8 Tips for Blending Wood Floors
There are many options available when it comes to blending new wood floors with pre-existing ones. Use these eight tips to ensure a seamless match.
Match Faded Tones
Since sun fading is one of the biggest causes of ill-matched floors, it’s important to try and match new laminate or engineered flooring to the faded tone of the current floor. In order to do this, you’ll need to get samples of the new flooring with varying intensities of the same color. Compare your samples to the existing floor and pick the color closest to the faded floor. Even if the match isn’t exact, the slight difference should be camouflaged once area rugs, furniture and accessories are put in place.
When expanding on your existing hardwood floor coverage, you don’t necessarily have to sand and stain the older section of floor and the new area at the same time for a perfect match. As an alternative, consult a professional about having a stain color custom mixed to match your existing floor’s current sun-faded tones and only do the new flooring.
T-Molding for Tough Transitions
Because of the sudden transition it causes between rooms, mixing different kinds of wood flooring often makes interior designers and real estate professionals uneasy. After all, having such an abrupt transition can create a disjointed feeling or give the appearance of an afterthought. Luckily, there is a relatively easy solution to bridge tough transitions: T-molding.
T-molding is used to connect gaps in hardwood and is often employed in doorways to disguise any rough cuts made where two separate installations of flooring join up. T-molding is named because of its shape. It features a narrow lower channel that slips between gaps in wood. The top of the molding then covers the unsightly area with a slightly square or rounded piece of trim that sits almost flush to the floors. For example, T-mold can be used to effectively blur a transition between rooms by laying directly over the rough seam where the two different floors meet.
Nicks and scratches are bound to happen to hardwood floors over time. While it used to be more difficult to fix these mishaps, we now have stain pens as a fast and easy solution. All you have to do is find the right color tone, shake the pen before use, and then press the tip down on the pen so that the stain saturates the tip. Use the pen to fill any noticeable imperfections you see in the wood finish, wiping away any excess stain with a damp cloth. Use as many coats as needed so that the blemishes are sufficiently blended.
Shoe molding is a trim piece that serves as a wedge to hide gaps between wood floors and baseboards. Purchase shoe molding in pre-measured pieces that run the length of a wall, as opposed to using smaller pieces with multiple cuts. Doing so will help you avoid a mismatched look. To replace existing shoe molding, remove the old molding with a mini crowbar, miter the corners of the new pieces and attach with a nail gun.
When joining wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood flooring, use a carpet transition to overlap the edges of where they meet. When installing a carpet transition, a small gap is purposely left between the carpet and the hardwood where a channel is inserted. Notched trim then covers the edge of the carpet and helps prevent it from fraying.
When hardwood abuts other elements or architectural features, like steps or fireplace hearths, end molding is used to smooth the transition. It is particularly well-suited along areas filled with grout or mortar. To install, simply lay it out and glue it in place.
Bullnose trim creates a finished, rounded edge that designates a firm stopping point. It can be used on architectural ledges, raised platforms, or even to finish off a staircase landing.