How to Use Different Types of Floors in the Same Environment?
The floor is one of the largest areas of coverage of an environment, and therefore, its choice goes through several criteria related to both aesthetic and visual identity issues, as well as technical issues of resistance and maintenance. It is common to use different floors for areas with different uses and often this transition is not marked by walls or doors. Next, we will bring you tips on how to make this transition harmoniously when there is no physical boundary between the floors.
We are used to using different floors to demarcate areas with different uses: kitchen and dining room, living room and balcony, or even living room and hallway, for example. This demarcation is almost always accompanied by walls and doors that define the limit of each activity and also of each floor – therefore, in each environment, the appropriate treatment is given to each type of floor installed.
In contemporary architecture, however, with the popularization of open plans and integrated spaces, it is increasingly common to sectorize spaces and organize flows based on smoother transitions such as furniture, small gaps, lowered ceilings, or even, changing floors. This change can be a simple change of material and paging, but it can also be the insertion of a decorative element, called “carpet”, in a portion of the floor. For both situations, you need to think about how to combine different materials, textures and shapes.
The most common is to mark the transition between wet and dry area, as is the case with kitchens integrated with dining rooms. In this division, we often see the combination of warm floor, which can be wood, vinyl or laminate, with cold floor in the kitchen, which can be porcelain, ceramic or even hydraulic tile or granite.
This transition between floors can also be done to highlight other environments, such as the entrance hall or circulation areas that are important to the project.
An alternative is to use the hard flooring to mark a space or activity. The “carpets”, as these floor cutouts in the middle of a room are called, are usually made from the contrast of two different types of floors.
The combination of floors is not restricted to indoors; it is possible to do this in outdoor spaces and especially on terraces, covered areas that are completely open to the outside. In these cases, it is always good to predict the water flow and ensure that there is an adequate gap for the rain flow, to avoid internal flooding.
Sectorization is also widely used in commercial environments, combining warm floors such as carpet, wood, vinyl and laminate to have a dynamic and integrated result.
Sometimes the insertion of another type of floor is a solution for recoveries and refurbishments. When the original floor is degraded, it is possible to cut and replace the degraded parts with another type of floor, contrasting with the original and bringing identity to the project. In the same way, it is possible to register the changes made in the finishes, leaving traces of a wall that was removed, for example, with another type of floor.
Finally, some points are important and must be observed when combining two types of floors. First of all, it is necessary to choose whether or not there will be some kind of transition element between them. In transitions from floor to door, it is common to install sills or baguettes as a finishing and correction of unevenness. When the floor change takes place without the presence of a door, it is also possible to install sills, baguettes or even fillets. These pieces are important when there is unevenness and serve to finish the small step generated by the height difference. They can be made of stone or metal.
Second, it’s important to stick to the differences in thickness of the combined materials. Hydraulic tiles, for example, tend to be thicker than vinyl, laminate and porcelain tiles, for example, and require some type of finishing. Finally, in order for the combination to be successful, it is important to have a previous study of paging. The floor design made from the actual existing measurements is essential to consider the size of the pieces and the most suitable ways of fitting, avoiding waste and ensuring the best combination.