We often write about the various materials you can use when installing your new floor. Hardwood, laminate, vinyl, tile, and stone just to name a few. We also talk about the options you have in the way these materials can be installed. What we don't really discuss is the fact that you can mix your materials to create a floor that really POPs!
Mixed media floors can be hard to come by, but when you see them you remember. Mixing together tile and hardwood, stone and laminate, metal accents, or even various shades of hardwood boards creates a unique and visually interesting look for your floor. It breaks up a room nicely and allows you to play with different colors and textures, leaving you with a one-of-a-kind statement piece.
Take a look at the two pictures below. Notice how well the tile frames the wood flooring in the first picture. It brightens up the room and adds a sophisticated elegance to it as well. This, of course, is an example in a rather grandiose looking home. You can use the same technique with more rustic tiles and boards to create a cozier feel.
The second picture uses a lot of differing colors and textures to create a modern look in the kitchen. The contrast that we see in the wood floor completes the look. Imagine how boring this space would be with a uniformly colored floor.
Now, there are a few things to think about when considering a mixed media floor. Obviously making sure the two mediums pair well together visually is a must, but the more important factor is that they are level with one another. Walking across your floor, mixed media or not, needs to be seamless and comfortable.
You'll also have to think about leaving room for your wood boards to expand and contract. As we've mentioned time and again, wood floors change their size and shape as the amount of moisture in the air shifts. This is not true for most other types of flooring so you have to make sure you adjust your installation plan with these differences in mind.
Lastly, choosing and preparing your sub-floor will require extra attention. It has to be able to accommodate the varying weights of your flooring materials and be as level as you can make it. This is important with any floor installation, but with mixed media flooring it's extra vital.
With all of that being said, we highly, HIGHLY recommend hiring a flooring expert if you want to tackle a mixed media job. These floors are not particularly easy to fix or replace later on, so it's best to get it done right the first time. A job well-done will always outweigh the initial investment.