile.

What makes transitions between rooms different from using two flooring types in the same room?

Doorways and walls make all the difference. In traditional architecture, especially before the Mid-Century design period, walls and the occasional window provided the consistency of most rooms in a house. Each room had a door that shut and locked.

The open floor plans now in vogue began during the middle of the 20th century. Before that, when going from room to room, you’d only see about a two-foot-wide portion of each floor as you traversed the threshold of the doorway from the bedroom to the hallway or living room to the dining room. The formal design patterns made it simpler to use a stone floor in one room and a hardwood floor in the next room.

Today’s open floor plans merge the kitchen into the dining room into the living room. Some homes go further than that, adding a den to the open space. Architects expect homeowners to provide dividers, such as bookcases and latticework. Builders often use one continuous flooring in all four or five interconnected rooms.

Although that does solve a problem easily, it creates a dull, vast space. Once purchased, the homeowner may desire variety and choose to add to the flooring. That may explain why you’re reading this article right now.

Testing Ideas Before You Meet with a Flooring Professional

Before you meet with a flooring professional about your tile and wood flooring combination project, plan what you want. Although some flooring pros offer a free consultation, others charge for a planning meeting. Planning ahead can get you the most for your money.

  1. Clip out pictures from magazines of projects you love.
  2. Print ideas from the web.
  3. Take clear, in-focus photos of your existing rooms after cleaning each. These photos must show the floor unobscured and the furnishings you own.
  4. Gather together samples of materials you like. You can obtain these by ordering them from a store, such as From The Forest, or picking up samples or paint chips from your local home improvement store.

When you enter the initial meeting armed with clear examples of your ideas and samples of materials you like and want to use, your interior designer or flooring professional can better address these concerns. For example, the metal flooring you love may clash with your current wall paint and furniture. Your design pro will tell you this and suggest alternatives that would not clash.

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