When buying a home or redecorating, flooring is an important consideration. If the floors complement the function and aesthetics of the space, they create harmony throughout. However, if the floors are a mosaic of colors, textures, and materials they can grate like nails on a chalkboard. The big question is, should flooring be the same throughout the house?
The quick answer is YES! Using the same flooring throughout ties rooms together, improves flow, makes the home seem larger, simplifies cleaning and maintenance, and is often easier on the budget. If you feel you must use different flooring, limit it to two or three types.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of having the same flooring throughout a home, whether flooring should differ between floor levels, and if it’s OK to use different flooring in different rooms. Additionally, we’ll look at using multiple species or colors of hardwoods instead of switching materials, and flooring options for the kitchen and dining room. Our goal is to provide you with information to help make your flooring decision easier.
Contents (Jump to Topic)
Is It Better to Have the Same Flooring Throughout the House?
The first question you need to answer is if your house needs new flooring at all. If the only problem with the floors is that they’re old or dirty, then replacing them might be a waste of money and resources. Assuming you do want new flooring in some rooms, how should it match? The same type throughout? Or different types for each room? Pros and cons exist to this.
The benefits of having the same flooring throughout your home are many. Prominently, it confers an appearance of wide space and airiness. It further gives an aesthetic unity–this continuous space is visually pleasing and seemingly seamless.
It also makes cleaning easier because not only are there fewer types of surfaces to clean but there is also no need to change from a vacuum cleaner to a mop as you clean. There is also the perk that it minimizes the chances of tripping and falling over the transition between tile, wood, or carpets.
When you use the same flooring throughout your home, it also avoids having a mismatched space that has an ill-fitting appearance. If you have hardwood in one room and laminate in another, the two flooring types are unique enough to look odd next to each other.
Having the same type of flooring in all your rooms will make your house feel more comfortable and cohesive. It is important to note, however, that the angle or direction of the lines or seams of the flooring is key to achieving these effects. Additionally, color choice and tone play an important role in the feel of it all too.
A major issue of using the same flooring throughout the house is that it lacks the diversity and uniqueness that different flooring gives. Different flooring may be seen as an advantage by people who would like to have something that other homes don’t have. This diversity will not only be felt aesthetically but would also help determine what kind of furniture would fit each room’s specific type of floor.
Using the same flooring throughout the house also comes with the assumption that all the rooms have the same function and the occupants share the same interest in floor type. The reality, however, is that such a limited option might prove restrictive to use and other members of the household who might want a different flooring type for their own space.
Replacing broken flooring material could be challenging, potentially making it more expensive to fix. When flooring is different across rooms, it is easier to repair, patch, or replace, whilst not burning a hole in the pocket trying to retain uniform flooring throughout.
Should Upstairs and Downstairs Flooring Be the Same?
Many people who live in homes with two or more levels may worry about how difficult it will be to clean their floors. Different flooring accumulates different amounts of dust and dirt. This means that there will always be one specific type of flooring that requires less maintenance than others throughout the house.
For many homeowners, the flooring of an upstairs and downstairs is usually different. It’s a matter of preference as to whether or not this should be the case. For example, what’s more important to you? Having matching floors in all your rooms or having a different type of flooring used upstairs.
Flooring often differs between floors due to function and the amount of use. Wet areas like bathrooms and low traffic areas or bedrooms may have different flooring than high traffic areas or important rooms. Hallways are high traffic and commonly are used to link upstairs and downstairs, so often have the same flooring.
Bedrooms situated on the upper floor may have the same uniform flooring, but frequently have carpet or area rugs to warm bare feet. Since there is less traffic in bedrooms and outdoor footwear is seldom worn in them, the flooring tends to stay cleaner too.
If aesthetics are your number one priority, then consider selecting a floor that will look good in every room. If cleanliness is what concerns you most, then the same flooring throughout the house might not be for you. Unless they are kept spotless at all times, certain types of flooring tend to gather dirt faster than others.
This can lead to an increase in cleaning time if different types of floor material are spread throughout the house. Also, if someone has an allergy or some other medical condition that makes them sensitive to certain types of flooring, having the same floor type throughout the house might not be a good idea.
Is It Ok To Put Different Flooring in Different Rooms?
