A house with open floor plans — a living, family or great room open to the kitchen and dining areas — creates a feeling of massive space inside the home when you choose the right flooring material. If you use different materials for each of these areas, you interrupt the flow between rooms. If you must use a different material for the kitchen, avoid using contrasting colors between flooring choices; select the color of the flooring material for the kitchen that matches or blends with the flooring material throughout the rest of the space.
Best Flooring for Open Floor Plans
For any kind of open floor plan, to make the rooms seamlessly transition into each other, choose continuous flooring. Butting a wood floor from the family area against a tile floor in the kitchen jars the eyes at the transition — and it usually doesn’t look right. Since kitchens call for hardy, easy-to-clean floors, go with natural stone tile throughout the space, but choose materials that alternate colors, such as slate tiles with individual tile colors that go from blues and grays to rust and beige with multiple shades in between. Well-placed area rugs add warmth to conversation or dining areas in a home with an open floor plan.
Durable Strand-Woven Bamboo
Strand-woven bamboo flooring can work in a kitchen — and the rest of the home — because of its hardiness and resilience. Strand-woven bamboo is the most hard-wearing and durable choice for Open Floor Plans; simply verify the manufacturers used eco-friendly adhesives in the process of making the flooring. On the Janka hardness scale, strand-woven bamboo is harder than most American hardwoods, coming in at 2900, well above hickory, oak, maple or even ash, which range from 1290 to 1800 on the scale. Another benefit of bamboo is that it is an eco-friendly option.
In a home with a Mediterranean, Tuscany or Spanish architectural influences, saltillo tiles in octagon or square shapes bring warmth to your continuous flooring. You can extend these tiles to outdoor patio areas to create a unified appearance between the interior and exterior living areas in the home. Though tiles traditionally give off a cold feeling, saltillo tiles come in varying shades of reds, which gives your Open Floor Plans a warm, earthy base.
Low-Maintenance Aggregate Flooring
For open floor plans, you can’t beat the cost and durability of an epoxy aggregate continuous floor when compared with other materials. This flooring appears seamless and makes open areas seem even larger. Color and design options are almost limitless, as you can choose the shapes, sizes and the colors of the aggregates from hundreds of options. The aggregate consists of small chips, pebbles and stones and is hand-floated over concrete or wood for a smooth effect, and covered with an epoxy sealant. It allows for design options that include such things as border color changes and interesting patterns in entryways.