Open floorplan, trouble with transition of flooring

sara74June 7, 2009

Hi all, we are building a new home with a kitchen, dining, and living area that will be a wide open area. I am struggling with the flooring placement. We would like to have tile in the kitchen, hardwood in the dining and carpet in the living but again, am struggling with how to make it flow. Does anyone have any ideas? Any pics of these types of floorplans would be great! Thanks!!

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My kitchen is tiled and it opens into my dining room which is all wood. I had the guy who refinished my wood floors make a pretty wood saddle to transition the two floors. I'm very happy.

I also had him do the same thing in one of my bathrooms. A saddle/thresh hold was missing and when you opened the door between the bedroom/bathroom you could see the floors meet - and not in a pretty way. He put a small wood saddle there as well. Looks very good.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 5:52PM
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In our last house we had brick front hall and oak in kit, din and liv. They were the exact same height and we didn't need a saddle. In this house we went from tile in bath's to wood. 1870 building. In one we needed a saddle, we had a soapstone one made to match our bath counter. The other ended up the same height and the wood ran the length so none needed.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 5:55PM
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What is the nature of your problem? We just redid a few of our floors with slate and new hardwood and had a variety of transition issues, but I'm not sure what you're asking?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:10PM
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I don't like the look of more than one floor in an open area that you described. If each room could be closed of from the other it might work but I don't think you are going to get the "flow" that you want in that space with 3 different floors. What you could do is pick either the tile or hardwood and put a nice ares rug in the living room.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:09PM
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I would like to attach a copy of our floor plan, but am having trouble getting it to attach, maybe I am being really blind but I am not seeing the box to attach my pic. My main concern is where the dining/kitchen area flow into the living area. I just can't envision how to make the tile from the kitchen and hardwood in the dining mesh up with the carpet in the living area.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:17PM
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I have an open concept house. I understand what you
are going through. It is so hard to decorate and plan
floors. We went with wood throughout but have chosen to have two different wood colors.

I did find some photos from the web for you to visualize.
Best of luck,

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 8:14AM
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mc echoed my opinions -
open floorplans are difficult from a number of decorating aspects - i agree if you are going that route, much more appealing to have 1 type of flooring, no transitions necessary

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 10:31AM
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I agree with jejvtr and with mc. However, I would like to add that if this is not possible, at least consider staying with the same color or tone. That will flow better than breaking up the spaces with texture AND color.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 2:03PM
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I lived with an open floor plan with sheet vinyl kitchen/carpeted family room for 15 years and absolutely hated it.

1. Changing the floors tends to negate the open floor concept if you want your rooms to flow from one to the other. Better to have hardwood throughout and an area rug in the LR. If you want to define separate spaces, you don't want an open floor plan.

2. The carpet/vinyl transition was an amazing, disgusting dust catcher, and the carpet wore a lot faster there than anywhere else. I didn't have a metal strip (which would have looked ugly).

I've changed to one surface, hardwood, throughout the kitchen and FR and am much happier.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 2:31PM
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I definitely echo the one type of flooring being the best option. I'd go with the wood and do area rugs.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 2:41PM
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We have exactly what you're asking about....Tile in Kitchen, Foyer, and PR; Hardwood (Brazilian Cherry) in DR; Carpet in FR & LR. All have transition pieces. What transition piece is used depends on the transition. We have oak transitions b/w FR & Kitchen & b/w LR & Foyer. We have Brazilian Cherry transitions b/w the Kitchen & DR and b/w the LR & DR.

I didn't like the transition-less setup b/w carpet & tile & carpet & wood b/c the tile & wood are hard surfaces while the carpet is a soft surface. That meant I sunk in when stepping on the carpet & if my foot was on the transition point, it was half at one level & the other half at a different level...that hurt my arch!

If you want pics, let me know. I'm at work right now so I can't take any!

BTW, see the attached thread for instructions for embedding pictures in your post. (There is no box to do it like in the Gallery.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 3:11PM
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buehl, if you could post pics that would ge great!!

I appreciate all of your thoughts and opinions. As I am leaning right now, I am thinking of maybe eliminating the carpet in the living and putting it to all hardwood. I just have a hard time with spending the $$ to place hardwood and then covering the majority of it with area rugs....

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 5:12PM
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LOL Sara74! We originally had planned all hardwood throughout the downstairs + tile in the kitchen/foyer/PR. But, when the estimate came in well over 10K for the FR, DR, LR, and Office, we decided only the DR would have wood for now...and we DIY'd it. We put new carpet in the FR and left the LR & Office alone (carpet is still OK in those rooms).

Someday, after college for our children, we'll do hardwood everywhere, but not in the near future.

I'll post later tonight.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 5:55PM
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buehl, just checking in to see if you had a chance to post your pics, I know life is chaotic. Anxious to see how your flooring flows. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 6:38PM
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I have BC in DR, tile in kitchen, and carpet (for now - eventually will do HW, prob. oak) in FR that is open to kitchen. DR has a 4ft wide doorway to kitchen. I just have a strip of BC that they ripped down and beveled the edge to meet the tile (lower) there right now since I am having tile issues. Where the DR floor meets the foyer tile near the stairs they put in a BC T-moulding.

The carpet in the FR was installed after the kitchen tile and the edge is just tucked under. No transition strip. I guess if you stepped right on it, you'd have the edge (started with factory edge there - you don't want cut tile!) and would have the arch issue but we never noticed it. We have the same "tucked" transition b/t the bathroom tile and hallway carpet upstairs.

The area would look larger if you did all the same flooring though, if you can afford it. I really want oak in my FR, but have oak cabinets in kitchen so would not continue them there, stick with tile, even if I have to replace the current tile b/c of installation problems.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 6:51AM
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I know this post is older, but I never heard anyone address the use of hardwood in a kitchen where one may not be able to address spills in a speedy fashion, thus ruining the hardwood. Someone suggested placing carpets/rugs over the hardwood; but as someone else stated, that sort of negates the reason for putting down the hardwood to begin with.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:32PM
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I'm of the opinion that flooring transitions totally suck and should be avoided whenever and wherever possible. For us, that means wood everywhere except full bathrooms.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:25PM
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The hardwoods in our house, save for the kitchen, are over 100 years old. The ones in my parents' former house are older yet. I think it is a misconception that hardwood floors are more susceptible to spills than other flooring types. While a large leak will ruin a wood floor, it would also ruin any other material. For daily spills, durability is not an issue. We have hardwood in every room except the bathrooms. No material is perfect but I think hardwoods are pretty close :-)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:13AM
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