All the Different Ways You Can Ease the Transition Between Two Floor Treatments

All the Different Ways You Can Ease the Transition Between Two Floor Treatments

Taryn Williford
Dec 12, 2015
(Image credit: Dana Miller)

I grew up in Miami, where it's not unusual to have one seamless tile floor extend around to and through every room in the house. It wasn't until I moved away that I realized, one: tile bedrooms are a little strange for the rest of the country and, two: people have many different needs for many different floor coverings in their homes. Sometimes even in the same room.

The transition between two floor treatments is easy when we're talking about meeting at a narrow doorway, but it can get a little more tricky when you're looking at how to keep an open floor plan more cohesive.

If you need help making a transition in flooring look more interesting and intentional, here are five–well, 6–different techniques:

Make it Irregular

Design your floor so the switch happens in a shaped, curved or diagonal line instead of something straight and right-angled. The way the wood has been cut to match the hexagonal edge of the tile in the foyer above from House*Tweaking is nothing short of masterful.

(Image credit: Royal Roulotte)

Push Boundaries

You can help any flooring transition look more intentional by extending one covering or the other past the point where you'd expect them to meet. You'd expect the tile in this one-wall kitchen from Royal Roulotte to extend to the doorway, but it stops short.

(Image credit: Royal Roulotte)

Carry the Border Across

Flooring that needs to end at a wall or an island can get a style boost by adding a thin border to surround the feature. Because the floor and toe kick tile of this kitchen from Royal Roulotte extend around the island, the wood edge takes on an interesting (and intentional-looking) zig-zag border.

(Image credit: Garrett Fleming)

Split the Line

Interrupt the space where the two floor treatments meet by placing a feature or a piece of furniture right on top of it. The raised kitchen island in this home from Design Sponge bridges the gap between the kitchen tile and the hardwoods in the rest of this open floor plan.

(Image credit: Cup of Couple)

Add a Buffer Zone

If you'd rather two floors not meet at all–like in the case of different shades of hardwood floors–consider a buffer zone of accent tile in-between. The wood in PaperBoy, a Parisian restaurant captured by the guys from Cup of Couple, looks like it's all the same color, but you can imagine how the tile buffer here would ease a transition between floors that clash.

(Image credit: @kessara/Instagram)

Do It All

Check out this overhead shot of Rocket, a restaurant in Bangkok, shot by Instagram user @kessara. I can spot three of the techniques mentioned in this post in action here, blending together three separate floor finishes to create one big, cohesive, intentional space.

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