Going crazy trying to find a match in engineered wood!

missZJune 2, 2013

Hello all,

I'm midway through a kitchen renovation. We have extended the kitchen into what was once a cold storage area, and I'm trying to find an engineered wood to match the birch mill-run wood throughout the rest of our house. It's proving dang near IMPOSSIBLE!

All the engineered wood I look at has almost no variation in it. The birch we see is all very light and uniform. The closest colour match we've found is in red oak - but it's very clearly not the same species. I don't mind if it doesn't match perfectly but I'm surprised we can't get closer than this. It is kind of killing me to pay so much for a very inexact match.

Has anyone seen any engineered wood with this type of variation? I'm attaching a photo of my original floor so you can see what it looks like.

Obviously I would put down hardwood, but it's on a concrete slab, with radiant heat underneath. We've even had a few people suggest we could just go with the hardwood anyway, since it's a small space and above ground, but we're nervous about that route. The break is literally in the middle in the kitchen, in between the stove and the sink, so it would be awkward to jump to tile or something like that.

Any suggestions??

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Your original floor is solid or engineered?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Do tile with the warm floor underneath. It would be better to have a mismatch in materials and tone than a mismatch in tone and grain both in a wood. One looks deliberate.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Glennsfc, The original floor is solid.

GreenDesigns, it's literally in the middle of the kitchen, and the entire rest of the house is in the original wood. I've been trying to find some examples of this that look interesting and deliberate, to no avail. Do you have any examples that manage to pull it off?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Can you use solid wood? In other words, would it be possible to weave in new solid wood with the existing. Done that many times and as long as you use the same species and grade...and then sand it all up and finish it all at once...you most times cannot detect any difference between the new and old wood.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:00PM
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@glennsfc, the extension is on a concrete slab with radiant heat underneath. None of the flooring guys are recommending this, they say there is too much potential likelihood of warping and buckling.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 7:58PM
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I would find a tile you like that will go nicely with your hardwood floors.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:53PM
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you mentioned the entire house is done in this floor. Would you be able to remove flooring from a different room, or maybe closet, enough to patch in your kitchen area, and then buy a different product for the area you used it from? More work but your hi-profile kitchen area would all be the same.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:53AM
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@hollydave, it's on a concrete slab, so I can't put down hardwood. Finding a hardwood match has been easy, but none of the manufacturers recommend installation over concrete.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:20AM
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Two suggestions: (1) do a google search on reclaimed wood flooring, some of it is engineered, you might be able to get a closer match; (2) without seeing a photo of your kitchen, could you put in a "tile rug" in the middle of the room surrounded by wood?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:09AM
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1) you CAN put hardwood over slab! there is a plasic layer that goes down then they cover it with a plywood type layer then the hard wood. But it will be about 1 1/2" thickness at least.
2) try lauzon engineered the different woods have different selections as far as variation available for example; oak select and better has a natural variation in color so it's smoother to the eye I think, but exclusive has more color difference and some visual knots etc which my husband prefers because he's color blind so he can see more of the color difference as it has mor light to dark and he likes the knots, so even the same red oak can be quite different depending on the grade we choose, plus most engineered now somes with a micro edge, you can get 3 1/4 lauzon with a square edge (looks like what you have), anyway, check them out and see what they have, somewhere on their site they have a decoration area you can decorate the room with a floor and see a multitude of different grades in a large floor in an actual room for an example

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 2:36AM
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Hi all,

Just thought I would post what I ended up getting here in case anyone else tries to do something similar.

We tracked down an engineered product with Mirage, that is much closer to what we were looking for - a birch with natural variation, prefinished. It wasn't quite as varied as our original floor, but it was pretty close. However in the end, we ended up purchasing unfinished 3/4" engineered birch. Again, it's not quite as varied as the original floor, but this way we can apply the same finish to both the old and new floor at the same time. It also doesn't have the micro edge, so it should blend a little better. We could also potentially stain the new portion of the floor to match the old, if necessary. We haven't laid it yet but this route will ultimately give us more flexibility when it comes to matching the look.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 8:02AM
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How about making the entire kitchen tile?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:57AM
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