After seeing numerous photos of Hexagon Tiles organically transitioning into hardwood flooring, I had to attempt this technique. I hadn’t seen any conclusive tutorials on doing this transition so I was left to my own devices. The final product turned out really sharp.
I will be installing a Zebrawood engineered hardwood flooring. This means it has a thin veneer of Zebrawood mounted on an MDF substrate and a little layer of cork on the bottom. It is important to have the tiles sitting approximately 1/16″ – 1/8″ higher than the hardwood floors. This is to minimize damage to the frail Zebrawood veneer.
Never nail down or affix any floating floor system (such as this engineered hardwood flooring) but that is precisely what I am going to do here! At two points in the transition I strategically applied construction adhesive.
I found hexagon tile in stock at a local supplier and opted for nine “Porzione” tiles to randomly place three triangles. These tiles are 10” x 8.5” which I would say are a medium size among the other choices. Choosing a smaller tile allows for a more intricate perimeter design but adds to the complexity of cutting the flooring around the tile. Having an extra tile is handy when tracing out pattern to cut in the flooring.
An assortment of saws where used to get the job done but a table saw and a miter saw go a long way. I would also plan on extra wastage as mistakes are common when getting the cuts fitting right.
Take extra care to lay tiles down square and parallel to the flooring. The bulk of the cuts will be at 30° and this will allow your miter saw to give you the correct angle when positioned for a 30° miter cut. Basic geometry (120° – 90° = 30°)
Now you are ready for the most glorious and laborious floor transition ever!
Here is what the entrance looked like before. I had to smash up the tile and remove a 3/8″ plywood sub-floor. My finished heights were optimal when the tile and engineered hardwood were on even plane.
Before mixing any Thinset/Mortar, spend some time laying out the perimeter tiles till you get a design you are happy with. Make sure the tiles are square and parallel to the flooring by drawing grid lines with a drywall square or whatever you have on hand.
Lay the hexagon tile down as you would any other traditional tile, starting with the perimeter tiles and working your way back. I made all my cuts with diamond blade on an angle grinder or a manual tile cutter.
I cut back the flooring underlay back approximately 6 inches so there wouldn’t be to much “bounce” near the transition.
Use a spare hexagon tile to overlay and trace your cut after lying everything in-place. Remember to account for the perimeter gap in your cuts!
Depending on the cut. I used a miter saw, table saw, jig saw, and a multi-tool.
It is much easier to install the flooring runs starting from the hexagon tile and working your back towards a wall. Placing wedges between the cut piece and the hexagon tile. This will allow you to maintain a proper gap while tapping in the remaining flooring in that run.
If you make a mistake and need to cut the flooring in-place. A multi-tool with a metal straightedge does the trick.
Sanding a bevel with some 220 grit sand paper gives a nice, factory matching edge.
Construction adhesive was used in two spots I felt were error prone to lifting. This goes against any warranty so please do so at your own risk. I tapped in some cedar wedges to maintain the pressure while the adhesive cured.
After the the engineered hardwood has been installed. You can grout the tiles and the leave the perimeter seam. I used a matching grout/caulk solution from Mapei in Pearl Grey. Tape off the flooring side (or both sides) to you get a nice crisp line and apply caulking.
Thanks for reading and Happy building
check out the video at the top of this post for additional instruction.