Mary’s Remodel Update – Part 10

The eighteenth-century French philosopher Denis Diderot wrote an essay entitled “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown.”It seems someone gave Diderot an exquisite gift — a scarlet dressing gown (not something your typical guy today would get too excited about, but remember this was the 1700s).

Diderot was so happy to get a new one that he promptly threw his old one away. Curiously, he hadn’t noticed how tattered the old gown was because it was comfortable and blended into his surroundings.

The contrast between the new scarlet gown and everything else in his study was startling. While Diderot was wearing the gown, he couldn’t stop noticing the threadbare tapestries, the worn chair, and the beat-up bookcases.

Piece by piece he replaced everything with something more closely suited to the elegance of his robe. Diderot closes his essay regretting ever receiving the scarlet robe that forced everything else into conformity.

I believe I have been struck with a case of the “Diderot effect.”

As you know, if you’ve been following along, our kitchen/family room remodel is moving ahead. Granted, way too slowly to please some of my readers as witnessed by their comments, but it is moving nonetheless. We believe we have now reached the halfway mark

On Tuesday, the new hardwood floors are going in said kitchen/family room.

Well, I got to thinking: How will the new hardwood floor look where it meets up with original 1972 marble terrazzo in the 10′ x 10′ entry? We’re talking 40-year old flooring here, folks. It’s in relatively good condition if by “good condition” one would mean no cracks or chips. But over the years, it’s lost its sheen, as terrazzo marble will do. And it’s a kind of milky-goldish-gray color. Some of our friends, who shall remain anonymous, have gone so far as to declare it to be downright ugly.

The family room is a step down from the entry so this is where the two floors will meet:

There is no doubt that the new flooring is going to make the old terrazzo look beat up, out of date and quite sorry. But is that reason enough to replace it to match?

The price to extend the wood through the entry: $1,200. Why so much more than the $5.50/sq. ft. we are paying for the kitchen/family room? The installation will be very labor intensive as there is also a step down to the living room on the other side, plus a coat closet and powder room that also adjoin the entry. And where the stairs meet the entry, another ticklish installation challenge.

So, we have 24 hours to make our decision. Should we make this a kitchen/family/entry remodel or just stick to the kitchen/family room? What would you do?


We need your help!

If you see a broken link, or a product no longer available please contact us so we can get it updated accordingly.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sharon

    I think you should include the entry in the remodel.

  • ShelBarr52

    I think you should stick to your original plans and perhaps the marble can be polished to help improve it’s appearance. You can always do it later??

  • Talk to a flooring specialist about methods to renew the marble. There may be ways of staining it, buffing it up to its former glory or some sort of top coat to completely change the look. Of course replacing it will be very attractive but you do not know what be under the marble and costs could more than double. If you have the money and want to change it there is no harm. It will enhance your resell value but if money is an issue and you are not planning on moving immediately you will be amazed of the other options. My firm recommendation is to get some high quality chocolate and book a massage. They have nothing to do with the remo.but it couldn’t hurt! :0

  • Emma

    I think the terrazzo is lovely and the dark wood contrast will bring out the dark areas of the marble. Maybe see if there is anyone in your area that renews terrazzo tile or try this product:
    I found that link after just a quick search for “renew terrazzo marble”. Probably a more thorough search would reveal more possible solutions.

  • sweetloo

    If it were me, I would stick with the original plan! In the very least, you’ll get to see (as opposed to just visualize) what the contrast will actually look like before you make any rash decisions. Other commenters have suggested that the marble can be renewed or revitalized in some way. If none of those options pan out, you can always replace it later – on your schedule – after you’ve done more research.

  • Absolutely, stick with your original plan. No question.

  • Lori P

    Stick to the original plan. See what you think after you’ve lived with them together for a bit. You can always change it later if you want.

  • Pam

    Actually, I like the marble. I say go with the original plan and try to refresh the marble as others have suggested.

  • Lori

    Well we endured a very long remodel in the kitchen that included new floors. Previously we had wood in two rooms and tile in the others. We replaced the tile with wood and we love having one continuous surface. It makes the space look much neater and larger. If the budget will allow, I would go for matching the floor in the entry to the floor in the kitchen/family room.

    • Lori

      One more thought. If you have not purchased your new appliances yet, Oct. is known as a great month to purchase appliances . We bought our double oven in Oct. a few years ago at Sears and it was half price. We kept it in a box in our garage until our kitchen was ready for it.

  • Craftylady

    I would go ahead and change it now! It all needs to flow with the rest of the floor and would cost more if they had to come back at a later date. Bite the bullet, you will be glad you did!

  • Natalie

    From looking at the colors, I think the wood and the marble will look beautiful together. Stick to the original plan.

  • I can so relate to your dilemma. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel and one thing definitely leads to another. It’s hard sometimes to know where to draw the line, and yet the line needs to be drawn. I look forward to seeing what you decide!

