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It’s so hard to be objective with your own house renovation project. I’m trying to choose a new floor tile and need your help!

The photos you recently saw of our new house were the real estate photos that were taken and reused from four years ago. 

This overgrown menagerie of trees jammed up way too close to the house and blocking the pretty design, is what it looks like now (below).

We do like the weeping willow tree on the right of the drive, but it also needs a trim.

We’ve had a long heat wave in the lower mainland this year so there are a lot of dead shrubs everywhere. It’s sad truly. 

This Christmas tree will also be removed and the house will be painted next Spring. Since I have to work with the existing exterior stone, it will be a complex cream.

The backsplash in this kitchen is Calcutta Gold and it’s beautiful. In fact, the only thing I’m changing in the kitchen is the pendant lighting and the island will be painted a colour.

The sunroom is to the right of the kitchen (below) and it currently has 12″ x 24″ green grey tile installed. It’s coming out.

But here’s where I need your opinion. 

Which floor tile?

The fixed white in this house that’s staying is the backsplash in the kitchen (remember, Calcutta Gold marble). Therefore, all decisions on whites are made around this tile.

The entry is filled with 12″ x 24″ taupe tile extends down a small hallway to the powder room. It’s all coming out too.

My hardwood is hand scraped solid oak in a medium brown shade. So, this happily checks the box of a timeless floor, hooray!

However, what I wanted to do, was install herringbone wood floor in this hallway, but this flooring is 11 years old and it has a sheen. This is something that we were doing in the Tuscan trend but we’re not doing it now.

Even if I sanded down the entire floor, there’s still no guarantees that the new floor would match the old one.

But that would have been beautiful (see below).

Our wood flooring expert explained that North American oak tends to go more pink/orange, while oak from Europe is more gold/green. 

This is the reason why there will never be a colour wheel for wood stains (I’m only saying this because people are asking). Not only does every species take a stain differently but there are many ways to apply the stain. And each technique is also going to affect the way it looks.

He said it’s like wine, depending on where your wine comes from, the dirt changes the taste of the wine. It’s the same with wood.

So here’s what I’m thinking of doing now.

The panelling you see below the staircase will also be extended up on this wall beside the staircase (above and below).

We are drywalling over these fake windows, which immediately turn the entertainment room upstairs into a noise producer that would disturb everyone downstairs. I really don’t understand this extreme open concept world.

Okay so here are my options now: 

I think my 6′ x 20′ entry hall is perfect for this kind of checkerboard tile installation (below). But in brown and calcutta marble.

My brown staircase is staying. It’s not my first choice but I can definitely live with it. And we have a big list of other updates that take precedence over getting a new railing. So that’s why I’m going with brown (dark or maybe light Emperado marble) and white Calcutta gold tile, rather than black and white.

Image via William Hefner

I also like this look of smaller tiles in between the larger square tiles. Whatever we end up with will also have to do with availability.


Nord Architecture

Or, one more option would be to cut the 12″ x 24″ Calcutta tile we’ve found and insert it in a herringbone style. 



Well my lovelies? What do you think? It’s hard to be as objective with my own house! The renovation starts Thursday this week so if you want to watch it as it happens, follow me on Instagram here.

If you’d like help choosing the right colours for your  New Build, Kitchen, Bathroom or Renovation, check out my eDesign packages here.

If you’re in the US it’s not too late to jump into my Virtual Specify Colour with Confidence workshop next weekend (we will ship out your box of materials ASAP). 

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians! (Too late for you to jump in this weekend because of the holiday but we still have one more workshop in November 10 & 11, here

Related posts:

Maria Killam’s House Tour; Here are All the Before & Afters

Ask Maria: What’s the Best Floor Tile for my Small Entry?

Is your Black Accent Tile Perfect? Or Perfectly Nice

117 pins


  • Ericka Espe says:

    I vote for the Calcutta tile in a herringbone pattern! 🙌🙌 Whatever you chose will be beautiful!!

    • Brookie says:

      Calcutta herringbone is the only acceptable option to me. The others are too “in your face”. I would tire of the black/ white easily. Not to mention keeping white clean, ughh.

      • Robin Mansfield says:

        I agree. Timeless to me is the Calcutta tile cut into a herringbone pattern. I bet Maria already has a landscape plan from Maryanne White, agardenbydesign. Please share with us garden enthusiasts.🤓

    • Heather says:

      I like the herringbone for the same reason… less busy, but very pretty.

    • Connie says:

      Herribone has my vote. Seems more your style.

  • Lisa says:

    I’m torn- love the timeless drama of the checkerboard but I’m a huge fan of herringbone. Your home is completely beautiful.

  • Pat says:

    Calcutta in herringbone absolutely!!!!

  • Becky says:

    I vote for the Calcutta tile in the herringbone design. Brown and white (or cream) just doesn’t have the same timeless quality that black does. I think the brown will ultimately be limiting. Keep those hard finished BORING, Maria 🤣!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Same! I was a little surprised to hear Maria consider brown and white (cream) over black and white. Especially right next to wood flooring.

      • Maria Killam says:

        My staircase is brown. It makes no sense to install black and white tile that doesn’t relate to any hard finishes around it! That’s why brown is what I’m considering. Plus. . . those who are still allergic to brown still remember the brown trend. But soon everyone will be allergic to black it’s so overdone. Nothing wrong with grey either but there’s too much of all these good neutrals out there and that’s why we are reactive to them.

        Thanks for your comment! Maria

    • Stacy says:

      Agree! I love the herringbone, and I don’t think its trendy. It’s definitely timeless. KISS

      • Leslye says:

        I love the checked one in brown and white…but not a fan of the strong border in the photo. The second photo is also good.
        Of course we are not able to see how much of the room one will see coming into the home. That could make a difference.
        The other consideration is how marble stains.

  • Adeline says:

    Herringbone pattern ❤️

  • Jane Robertson says:

    Love them all but definitely feeling the herringbone.

  • sherry says:

    I vote for the checkerboard. The herringbone is beautiful but does not have as much drama.

  • Msry says:

    The large tiles with small black diamonds looks timeless. Herringbone is trendy….

  • Mary says:

    The large tiles with the small black diamonds are timeless. Herringbone looks nice but is trendy…

  • Kim says:

    I’d go with the Calcutta in a large herringbone pattern, like shown in the HGTV pic.

  • Evelyn says:

    Love the herringbone. Understated but elegant and fresh.

  • Elishia Tucker says:

    Calcutta in herringbone!

  • Kirsten says:

    Herringbone Calcutta. I agree with earlier comment that the brown in a checkerboard could become limiting and you may get tired of it. Personally I am not a huge fan of checkerboard tile. Too large and too much contrast. Not soothing.

  • Chez says:

    Calcutta herringbone!

  • Ellie says:

    I vote black and white checkerboard which is timeless and goes with pretty much anything. The marble is lovely but you are then stuck with hard finish that you will always have to work around when you want to redecorate. Also, personally I think the marble will be too cold looking.

    • Deborah says:

      I agree with Ellie and I think square tile is way more timeless than 12×24. Unfortunately tile manufactures are making 12×24 the norm for most tile.
      Marble is one of the few that will come in squares. Ten years from now when people see a 12×24 they will know the time period you renovated.
      That’s my 2 cents after selling flooring for 25 years.

      • ronda says:

        We’ve taken 12 x 24 tile and cut in half to make 12 x 12, when 12 x 12 wasn’t available in the color we wanted.

      • Maria Killam says:

        I agree, 12 x 24 tile pretty much belongs in a contemporary/modern home, the end. Maria

  • Jenny Golay says:

    Herringbone Calcutta! It’s the most versatile and least busy, which you’ve often taught us to select.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Same! I was a little surprised to hear Maria consider brown and white (cream) over black and white. Especially right next to wood flooring.