Many factors will play into your decision on which kind of flooring to use in different rooms, such as price, ease of cleaning, maintenance, allergies, or other issues. The most common types of floors installed throughout a house are wood, vinyl, or tile.
There are many other options available today including carpeting, however, for most people, these three options are the most popular choices. Medical conditions and pets may make one option more suitable than another.
If you want your flooring to be the same, you’ll need to decide on which type of flooring – wood, laminate, vinyl, carpet, or tile. If you’re going with wood, do you want hardwood, softwood, or Engineered wood, wide plank or narrow, light stain or dark, textured or smooth? There are so many things to consider!
There may be situations when certain rooms require furniture or equipment that might not work well with either hardwood or carpet floors. The function or purpose of a room may necessitate a different type of flooring than that used throughout the rest of the house. A room that primarily functions as an office may require different flooring that will make it more conducive for work.
A low traffic room used to entertain only occasionally may have a higher grade floor covering than a family room used daily for multiple purposes. Different elements of design should be taken into consideration to accommodate these separate functions while also allowing each element to work together harmoniously throughout the house.
Another popular feature identified when discussing flooring is what material stands up best against moisture without causing damage. For instance, bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, basements, and laundry rooms experience high traffic and moisture. So, the flooring needs to withstand conditions other areas of the home may not experience.
Can You Install Different Hardwood Floors in Connecting Rooms?
If you want to use different species or colors of hardwood flooring in adjacent rooms, this is simple to accomplish. You may simply utilize wooden thresholds or T-moldings to separate the rooms.
In big areas with distinct types of wood, you can also separate sections by using distinct patterns or borders of wood with different colors or grain patterns. This may be used to draw attention to a room or space, and often adds a touch of elegance. Using different woods to make a barrier or border with a contrasting wood is a common practice too.
Using distinct kinds of hardwood floors in an open floor layout often distinguishes certain zones. The entryway, for example, may have parquet-style wooden flooring while the rest of the room is laid out with straight planks. This can help you identify your entrance and complement your home’s style.
Choosing a dark wood for your hardwood floors, such as mahogany or Brazilian walnut, can give a luxurious feel to rooms that face south or are large. Smaller rooms look better with lighter wood tones and grains. Consider using lighter wood grains, such as white oak, ash, or maple in small areas.
When installing hardwood flooring in small rooms or hallways, be sure to lay it parallel to the long side of the room or hall or install it on a diagonal to the long wall. Otherwise, it will make the space appear choppy or small. If the end of the hall is home to a doorway that separates spaces, install wood running in a different direction or with a new grain to bring interest to the space. If there isn’t a door between your hallway and the adjacent room, consider installing carpeting.
Should the Kitchen and Dining Room Floor Be the Same?
What you choose for your kitchen flooring really depends on the type of space it is and how much traffic it gets. A common mistake people make is to use laminate flooring in a high traffic area such as a kitchen, but it has a tendency to scratch easily. In contrast, hardwood floors are normally better suited for kitchens because they are more durable and less likely to be damaged by spills or scratched by cooking utensils.
Most homeowners prefer vinyl, linoleum, or ceramic tiles throughout their kitchen simply because it looks good, is aesthetically pleasing, requires less effort and time to clean, and is considerably more durable. They are also a popular choice for high-traffic areas like hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms.
In terms of the dining room, some people prefer a type of flooring which will suit the purpose of the room better. For instance, some homeowners may prefer tile or linoleum over wood, laminate, or carpet to make an attractive space for dining. Similarly, some might want linoleum flooring throughout their home since it is waterproof and much easier to clean.
Despite all these, people’s preferences will vary depending on how often they use each room and what kind of aesthetic appeal they’re going for. Practicality, functionality, and budget are also incredibly important when choosing your flooring.
Flooring selection is a personal choice and often hinges on function, aesthetics, and budget. Using common flooring throughout a home has many benefits. However, there are solid reasons why some rooms may need a different flooring. While carpet is soft and warm in a bedroom, it’s not as functional in a bathroom or kitchen.
Select flooring that suits the room’s function and your budget while complementing the flooring used in other locations of the home. Hopefully, you have a better awareness of the importance of floor covering selection and the factors that may influence your choice.