Everyone loves the idea of open floor plans, where rooms flow from one to the next with few walls to obstruct your view. We commonly see this layout in both modern homes as well as midcentury housees, where dining rooms, living rooms and even kitchens are open to one another.

In these spaces, it’s important to unify the different functions with common finishes. This process is often called “blending.” Recently, a client came to us with an interesting blending challenge that took us on a trip to the past.

Marsha and Tom were considering replacing the carpet in the great room of their 1950s north side Indianapolis residence. The space adjoins an elevated dining room which was also carpeted. As frequent dinner hosts to friends and family in their home, they envisioned hardwood flooring for their dining room for many years. Curious about the condition of the subfloors, they pulled up a corner of their old carpet in the dining room and found a basic particle board subfloor – not the most suitable substrate for a new hardwood floor.  But in the great room, Tom and Marsha were overjoyed to discover the original oak parquet floor underneath in excellent condition.

The original oak parquet flooring

Replacing the particle board with a suitable subfloor added a layer of cost that the couple hadn’t planned for.  Also, refinishing the parquet was going to be more expensive than their original plan of simply re-carpeting, but restoring it to its former richness was a priority. So they refinished the parquet in a matte urethane.

With that decision made, the challenge was now clear: how to stay close to budget and end up with hardwood flooring in the dining room that looked as though it genuinely deserved to be side by side with the tones in the parquet flooring.

Enter Tish Flooring.

First, we brought a number of oak plank samples in natural (unstained) finish to Marsha’s and Tom’s home in order to identify a prefinished product that offered similar tones as the parquet. We knew that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to match the original tones, grain and other characteristics of the parquet. Viewing the products in the natural light of the home and natural surroundings proved helpful. The couple zeroed in on a 3.5 inch width plank with warm, golden hues.

Once the selection was finalized, we removed the particle board in the dining room and installed a new plywood subfloor in order to create a more stable and solid substrate into which the new hardwood flooring would be nailed. The oak plank was installed perpendicular to the parquet, and we installed a bright white painted riser between the two at the step-up. In the end, two floors, made in entirely different sizes and formats and in different decades, coexist to create a warm, unified entertainment space rather than two, unattached areas.

Tish Flooring installs new hardwood plank flooring beside the original oak parquet.

Marsha and Tom were thrilled with the results of their hardwood flooring installation. The new flooring in the dining room not only enhances the classic parquet flooring, it breathes life into the space in a way that honors the character and architectural style of the house.

Interested in how you can blend the new and the old in your home? Contact Tish Flooring, an Indianapolis hardwood flooring company, at 317-879-TISH(8474), and let’s talk about creative solutions for your home.