    • Maria Killam says:

      My staircase is brown. black and white needs to relate to something in the entry and in my case it would not. Maria

  • Joy says:

    The classic large checkerboard adds warmth and charm, a counter to large scale of the room and high-end tone. It implies history and sophisticated nostalgia.

  • Deborah says:

    Herringbone, absolutely!

  • Anne W says:

    Another vote for herringbone, which seems to be the most flexible if you want to add an area rug/runner if the house is to “echo-y” from an acoustic perspective.

  • Tracy J. Back says:

    I adore a herringbone pattern! It reminds me of those beautiful old floors in France. I’d give anything to have my floor laid in that pattern. Go for it with the Calcutta tile!

    • Lorri says:

      Mannington does an engineered herringbone floor now!!!

      I think you can sand it twice in it’s lifespan too.

      • Maria Killam says:

        Sadly there is nothing out there that matches my 11 year old floors that’s why it can’t be done. . . or maybe it could but we won’t know until it’s installed and either matches or doesn’t. Thanks for your comment!

  • KJG says:

    I like the herringbone best, it’s both fun and classic. Least fave is the smallest diamond pattern because would seem a little busy or spotty next to the similar sized design of the spindles in your staircase.

  • nancy palecek says:

    Love the Calcutta herringbone or wood herringbone. Warm and looks like it was done at same time as the rest. The Shinny black & white looks cold and slippery and Hotel-ish

  • Liz in Oregon says:

    Such a beautiful home, Maria! Regarding the entry tile and other decisions, I suggest thinking ahead to safety issues when (gasp!) you get older. That polished tile is a huge slipping hazard. We have it in one of our bathrooms where we rent (so it can’t be changed) and I have to be sooooo careful that I can’t enjoy how pretty it is. At 76 I can’t afford to fall. It’s not “age appropriate” for us. 🙂 I’m sure there must be slightly rough or subtle “matte” versions of the entry tile that will be equally beautiful and literally timeless. Just my aging opinion! Have fun with all the exciting decisions you get to make.

    P.S. The link to the kitchen tile leads to your “White” book.

    • Karen says:

      I am glad you mentioned the safety issue. I had a family member slip on a marble floor and receive a very serious concussion. He could have died.

      Wet marble is lethal. And it rains a lot in BC.

      • Lorri says:

        Oh, that’s a good point.

      • Liz in Oregon says:

        Yes, a concussion or broken hip is my big fear in our bathroom and we don’t even use the shower there!. I’m so glad your relative survived his slip and fall, Karen.

      • Pamela says:

        Maria, if you’re using your home as your business and someone is injured, that could be a financial liability. Definitely find a safe way to do this.

        I would consider taking a color risk with the wood in a herringbone pattern, and place a border of the wood around the herringbone pattern. I think the definition of the border creates a breaking point between any possible stain/color discrepancies. Also, wood does not create the loud acoustic echoes as much as marble does. I think your first instinct was the right choice and was brilliant.

  • Ann says:

    I love the herringbone. More inviting! Seems like a nice nod to the beautiful backsplash in the kitchen!

  • Susanne says:

    Large checkerboard pattern. Timeless. Goes well with the large scale of the great room.
    Herringbone while pretty is too trendy and overdone right now…

  • Mary says:

    The checkerboard seems bossy and, honestly, somewhat of a cliche. The smaller black and white pattern is ok but, again, somewhat expected. The herringbone is classic, elegant and gives you a better palette over the long run.

  • Heather says:

    Definitely the herringbone

  • Wendy Treacy says:

    Calcutta tile – 100%! I love a herringbone pattern, but I’d test it first as it could look too busy in Calcutta. Look forward to following the transformation.

  • Brooke says:

    Checkerboard but softer colors. Also, curious as to why the tile doesn’t extend in front of the steps as the stairwell is usually in the foyer? I

  • MDavis says:

    Herringbone; elegant, understated. Checkerboard is too busy, and with that busy stair railing, it’s a no from me. :0)

  • Nell Byrum says:

    I suggest a simple pattern of a matte finished tile such as French limestone. You can add cabochons, matching or not. It’s not shiny, showy and slippery. It’s timeless for sure!

  • Cristina Brophy says:

    Your home is beautiful! I enjoyed hearing about all your updates, and I couldn’t agree more…especially carrying the wood paneling up and back and closing up the windows. You nailed them all. I’m going to throw another option out…not to confuse, but I think it would be beautiful to go with Frncois & Co.’s Bordeaux Black Herringbone. It’s a matte finish which I think would tone down the shine in your floors and would compliment. I would also consider their Savoy–a little grayer and still matte but also stunning. Both would look great with your railing and the rest of your home. Good luck! I can’t wait to see the reno!

  • Barbra says:

    Your new home is beautiful! Under the link for Nord Architecture, I think Item #7 and 26 look best. #7 looks rich, the colors may need to be tweaked. With #26 substitute black veined marble with something in the Calcutta gold tones and replace black blocks with a rich brown. I think the herringbone would be too busy for this grand elegant hall. The marble, Calcutta with gold/brown tones is not too much contrast (like white/black) but would relate to the wood floors throughout the house. Timeless!

    I love your blog.

  • Alex says:

    I would do a black and white diamond tile inset only in the entry door area ((6×9?), not down the entire hall. Black relates to the iron railing and brown tile is never as pretty. or as classic imo. Then continue the same oak floor down the hall but turn the planks the long way so you don’t have a railroad track feel. Sand all the floors back to the natural color and varnish only, no stain.

    • Maria Killam says:

      My staircase is espresso. Which is why I’m not considering black! Thanks for your comment, Maria

  • Amy says:

    I like the brown and white checkerboard tile! I made the mistake of painting my interior doors black when my floors were in the brown family. They need to be dark brown or cream.

  • I’m for the checkerboard with the border. I’m ok with the brown marble because anything marble in my opinion is timeless and elegant. Plus the Calcutta gold will blend with it beautifully. I’m familiar with that brown marble and it’s stunning. And you will just have a brown element in your design because it will then be part of the hard finishes. 🤎

    • Maria Killam says:

      Thanks Julianna, I agree! Maria

    • Sunny says:

      Agree, a lower contrast checkerboard is the choice. The black and white inspo photos are throwing the commenters around the bend!

      Also agree with commenters above about slip hazard of marble on the floor.

  • Karen says:

    I like the checkerboard! It l gives it a sense of elegance with old world charm😊

  • Arlene says:

    I don’t have expertise to advise you Maria but my intuition says take your time and listen to your instincts. You have made huge decisions already with the trees and color of exterior.
    I am not saying to be indecisive. Just listen to yourself. What outcome do you want? You are departing from a small home to an extremely large home. Look forward to see your classic timeless approach. Good luck! Cheering for you 😘

  • NC mom says:

    No tile.
    Absolutely ZERO tile, unless it’s in a laundry room or a bathroom.

    Get an expert to install your wood floors where the tiles were, and try different stains until you have a match.


  • Jeannine520 says:

    I’d go with the black and white checkerboard so long as the marble is honed. I think it looks cold and too 80’s if it’s shiny. Taking the sheen off allows the drama of the pattern without the icy look. Putting it in a kitchen now.

  • cristina brophy says:

    Addendum–I meant to add that the Frncois & Co.’s matte Bordeaux Black Herringbone or the matte Savoy would look great in your sunroom also!

  • lynne says:

    herringbone!!!!!! at the first sighting of it… i knew it was the one!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL….. all by itself….

  • I like the French limestone idea. At any rate, something that is not slippery. Especially since in Canada we are padding around on our stockinged feet!

  • Kathy says:

    I love the wood herringbone picture if you could pull it off. Not a big fan of any tile there. If the wood isn’t doable I like the tile herringbone idea.

