Creating Smooth Transitions Between Hardwood Flooring Species

Threshold Hardwood

Transitioning from one flooring type or hardwood species type to another can be a ticklish task, especially if molding won’t work in the overall design scheme. Done poorly, the effect is visually jarring to both spaces—done well, it’s seamless and artful. Here are some transition tips to consider:


If the transition is from one material to another, such as tile to hardwood, check the thickness of each first. Ideally they should be even. If not, and the entryway is open, threshold molding or even elevating the new hardwood from the subfloor up may be required. The transition side won’t matter as much in this scenario as it will if there is a door. In that case, the transition side will likely begin at the door’s outer edge so that when closed, your eye takes in the flooring type used in the room you are standing in.


If elevation isn’t an issue, you have more wiggle room to be creative with foyer transitions. Depending on taste, budget, and sundry other factors, a hardwood strip that runs perpendicular to the installation pattern, a tiled motif design, a marble strip, or a handpainted design that complements the style of the flooring can lend an elegant visual flow from room to room. When deciding where to make the transition, carefully eye the view as from the doorway. You may want to create the illusion of a long sweeping entrance by extending the transition point with a medallion inlay and edging, or vice-versa, giving the illusion of more space and creating a more elegant focal point.


Flooring transitions can be used in hallways to dramatic create visual pathways that guide occupants from room to room. This can be accomplished with edging strips of varying width on either side of the main flooring, or by using a single hardwood species that segues into a different pattern at the entryway of an adjoining room.

Kitchen areas

Silhouettes can also provide a stunning yet subtle transition solution for open kitchens areas. If adjacent to a dining nook or other living area, curved transitions visually delineate the two spaces while enhancing and enlarging both areas—particularly if transitioning from stone or tile to hardwood. Curved edging can be purchased, or a hand-designed transition strip can also be used to beautiful effect.