Transition Threshold for Wood Flooring

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Imagine this scene:

Psychic Medium : Run to the light, dead spirit.

Dead Spirit : Which light?

Psychic Medium : What?!

Two lights to run to? It seems that “What?” is a good response. No less a quandary of two lights to run to appears when installing wood-plank flooring. The planks ‘show’ best when illuminated from the ends, mainly because shadows, caused by slight variations in height from board to board, are eliminated. This allows the full exposure of color and grain. The wood simply looks better.

There are times, however, when planks in different rooms have different light-runs because doors or windows are on perpendicular walls. If the planks meet in the middle of an opening, and the wood isn’t a perfect match of texture and color, then problems will show themselves.

This is especially true in remodeling projects, when the attempt is made to match new wood flooring in one room with old flooring in another. Colors, textures, and patterns of the new and old stubbornly resist the preferred outcome of matching.

Not to worry, though. The simplest solution is the Transition Threshold. It’s nothing more than a board placed in an opening. It visually stops the ‘run’ of wood planks on one side, and allows a new ‘run’ to start on the other side.

Example A – Transition Threshold with inlaid medallions, parallel flooring run

I doesn’t matter which way the planks run. It doesn’t matter what the color difference is. It doesn’t even matter if both sides are of different patterns. The Transition Threshold serves in exactly the same way as a magician use misdirection to make something disappear. The thing the threshold is making disappear is the difference between the floors of the two rooms.

Example B – Transition threshold with inlaid medallions, perpendicular flooring run.

The flooring run in adjacent rooms can be parallel or perpendicular. Colors can be different. In these examples the colors are made in stark contrast to each to show how little it really matters. Even entirely different materials can flank a transition threshold, such as wood and tile.

Example C – Transition Threshold, plain, right room dominant

Example D – Transition Threshold, plain, left room dominant

The threshold board, itself, can be plain as in example C; or fancy as in D, which features inlaid wood medallions. In addition, the styling of the threshold helps define the dominant room. Allow the threshold color to match the room which is intended to be dominant (examples A and B). For instance a Living Room is more dominant than an adjacent Alcove. A Family Room is more dominant than an attached Hall. So, whichever room is to be accented the most, the dominant room, match the color of the threshold to the color of that room’s flooring.

Bonus Example – Left room Dominant

Although it can’t help the psychic medium tell the dead spirit which light it  should run to, a Transition Threshold is a wonderful tool for new homes and for remodeling  because it removes conflict, liberates possibilities, and frees creativity. That’s a threshold worth crossing.