  • Diane says:

    My favorite – the Nord Architecture photo example with the large black diamonds. In the similar floor with small diamonds, the diamonds look disproportionately tiny and blemishy. I also do not like the Decorpad photo herringbone floor. There is so much going on in the tile, by the time it’s laid in a herringbone pattern, it just looks kind of a mess, in my non expert opinion.

    THANK GOODNESS you are taking out those awful second story interior shutters!!! Aside from the look which goes with nothing else in the house – open concept is great between adjoining rooms on the same floor if it suits the lifestyle of the homeowners, but from one story to the next there needs to be more separation.

    In general, what a beautiful house. I know it will be stunning as you continue to improve it and I can’t wait to watch your journey.

  • Sheryl says:

    I like the wood mentioned above installed by a pro. Everything else is too busy and choppy. It will fight with the calm elegance of your new home. Unless you have a different direction in mind which would be more active, energetic feeling. I personally like my home to be a relaxing , retreat feeling place. Good luck. You have a major decision to make.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Well I guess I don’t have an opinion that my entry that I’m walking through needs to be relaxing! Thanks for your comment. Maria

    • Donna says:

      I agree on wood. If it is not a perfect match it is more subtle than a light marble floor. In herringbone it will be intentional.

  • Cathy says:

    Option 1 since the house feels more classic to me. However, I do love the herringbone marble if you are looking to mix it up a bit!

  • Kellie says:

    I hope you do checkerboard. It’s elegant, classic, and timeless. It would look gorgeous in your entryway. My second choice is herringbone. I’m not a fan of the other patterns with large and small tiles. I prefer that look in bathrooms. Congrats on your beautiful home.

    Here are some checkerboard colors I love:

  • michelle says:

    I love any floor in a herringbone pattern. I agree with those that are suggesting a french limestone. It is timeless.

  • Kellie says:

    People who are commenting that checkerboard floors in brown aren’t timeless should google Parisian checkerboard floors. So many gorgeous floors. It makes me want a checkerboard entry of my own.

  • Lynn in Victoria says:

    Without looking at the other comments first, I’d like to lob up a suggestion.
    I think herringbone wood would look stunning instead of tile. Yes you can get the sheen to match without sanding the existing and with a little bit of tint or making a blend of stains (if even necessary) the wood tone will all look much the same.
    Because the herringbone has so much movement and each piece of wood is going to take the stain differently, I think it relates better and beautifully to the open room than to pull in busy marble.
    Marble is beautiful but I think you have enough there already Maria 😉
    One transition strip and you are good to go.
    Just my two cents worth!

    • Lynn In Victoria says:

      I added later that it would be much preferred to get rid of the high gloss on the existing wood. My intended initial thought was it is fairly easy to colour match the wood stain. I’ve really enjoyed doing just this on a handful of projects.

  • Jamie says:

    First choice is checkerboard. Second choice is herringbone. Not a fan of the other options.

  • Not an expert on home trends, but I have watched alot of remodeling shows in the past few years in addition to reading your blog. Since you asked: the herringbone feels classic in wood, but trendy in marble. Really trendy! Either of the tile configurations look much more classic.

    I think the brown and white will look great! I have always loved brown and white and pink together, or brown and white and blue. FWIW, I am in my late 50s, have brown eyes, and generally prefer the clear, fun colors like you have used in your current house.

    I can’t wait to see what you do; it will be great!

  • Julie says:

    Love the herringbone. But I know whatever you choose will be fabulous.

  • Lynn in Victoria says:

    By the way, regarding the current sheen on the wood flooring, I would totally sand that off and put on something matte. I did this very recently in a home and I was absolutely gob smacked how fantastic the floor looked without the high gloss.
    Worth every penny!

  • Jo says:

    B&W checkered. Timeless, elegant, nostalgic, beautiful, gives great balance in the space because it’s large, a classic that will never go out of style.

  • Hannah says:

    I’m a sucker for checkerboard but it might be a bit too heavy for the rest of the house. Herringbone Calcutta seems to fit the bill!

  • Barb says:

    Calcutta 12×24 herringbone by far! I do NOT think it’s trendy. Herringbone pattern for brick has been used for years. That floor would be classy and timeless and not bossy!

  • Joan says:

    First, congratulations on your new home. It looks amazing and I can’t wait to see what you do to it. I’m a big believer in “Less is more”. The windows, stair railing and openness of your entryway all draw the eye. Keeping the design simple will keep it from competing with the other beautiful features that are existing and what you will add in the way of furniture and accessories. Maybe a contrasting border to define the space? Whatever you decide will be a compliment to this lovely home.

  • Laura says:

    I would do all wood floor. You have the choice of laying the new flooring the same way as the current floor then sand, stain and finish everything together. This would also improve the current finish on the existing hardwood. Best (and most $$$) would be to lift all wood and do entire wood floor in herringbone… how beautiful!

    I feel that tile on one side will add to the look of a long room, especially with the stairs in the middle. I think in this case it’s an investment to have it all cohesive.

    • Maria Killam says:

      The wood flooring experts feel it cannot be done or maybe it can but we won’t know either way until it’s installed and potentially doesn’t match. Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • M says:

    First choice would be wood herringbone. Try to find a specialist to do some stain samples to see if can match existing wood.
    Calcutta herringbone if not; it’s beautiful.
    No to the checker board. It’s loud, I don’t see it with the rest of the flooring and it reminds me of the Kardashian’s. The mom had that all over several years ago. I know that and don’t even watch the show.

    • Lynn Smith says:

      I think the wood herringbone also. It allows the floor to become seamless and not choppy. Only a few of the boards need to really match the current floor to blend seamlessly. Get another flooring specialist……I know it can be done. If you have to go tile I would lay it herringbone. Some of the other choices are too elegant for the house and your lifestyle.

  • Sandra B says:

    Herringbone wood floor – the right floor person can blend the colors. Agree with above comments re: removing the shine (dated) from the existing floors.
    An interesting use of checkerboard marble was done by Nate Berkus last year on a competition HGTV show – somewhere in the Atlanta area.
    His choices were soft tones – warm, elegant and comfortable…
    Your new house is beautiful – just waiting for your magic wand..
    Looking forward to seeing the progress…
    Thanks for sharing…

    • cyd says:

      I agree. It’s your first choice, Maria. Your flooring person is pointing out how difficult it can be but it’s not impossible. It’s worth a try to keep the flow going. Even with the current low contrast tile, I see a bowling alley.

  • Patricia says:

    I like the herringbone. I recently did herringbone with a basalt stone tile (brownish-gray) in the entry of a restaurant that had a huge 20″ stone fireplace and lots of wood beams. It looked great. The basalt tile brought the earthy grounded look we needed for the space and the herringbone had a timeless appeal while still looking current. I like the classic and timeless look of herringbone and I think it fits the scale of your entry/hallway floor.

    I like a checkerboard pattern – it is very traditional and classic, however, it can look Georgian when done in some marbles. Your house does not look and feel Georgian to me (like many of the upscale traditional homes in Atlanta, GA). If you check out the stylist Emily Henderson’s blog under “Farmhouse” you’ll see she did a checkerboard pattern in her farmhouse renovation in the dining room/sun room. She did her checkerboard “look” in blue/white and it has an elevated farmhouse look. I think your house is somewhere in between – not elevated farmhouse but not a Georgian mansion either. When I looked at the texture of your hardwood floors, the texture of the beams and the scale of the kitchen I thought of antique brick in a herringbone pattern. Or if that feels too rustic then as suggested in other responses maybe a limestone or basalt stone in a herringbone pattern.

    • Christine Kwasny says:

      Nailed it! The house has lines and materials reflective of your area that need to be repeated and respected – polished marble floors scream Italian villa or hotel lobby not refined northwest.

