High traffic front doors can cause such problems! It’s the entry for friends, family, guests, Girl Scouts and Jehovah Witnesses. So we want it to look great. Yet this is where all that foot traffic deposits everything from clumps of mud to microscopic unknowns (and I prefer to keep them unknown).

Anyone who has had gorgeous wood flooring running all the way to the door, knows that it quickly shows the abuse. And it’s virtually impossible to refinish just that one area of hardwood.

After fighting this for 12 years in our old house, I knew I wanted an alternative when we built our current abode.

For a hardworking entry, tile is the only way to go! But so often it screams “practical” with a chorus of “maintenance shortcut” rather than the preferred refrain of “stylish welcome and relaxation.”

My solution: a tile area rug!

I wanted it to have a framed pattern and be outlined in wood so that it gives the appearance of an area rug. I floated it just the wood frame width in from the door just as you would probably place an area rug. It’s the width of our door plus sidelights so it says “custom”.

It’s a “distressed, tumbled” tile so the edges are soft and no concerns about chipping. There is a faint texture and mottled finish which camouflages any errant dirt or spots – or admittedly, my lax housecleaning.


And yes, dark grout hides many, many offenses!

During the holidays, I often toss a throw rug over the top to add a bit of warmth and color.

And 11 years in this house, I have not felt the need to refinish the wood flooring – yippee! Now if only I could say that for all the paint! I love the constant parade of kids through our door, but …..


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Diane Sudhoff

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