The Best Floors for Open Concept Designs

Perfect for connecting the shared functional areas of the modern home, open concept floor plans in residential settings have become an extremely popular layout with builders and homeowners alike. The open design concept typically includes some combination of the kitchen, dining, and living room spaces used by all the residents in the home, often at the same time. By that definition, bedrooms and bathrooms are not included in this design approach.

Although each of these separate spaces has a unique purpose in the house, the idea is to create a great room feeling that includes all of the contained areas as one open space. This goal is achieved by removing doors, barriers, and walls in this area as much as is practical to minimize anything that sets a physical or visual boundary.

How does flooring affect open concept designs?

While minimizing the partitions and walls in the open space is the most significant factor in achieving an open concept design, using the same flooring material throughout the entire space will enhance the perceived openness:

  • Color – Anything that gives a sense of separation for any of the functional spaces, even if there is no actual partition, reduces the openness. A different flooring color in each functional area, particularly if it is a dramatic difference, will visually identify each area as separate from the other and counteract the open concept.
  • Materials – A difference in flooring material in different functional areas can also cause immediate recognition of a separate boundary. The same visual separation with different colors can happen when the materials vary significantly in appearance, texture, or feel.
  • Size – A more subtle but still meaningful way that certain flooring materials can reduce the visual perspective is through the size of the individual flooring components. This aspect relates primarily to tile, hardwood, laminate, and luxury vinyl flooring materials. The larger the individual flooring components are, such as the tile pieces, the more they can visually contribute to the desired flow.

So, what is the best flooring for an open concept design?

As you might have guessed, there is no standard answer! Sometimes, the flooring material choices for different areas in the open space are influenced by things like the amount of water resistance needed, cleaning capability, or the level of durability required for your family. However, using the factors above, we can summarize a general strategy to help achieve the sense that the separate but connected functional areas are all one large, open space:

  • Use the same flooring color and flooring material throughout the open space as much as possible and use larger format planks and tile and stones sizes when appropriate.
  • If you love the look of hardwood but need your flooring to extend to the kitchen, explore a waterproof LVT style or a wood-look laminate with added water resistance.
  • Tile and stone will offer water resistance and durability for your open concept.
  • Make sure to select smart color choices that will use natural light to brighten up the home even more, and truly create an expansive feel.

Are you ready to enjoy or enhance the freedom of movement, conversation, and light that your open concept vision can offer? The Flooring 101 experts are waiting right now to answer your questions about open concept floor plans and help you choose the perfect flooring for your inspired interiors!