Help selecting hardwood floors

saltydog75August 7, 2010

I'm getting hardwood floors on the first and second floor of my townhouse, along with the stairs between the floors. There's a foyer, bar, living room w/ dining area, kitchen, and 2 bathrooms (~1000 sq ft + stairs). I'm having trouble deciding on the flooring to use.

Price is a concern. It's a lot of space and I'm trying to stay on the $5k side of things versus the $10k side. Also, it has to be engineered hardwood since the first floor is on concrete.

A hardwood installer I have several recommendations on has recommended Shaw Epic 3.25" Red Oak engineered hardwood - mostly because of price, I think - apparently he can get a good deal from his supplier. He quoted me ~$6900 for everything, which seems like a pretty good deal.

I had initially thought I wanted butterscotch, but looking at the samples in my house, I was leaning toward natural. But then I started to think that all of the walls are darker than natural wood, which might look odd.

I should note that I am definitely going to do something with the cabinets (paint white, or refinish) since they're pretty grungy and I'm open to changing paint/furniture to accomodate the wood color (couches+chairs are ikea and can be easily recovered, rest isn't expensive furniture, and I actually like painting).

With all that said, does anyone have any thoughts on what color fits best? I'm going for sort of a semi-modern or contemporary look, but not too Kubrick-y (e.g. no all white everything, still some touches of traditionalism). If I leave things as-is I feel like I'll have to go natural and just have the walls be darker. But, I have this alternate side that thinks I should get something dark (like an ebony or chocolate color), since that seems to be the trendy thing, and change out the wall colors and furniture around that.

Or should I be looking at a different wood/brand altogether? As you can see, I'm better at thinking of options than making decisions. :) Thanks in advance for any opinions, advice, etc anyone can give me.

Here are some pictures:

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Let me start by saying that your home looks great! I have the same coffee table at home and I really like the picture you've laminated under the glass. I'm glad you've done your homework. A light color wood would look the best with this home because of all the dark and medium toned furniture. I have maple installed at home which works great. If you want to go modern and wouldn't mind going bamboo. That is another great choice. Although you gotta be careful when buying bamboo. The product quality ranges and isn't not very standardized. When thinking lighter colors there aren't as many choices. You're pretty much limited to maple, white oak, hickory, bamboo, and ash. When buying engineered wood make sure to pay special attention to wearlayer, 3 ply or multi-ply, and thickness.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 3:27PM
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