It’s completely fine to use two different wood flooring in the same space. If you wish to install different wood floors in adjoining rooms, the next step is to cover up the transitions so they look seamless.
Is transitioning between two wooden floors possible?
Yes. However, it requires some transition moldings and a little effort.
Below, I’ve listed 8 different ideas to achieve a smooth transition between wood floors.
1. Different Colors of Hardwood Floors in Adjacent Rooms
Having two wood floorings in the same or adjacent rooms with proper transitioning is absolutely fine. However, pick woods that have similar expansion rates. This will minimize moisture damage when the wood expands or shrinks. Moreover, use pieces of contrasting colors in the adjacent room.
Below I’ve added one image of different wood floorings in adjacent rooms. One has a light shade of wood, whereas another has a dark shade.
CONS: The flooring will look less aesthetic, and the house may look smaller.
PROS: Your house’s resale value won’t diminish if you use two different wood floors. The resale value would have dipped in the case of floorings such as hardwood to tile or hardwood to carpet.
Transitioning the wooden floors isn’t that hard; there are several ways to do that. The hardest part would be figuring out what colors or hardwoods would go well with the floors that you have right now.
Another perfect way to transition two different wood floors is using transition strips.
There are multiple ways to blend one floor into another, though the two most common methods are T-molding and Seam Binders.
2. Tiles as Transition
You can use a wide tile strip at the doorway to transition between two wood floors. Accent tiles are most suitable for this. Moreover, you can use marble pieces for the same.
3. Transition with Patterns
You can create patterns with hardwood between two wood floors. The pattern can be aesthetic, such as a honeycomb pattern, chevron strip, triangle pattern, etc. Patterns should be designed in a way that they look seamless between two floors.
T-molding is also known as transition molding. As t-molds are used between two hard surfaces, it’s suitable for transitioning different wood floors. Additionally, it can be used for transitioning wood with other flooring materials like tiles, laminate, etc.
One important thing to remember while installing t moldings is that they can be installed only between two floors with the same height.
This type of molding is also used as an expansion joint when the flooring dimension exceeds 40 feet in length.
T-molding creates a visually pleasing aesthetic where the two floors connect. There are two ways you can install a t-molding,
- Glue-down method – gluing the u-channels to the sub-floor.
- Screw-down method – screwing the u-channels to the sub-floor.
Tips to install T-moldings in a better way.
Ensure an expansion gap of 1 ¼ inch between the two wooden floors. This expansion gap will preserve space for floor expansion during temperature changes.
If you have a screw-down T-molding, look for the pre-drilled holes on the T-molding for the proper placement of screws.
You can easily find t-moldings in the market suitable for 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch thickness of floorings. If your flooring has more thickness, consider gluing a thin strip of wood between the t-molding and subfloor to increase the height.
Sometimes, one of the transitioning floors is higher than the other, making it uneven. Often, you may not find the right way or method to transition them, but you always have the option of using reducer molding.
It’s highly unlikely that two adjoining wood floors will have different heights. That’s why there is a 99% chance you’ll never need a reducer as a bridge between hardwood and hardwood floors.
However, if, in any case, two adjoining hardwood floors are of different heights, you can use reducers like a flush reducer or an overlap reducer.
6. Seam Binder
While seam binders are ideal for transitioning between vinyl or carpet flooring, you can use them for transitioning between two different wood floors. They are available in different widths in a flat shape created with hardwood with a rounded edge.
One massive advantage of using a seam binder for hardwood floors is that you can purchase them unfinished and then stain them to match the floor coloring as closely as possible. If you are DIYer, you can also stain parts of them progressively with colors that transition perfectly.
|Most of the seam binders are made of oak wood. If you don’t know, oak is most suitable for staining as it has large open pores that absorb stains nicely.|
Along with wood, you may find metal or vinyl seam binders in the store. However, wood seam binders go well between two wood floor transitions dues to their aesthetic appeal.
7. Threshold Piece
Thresholds pieces are used between floors of different heights. While reducers are used for the same cause, the basic difference is that the reducers have a sloppy ending, but the threshold has a square edge.
Additionally, the threshold piece overlaps the hardwood surface to create a smooth transition to the adjoining surface.
