Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Friday, July 03, 2009

How to install ceramic floor tiles next to wood flooring

Ceramic tile floors form a natural complement to hardwood floors. The trick lies in how you transition from tile to wood. Since the two materials are so dissimilar, they expand and contract at very different rates. You should never simply butt new tile to an existing wood floor, or vice-versa. Let's look at the two most common scenarios.

A. Your new tile floor will be nearly the same height as the existing wood floor:

This occurs fairly often, since hardwood floors are generally 3/4" thick. Floor tile is often best laid over 1/2" cement board; add tile that's about a quarter-inch thick, and the two floors will be nearly equal. In this case you'll need some sort of simple expansion joint. ...

Read the rest of this article...

... [and]

B. Your new tile floor will be significantly higher than the existing wood floor:

This happens quite often, given tile's requirement for heavy, solid underlayment. Many wood-slat floors, typically of oak, are only 3/8" thick. It's not at all advisable to lay tile to match this thickness -- you'd have to omit the underlayment entirely, not a good idea!

Another common reason for a tile floor that's higher than wood is that you'll be covering up a portion of an existing hardwood floor by laying tile over-top. This is done to create a traffic-friendly foyer area where your front door enters directly on a wood-floored room. ...

Read the rest of this article...


With careful planning and attention to detail, you can allow your new tile floor to peacefully coexist with your original wood floor. Your transition will be strong and aesthetically pleasing, while it protects your new tile from edge damage. Done properly, your tile to wood transition will last as long as either of these highly durable materials, and look great the entire time.

copyright 2009 - all rights reserved Read Jim's profile at

See this story as it appears on