planning flooring

gingerjennyMarch 17, 2012

We live in a state that gets quite a bit of snow. that being said I am really unsure what type of flooring to put in the foyer. In general as a family we enter through the garage. i've never had real hardwood floors so I worry about the upkeep of them with kids/dog/snow.

What would you pick for the floors when you see how they connect?

So far we know we want to do carpet in all the bedrooms. Tile in all the bathrooms and in mudroom/laundry room. After that we are not sure

We are leaning towards tile in the kitchen and nook.

then either

1. hardwood in great room, dining room, halls and foyer.

2. Ceramic in dining room foyer and halls and carpet in great room.

or something else... i'm not used to an open floor plan at all and i'm having a hard time with this.

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Some type of tile or natural stone in the entry and wood everywhere else, including the kitchen, would give you the most cohesion between the areas but a more durable surface where there is likely to be snow or mud. You can also do a tile "rug" at the back door as well.

Investigate doing underfloor heating for the bathrooms with the tile if you are in a cold climate. It doesn't add that much expense, and it is a wonderful little luxury that everyone who has loves. The cats love it too!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 2:17AM
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Ditto what live wire oak said. Our home is very very similar to yours. We live in Northern Illinois which gets its share of rough winter weather ( except for this year). We put ceramic tiles in the front foyer and used hardwood in all the common spaces including the kitchen. We made a decision to not use hardwood floors at any outside entrance because were were concerned about salt and snow getting tracked in. Hardwood floors are great and in my opinion are easier to maintain than tile because I hate trying to keep the grout lines clean.Plus, wood floors are way easier on your back in rooms where you expect to be standing much of the time. I ended up going with Duraceramic tiles in the mudroom and laundry room and butted the tiles together (grouting is optional)so I could avoid grout lines in rooms where I anticipated the most grime). The only reason I used ceramic tile in the front foyer is because I wanted something more formal there and in reality that entrance is the least used one in the house.

I also have heated tile floors in our bathrooms. It is soooo nice!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:42AM
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How much traffic do you get at the front door (especially in snowy weather)? You've already stated that the family uses the garage entry into the mudroom predominantly. I know we don't get much traffic at our front door--friends and family use the garage entry like we do. If you have a similar situation with little traffic at the front door, I would opt for hardwood in the foyer, DR, kitchen, nook, FR and hallways. Tile typically costs more overall when you take materials & labor into account vs. hardwood, so it will be a cost savings as well.

As far as transition from tile to hardwood, you can do a wood transition strip, a skinny metal transition strip or a marble transition strip. If you do a google image search for 'tile to hardwood transition' you should see plenty of examples. We went with the skinny metal strip for hardwood to tile and it makes it a pretty much seamless transition.

Transition hardwood or tile to carpet, you can also do the transition strips mentioned, or you can have the carpet & hardwood just butt up to one another so there is no change in plane as you're entering the room where the transition is. From tile to carpet, our builder used the accent tile in the bath as the transition strip--looks great! This what is seen most commonly of late.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:56AM
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how does everyone feel about hardwood in the kitchen?

I am worried about our dog. We have a cocker spaniel. He is potty trained but gets very excited when we have visitors and dribbles. fun right? sy so with tile its easy to wipe up. i worry about it staining the hard wood floors.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:54PM
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If you just wipe up the dear doggie's piddle when it happens, it's no big deal. If it sits for hours on end, that may be another matter. I would definitely go with site-finished hardwoods in this case as all the seams/crevices between boards will be sealed by the poly top coat.

The thing to remember about tile in the kitchen is that it is hard on your back, knees, hips & feet if you spend alot of time in there (i.e. cooking, cleaning up, homework time, socializing, etc). Hardwoods are much more forgiving in this respect.

