running kitchen flooring into foyer?

pitpatApril 10, 2013

Hi all,
I am in a quandary regarding my foyer floor. When we bought our 1916 American Four-Square 13 years ago, one of the first things we planned to do was replace the foyer tile. And here we are, still looking at that ugly tile every day. One of the sticking points has been whether it is OK to have 3 different types of flooring so close together (we think not), or whether we should have the foyer share the flooring with the kitchen/hallway or the living room. As we are looking at getting new hardwood floors for the living room, we had decided we would just extend the wood floor into the foyer and be done with it. However, we want to get a finish that is a little less orangey than what we have now, and that poses a problem with the foyer. As you can see, the stair treads are that same orangey finish as the living room (and dining room) floor. Once I realized that, I figured that if we do extend the LR floor into the foyer, it will have to match. We can't have that shade of finish on the treads, that blondish finish on the banister & trim, and a medium brown on the floor, all in the tiny foyer. So we have to stick to that bright finish all through the downstairs OR carry the kitchen/hallway flooring into the foyer. As we are also preparing to replace the kitchen floor, that is quite doable. My question is, would that look weird? I don't know anyone else who has the floor plan we have, with the small foyer leading into a narrow kitchen hallway, so I just don't know how it would look. I know of course it also depends on the actual floor tile design (still working on that), but my larger question is just whether it would be weird to have the kitchen flooring extend that way.





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I wouldn't run the kitchen flooring into the hall, and here's why.

Traditionally, the foyer is the most public part of a house; the kitchen is the most private of the common areas. So the foyer should relate visually to the living room and the stair, rather than appear to be an extension of the kitchen.

And you are absolutely right that the stair treads and the floor from which they rise should match. This is particularly important in a compact plan like yours, where achieving a more expansive and calm effect relies on editing down to fewer patterns and materials.

So if I were you, I would install the flooring I want in the living room, continue it into the foyer, and then refinish your stair treads to match it. It will be a bit of a pain, but oh, so worth it once it's done.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Tying it in with the kitchen hallway will look just fine. In fact, it would make a logical separation between the utilitarian entry/hall and the formal living area. It would draw your eye forward into the hallway, which is visually logical too.

We used to have dark slate in our entry. The rooms to the right & left were orangey oak, and the kitchen straight ahead was vinyl tile. The spaces looked too cramped & chopped up. When we redid the kitchen floor, we ran the tile into the entry. Looks great, makes the house look larger instead of choppy, and was lighter & brighter to boot.

Your house looks cool -- has some very nice features! New tile will be a wonderful addition.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Where's your front door? Opposite the kitchen door?
I personally think that matching the entry to your living room floor makes more sense because (1) it flows better with the LR and the stair, and (2) tying it in with the kitchen floor would make it look like a "runway" to the kitchen, emphasizing the narrowness of that hallway. There's not that much wood visible on your staircase, so matching the stain is not immediately necessary.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Opposing viewpoints -noooooooo!!! Lol, I never know what to do with them.

A couple points: 1) yes, the front door is opposite the kitchen door. In the pics, I just realized it looks like we don't even have a front door. 2) refinishing the stair treads to match the hypothetical new floor won't work b/c that stain carries up into the upstairs hallway, and then into the bedrooms. The only place in the house where that stain is broken is in these pictures (and the upstairs bathroom). I am also not even sure if it *could* be refinished. We are replacing the floors downstairs b/c we were told the current wood is too thin to refinish. That may be the case for the stairs, upstairs hallway, and bedrooms. It's obvious in the dining room, where the nails keep rising up (ouch). 3) I rather glossed over the *type* of tile we will be putting into the kitchen, but I realize that does make a difference. I am looking at something kind of bold (eagerly waiting for the sample to come in the mail), which may not be the best approach for the foyer.

Thanks for the feedback! I would also welcome more!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:18PM
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What about using the wood to match the lr and just painting the whole stairway the color of the walls/trim to make it not compete?

Traditional Staircase by London Interior Designer Alexander James Interiors>

This post was edited by olychick on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 14:00

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:43PM
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I'm laughing too :) That's the issue with a forum like this -- the suggestions can run in opposite directions and make things more confusing!.

Tying the entry floor to the living room & stair makes very good sense. However, if for practical purposes you can't, it certainly won't be bad looking to run into the hallway, especially if you get a beautiful arts & crafts-y floor tile to blend in with your house style. As for the runway effect, if it's beautiful tile, that could look nice to have an expanse of it (a feature, not a bug!).

And tile in a foyer definitely is practical. Our foyer gets a good amount of tracked-in dirt.

So -- nice if you can match wood to the living room, not the end of the world if you can't.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Got the kitchen floor tile sample in the mail today, and I love it. No final decisions have been made, but this is a very strong contender. It's probably a bit much for the foyer, huh?