These are ideal for hardwood-carpet transitions. Moreover, threshold pieces are ideal at doorways.
Many blogs on the internet suggest using threshold pieces between hardwood-hardwood transition. I’d recommend skipping yourself from that plan. While you can use threshold in hardwood-hardwood transition, you shouldn’t use it.
8. Different Patterns of Wood Flooring
The hardwood planks in adjacent rooms can be laid in different directions. That means if hardwood on one floor is laid horizontally (to one for the walls), then on the second floor, you can lay perpendicularly, diagonally, in a herringbone or chevron pattern.
While several websites suggest this, I suggest you stay away from this plan. You can do it, but you shouldn’t. This will ruin overall house aesthetics.
Is It Necessary to Put Transition Strips?
If you do not wish to purchase any transitioning tools for this job, you can lay a floor with a border. However, NEVER DO THIS.
You’re risking the edges.
Transition strips act as a protection to the hardwood flooring edges. Hardwood floors contract/ expand according to the weather. When the floor contracts, a gap will form between the adjoining floors. Hence, the edges will be open, and walking over them will wear and tear them.
The hardwood floor will buckle.
High humidity will cause the hardwood floor to expand. Hence, if there is no expansion gap, the floor edges will put pressure on each other, and as a result, the floors will buckle.
Therefore, It’s mandatory to leave an expansion gap between adjoining hardwood floors, and a TRANSITION STRIP is used to cover that gap.
In a nutshell, You need an expansion gap between two adjoining hardwood floors and a transition strip to cover that.
Things to Remember
The T-Molding should Match the Floor Color
As mentioned earlier, the most challenging part of transitioning is figuring out the color and the type of hardwood. It’s better to keep the hardwood flooring color the same throughout all rooms. This gives aesthetics, and the house will look wider.
Furthermore, pick the transition strip color that will complement the floor color. You may or may not find the color of the transition strips as wood is a natural material, and each tree has different colors in its fibers. Additionally, you can paint the strips to match the floor color.
Apart from the color, you should look for the shade and grain pattern of the transition strip. Try to find transition pieces with shade and grain patterns close to the hardwood flooring.
Wood vs. Aluminum vs. Vinyl
Aluminum is the cheapest option among metal transition strips like brass and bronze. However, the downside is that the strip may look ugly if the coating from the aluminum gets scratched. The good news is – it’s not prone to moisture damage like wooden strips.
Wood transition pieces on the other side can look beautiful if installed with a similar type of wood flooring. However, they are a bit costlier than aluminum strips.
Another type you can use is vinyl transition strips. While wood strips are not water-resistive, vinyl strips are. However, the later is not durable and costs less than the former.
While the classic method for transitioning wooden floors is with the help of wooden seam binders or T-moldings, metal alternatives are now available on the market. Unlike wooden transition pieces, these transition pieces are very narrow. However, they are sturdy enough to handle high traffic.
Metal transition strips are mostly common for carpet or LVT floors. However, you can use them in wood floor transitions as well. You may find a ribbed surface in many models that provide slip resistance.
These strips can give a contemporary look to a room and are also very smooth to be stepped on. These metal strips will only enhance the overall aesthetic if you want a modern look with your wooden floors. Always pick a metal color that complements wood grains.
NOTE – They can be screwed or glued.
However, I won’t recommend these kinds of strips for wood flooring as they can’t be stained and provide cohesiveness to the room.
- Consider installing aluminum transition pieces in high-humidity areas as they withstand moisture damage.
- Wood transition strips are easy to customize. You can hide damages like scratch, gouge, or swelling by staining, filling, or sanding.
- Install transition pieces of sturdy flooring material in high-traffic areas. This will prevent wear and tear.
- Transitions look good when they happen in a doorway. However, never do transitions in the middle of the room – looks aesthetically wrong.
- Always check the manufacturer’s manual before installing a strip.
Steps to Install Transition Strips
Installing transition strips occurs in three steps, i.e., prepping, cutting and laying strips, and gluing.
- Firstly, clean the hardwood floor and the buffer zone from dirt and debris where you are going to install the transition strips. This will prevent the glue from mixing with dirt which can lead to a loose bond between the strips and the floor.
- Measure how much length strip you need and notch out the remaining part.
- Finally, glue down the transition piece on the floor.
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