      Also, note how high maintenance real stone can be. My friends installed gorgeous limestone floors and already hate themselves for how prone they are to damage (especially given their premium price). Porcelain tiles are also very beautiful, come in a zillion options, and while they will never truly replicate real stone, the freedom from worry can be worth the trade off. We installed tiles in a reclaimed limestone style, set in a classic modular pattern, and everyone thinks it’s real stone. I spent ages trying to find the correct color, texture, and pattern but it was so worth it. I love it!

  • Tiffany Best says:

    Calcutta marble. Repeats something editing in home, interesting but very diverse.

  • Lynn Roberts says:

    I love the checkerboard pattern but with a tile that would create a subtle contrast with the Calcutta so that the checkerboard is more tone on tone and or polished versus honed. I like the herringbone idea but in a more solid tile than Calcutta. Herringbone patterns, to my eye, get lost with stone tiles with veining and all the shade variation.

  • Sigrid says:

    There is no question: HERRINGBONE!!!

  • Lynn Roberts says:

    Loved getting a peak at your beautiful new home!

  • Beth Cugal says:

    I LOVE herringbone pattern…. in wood. In tile I love the checkerboard. My opinion, dearest Maria. Thank you for all you do and I hope my stupid opinion helps in some way.

  • Tina says:

    I love herringbone tiles but only for backsplashes and not for floors. They seem to be too grey and cold looking. I think that wood floors in herringbone would look nice. But if you prefer tiles at the entry, I think I would go with the black & white checkerboard.tiles. But I’m sure you will male the right decision and it will look stunning.

  • Tara says:

    Hi Maria,

    Congratulations ok your new home… it’s absolutely beautiful and elegant.

    I love the taupe tile as-is! It blends nicely with the existing wood floor (that you’re keeping, right?). It looks like it’s a transition from the Tuscan days to the greige days. It looks timeless to me.

    But if you insist on changing out the taupe files, I definitely prefer the Calcutta gold (?) in herringbone pattern.

    I was surprised to read so many comments in favor of the (very bossy) black & white checkerboard tiles. I have never liked that look – unless it’s in a large hotel foyer and it’s original.

    But I look forward to seeing what you all decide.

    It already looks like it’s going to be a masterpiece. It’s light and bright and very inviting.

    All the best,


  • B Santa says:

    My vote: The simple timeless Calcutta herringbone pattern. The others you will tire of. 😊 (i listen to you!)
    Whatever you choose, it’s all stunning!!

  • Angie says:

    Herringbone Calcutta. Herringbone is classic. The Calcutta will tie into your kitchen. Gorgeous! I’m so excited! And it’s so not even my house 😊

  • Kelly K says:

    Of the three, the herringbone is the one I like the most. I am not a fan of checker tile patterns with contrast as they feel too busy and scream”diner” to me. The herringbone also flows well with the kitchen where you are keeping the tile.

    From what I’ve learned from you, when in doubt, save the drama for your art and decor, not your permanent floors so it is easy to change if you get sick of it.

    As someone whose house is very open, I hear you on the noise. I debated closing off the game room which is completely open, but I just love how the natural lights the area and the upstairs hallway and I would miss it. The area where you’d have to put a door is very awkward too. When the kids were little, it was actually useful to hear what they were up to. I just have to survive the five years of being teenagers, and then it will be quiet again anyway.

    Those awkward windows I would definitely try all up!

    That Christmas tree looks like it was planted as a baby and no one took into account how big it would grow. Have similar landscaping issues at my house where professional landscapers planted what looked good then, and didn’t consider the future. It is so frustrating. And if you want to talk dought, you should look at what Texas has been through… Between multiple years of a drought, and then the winter storm in 2021, it’s been horrible to houses and yards!

    Congratulations on the house!

  • Ally (IG: rabbit.pilled) says:

    Herringbone all the way, I think the other patterns are too formal for this house, I think they would demand too much attention too, if the space were enclosed maybe but it’s so open. Boring wins again 🙂

  • Rachelle says:

    Herringbone! Love that classic look! And, by the way, I love the black lantern lights!

  • Lorri says:

    Maria, watch the beginning of this home tour video. They did a unique pattern with the classic checkerboard marble floor entry.

    As far as oak floors, I was under the impression that Red Oak was more pink and White Oak was more white.

  • Ashlie says:

    I think whatever you pick will be gorgeous…but have you thought about both wood and tile together, as a bridge from one space to the other? Something like this, where you can include the color of the tile you wish, with the brown of the wood floor –
    And I agree with those who would sand down the shiny finish of the wood floor. It would look more current in a more matte finish.

  • Christine Kwasny says:

    I really dislike two different flooring materials or styles in one space – regardless of how beautiful each is. I would do some wood samples and see if you can get a close match to your existing flooring. Or, replace all the flooring. You are already proposing a VERY expensive tile – what would it cost to replace the entire floor (or at least enough to provide a good flow)? If neither of those options are possible and you are limited to replacing the existing tile with a new tile, the marble floor you have identified is timeless and beautiful, but it doesn’t seem to relate to the personality of the house, nor the wood floor. It’s VERY formal and shiny, and honestly I don’t see how it’s much different and/or better than what’s already there. I think you need to keep looking.

  • OttawaRuth says:

    Herringbone – brown staircase is not your first choice so you may eventually change it (even 5 or 10 years from now when your priority items are done). Herringbone will give you so much flexibility then.

  • Lisa B says:

    Calcutta cut into herringbone. The first two options don’t seem to fit the exterior style of the house.

  • Donna Edwards says:

    Honed Calcutta squares set into a wood grid (wood stained to match). Even if the sheen on the new wood portion is a wee bit off I think the overall effect of the tile/wood grid will be forgiving for that. But, I do think the extremely experienced wood floor pro could make the match for you. You just may have not found that person yet.

  • Beth says:

    Option 3. The middle one looks a bit high end retail/commercial. The first is overpowering.

  • Bonita O'Neill says:

    The checkerboard with the border in the colours you suggested. A dramatic entrance. Says, “This is a gorgeous home.”

  • Marlene says:

    What a great house! I like the herringbone. The first option doesn’t work with your house because it would be east-west instead of north-south and would make the focal point the entrance to the powder room not your beautiful living area.

  • Suzanne Allen says:

    We faced the same dilemma when we renovated a 1960’s era house. The foyer and dining room were blue slate, the kitchen was a heinous linoleum, and the great room was a perfect hardwood. Since these rooms are (now) open to each other, we opted for all hardwood. Our installer sanded the existing floor and stained everything at the same time a medium brown. You can’t tell which floor is new. I’d try it if I were you. And I’d even forgo the fancy pattern and keep it the same as your living room. I’m having a hard time visualizing your floor plan, that staircase is confusing to me. But it seems to me that there’s already enough going on.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the landscaping, too. I know you’ll miss your pretty garden.

  • Amy says:

    I vote herringbone (preferably wood, marble second). I’ve seen some incredible matching done by good hardwood flooring subs. Once it’s all sanded, re-stained and matte top coated, I don’t think you’ll ever see the difference. And the different floor pattern would disguise any subtle difference.
    But if it’s not an option, I would go herringbone marble for a more neutral, less busy pattern.
    The house is gorgeous – can’t wait to see it finished with your touches. Congrats!!

