Kitchen Inspiration: Mixing Old and New Floors

What do you do when you have two types of flooring: one ugly and one not ugly in the same space?

This has been our dilemma for the past couple months. The white vinyl *faux-tile* that is in the kitchen seriously needs to go, but the dining room has hardwood floors that match the living room and hallway. We wanted to keep the original hardwood floor in the dining room, but we had no idea what was underneath that white flooring.

As I mentioned in our Kitchen Demo post, we took a peek at what was underneath the vinyl when we tore down the cabinets. We were hoping for a hardwood floor that matched the rest of the house, so we could refinish the entire main floor to look the same. Alas, we were not so fortunate! The floor underneath is softwood, so it definitely would not match the rest of the house.

We contemplated taking up the softwood flooring and replacing it with new hardwood to match the rest of the house, but it was going to be pretty costly. Then, after we had our asbestos abatement done, the asbestos removal guys also told us not to take up the softwood floor ourselves, because there was more asbestos beneath it.

That was basically the final nail in our softwood coffin, the cost of doing MORE asbestos removal and adding new hardwood floors didn’t feel worth it to us. So, we decided to get creative.

My biggest worry with having two different types of wood floor in one space was having it look like someone done goofed and ran out of floor halfway through the job. So I started to think about ways that we could create a decorative transition where the wall used to be between the two rooms.

One thing I’ve always liked about older houses is that there is a story to tell in their flaws. Sort of like the Japanese pottery technique of Kintsugi, glueing broken pieces back together and filling them with gold so that the cracks become part of the design.

Once the wall between the dining room and kitchen was torn down, we’d be left with about an 8-inch gap between the hardwood floor and softwood floor. That’s pretty large crack if we’re talkin’ Kintsugi here. I wanted to fill that space with something more beautiful to honour the history of the house. Then I found this photo online:

Rustic Wood and Tile

And I was like, AHA! THIS IS IT. Well, not really, but it’s a general idea.


So I started diving deeper into wood and tile transitions and I found some true gems:

Pattern Tile and Wood Flooring in a KitchenPhoto from Domozoom

This might be a little bit too bold for my style, but I love the contrast of the pattern tile with ultra-modern cabinets. It looks like a fancy Persian rug beneath the island. And you know how I love rugs in kitchens!


Pattern floor tile and softwood in a hallwayPhoto from decor8

Then I found this image and I went pretty gaga for the neutral tile with softwood floors.


Mixing neutral tile and WoodPhoto from Something Beautiful

When I found this photo I was like, “YES, this is THE. ONE.” and started weeping. The pattern, the colours, the wood – everything here is just so great.

Then the next dilemma was tile sourcing, we couldn’t find a supplier that carried this type of tile locally, so we’ll be ordering it in. I love the look of London Light Grey, which is the type of tile we’re hoping to get.

We’ve really been playing it safe so far in terms of design choices, so I’m glad we chose to do something a little bit more unique and interesting for the floors. We haven’t even ordered the tiles at this stage, so nothing is finalized for now – it’ll be fun to see how it all works out.

One thought on “Kitchen Inspiration: Mixing Old and New Floors

Leave a Reply