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Butting floor basics

When selecting the floors for my new home, what are the basics regarding butting different types of floors?

The most basic principle of butting floors is to have as few as possible! When different materials, finishes or colors are adjacent to one another, their joint appears as a dark line. This line is very pronounced on the floor. And, the more lines on the floor, the choppier the space becomes. Sometimes lines are desired in order to make one material "pop" giving that material more importance over another. This intentional design feature works well but do not overwhelm the home with too many of them! Strategic planning in making thresholds blend from one room's flooring to another's flooring is critical to a well designed home.

The best place to begin the planning is at the front door! The foyer will set the look and tone of your home so make your choice based upon the impression you wish to convey to your guests, therefore, formal vs. informal. Once the material is chosen, determine if this material can be carried further into the home and crossover into the adjacent spaces so that the main entertaining spaces are consistent. Since the living room and dining room typically are the adjacent spaces, a marble from the foyer may not be desired in these rooms. If this is so and a wood is selected for them, remember that the amount of color contrast between the two finishes will determine how much the marble will "pop". If you don't wish this effect, then consider a stain that does not have a tremendous contrast to the marble keeping the color delineation between the two selections at a minimum.

If the floor choice for the foyer is wood, continue the selection through the living room, dining room and possibly the kitchen (although the kitchen could be another type of material). The stain should remain the same through out including stair treads. If more definition and interest is desired, consider installing an inlay wood border around the perimeter of the rooms.

If the foyer floor choice is ceramic tile and it is not appropriate for the living room and dining room, then put wood or wall to wall carpeting in them while continuing the ceramic through to the kitchen. The tile can be carried through to the laundry and powder room or use another tile from the ceramic collection in a different size or shape. This concept of coordinating tiles can be used as well if there is a powder room off the foyer and a sunroom off the kitchen. And, keep in mind, that if there is a step down from one room to another, it is a perfect opportunity to make a change in flooring for more interest to the space. But, the more color contrast between the materials, the less continuity and flow.

If the bedrooms are to be carpeted, they can all be the same color for consistency. Should you wish to curtail the monotony of all the same through out, each bedroom can have its unique color on the floor; but, be sure to keep the corridor carpet a neutral color. This will allow the corridor to blend with all the colors that flow off of it and create a pleasant transition in the thresholds.

By following the concept "as few lines as possible", you are sure to create an interior that will flow beautifully. This will allow the remainder of your design and decorating challenges to come together much easier. And, fewer lines will make your home appear much more spacious!


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