Like most homeowners, you probably use your kitchen quite a lot, and the adjacent family room comes in handy when you need to relax or entertain guests. For the two spaces to flow nicely, you’ll want a flooring transition from your kitchen to your family room that is attractive and functional.

Flooring transitions from kitchen to family room create smoother connections between the two most-used rooms in the house. In addition, transition moldings add aesthetic value while protecting the floors from each other when they expand and contract at different rates depending on the temperature.

The article will expound more on kitchen to family room flooring transitions, the types of transition moldings, some tips on making transitions work, and if kitchen and living room floors can be the same.

Kitchen to Family Room Flooring Transitions: What They Do

Kitchen to living room transitions have three main tasks:

  • Protect flooring from damage
  • Make it safer for family members to move between the rooms
  • Allow the two rooms flow together aesthetically

Added Protection and Durability

Since the kitchen and the living room function differently, the flooring needs to cater to their specific areas. Dissimilar flooring types will expand and contract at different rates as the temperature changes, which means the floors can damage each other at the seams where they meet.

A transition molding will protect your floors from damaging each other, making them free to expand and contract as they please.

Height Differences Between Flooring Types

One of the main problems you’ll encounter when transitioning from kitchen to living room is the height difference between the two types of flooring. This can pose a trip hazard and make moving furniture between the rooms difficult.

Transitions can help compensate for the height difference.

Make the Connection Look Better

While you might get away with leaving out a transition depending on your flooring types, it may not look very good. Plus, you’d be missing out on an opportunity to make a design statement.

A well-chosen transition can add some character to your rooms and make them look more connected.

Transition Strip and Molding Types

Depending on the flooring types your kitchen and living room have and the aesthetic you’re going for, there are different types of transitions, strips, and moldings you’ll want to use. Here’s a rundown of the more common types:

  • T-moldings: T-moldings transition hard floors of the same or similar height. It sits at the expansion gap between the two floors, with one side flush against each flooring type. As the floors expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes, the T-molding allows for that movement without disrupting the seal between the two floors.
  • Reducers: Reducers are used to transition between floors of varying heights. One side will be lower than the other, so it can sit flush with the lower floor while sitting on top of the taller floor.
  • Carpet Edge Grippers: Carpet edge grippers are metal strips with teeth that hold down carpets at the transition point, securing the carpet. You won’t need to worry about the carpet flapping around as people walk between the kitchen and the living room.
  • Brand Transitions: Brands offer transitions intended to match the flooring sets they have. It makes it easier for buyers as both the flooring and the transition components match right at purchase.
  • Custom Transitions: Custom-built kitchen and living rooms may require moldings made just for them. Off-the-shelf components may not fit or match the specific interior appearance. Custom materials tend to be pricier than manufactured ones.

Kitchen to Living Room Flooring Transition Tips

Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition from your kitchen to your living room floor:

Have Transitions Where They Make Sense

When you’re dividing an interior space, where you choose to make that split will greatly impact how the space feels. When transitioning between your kitchen and living room, it usually makes the most sense to do so where there’s already a natural division, like a doorway.

For more open interior layouts, visualize how people will be flowing through the space. You’ll likely want to create a transition that’s in keeping with the traffic path.

Consider the Aesthetics

Your kitchen and living room style will play a role in what kind of transition you ultimately choose. If you have a sleek, modern kitchen with polished concrete floors, you might want to use a metal T-molding as your transition to create a stark contrast between the two spaces while maintaining a cohesive look.

On the other hand, if you’re going for a more rustic vibe, you could use a reducer made from reclaimed wood. This would add some visual interest and clarify a distinct division between the two areas.

Keep Your Transitions to a Minimum

It’s not that you can’t divide a space more than once, but too much mixing can start to look cluttered and messy. So, when in doubt, keep it simple.

One transition between your kitchen and living room will suffice in most cases. If you have a large space or an open floor plan, you might need two or three transitions. However, as a general rule of thumb, less is more.

Should Kitchen and Living Room Floor Be the Same?

Depending on your wants and needs, you can make a case for either one. It all depends on how you want your home to look, how often you use your living room, and whether the kitchen and living room are even on the same floor.

There’s no hard rule stating kitchen and living room floors should be the same. These spaces have different purposes, so it would make sense for their floors to be different too. However, there’s no rule against having the same flooring for your kitchen and living room either.

Reasons to Keep Kitchen and Living Room Flooring Different

Let’s kick it off with why you’d want to keep kitchen and family room flooring different.

Different Floors Cater to Different Rooms

Your kitchen and living room fulfill different roles. The flooring you choose should be appropriate for each space.

For instance, most people want their kitchens to be highly durable. Kitchens see a lot of foot traffic as well as spillages. You’ll want your kitchen floors to withstand all that wear and tear.

Conversely, living rooms don’t usually go through the same rigors as kitchens. You might not need your living room floors to be quite as tough. You might also have different aesthetic preferences for each space.

It’s Not Always Easy To Match Flooring

If you’re starting from scratch with new construction, it’s relatively easy to choose flooring for your kitchen and living room that matches. However, if you’re renovating an existing home, it might be more difficult to find the flooring that’s a perfect match.

Older homes often have mismatched flooring throughout. You might be able to find something close, but it’s unlikely that you’ll find an exact match. In this case, it might make more sense to choose different flooring for your kitchen and living room so everything coordinates.

The Contrast Can Be Appealing

If done right, having different flooring for your kitchen and living room can add some visual interest to your space.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure the two floors coordinate well. Otherwise, the overall look of your home will suffer.

Reasons to Keep Kitchen and Living Room Flooring the Same

Now, let’s look at why you might want to keep your kitchen and living room flooring the same.

It Can Make Cleaning Easier

If you have young children or pets, using the same flooring throughout your kitchen and living room can make cleaning easier.

Different types of flooring require different cleaning methods and materials. If you use the same flooring in both rooms, you won’t have to worry about keeping two types of floors clean. You can just use the same method and materials for both spaces.

Just make sure to pick a flooring type that can handle the rigors of kitchen traffic and have the welcoming feel a living room demands. Hardwood floors are a good candidate.

Maintain a Modern Aesthetic

Open floor spaces are popular for a reason. They tend to look more modern and stylish.

One way to achieve this aesthetic is to have the same flooring throughout your kitchen and living room. This creates a seamless look that’s visually appealing.

Make Small Rooms Look Bigger

If you have a small home, you might want to use the same flooring throughout to make the space look larger. Different flooring in each room can break up the space and make it feel smaller.

Create a More Casual Atmosphere

If you want your home to have a more casual feel, using the same flooring throughout can help.

It is particularly true if you have a small space. Different floors in each room can make the space feel segmented and formal. Using the same flooring throughout will make it feel more cohesive and relaxed.

Final Thoughts

Transitioning kitchen and family room flooring can be a great way to add visual interest to your space. You’ll be making your flooring more resilient and safer to tread while you’re at it.

There are also practical reasons for using the same flooring in both rooms. It can make cleaning easier and help small spaces appear larger.

Ultimately, whether or not to use matching kitchen and family room flooring is up to you. Consider your needs and preferences when deciding what’s best for your home.

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