  • Alisa M says:

    Fun options! I really like the wood herringbone idea, not just because it looks great itself, but because looking straight on the staircase it almost looks like it is hanging off the edge of a cliff…the darker wood floor next to the taupe tile…I wish they would have extended the wood a bit further to make the staircase feel “centered”. And I think your wood option would accomplish this because it is dark like the wood floor. The tile herringbone is timeless but also feels really current, so between the two tile options, I think that’s just personal preference based on how you plan to decorate in the rest if the house/the mood you want to set. However, could you consider a dark tile so that it mimics the idea of your wood look? Can’t be too matchy or of course it would look off. I don’t know how often you actually will stand in the spot you took the picture, but the “hanging off” is how I would decide on the hall portion. Edge banding your tile might fix that as well! Or maybe it doesn’t bother you, which is perfectly fine! It’s a lovely home!

  • DV says:

    Beautiful home! Have you considered replacing the bossy staircase with a spiral stair? Would be safer and would open up that view from the front door. Congrats!

    • RPB says:

      Sorry but SPIRAL is not safer..I get what you are trying to do/say here but wide open staircases with railing are much safer than spiral treads. Look up the number of people who fall on spiral treads … hence not popular though space saving…which doesn’t appear to be necessary in this home.

  • Cristen Voorhies says:

    I vote checkerboard! But trust anything you do will be beautiful 🖤

  • Nancy Vanstone says:

    Such a lovely house and property that will be stunning after you both have made it into your own style and home. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us. Great learning for us all. So many great ideas for the entry. My fav is the Calcutta time in a Herringbone pattern.

  • Robin says:

    Maria, I honestly believe either of the smaller diamond checkerboard tile choices is more you. While the herringbone tile is calmer, softer, etc., etc.—that is exactly my point. Lol.
    It is definitely more challenging when we transform our own homes. Truth for us all. Enjoy the reno. The energy and excitement it brings with it is a ride in itself! It’s going to be bellissimo!😘

  • KNJ says:

    It is soooo surprising to me that the majority see a herringbone patterned floor in that space. I love a herringbone BUT and it is a huge BUT…that space can’t take it. The pattern isn’t being set in a space void of other architecturally pronounced lines…the woodwork on the walls … geometrically square, the beams on the ceiling…geometrically linear as are the balustrade on the staircase not too mention the lines on the wood floors. The floor with the black accents would be absolutely stunning on that floor if the black were changed to the dark brown as you had alluded to…black would work but not the best choice (imo). Line the accents up with the woodwork lines on the wall +/- the woodwork around the doors…accents are not placed randomly but in connection with existing features to create a coherent feel. There’s already so much going on with regard to lines between the walls & stair case …. make the floor a basic with extraordinary accents…. Please no more lines…I’m certain you would regret it. Please place some light grey thin tape on the floor to see what I mean…sometimes even just using flour will help you visual the grout lines (just have a vacuum handy as it will be slippery). If not, try laying fabrics with all those designs down and see what other pattern would look good ….guaranteed the herrinbone will NOT be your choice in this space.

  • Holly Binns says:

    Here’s another vote for the Calcutta in a herringbone pattern, but I’d consider adding a large rug in the entry way to cozy up that cold, hard tile. Chris loves Julie has a great one that brings in that checkerboard pattern , which is a much lower commitment than checkerboard tiles (which I do love). Can’t wait to see it! Here is a link to the one I thought about for that space.

  • I vote for brown and calcutta marble checkerboard. That larger format is great for the big space, and it’s classic and grand and embraces the stairway. Herringbone isn’t always trendy, but it has had a moment and may feel instagrammy relatively quickly. And a small herringbone pattern might feel bitty in that space, but a large one might feel too modern.

    Your new house is beautiful, I hope you love it!

  • M says:

    Looking at the photos again, notice the wood stair treads, beams, and little window shutters in the first photo are a completely different color than in the following two. Curious which shade is more accurate? Thanks.

  • Victoria Kennedy says:

    Maria, they’re all beautiful but I’d go for the drama and choose the first option.

  • Julia Pike says:

    I vote Calcutta marble in the herringbone pattern. Looking forward to following along as you put your beautiful style into your home.

  • elle says:

    I would much prefer that the whole floor be the same, so take out the wood that is there an replace with wood herringbone. Otherwise, the slippery issue is HUGE with polished tile. I think it would be so much better to do a matte tile or porcelain tile with a bit of texture to be safe and also to not compete with the dining room on the other side of the staircase.

  • Erin says:

    Call me crazy, but I think a complementary dark brown tile would flow with the dark floors. Or, at least, it should be in the mix. There’s a handsome marble used in the Ochre Room at Heckfield Place. (I saw it on another blog….)

  • Millennial says:

    Herringbone! The checkered style may be timeless, but is that because it was used forever ago? I think it gives regal/stuffy vibes and looks “old” (maybe not in B&W, but the brown…???)

  • Heather says:

    The herringbone is my favorite. The additional grout lines may also help it not to be too slippery in wet weather.
    It’s so exciting to follow along!

  • Kristin says:

    I think the herringbone wood floors would be your best option by far, and I’d fight hard for them. Have you gotten a second opinion from a floor finisher? Or asked your current expert to purchase a few sample boards and start trying to stain/seal to match? It would seem worth paying for some of his time to try to get that look, as it would be both subtle and stunning, as well as safer from a slip perspective. Personally I would even put up with a slight mismatch on the floors to get it.

    If that is entirely off the table, I would do the herringbone Calacatta marble, both for look and for safety (more grout lines on the tin tile mean less slipping). In a space as open as this I would find the patterns with the brown too busy.

  • Cindy says:

    I adore both floors in the final two photos. Herringbone would be my choice of those choices you have given.

    However, if it was my decision, I would go with a white oak wood floor surrounding the entire staircase so that the two adjacent rooms have one cohesive floor. It could possibly be the photos, but that staircase looks very odd with a different floor on each side and end. Just my observation from afar.

    I look forward to reading your posts each day, Maria. You have taught me sooooo much! Blessings!

  • Lisa says:

    Herringbone!! So elegant!

  • Rebecca Burlingham says:

    If the Calcutta tile you have found is calm in pattern, like in the HGTV picture (second from last), I would love it. If the tile is busy, as in the last photo from Decorpad, I would keep looking. Oak floors have their own pattern, the hand scrape adds to the texture, so I would stay calm in the tile. When you drywall the openings in the upper game room, could you leave the shutters on the foyer side of the wall? They repeat the wood color in the beams and break up all the drywall on the wall above the stairs. I like the idea of extending the paneling, but there is paneling on the ceiling which might compete. This is just my opinion, because You do a much better job than I do in visualizing.

  • Stacy says:

    The floors have many comments! So I’ll pipe in on the kitchen. I would leave the island alone. It looks like furniture in the brown stain. Or if it is that it’s too dark for your taste, you can strip the stain and do a lighter one. There are other expensive things to change, like the master bathroom.

  • Kathryn says:

    What decor style will you use in your new home, Maria? Your current living/dining room has some MCM touches, but this is a more traditional home and repeating the Calcutta gold in herringbone would of course fit with that style.

    Also, what do you want to be the focal point of the entry? The tile floor? The staircase, with the future railing you’re considering? The wood floor? Something else we haven’t seen yet? Because your entryway is TWENTY feet long, I’m betting the choice of tile will decide for you if you don’t decide first.

    If you don’t want the tile to be the focal point, go with Calcutta gold in herringbone, and it will serve as a backdrop to highlight your focal point. Someone above mentioned charcoal in herringbone, but I think it would throw off the balance of the room (tile side way too heavy), plus, wouldn’t you need to repeat it?

    If you want the tile to be the focal point, then the brown and cream marble checkerboard is the clear choice. The expanse of it will dominate that space visually – in a good way if it’s purposeful.

    Not sure about the the square and dot marble tile. Would you use a black or a brown dot? I sort of think it’s the non-committal option. As the the first thing people see, the entryway sets the stage for the other public areas. If you forced me to put the square and dot choice in a category, I’d say to would mostly vanish and highlight the other focal point, but I think those dark dots are going to end up looking bitty in a 6 x 20 space, and they’ll drive you nuts over time.