We had tile in the house I grew up in, linoleum in my & DH's last house and hardwood in our current house. I much prefer the hardwood for comfort & believe it or not, cleaning. Hardwood is much easier to clean IMO because there are no grout crevices to try & coax dirt out of, no grout stains to try to remove, no tile/linoleum texture for dirt to accumulate in & scuffs to appear on, & it's quicker & smoother to sweep/swiffer.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 11:41PM
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This sketch could help you to start figuring out your flooring.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Frankly, in the drawing above...I would do hardwood in the family room as well. It would flow better, and look less choppy.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Ditto the hardwood in the family room. We have a piece of carpet (a flat sisal look wool) that we had bound as a rug by the carpet place over our den hardwoods. Looks like a rug, you get to choose the size you want down to inches, feels comfy, but still has the hardwood underneath so doesn't look choppy. . .

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Oh no! My mistake. I thought I read that Ginger wanted carpet in the greatroom!
Of course it is better with hardwood. She was considering tile for the kitchen but I think hardwood will be a lot better for the same reason athens and nini stated.
The stair coulds be carpet or hardwood. I prefer carpet, lets see that Ginger wants.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 4:03PM
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Naf- I think the kitchen looks great! The flow is so much better, with the fridge and oven in these locations. The floors look great, too :)

Gingerjenny- With Naf's design, it would be nice to put the TV on the wall to the bedrooms. Maybe an L-shaped sectional or sofa/loveseat...with a chair and ottoman in the corner, between the fireplace and TV/media wall?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:33PM
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You can not see it but there is a bulkhead between kitchen/hall and great room.
Lavender, Thank you!
I try to avoid isolating the refrigerator because sometimes you need a counter next to it to place something - also, it is nice to have the refrigerator close to the morning room. I like the direct circulation to dining room.
I love sectionals! (that is what I have at home). Ginger has enough room to place the tv at the BR wall and if she does not like sectionals, she can place the 2 chairs together on the right.
I prefer a hallway bathroom, that way there are more posibilities to arrange bedroom furniture. She can always place the bed between the windows.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:17PM
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WOW! Just got home from work and saw this awesome layout NafNaf did of my house. Seeing it like this made it more real! Very exciting!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to do that.

I agree I think I like the stairs with carpet.
I'm still unsure on the floors. If you go with hardwood does it make your cabinet color choice a lot harder?
that was my main reason for ceramic in the kitchen.

You think if i had the hardwood sealed it would be ok at the foyer with all the traffic?

I kinda like the new placement of the refrigerator but what would i do with the area that had the fridge before? If it was in this new place i think i would want a counter depth one.

Wow, now i have more ideas! LOL :)

we are doing a slider in the morning room. Debating if we would do one in the master. If we don't i do like the windows much better on that side.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Naf Do you mind if i use this picture?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Of course you can use/modify the picture.
Good luck deciding.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:15PM
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thanks! what program did you use to put it together?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:30PM
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I created the plan with AutoCAD 2012 and I rendered it with two additional programs.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:54PM
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I also live in a state that gets a lot of snow. Our biggest complaint about our current house is that there is nowhere for guests to sit down to remove/don shoes when arriving/leaving.

This results in either (1) guests performing a cirque du soleil when arriving/leaving or (2) snow-covered boots trudging onto forbidden zones.

Make sure there is room for, at the very least, a small bench or chair near your guest entry.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:55PM
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I don't know how much you'll use the little buffet area, under the stairs...but if you could switch that area to be your hall would be convenient to the front door and mudroom area. Then, you could have a bench (maybe with hooks above) for people to sit and drop off coats. I don't know about you, but with the snow and rain...around here, most people would rather hang their coat on a hook, than put it in someone's 'family' closet. Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Good Idea Lavender...We really don't entertain much. The closet there in the dining room will be empty except for guest coats. All family coats will be kept in the mudroom.
We really don't entertain non family members much. The family we do entertain is close enough to do whatever with their coats. Put in the foyer closet, mud room, bed. lol

The "buffet" or whatever its labeled on the plan is going to be a mini closet. I'm hoping to be able to store some wiring equipment in here. I haven't talked with the builder yet so not sure if that is possible but i would like some sound equipment to go in there.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:26PM
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As a guest in others' homes, I personally prefer hanging my coat on a hook than tucking it in a closet. It's also nice to have an obvious place where I can put my snowy/muddy boots.

It seems a lot of people agree because I've recently seen a LOT of DIY renovations converting the "guest coat closet" into a mini mudroom.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:41AM
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