Here is a link that might be useful: floor tile

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:54PM
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well, shoot. I had thought that was something we could put down ourselves, but they don't recommend that on the Karndean website. I'll have to ask about that on the flooring board. We need the kitchen floor to be a diy project.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:58PM
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I know it's not what you asked and you dislike it, but I really like the tiles in your foyer. Maybe they look better on my monitor than in real life. People do have different tastes and preferences though.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Well, think of it this way: There are no right or wrong answers, so go with whatever you like :)
Are these real tiles, both in the kitchen and the entry?
What does it look like if you remove the runner from the entry floor? Right now, it extends beyond the last step.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 4:45PM
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I would first find out if your treads are sound enough for re-finishing and staining. If so, I would do all new hardwood throughout your entire first level. Then I would re-stain your treads to match your first floor hardwood. I think it will look more cohesive to have things match on the first level than worry about matching things on the second level. After all, the stairway is more visible from the first floor than the second.

If you find that the second floor is not looking great in comparison with the re-stained treads, you can, down the road, either re-stain the upstairs hall or cover the hardwood in the hall with wall-to-wall carpet to match your stair-runner.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:27PM
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I like the tile in the foyer. If it was my house I would do the hallway and kitchen in wood that matches what is in the living room, which I also like. Leave the foyer tile. Paint or stain the blond wood on the stairs. I would think about possibly painting the paneled wall in the hall.

You have a very cute home! I was wondering what the front door looked like from the inside?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Thanks, all! You have given me a lot to think about. Here is my long, rambling response:

I guess I should say that I don't hate the tile (yeah it's real tile, but I don't think it's original to the house), but I hate the color combination in the foyer. It's too neutral, and changing the tile seems like a good way to liven things up. I know I *could* paint the wood trim and/or treads, but I just have a hard time with painting wood. It feels like a crime against nature or something. Maybe it's all those years growing up with parents who extolled the beauty of unpainted hardwood floors and trim when they encountered it (we had none in our house). As far as staining it goes, I just don't know. If I could snap my fingers and restain all the wood in the house, I would do it in a second, as I am not partial to the peachy blond stain we have ALL OVER THE HOUSE. But it's so expensive, and it's everywhere, and I just don't know if I like the idea of having a different stain just in the foyer. I will have to think on that. As for just doing the stairs, that won't really work b/c of the upstairs. There is no good place to stop the "new" stain, as the stairs turn into the hallway (see picture). And our upstairs isn't really that private. We don't have a 1st floor bath, so everyone has to go upstairs to use the bathroom (which we remodeled 6 years ago and I love). That means that pretty much everyone who comes over see our upstairs. Theresa, I do like your suggestion of doing the upstairs hallway in wall-to-wall carpet. I think that's the only way it would look OK to have the stairs a different color. It would provide a break. And I don't even like how the runner looks in the hall. Stuff always collects on the wood floor at the sides, and I am always having to dust it. Kinda silly, really. So that's a definite possibility. And yeah, it is something we could put off a bit.

I am also posting a picture of the front door. We had the exterior painted a few years ago, and the painter almost had a heart attack when I asked him to paint the outside of the door. The exterior of the house is a cool gray with cool red trim, and that wood stain is just too warm. But the painter talked me out of it ("it's such beautiful wood, it would cost you over a thousand just to buy a door like this nowadays," etc), suggesting that at some point we strip and stain the outside of the door a darker color. Kind of funny since I had had to talk myself INTO the idea of painting the door.

And since I'm posting all these pics, I am including a pic of the wall storage thingie my husband made last year. The foyer is tiny, so we have had to be creative with storage. We also bought a "shube," a leather-look storage cube to keep shoes in. It looks really nice, much better than the open basket we had been using. As kids grow, so do their shoes, and they were taking over!

As far as the wall paneling in the hallway goes, YES! It will be painted! I am dying to do that. It's part of this whole new-floor deal. It's actually decent quality paneling, but it's still kinda ugly and dated and it's all over the kitchen. The whole kitchen will be painted, in fact. And those are the sticky linoleum tiles on the kitchen floor. We will probably still do sticky linoleum tiles b/c we are doing it ourselves, but they make much nicer looking ones now so it will look a lot better than it does now.

Whatever we do with the foyer, we will get a much nicer rug (it's a large doormat, not part of the runner). We have always bought large, utilitarian rugs for the foyer, and they have been so ugly. I guess that's been part of the problem.

Gosh, I guess we have a lot to think about. Ordinarily I get annoyed by suggestions that are outside of what I asked, but you all have some good points and ideas. Thank you!


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:37AM
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