Old tile on concrete in corner of hardwood floor

by CJ

We decided to pull up the carpet and refinish the red oak floors underneath in our new-to-us house.

The living room is basically 17' x 12', with bookshelves/cabinets along one long wall (west).

On the opposite wall is am 8' x 22" section of old ugly tile over concrete (east). That wall is 9', butting up to a doorway and the corner.

The wall perpendicular to the tiled area (south) is also about 9', butting up to another doorway.

We've pondered hardwooding over the concrete in a few different configurations.

(1) Hardwood over the area, making a 2' - 3' x 8' hardwooded area 3/4" higher than the rest of the hardwood floor.

(2) Hardwood the area, plus an equal area on the perpendicular south wall, joining the two by a straight shot across from the corners of each jut out. It would be, basically, a triangle of 3/4" raised hardwood area in that corner, jutting out 9' into the room.

(1) While the 3x8 idea takes up less space, it doesn't seem usable.

(2) The larger triangle idea could hold our keyboard, guitars, karaoke machine, etc. or it could hold a seating arrangement, i.e. a couple of chairs, small table.

Neither idea seems natural and I'm not sure if people won't trip or stumble on the 80 degree molding smoothing out the 3/4" rise in floor level.

We've nixed the idea of building a book case on top of the area, since there are already enough bookcases filling the opposite wall. A fireplace would take up too much needed room.

We had talked about having a stage in the house anyway, since our daughter likes to put on shows and kids like to do karaoke, but 3/4" isn't much of a stage.

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Jul 06, 2010
Stepping out?
by: Charlotte


Although the first option seems more straightforward, and would certainly be less of an intrusion into your room, it sounds like the larger triangle option is perhaps best suited to your needs.

If you wish to use the space for table and chairs, make sure that the space is large enough for your chosen table, plus seating around, and that people can pull out their chairs and move away from or around the table safely.

A stage area is another option, and with this in mind, and, as you pointed out, the safety aspects of a slight change in level (I agree, I think people may well trip) why not consider making it into a definite step of 6 to 9 inches, which would be more suitable for a stage area as well.

This is quite a big change, so be certain that it is what you want, and that your furniture still all fits where you want it to, before commencing.

You may also need a joiner/carpenter to construct the step/raised level for you, unless you are confident in this kind of work.

As it turns into a bigger job, you may then wonder back whether the first option is better for you - I feel it less likely that people would trip over a small change in level less than 2 foot from the wall, as people don't usually approach the wall that closely.

One other option would be to see if you (or a contractor) can break up and remove the concrete so that you can have a level floor. (What's underneath? Is it important structurally?)

I hope that's given you some more ideas to think about, to help you decide which option is right for your family.

Good luck with the project.

Best wishes

Charlotte x

Jul 06, 2010
Thanks, Charlotte x
by: CJ

Thanks, Charlotte x!

When you mentioned building the floor up 6"-9" if it were to be a stage, brought to mind possibly putting a rail around the area and have a definite entry to the area.

The railing would also keep the step up area in peoples' line of sight and they wouldn't be likely to stumble.

Will still have to sleep on this, but thanks!

Jul 06, 2010
My pleasure x
by: Charlotte

My pleasure CJ

Sounds a good plan - definitely sleep on it - please do let us know what you decide :o)

Best wishes


Jul 06, 2010
Still up in the air
by: CJ

It's still up in the air. May place a plant on either end to hopefully keep people from tripping if we do the raised floor, even if it's only 3/4".

Latest development: The flooring guy said he can cut the cement with a cement saw (wish he'd told us this earlier in the project before he refinished the floor in that room) and cut it down to the level where he could place wood on the same level with the floor, but put a trim piece perpendicular to the existing, freshly finished wood and finish out the wood between that floor level trim piece and the wall. That way he doesn't have to sand and refinish the wood he's already done.

But, it has occurred to me that building a 51 sq. ft. new floor on top of the existing is going to necessitate just as much sanding and refinishing.

Jul 07, 2010
by: Charlotte


A rug (edge) aligned along the edge of a small (3/4") change of level may also help people be more aware of the change of level, while at the same time drawing attention away from it (if you see what I mean!)

Getting the concrete floor down to the same level would seem a nice simple option for you :) and the ideal solution.

If you did decide you wanted a stage area at a later date you could then add it separately, in any position in your home you liked.

Good luck with your floor makeover CJ. Keep us posted :o)

Best wishes


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