Picking out Flooring

I feel pretty guilty writing this post about picking wood floors, because both rooms already have wood floors. However, I have a few problems with the current Hardwoods:

  • Board Width
  • Color
  • Inconsistency

Now, I understand this is very definition of first world problems, but with all of the time, money and effort we are putting in to this house I want the floors to be right.

To start, I prefer a wider floor board than the current 2.5″ oak hardwoods. Just personal preference.

Next, the color of the floors is too light and peachy. We considered sanding and re-staining the floors, but 1) We tried to DIY that upstairs in the bedroom and it didn’t turn out great. We had to redo it again in this post 2) The cost of getting it professionally done was more than putting in new floors ourselves 3) It doesn’t solve the Board Width or Inconsistency problem (More on that to come). We wanted it to flow with the dark upstairs flooring, but it didn’t need to be exact since the staircase can marry the two at a later time.

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Finally, the most important part: Inconsistency. Our house is long and narrow and the rooms are already small. Having different floors in each room makes the house feel more choppy than it actually is.

The front living room has very old, original hardwoods. They have been patched over time, and have seen better days. They are not the same color, width or even height as the new Kitchen and Den’s current floors (you can slightly see the little lip at the opening to the new kitchen):

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(They look nice and shiny in this picture, but that was the day we polished them. They have since dulled and need to be re-polished every 6 months – I don’t have time for that. Also, the border looks great, but since it was there before the rest of the room, it doesn’t border around things, like the fireplace and the closet – just cuts right through them)

So the decision was made to install all new wood floors throughout the first floor. We are going to level out the Living Room floors with plywood to bring it up to the height of the kitchen and install a floating, engineered hardwood right on top of both floors. No Nails, no glue, so if anyone down the road ever wanted to rip them up, there are pretty peach floors underneath!

We thought about doing the same floors as upstairs, but since we are installing on top of hardwoods, we wouldn’t be able to nail them down. To install hardwoods over hardwoods it is recommended you run them in the opposite direction. In this instance, that would not look right sine the current hardwoods are already running in the right direction. And honestly, we don’t have the time, money or patience to rip up all of the current floors. The next best option was a floating engineered hardwood.

Once we decided on that, everything went smoothly! We did a few runs to some flooring stores as well as Home Depot and picked up some samples to bring home. We stayed in the same color family as upstairs so the house feels open and consistent.

We decided on these Bamboo HandScraped Hardwoods. They look way more expensive than the others we selected, the color matches upstairs perfectly and we’re hoping since they are click and lock, they will be easy to install.

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We also purchased this underlayment. It is more expensive than others, but the additional thickness will a help with keeping the floors feeling warm under foot and additional sound dampening.

I picked up 17 boxes of flooring on Monday and Tuesday afternoon since my little car can only hold so much product at once. These floors require 24 Hours of acclimation, so they have just been sitting and hanging out for a few days until we are ready to install.

Yesterday, I got a call from the Cabinet people that they will be delivering cabinets on Monday (yikes!), so the heat is on to complete all of the sanding, painting and flooring this weekend. And did I mention Collin has work on Saturday!?! Wish us luck!

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