Questions about my floor ideas...

mamacottiMarch 14, 2012

Hi all!

I need some advise from some floor pros...

We just bought a home and are wanting to replace all the 1980's carpet and tile on the main floor, about 1600sf. The subfloors are plywood, home is located in Wichita, KS.

We want solid hardwoods, but I also want the wood to "frame" tiles or in certain areas - like the entry and powder room - to make those a little bit more formal, and the kitchen and utility areas for better traction, easier upkeep. Maybe the better term would be tile "inserts"? The whole floor is an open plan so I want it all to be the same height, with no obvious transition pieces that stick up higher.

I hope I'm explaining this correctly...I just want to know how difficult it would be to have done.

Every floor person I've spoken to has balked at the idea, saying leveling issues, grout issues, etc. I know it can be done. We did it in another home once with reclaimed pine boards and reclaimed brick cut into the pavers. Absolutely gorgeous. Is the problem that most of the wood floors "lock" together?

How would you handle this request? We'd like to be able to use the pre-finished wood, but we're willing to have them site-finished if that's what we have to do. We are also willing to use the engineered floors if that makes it easier. Any thoughts?

Thanks so much!

Here is a link that might be useful: something like this

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What's the big deal? If I was close by, I'd do your job. You just have to keep looking for someone willing to take on the challenge. And it really isn't much of a challenge for a competent floor specialist. These mixed media floors just require that you design for the characteristics of each member of the group.

No issue with leveling, as you start off with a flat substrate that meets the requirements for the tile your want to use. No issue with bringing the tile up to the level of the wood, as you use a suitable product for that. No issue with grout, as you use the correct grout for the tile and a colored flexible grout for the join between the tiles and the wood.

Someone in the "design community" ought to be able to hook you up with the right floor person. You just can't hire a hack or an employee of just any flooring install/finishing firm. This is not the kind of job for a company whose mission is to do as most work in the least amount of time. That is my guess as to why every floor person you consulted has refused to consider the job.

Good luck finding that special person.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Thank you SO much!

That's what I thought, too.
Well, I mean I thought it COULD be done.

So, would solid hardwoods be best, or engineered, or does it not matter?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:37AM
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No real advantage using solid hardwood. However, you do have to choose a wood product at least 1/2 inch thick to allow for the tile thickness and the setting material. And, you do get what you pay for with the engineered material. Engineered hardwood ought to have equal thickness outer veneers, so that you will have a 'balanced' panel structure. Of course with solid hardwood you don't have that issue and the wood is a full 3/4" in thickness, so you have plenty of room for filler (if any), setting material and the tile.

Choose your tile and then choose your wood. This will be a 'system' you are designing that will be unique and based on the products you choose to use. Some wood products may not be suitable at all with the tile you want to use.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 10:16AM
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