    I agree with those above who said go with matte or honed for safety and to reduce the overall shine in that area.

    You’re going to have SO much fun!!

  • Gail says:

    I think the 2nd option with the smaller brown tile is my favorite in this setting. It relates to the brown wood and the dark railing without competing or overwhelming the other finishes. It’s a narrow space, so a large tile checkerboard could be too much, but if the size of the tile was scaled down a little for the space, it could be very striking. The herringbone is lovely, and if there was a way to add other contrast with decorating to the space might be best. Can’t wait to read how you made this decision, Maria.

  • Colleen says:

    Herringbone tile seems like it will be less limiting for the future. Plus it’s gorgeous.

  • Annie says:

    Normally I love checkboard or the square and diamond, but with your entry’s connection to the rest of the flooring and floorplan, I think it would look very choppy. Even though I know herringbone is classic, personally I have been steering away from herringbone after my sister in law installed LVP in a herringbone pattern in her basement, and for some reason everything she does makes me conclude that it’s now a trend and will be dated, but that might be a me problem. Beautiful marble in a herringbone is definitely on a different level than LVP! In my dreamworld, the answer is wood installed professionally to match the rest of your floor, but I understand your pros are saying it won’t match closely enough and would look off. Based on your options and that situation, I like marble herringbone.

  • Suzanne says:

    So many good points! Safety is really important – the floor can’t be slippery. My personal opinion is that the floors should flow as much as possible, given that there appears to be a stretch where they are side by side. So, while doing the floor in wood would be more of a hassle, I think you might be happier in the long run. (You would obviously need a lovely but practical rug at the door, but you would likely need that with any floor.) If you go with a wood herringbone pattern, I don’t think it needs to match exactly; the one in the sample photo doesn’t seem to. (It appears to have different shades of stain, unless it’s just the lighting.) The floor could be installed unfinished and stained on the spot so you can test some stain colours. Someone pointed out that the flow would be best if you added matching wood and re-stained the entire first floor. That would be lovely but possibly the most expensive option. It sounds like you really don’t feel that the wood floor is feasible, but maybe just give it some thought in terms of what would make you happy in the long term. Otherwise, I would just say non-slippery and something you really love (and timeless – lol).

    As a side note, in terms of the pendant lights – they look very similar to our dining room fixture. We chose it because we use our dining table for other things besides eating (e.g., homework, crafts, reading the newspaper, etc.) and there was too much glare from the bare bulbs of our previous fixture. Our similar fixture has a frosted glass panel at the bottom. We have a dimmer and we find that the lamp gives off a lovely glow, plus provides suitable light for all of our purposes. So, while I understand wanting to change the pendants, perhaps give some thought to how you will use your island when choosing the next ones. (An FYI, if they are the same as our fixture they are dark oiled bronze but the colour is pretty versatile – we have some black in our kitchen/dining area and it works. Perhaps you could live with them for a little while, which would give you time to figure out exactly what type of pendants would be both practical and beautiful in your new kitchen.)

  • Megan Billinger says:

    The brown and white will look lovely! I always love a checkerboard pattern, but could also see the herringbone in your entry – perhaps it will be a little more of a subtle transition to the hardwood since the two surfaces do split down the middle of the space. Subtle choice for me would be herringbone, whereas the checkerboard would be a statement floor. What fits better into your vision for the overall living room style? BTW – beautiful home!!

  • Carla says:

    Calcutta tile cut and installed in a herringbone style! Enjoy your new beautiful house, I’m sure it will look even greater with your projects.

  • Brenda says:

    Wow – what a lot of feedback you’re getting in this choice!! I vote for the brown and white checkerboard with dark border. It will be stunning and classic and relate to the stairs and wood flooring.

  • carrie smurthwaite says:

    After looking at the photos…….I am for the brown and white tile, but a smaller brown tile. Reason the staircase spindles have a small spiral decoration on them and mimicking the scale would look lovely in your foyer.

  • Cheryl Bloom says:

    Making decisions for your own home is the hardest!!! I feel the herringbone is perfect with the exterior architecture, hard surfaces, and setting of your home and will feel very cohesive exterior to interior. It also is not bossy so will give you longevity and you’ll be be able to change things that don’t cost as much as replacing a tile entry!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I agree with Kristen in these comments. Get a second and possibly a third opinion about your existing hardwood floors. A good craftsman should be able to give you more options than I think you’re getting. If your floors are true hardwood floors and not engineered floors,(usually you only get one, possibly two sandings out of engineered floors) you should be able to sand them down, identify the wood type and match that wood. If they are engineered floors and you’re unable to match them, depending upon your budget, (if it were me) I would rip out the existing floors and start over so you can use the same wood type throughout the house. This is a more expensive approach (which I did and don’t regret) but well worth it AND it will last a life time. You could possibly use a quarter sawn and clear oak mix. Also depending upon what you’re looking for, red oak does have pink undertones where white does not but, if you’re going the warm tone route, red oak is the way to go.

    Consider laying the entry in the herringbone pattern in one of several ways. You could run the herringbone the length of the entry and then set that section off with a thinner, darker inlayed walnut border followed by a second frame of straight run oak acting as another frame around that area in the same finish and color as the rest of your flooring, setting off your entry area but keeping the color flow of your floors making your entry beautiful, but not the odd man out so to speak.

    OR, you could break that long run up into three divided sections with the herringbone in the center of each section and then frame each section with runs of straight oak serving as a frame around each section and add an inlay of walnut somewhere within those straight runs of oak. So basically, you’d have three large squares or rectangles, each framed to break up that long run while keeping a cohesive look and flow to your flow. A talented and capable craftsman should be able to sand and match the stairs to the flooring. I’m not a fan of marble anywhere there will be water or melting snow as it’s a slipping hazard. Also keep in mind that marble will require a lot of maintance in a high traffic area. Having said this, if you’re determined to use marble, you could use the combination of large tile squares, with each tile framed in oak stained to match your wood floors…..not my first choice however. Also, I would not use the Emperado Marble, especially for entry way flooring. I used it in a primary bathroom years ago and it did not hold up well. Emperado marble often has flaws that need filling from time to time. It looked beautiful but I would never use it again on a floor.

    100% agree with closing those openings on the second floor…what were the builders thinking?? They do that a lot in Colorado, I’m not a fan.

    I’m new to following you and am so impressed with everything you’ve been doing…including asking your followers for their opinions….lol

  • Holly says:

    The Calcutta in herringbone pattern (my favorite!) would carry over beautifully with your kitchen backsplash. I tend to notice when something is repeated in a home, no matter how small the details, and think it’s classy. Can’t wait to see your finished product!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Just read the comment from Suzanne so thought I’d try to clear that up. The sample photo of the herringbone floor probably didn’t use different stains on the wood. More than likely, different types of oak were used such as a mix of quarter sawn and clear oak boards. Whether it’s red oak or white oak, the different cuts of wood will take the same color stain differently and that’s more than likely why you see the variations in color on the herringbone flooring your sample picture.

  • Lynne says:

    Herringbone Calcutta. Beautiful and elegant!

  • Helene says:

    Definitely checkerboard! So chic.

    A few of my favorite examples:

  • Linda Brown says:

    If the existing hardwood is solid wood, there’s no reason new wood of the same species can’t be laced in, the whole thing sanded and restrained (satin finish). We’ve done that several times and it looks as if it was installed as one floor. In a perfect world, that would be my first choice. Marble is beautiful but stains, is cold and a slip hazard for you all and the pups. The house is stunning!

