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Quick help! Which way to lay rectangular tile near wood flooring?

8 years ago

Hi all, I posted this earlier in the flooring forum, but haven't had any response and I really need to figure this out by tomorrow or Tuesday at the very latest, so I'm hoping you all can help me (quickly) since it's a design issue . . .

I am in the process of having a mudroom + laundry room put in from part of a garage, adjacent to the family room. I've attached a photo of the layout below (mudroom / laundry in orange). I'm wondering which way I should orient my 12x24 charcoal slate tile? The medium-brown hardwood floors in the existing family room run left to right / east-west when looking at the layout below. The small "hall" to the laundry room we are planning on doing in wood, since there is no real doorway to the family room in that area and it is also open to the kitchen, which will have hardwood floors (running the same way as the family room). The flooring will transition right at the laundry room entrance, where there is a 3' pocket door, and the slate tile will continue through the rest of the mudroom area to the exterior doors. The laundry room has long walnut butcherblock counters on either side, and the mudroom has a long butcherblock bench (see layout below). Between the mudroom and laundry is a half-wall on one side with a full wall on the other that comes partially into the room with a 42" aisle (so they are not really separate rooms). Outside the mudroom door (not the garage door) will be a slate 3' x 7' landing (not slate tile, thicker outdoor stone).

My initial instinct was to place the tile oriented in a north-south / top to bottom brick pattern when looking at the layout below. This was suggested by the tile designer (who didn't look at the surrounding flooring) because he said it would make the long narrow space look wider, instead of looking bowling-alley. I agree and like the look of it going that direction in the tiled space.

I'm wondering though if that will look strange to have the tile floor meet the wood floor perpendicular at the laundry room pocket door? Should the tile run parallel to the wood floor, even if that makes it more bowling alley when in the mudroom? I guess I'm wondering if matching the wood floor orientation overrides everything else? I've seen some people online say they should always orient the same, but some people say that a distinct transition with distinctly different flooring color / material makes it not matter so much? And it's only about a 4' wide hallway. The flagstone landing will likely have the direction of the long pieces of stone (mixed sizes squares and rectangles) parallel to the door entrance. So maybe I should orient the slate to match the orientation of the outdoor landing, since they are both the same/similar material and color? Which means the tile goes widthwise across the room, ending up perpendicular to the wood floor at the end. Or maybe the noticeable grain direction in the striated butcher block counters in the laundry and mudroom should have the tile paralleling those lines instead of perpendicular? I'll probably also put a runner rug down the laundry room, so should the tile parallel that . . . I'm driving myself crazy over this!

Tile is going in next Monday (1 week). I'm picking up the tile from Home Depot this week (like Monday or Tuesday). Another option would be to cut it into 12x12 squares, and still run it width-wise, but it would look less "wrong" because it's not rectangular? I like the look of the longer tiles better, but I'm open to ideas if it makes or breaks the look. Cutting is more expensive too. I don't want to do a diagonal. I'm hesitant about herringbone because the tiles are so big in a space so small. Or what about just trying to match the slate grout color to the stone, do de-emphasize the lines? I was going to go with a lighter gray grout, but could do charcoal.

Ideas? Thoughts? Thanks so much for any input you have. And please let me know if this is better posted in a different forum, like remodeling. And please let me know if I'm crazy over nothing, that it's no big deal and just orient it however.

mudroom with slate oriented the way I like it (across rather than parallel), but adjacent wood floor is parallel (mine would be perpendicular):

Mudroom · More Info

slate going perpendicular to wood (mine would be opposite directions from this, if that makes sense):

Kenwood Cottage · More Info

12x12 slate brick pattern going width-wise -- maybe not as noticeable w/ perpendicular wood floor?:

Mudrooms · More Info

slate meeting wood both going perpendicular long-wise:

Quarry Street House · More Info

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