  • CDville

    I love terrazzo! Polish it! It should be polished and resealed every few years, but it is worth it.

  • Stick with what you have there. You can always make it your next project.

  • Ellen

    Leave the marble and do as many here have suggested – seek out a professional to polish and clean the marble. Personally, I think it looks very interesting in the photograph. It is much better for an entryway material as it handles the traffic without surface damage. Save the money you would spend on this and use it for your countertops. By the way, have you decided on those yet?

  • Joy

    Leave it and if it needs replacing do it later after saving up for it?

  • herta

    Leave it like it is. We had a very similar situation 4 years ago, and are very happy to still have the marble entrance.

  • Wannadance

    I actually like the terraazo – the dark in it matches the color of your wood flooring plus it breaks up the “wood” effect. It’s 40 years old is testamony to it’s endurance and I’m sure if it’s sealed and buffed it will look like new again. I doubt your wood flooring is going to last that long or look that good in 40 years! I’d save the $1200 to use down the road for something that’s more urgent. Follow your own advice and make do with what you have if there’s nothing seriously wrong with it. You can always add interesting decor to the foyer to dress it up and bring all the colors together from all the exposed areas. Drop the friends that have told you it’s ugly. They have no taste!

  • Momma

    I would agree with others to keep the marble and have it professionally cleaned and polished. One other suggestion, however! Find (or make) something close to the color of the floor, and place it in the entryway to draw the eye to the continuity. I’m thinking a picture frame or small table. I think you would like the effect!

  • anna

    Mary, you should contact the folks at to plug into their blog cabin or the show where viewers vote on the products to use in a remodel. I feel like your readers have been key to some of your decisions! Maybe the folks at DIY can offer some sort of partnering deal or professional advice

    • anna

      sorry – that is

  • Nolan Miller

    I agree with Deborah Groom. Polish the terrazo. Plus as a professional contractor; in my opinion the wood flooring will not look right going up and over a raised portion of an adjoining room. If you “must” change it because it looks too ugly, do something entirely different, like another marble or tile, but don’t do the wood up and over. It is meant to be an entirely separate area of the house and to try to make it flow with the kitchen/living room would be a mistake.

  • Sunnie

    Refinish the marble and maybe add rug runner or area rug to coordinate or accent ??

  • Miriam Kearney

    STOP! After the entry there will be something else that seems like it needs updating. That’s a different project and probably a different budget. Trust me I’ve been there.

  • srubenic

    I have to agree that the wood up and over the entry way wouldn’t be the best look. It is meant to be set apart. Polish first…if you still don’t like it, then consider other options. If not, before you know it you’ll have new floors throughout the whole house. Diderot is right!! 🙂

  • dotti

    The marble is beautiful…..leave it alone :O)

  • kp

    I also agree to have the Terrazzo professionally polished and spiffed up. I actually think the color of your marble will look great with the dark wood floors. I also agree with the fact that the entryway, etc. should be a totally seperate look from the kitchen/family room.

  • San60

    Stick with the terrazzo! The wood will not hold up to the high traffic nearly as well as the terrazzo. In 40 years the wood will be worn and scratched, the terrazzo will be in great shape. Have a professional buff it and renew the surface.

  • Susan

    I think the foyer floor is beautiful. Have it polished and keep it.

  • Philis

    Mary, come on, that marble is nice. leave it and move on with you project. you’ve done a great job!

  • Diane Chen

    Keep the marble! I think it looks great. There must be ways to clean/polish it. I think lighter colors are better in an entry way; it is more inviting. Plus, with the dark wood, unless that spot is well-lit at all times, there will be people who don’t see the step and will trip and possibly fall. Having the two very different materials will make sure that people can see the step easier.

  • Anne

    I may be late on weighing in but that entry looks exactly like the quartz entry in out 1972-built house in Elk Grove, California. I loved it. With three teenagers going in and out it was easy care at its best. Would love to have it in my entry now, no longer in that house or California, and am going to put some kind of tile there in the near future. Wood in your entry will require rugs or something as the upkeep in the entry will be more than the other areas. I have wood now and have a large mat on it which covers it. But with snow, dirt and whatever being tracked in it would be destroyed by now unless I made everyone remove their shoes before entering, which is done in many homes but I’ve never done it. Loved the Diderot story as that is what I am going through as my son has remodeled two of my bathrooms and my bedroom so far.

  • Anne

    Me again, after reading the other comments. We lived in the house with the quartz entry for 17 years. I never polished the entry or gave it any special care. The grout darkened and I liked it better so didn’t do anything to that either, just a quick dusting or mopping. Looked as good as the day we moved it and so does yours.

  • Carolyn

    Yes. I would do it. We didn’t do ours all at once and regretted going back later to do it.

  • Preshus1

    Hmmm, you are suppose to keep within your budget…