Blending Different Flooring Types

Too many different types of flooring in a room can distort its aesthetic. But blending flooring options from room to room is possible with good transitions and coordinating colors.

Harsh matching or contrasting colors stand out like a sore thumb. The best way to blend flooring is to use a natural breaking point such as a doorway or elevation change.

Natural Barriers

A natural barrier is a physical feature that discourages escape or is difficult to traverse. Examples of this include the walls of the Alcatraz and Devil’s Island prisons, which prevented prisoners from simply running away or swimming to freedom.

When mixing flooring types, natural barriers can be used to minimize the abrupt transition from one type of floor to another. For example, if there is a place in your home where hardwood flooring meets carpet and then tile, it may be best to install the hard-wearing materials in areas of high traffic while using decorative area rugs to soften the look of transitioning floors in lower-traffic rooms.

This approach will create a visual balance and keep the overall look of your home consistent. It also helps to minimize the impact of contrasting colors in your home and the resulting clash that can make a space feel busy or visually overwhelming. Ideally, it is recommended to mix and match all the different cartons of flooring during installation in order to achieve a consistent appearance. This will also ensure that all moldings and transition moldings are properly blended into the flooring for a seamless, smooth, and uniform look. You can use a stain, filler, or putty stick to smooth and blend these features during installation.


The different flooring types in your home should not only be complementary, but they should blend seamlessly together. Harsh color combinations are not a good look, and they will stand out in an unattractive way. One of the best ways to make this happen is through the use of moldings. These decorative trim pieces add a unique look and help define the edges of your home’s rooms. Moldings (also known as casing) are usually made from wood but can also be made from less expensive synthetic materials like polystyrene or PVC. Regardless of the material, there are many different styles to choose from, and keeping track of all the variations can be overwhelming.

It is important to understand the differences between the many different trim styles before deciding what molding to install. Some general distinctions include baseboards, crown molding, door or window casing, and chair rails. Baseboards are designed to cover the junction of the wall and floor. They can be painted to match the flooring or contrast it in a decorative manner. Crown molding is the tallest of all trims, and it can be used in a similar fashion to draw the eye to a particular feature of the room. Door and window casings are designed to frame doors or windows and can be used to conceal the gap between the jambs of a door or window and the adjacent wall.

Chair rails are typically installed in dining rooms or kitchens, where they serve a functional purpose by protecting the walls from scrapes and scratches from chairs or tables. They can be painted to match or contrast the flooring or covered in wallpaper for a more colorful aesthetic.

Mixing hardwood and tiling is more of a challenge because of the difficulty in matching the two. Although it is possible to get these two materials to coordinate through the use of a transition board, you must be careful to select the right boards and ensure that they are properly installed. Utilizing a color wheel to speed up the decision-making process and highlight any potential mismatches before you commit to any significant investment is also a good idea.

End Caps

End caps are a type of flooring trim that is attached to the vertical surface your floor meets, such as a wall. They help provide a more visually appealing transition between your flooring and other materials. They are available in a variety of styles and can be created from wood or tile. For instance, if you have hardwood floors in the room where you want to install glass mosaic tiles, you can create an end cap from wood to match the color and finish of your flooring. This eliminates the need for a transition strip and can save you time during installation because you don’t have to measure the space and cut your own piece of flooring.

Some homeowners are not fond of the look of an edge where one flooring type ends and another begins, even if it’s a simple trim. However, a little extra work and planning can make this type of transition much more attractive. For instance, a wood-to-tile transition with an eased edge looks very attractive and allows you to avoid the tripping hazards of an abrupt, slanted edge.

You can also use large slate tiles to meet your hardwood flooring in a doorway for a very attractive look. In this case, the tiles are butted right up to the wood endcap, avoiding any need for a transition strip or T-track. This is a great way to create a modern tile-to-wood transition, but it works with a variety of other design aesthetics as well.

Remember that you should try to limit the number of different flooring types in any room. Too many can create an overwhelming visual effect and may not work together. It’s also important to consider all of the colors in your home when deciding on the flooring types you want. Using a color wheel can speed up decision-making and help you identify potential mismatches. In addition, it’s always a good idea to test any flooring material you are not familiar with in your home before making a final purchase and installation.

Seam Binders

If you have a few different flooring choices in your home, you can create the appearance of continuity between them by using a simple trick: installing a transition strip. These strips, often called T-molding or seam binders, are used anytime two different floors meet, such as at a door threshold. They hide unsightly edges and help you avoid tripping over rough or unfinished areas. They also help protect both floor surfaces from moisture and foot traffic.

There are many types of these strips, so you should be able to find one that blends well with your specific flooring. The most common is T-molding. This narrow strip looks like the top portion of a capital T, with thicker legs resting on the bottom flooring surface and thinner arms that hug the other flooring surface. This type of transition strip can be placed in doorways or walkways between rooms and typically fits into a standard doorway frame.

Another option is a plank seam binder. These are flat strips made of wood, often oak, that fit between hardwood floors of the same height. They can be glued down to the floorboards or screwed into them, with the screws going through pre-drilled pilot holes in the strip. This allows each floor to expand and contract without damaging the transition strip or the floorboards. Seam binders are often used between wood floors but can connect other materials such as vinyl or carpet.

Some homeowners choose to stain their own plank seam binders, as this can help them match the color of their flooring exactly. You can also buy them already stained to make the job even easier.

If you have a wide variety of flooring options, the most important thing to remember is that your choices should complement each other rather than contrast with one another. Choosing contrasting colors or styles can make your home feel chaotic and disjointed. If you want to mix it up, opt for a neutral shade or try blending the same style with different patterns.