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Entryway flooring is the hardest working flooring in your home. Everyone uses it, everyone sees it so it needs to be as practical and it is stylish. And there are so many options out there, all with different price points, different maintenance, and obviously, you can get endless colors and patterns. How you do decide the best option for your space? And get the balance between a hardworking flooring that's going to withstand endless footfall and a flooring that looks beautiful too?
We asked our favorite designers, to talk us through choices they have made and why they've worked so you can get inspired and have an idea of what will be right for you. And we have covered all entryway styles too, from luxurious marble tiles for a modern minimalist vibe to rustic stone flooring for a farmhouse feel.
Entryway flooring ideas
1. Consider the style and era of your home
This is so important when making most design decisions in your home. Look at the bones. Consider the era of your home, or the era you want to recreate. We are all for blending styles but when it comes to flooring we'd say stick with something that compliments the style, period, and architecture of your home.
If you have a more traditional space, consider marble tiles that will feel fresh and modern but fit with the period style. In a rustic farmhouse (or a want to be rustic modern farmhouse...) stone will fit in seamlessly. You can be more experimental in a modern home where you are less dedicated by original features, but still consider the overall style of your space and how the other rooms are decorated. The entryway sets the tone for the rest of your house.
'Always choose hallway flooring that stays true to your home’s overall design and aesthetic. Second, of the options that align with your design, select the option that will best serve the entryway’s function.' suggests designer Marie Flanigan.
'The white walls and terrazzo floor are a nod to this home’s mid-century modern vibe. The home was originally designed and built by architect George Smart in the late 1960s.'
2. Add warmth with hardwood flooring
If you are looking for a classic, hardwearing, suits every style, flooring option, wood is it. It's not the cheapest floor type, but it's going to last and it can handle the constant footfall of a hallway no problem. Plus, there are an infinite amount of styles, patterns, and shades available, from a traditional parquet that suit more period properties to wider planks that give a rustic, beachy vibe.
We love the warmth the redwood gives to this entryway designed by Interior Fox. The space feels fresh and modern but the flooring adds that welcoming contrast with all the clean lines and crisp whites and blacks. It's one of the best wood floor colors in our opinion as it's warm yes, but neutral enough so it can be taken throughout the whole home, creating a seamless flow between the whole downstairs of the house.
'Wooden floors work just as well in high-traffic areas and can be used not just in the hallway, but across the entire home too.' explains Jen and Mar, founders of Interior Fox. 'And tiles are great for the hallway, whether original within a period home or a new addition, they can really elevate a space and are easy to clean. However if you’re living in an apartment where noise control is a priority, jute or seagrass are both durable and stylish.
3. Keep it minimalist with cool concrete
Concrete flooring is such a huge interior design trend right now. And while it's colored concrete that seems to be the way to do it, we are slightly obsessed with the chic, slightly mid-century modern, brown concrete floor of designer Lisa Sherry's entryway. Practical and incredibly stylish. And the way its brutalist look is toned down with all the textures and soft layers going on here, so dreamy.
'This is my personal loft in uptown Charlotte, NC. The entrance is on the main level and the living spaces are 2/3 and 4 floors up. I wanted the entrance to be both practical and beautiful as one door is off the garage. The front door is where my guests come in. I wanted a bit of WOW factor.' explains Lisa.
'I love the natural honed concrete floors. So practical and also modern. Layering the two different rugs warm up the space. The lamp on the console provides a nice warm feel.'
If you haven't been blessed with original concrete flooring, it's an ideal entryway flooring option. It's super durable, can easily be installed on top of tiles, and works well with underfloor heating. Plus, there are loads of ways to do it depending on your style from super minimalist with a seamless glossy finish to really rustic and industrial.
4. Leave the pattern and color to the stairs
Staircases are often a major feature in an entryway, so not to be forgotten when planning your entryway flooring. Now, of course, entryway flooring needs to be practical above all else, as it's potentially one of the hardest working surfaces in your home. It's perhaps not the place to get experimental, however, you can be slightly less sensible with your choice of staircase flooring.
As this fabulous space by 2LG Studio proves, you can be practical and still have fun with your hallway flooring choices. Lovely, classic, wide wooden planks lead you through the downstairs rooms, but that carpet takes this otherwise pretty soft and neutral space to a whole other level of interest.
'Hallways are transitional spaces that you pass through but don’t necessarily linger. A space where you can make a bold statement. ' says Jordan Cluroe, co-founder of the studio. 'It’s the first impression that people will get when they enter your home so don’t be afraid to go big and bold with pattern and color.'
5. Create a farmhouse feel with stone
Stone is perfect for entryway flooring if you are after that lovely rustic, farmhouse vibe. It's slightly raw and uneven and we love it. Most of us however don't live in a lovely, rustic farmhouse, but fear not as you can quite easily recreate the look of original stone with flagstone flooring. Even new flagstones will still have that soft natural look with tumble edges and are usually cheaper and easier to source than reclaimed stone.
