Could you please tell me what you used to transition between the curved design of the tile and the wood?
February 13, 2013 in Photo Questions
We live in the hot, dry Mojave Desert in CA. We are getting ready to put down engineered hardwood flooring, and we have a large curved area between the kitchen and family room. The kitchen will have travertine in the Versaille pattern, but so far no one has been able to tell us how to make the transition between the two materials. Thank you for any advice/suggestions!
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Hi paigeedream,

Thanks for your question. I first created a curved template using 1/4" masonite and my tile installer used that as a guide for cutting the tiles accurately by placing the full tiles underneath it and marking each tile. (The template was located accurately using reference marks on the curved walls). The cut curved tiles were eased slightly at the cut edges. We also used a sample of the hardwood to float the tile to make sure it would be flush with the wood once installed.

The hardwood was installed next, after creating a center reference line from the tile to get it symmetrical with the tile in this room. The same template was used to cut each curved wood board. The wood flooring was undercut slightly, leaving an 1/8" gap between the tile and wood. The cut edges of the wood were also eased slightly, and then stained to match the color. Once everything had dried (48 hours approx), this gap was then caulked with a custom color matched to the grout.

I hope this helps. I've done this with very large arcs too, that requires another step which I'd be happy to describe if needed. This type of install is tricky so best left to a *very* patient pro, but I love the results, especially having both floors completely flush with each other. (I do tend to drive my installers nuts with these details though! :o)

- Steve
0 Likes   February 13, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Btw, this project is in the Phoenix metro area, AZ so it works well with dry hot climates.
0 Likes   February 13, 2013 at 4:23PM
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HI Steve,

Thank you so much for the reply. I will print it out and share it with my installers. We had looked at a product called Flexisions (I believe that is what is called) which can be stained to match our hardwood floor color. Have you ever worked with that product? Also, I would love to know the other step for larger arcs because ours is pretty large. Do find there are issues with shifting/moving, etc. between the two floors? Do you have to replace the caulk often, or does it tend to be pretty permanent? We have swamp coolers in our home, and our doors and furniture drawers swell up all summer long. We can't close the interior doors during the summer, so I'm concerned about the joints between the wood and the tile. So far, we get a blank stare every time we ask an installer or even a tile store about our dilemma. If it's not a straight line, they can't answer our question. I'm glad we aren't the only ones trying to mix things up a bit! Thanks again!
0 Likes   February 13, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Hi paigeedream,

You're very welcome. The additional step for a larger arc is simply to cut more sheets of masonite and abut them so a large radius can be drawn on them. The best way to figure how large to make the masonite sheets for that is to first create the arc on the subfloor or slab. I use a long string with a loop at each end for a marker, the other end wrapped around a screw in the floor. (With an anchor if its in concrete) As simple as this sounds, it works very well as long as you keep the string under constant tension. (For restricted areas such as the doorway in the photo above, I use 1" pvc pipe)

Once I've created the arc I can then get a sense of how many sheets I'll need. Most arcs we do can use sheets split in a 2'x8' direction, and then overlapped, and trimmed at the overlap. (The overlap creates an angle to cut in both sheets because it follows the curve) I then add reference marks on the templates AND on the floor so they can be placed back accurately once the arcs are cut out of the masonite.

Hope this makes sense. Any great carpenter or tile setter can make this work, and probably has done something similar. Also, do you have any hardwood flooring in your home currently? The reason I ask is because swamp coolers create SO much moisture (as you know) that you may have some serious problems with the flooring warping. Sealing it on ALL sides and edges will help. You may want to consider wood-look tile if not. You already know how much the moisture is affecting your doors etc, but glued or nailed down wood wont have the same freedom to move as the doors do. This could cause it to crack/warp instead.

0 Likes   February 13, 2013 at 6:56PM
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We currently have no wood floors in the house, but word around town is that a floating, engineered wood floor does ok. We are hoping that is true, and we plan to get AC eventually. Thanks for the advice and taking the time to send me the info on the arc. I truly appreciate it! Hopefully we will get a successful outcome with the tile and hardwood flooring.
1 Like   February 13, 2013 at 10:47PM
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