  • Chris says:

    What is the functionality for this space? Do you have a mudroom for routine entry/exit to your home? If not I would suggest a choice that takes into account the weather. As a fellow resident of the “Rain Coast” I would want something that wouldn’t cause fall risks when wet. In the rainy season it’s water (and mud) that gets tracked in on shoes despite the best available doormats. In the drought like summer season we now get in BC, it’s dust. Which surfaces will minimize the effects of these in terms of showing every little speck and the easiest maintenance possible?
    From an aesthetic perspective why was the tile put there in the first place? Was it functional reasons only or to showcase that area from another vantage point inside?
    Also, later on when all the higher priority items are dealt with, will you possibly come back to upgrade the stairs with one of your first choices? Is it possible to consider selecting something now that will be congruent with future changes?
    I love the herringbone. I agree with others that the marble doesn’t seem to fit with the overall style…too “Hotel like”.
    Great Blog and really enjoy the questions and answers in this post!

  • Sheree L says:

    I love the idea of brown and cream checkerboard is such a large space. I think that Calacutta marble herringbone would be too busy looking. There is a beautiful brown and cream checkerboard floor that I have admired here: (scroll down to the grand foyer photo – the brown in the tiles is more a medium brown than this photo shows). I could totally see that in your entry, though, personally, I prefer tiles on a 45 degree angle 🙂 Your home is so beautiful!!

  • Melanie Dunaway says:

    The first option or the herringbone – the first looks a little Palm Beach-ish, though. Perhaps it’s the picture…I love the marble herringbone with a similar shade of grout…however, will we be looking at that pattern in 10 years remembering when it was the rage? How about a REALLY large format marble with matching grout in more of a rectangular pattern? Just a thought…

  • Janice Reardon says:

    Maria, I love your blog and have learned so much from you! Your new home is stunning!

    Here in Atlanta, we have flooring installers who could match the stain color of the existing flooring with new wood floors, and that would have been my first option. Maybe I would put wood flooring down in a herringbone pattern with an appropriate border that transitions to the existing wood floor that might mask any subtle color differences.

    Since that doesn’t appear to be an option for you, I’m in the marble herringbone camp with many others. Whatever you choose, it will be beautiful!

  • Mary Lee Orndorff says:

    I also would love to see if the wood herringbone. Maybe your floor expert could be replaced! There are artisans that can create magic. Also they could start with several sample boards to try then you would know for sure. I don’t think herringbone is trendy like others have said. It’s been around for centuries!

  • Fran W. says:

    Your new home is gorgeous. That kitchen is a dream! So happy for you and Terreeia! I’m certain that whichever tile you choose for your foyer, it will be beautiful. I do love that herringbone, though, and I think it would look great with an area rug as well. Congratulations!!!

  • Beth Griesbaum says:

    Whatever you do will be gorgeous! I would love the simplicity of the herringbone, not adding another “permanent ” color to go with later. But that’s just me!! Can’t wait to follow along with the reno!

  • Michele Vosberg says:

    the checkerboard is stunning. it is rich, classic, and elegant. The herringbone is trnedy and i think it is being over done right now, which will date in the future. Overused styles , however classic to start with, can become dated when overused.

  • Suzanne says:

    What bothers me is the straight/harsh demarcation between the tile and the wood flooring. Something I proposed for a project is a transition field so to speak – large format square tiles set in a diamond pattern with narrow wood framing between the tiles. You could have the Calacatta Gold marble tile (btw, Calcutta Gold is a granite) framed with a wood that is stained to match the existing floor. In my proposal, there was also a thin contrast line inset within the wood frame, so the wood became an accent vs a feature. With the marble tile being the dominant material, you will notice that first so if the staining is just a hair off from the original flooring it wouldn’t be that noticeable. But it would create a cohesive visual flow as your eye moves from one area to another. I have a rendering that I could share as a visual (pictures are worth a thousand words) but unfortunately cannot attach anything in the comments. Otherwise, my vote would be for the herringbone marble.

  • Carolyn says:

    I’d definitely choose the herringbone pattern Calcutta tile.

  • Gilda Mitchell says:

    Heriingbone PLEASE!

  • Dee Westfall says:

    I love the herringbone and the checkerboard ideas. Currently both are timeless, but I suspect the herringbone pattern is going to hit ultra trendy in a hard way very soon, and it will be the same issue as with the black trend currently. So nice in the beginning – and then not so nice, shockingly overdone. Two years ago I saw the herringbone pattern occasionally, a year ago maybe once a month, and now I see it daily, and in all kinds of applications. It’s everywhere. I’m telling you, we will be seeing herringbone siding before long!

    Does that mean it isn’t still timeless? No, it is and it will come back around to that if what I think is happening happens.
    I still love it, but I also love the checkerboard idea with the marble colors. 🙂

  • Maria, Please talk to your local arborist. Weeping Willows play havoc on a plumbing system. They need to go by a pond, not a home. It may be different where you live but in Texas, they will ruin your plumbing pretty quickly looking for water. Your new home will be lovely but when I saw that tree, I said “YIKES”

  • Trish says:

    I would keep the existing floor and put a runner carpet on it that ties the floor colors together. The existing floor looks okay with the wood floor and good with the stair railing. Marble is loud and slippery and is porous so you will have stains. I see it as a formal and possibly cold look. I, like others I know, have used it because it is a stunning material (and I had always dreamed of it for my house) but would never use it for a floor again. I did put side (or was it called cross?) cut travertine down in one house because we put floor heat under and needed stone. That cut of travertine looks just like wood so might be a consideration for you. We have been very happy with the travertine although it is a very hard surface and is louder. You might also consider heating the floor if you change materials. Definitely a good choice for us.

  • Jaclyn says:

    Maria, you have excellent taste so whatever tile you choose will be perfect. I do think the architectural design does often dictate choice so I tend to agree that the Calcutta/herringbone style seems more fitting for the transitional and open floor plan of your home. That said, I have a very traditional home in French architecture with a 20×40 ft foyer and I chose black and white marble with the black marble centered between four of the white pieces. The much smaller black pieces create a beautiful pattern and one which after 30 years of living in my home I have never tired of. You have selected beautiful tile and/or marble and you won’t go wrong either way. Love your house and cannot wait to see your progress.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    I am also on team “all wood” and would talk to more wood flooring craftsmen if at all possible. Surely they can do test pieces to match the existing stain before installing an entire floor. If you choose a herringbone wood in slightly variegated tones (as in the photo you show), it doesn’t have to match the dining room floor exactly.

    In any case, I would rip out the dining rom wood that is currently in front of the stairs and extend the hallway flooring to that area. With the wood and tile the way they are now, the flooring says that the stairs belong to the dining room instead of to the entrance/hall. Extending the hallway flooring to the area in front of the stairs transfers the stairs to the hall, which makes more sense to me. It would also break up the demarcation Suzanne mentions in her 10/10/22 10:13 comment, which I agree is harsh.

    Failing that, if you have to have tile… I would still rip out the wood in front of the stairs and install the tile there, for the same reasons.

  • Well, you are going to get a lot of opinions here, haha. My vote is for a white/creamy marble in a 6 x 24″ or hopefully larger herringbone pattern, it’d be beautiful. It’d lighten up the entry and give you the herringbone look that you, (and I), love!

  • Jennifer says:

    The brown and white marble checkerboard would be a good marriage of the white from the kitchen and the brown from the wood floors. I think that the white marble herringbone or other dominant white marble options will pose too much of a contrast with the dark wood floors. This is a traditional style home as opposed to a west coast contemporary and thus would suit the marble checkerboard. It looks like the wood floors are very extensive through the ground floor, bossy even, and you may never decide to change them because they cover so much square footage, so it makes sense to work with them.

  • Jennifer Schmittou says:

    Love your new house and am excited to see how you transform it!. Have you thought about square tile on the diagonal but with a 2″ strip of wood in between? You wouldn’t have to necessarily match the wood but get the same color brown.