As well as looking beautiful, stone flooring is a hardwearing option too, in fact, it's probably one of the most hardwearing floors available and will last for decades.
'Stone flooring is an excellent option for entrywayss, it provides a hard wearing surface and a timeless aesthetic,' explains Louisa Morgan of Mandarin Stone. 'All natural stone is porous to varying degrees so requires sealing during installation to prevent staining, thereafter maintenance is minimal and requires sweeping and mopping.'
'Stones which have an antique finish, such as 'tumbled' or 'Provence' create a floor that looked ready worn and if it's been walked on for centuries. Shade options for stone flooring vary from light to dark with everyone in between so choices are endless and can suit all styles and budgets. There are plenty of choices for formats too, with large flagstone sizes or random patterns creating an authentic feel.'
6. Choose a classic look with checkerboard tiles
Once only found in elegant period homes (or gracing the floors of 1950s American diners) checkerboard flooring is making a comeback and is effortlessly adapting itself to all styles. This classically simple but impactful design is a wonderful entryway floor option as it's going to add on-trend drama but is timeless too. And it's not all about black and white either, you could go bold with contrasting colors or go for a softer look with a reddish brown or warm grey.
'Flooring makes such a difference to how a space feels, and with so much space being taken up by the floor it's important to get the material right,' explains Tom Cox of HÁM interiors. 'In the entrance hall of our Views project we opted for stone, it's hard-wearing, easy to clean, plus you can make an impact with color and pattern. The checkerboard design is impactful but timeless, choosing a grey and off-white rather than a black gives it a time-worn look.'
7. Combine luxury and practicality with black marble
Because practical can be beautiful too. Opting for a darker flooring in an entryway is always going to be a good idea, it will hide everyday scuffs and stains plus it can add depth and drama. Marble might sound luxurious, and sure it does create a very elegant look, but it's a practical choice too. It's super durable and works really well with underfloor heating, ideal if your entryway doubles as a mudroom.
'I love something that’s durable and beautiful. Due to increased entryway use, you want floors that can stand up to weather elements and foot traffic. I think that stone and tile can be excellent options!' explains Marie.
'The black marble tile I used in this home fit the modern aesthetic while standing up to the area’s elements. Since this entryway is the designated drop zone, it was essential to choose a tile that was perfect for hiding dirt and standing up to melted snow.'
8. Give wooden floors a new lease of life
'Painting floorboards can be a really cost-effective way of transforming a space. In period properties, it's also a good way of blending uneven floors as we did here. A dark grey floor gives a clean and contemporary feel, and pairs well with almost anything. Entryways take a real battering as a thoroughfare of the home, but a painted floor gives you the option to put down a fresh coat when it needs an update,' explains Andrew Griffiths, founder of A New Day.
'What color you paint them is only limited by your imagination, but a good place to start is recognizing whether you like a light, bright and fresh bedroom, or prefer a slightly moodier, cozier space to escape to. Both can be beautiful, it’s all about the feel of the space and what’s going to best help you wind down of an evening and then get you up in the morning in the best mood.'
9. Choose a modern rustic look with brick
Brick flooring is synonymous with rustic homes and farmhouse kitchens, however, we are seeing it seep into modern spaces, adding texture and warmth to more minimalist styles.
We love this space designed by Leanne Ford, it's the perfect example of how brick can add so much interest to an entryway, while still keeping it minimal and neutral. In a hallway that's stripped of color, the textures really are the focus here. The brick paired with the uneven whitewashed walls and wooden beams nail the modern rustic trend.
And of course, brick can be adapted to suit any style. It can be laid in patterns, polished or whitewashed. You can choose between reclaimed brick or for a clean look opt for modern engineered brick (often the cheaper option). Plus, it works wonderfully with underfloor heating but can also be cooling in the warmer months.
What kind of flooring is best for an entryway?
The best kind of flooring for an entryway is personal. It comes down to your style, space, and budget.
'The proportions of the space and the location in the home will affect the durability, style, and softness choices. The proportions of the space will help determine the patterning direction and style.' says designer Elena Frampton.
'For example, a long, tall, or narrow hallway would prompt various options to establish balance. Take into consideration the use and function as well; an entryway near bedrooms might call for acoustically sensitive choices while an entrance or mudroom hall would focus on durability.'
So think about how you use the space. Does it double as a mudroom so often needs to cope with muddy feet? Is the shape awkward or narrow, so the layout of your flooring needs to balance that out? And obviously, consider budget too. Are you looking to invest in something that will last decades? Well, stone flooring would be a good option. And if you are on a budget you can get some gorgeous affordable tiles and even vinyl flooring can look beautiful.
Is vinyl flooring good for an entryway?
Vinyl flooring has come a long way since its yellowing lino days, and you can get some really stunning designs that look every bit as beautiful as tile or even wood. What you need to consider about vinyl is its longevity. It's not the most durable option and can quickly start to warp if it gets wet. So if your entryway gets a lot of use, and you have wet shoes or muddy dogs traipsing in and out, you are best going for something more hardwearing.
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Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.
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