  • Kay says:

    Could symmetry be the answer? If the flooring on the stairs and/or either side were the same maybe the tile wouldn’t be such a problem. Two beautiful matching long narrow carpets/rugs either side of the staircase would make the staircase look more centred instead of off to one side between two unmatching flooring types. Maybe even a stair runner that flows around each side? Might be a cheaper and quicker option.

  • Irina says:

    All are great options: checkerboard for a classic look and, to me, better flow, and herringbone marble for a more streamlined and “in” look.

    I love the hardwood inspiration picture. Have you considered figuring out the current wood (white/red/European oak, maple, etc.) and buying the same wood type (tricky but not impossible), match the colour (hardwood professionals do that for unfinished oak stairs all the time, with decent results), and the sheen? (What is your sheen? It looks glossier than semi-gloss, yet not too glossy.) Long shot, and time-consuming, I know, and I’d have the same concern that I won’t know until it’s all done. If this were my house, I’d consider trying it out on a single box of wood (~20sqft) to get an idea (not free, but a fraction from the 6×20 ft installation).

    I noticed the floors when you bought the house. Kudos to you for not refinishing them matte but embracing them. Can’t wait to see what you will decide.

  • BillP says:

    What is indigenous to your area? I think of wood when I think of your area. I’m in Florida, people are pulling out stone floors to put in wood here. The two pics you show of white marble with black insets are very dated. A black and white checkerboard is more timeless. I advise against brown marble, don’t use brown to match an element that you already dislike (the brown stairs). The wood flooring, perhaps in a herringbone pattern along the hallway, seems to be your best option. If your flooring person can’t match the colors, find a new flooring person. A marble herringbone finish would be so inappropriate for your style of house, IMHO. As an earlier poster mentioned, take your time making the decisions. Mistakes in big houses cost a lot more to correct. Have fun with the process. Congratulations!

  • Lilly says:

    I love the idea of the large scale checkerboard. So pretty in black (or dark brown) and white marble maybe even framed out in wood?
    It’s the Classic Timeless look you love!

  • Angela Gallegos says:

    I really love the wood herringbone as a first choice. There ARE wood flooring professionals that will take the time to precisely match a stain by blending several pigments of General Finishes wood stains. My second choice is brown & white checkers. Your home is so large, light, and airy, I feel like you need warmth below your feet to ground you and avoid the home feeling so cold. Marble herringbone is my third choice. I’m so excited for you! Happy closing day! I had such a huge grin on my face seeing your excitement on the Instagram reel.

  • Mym says:

    The herringbone tile, definitely. In the least-busy available option that works.

    • Mym says:

      That’s assuming you can’t get the wood herringbone option to work out as others have mentioned above. A wood herringbone would actually be my first choice, if you can get a reasonably good match.

  • Angela says:

    Definitely the herringbone. Love it!

  • Monica says:

    The herringbone pattern is beautiful, but you might want to incorporate brown marble to tie it in with the brown hardwood floors. For instance, outer edge Calacatta marble, then a skinny band of brown marble and the center Calacatta marble in herringbone pattern. I also like the checkerboard pattern in brown and Calacatta marble, especially if the stone is honed versus polished. Your marble installer should lay out a couple different designs before you make a final decision. You want to love it for a long time.

  • Carol Z says:

    I can’t believe all the votes for blah white herringbone! The drama of the first two choices suits you and balances the wood floor much better. Classic and elegant statement!

  • ClaireSN says:

    Seems to me that a checkerboard marble/tile pattern works best in an entryway running down the center in a formal, symmetrically designed house. Your tile hallway seems to run sideways across the front door if I’m interpreting your pictures and descriptions correctly. Facing the stairway as in your pictures, a bold checkerboard pattern would seem to run along one side of the house. One of the nice things about the existing tile is that it’s relatively the same value/darkness as the wood flooring so there isn’t a harsh transition where they meet. The color or style though may not be your preference.

    Are there other exterior entrances along that tile run? If not, what about a smaller patch of your honed marble at the door to handle wet shoes coming in, then converting the rest to wood? Or do all wood to match pattern and finish of the existing wood. Herringbone will always look like a later addition if in wood; it wouldn’t make logical sense without a change of materials.

    BTW, I’m not a huge fan of wood everywhere, so this wood suggestion isn’t coming from that perspective. Half our first floor is bossy circa-Tuscan porcelain tile. It’s in all the water areas—2 exterior doors, laundry, kitchen, powder room. Wood and water don’t mix well, so we’ve kept it and decorated around it. (Yay, Maria!) The next homeowners probably won’t.

    We actually have all wood in the front door hall, but the area right at the door is always covered by a large absorbent mat, which wouldn’t be necessary with a more waterproof surface there. As for matching wood, it can be done. We had a first floor primary bedroom converted to solid hardwood soon after moving in nearly 15 years ago. Nobody can tell it wasn’t original. The American vs. European oak argument is a red herring. Our installers took a best guess at the oak species based on what most builders use in the area, and adjusted the stain and varnish accordingly to match the current appearance of the existing wood. It still matches. How likely would it be for the builder of your home to have used more local Canadian lumber than have used more expensive imported lumber? If a builder were going to put money into a large quantity of specialty wood for a large house, it probably wouldn’t be oak since most buyers wouldn’t notice that difference.

  • Mimi Goldberg Shulman says:

    Beautiful entry way. I vote for the timeless checkerboard. I agree that it needs to be a deep brown.
    To me, the tile feels trendy, cold and busy.
    I would still try and find a way to do the herringbone wood floor. That would be gorgeous.
    Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be lovely!

  • Ruth Naismith says:

    When is Maria Killam coming to a TV station near me?
    Can we all say HGTV!!
    Maria, you have the expertise, content and poise and presenting skills for the PERFECT show!
    Thank You! That’s all :)…RN

  • Nancy Markon says:

    If you’re sure there’s no way to do the herringbone wood floor and make it work, my first choice tile would be the marble with small dark brown squares — no heavy border. As long as you leave the border out, I think any of your curated options would be beautiful. And a rug would look great, too!

    By the way, are you familiar with the Sherwin-Williams paint color “Black Bean SW 6006”? It’s a very dark brown which almost reads as black. It was on the entry door of an investment condo we purchased when our daughter was in college, and it looked great. If you’re considering the railing paint one reader suggested above, it may be worth investigating. (On my monitor, it looks chocolate brown, but in person it reads closer to black. Not sure how it would look with all the sunshine you have in the new foyer).

    Sound like you’re already having fun updating the new house. I’m enjoying the view from here.


  • Jennifer says:

    I vote for the checkerboard with the brown/calacutta honed marble. Its so timeless. Nate and Jeremiah use the checkerboard a lot and IMO always looks stunning!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Hi Maria,
    It’s me again! I’ve had herringbone in my foyer for over twenty years…there is nothing trendy about it and happy to send you a picture if you’d like. In my humble opinion, herringbone is classic, I get nothing but compliments on our foyer floor and it’s a fairly large space. As I mentioned and once again, my opinion, the continuation of floor color and material makes for a flawless look that flows nicely….but you already know this. Can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

    Your new house looks beautiful without all those trees! Congrats, the house is great and will be even better after you’re finished with it!!

  • Cheryl says:

    Love at first site – Calcutta herringbone!!!!!

  • Angie says:

    LOVE the checkerboard style and it will be amazing in a honed finish brown & calcutta gold. So classic and sophisticated. In an entry, I like some drama and Wow factor. It’s a little preview of the owners taste and style, it doesn’t need to be demure or relaxing or inviting. There will be those that step into the entry that are decidedly NOT invited in to relax.

  • Sylvie says:

    Calacatta marble, not Calcutta (a city)…

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