mixing hardwood flooring

otsborkDecember 20, 2006

We have 2 1/4" Bruce Laurel strip (Natural) in our foyer with an Oak railing staircase that matches the floor. The dining room and living room are adjacent to the foyer and are carpeted. The foyer also leads into the family room which is carpeted.

We would like to replace all of the carpet and laminate with 3 1/4" Oak in a darker color (Bruce Gunstock). My wife thinks we should leave the foyer and stairs as is and the contrast in hardwoods (between the foyer and dining/living/family room)would look good. I disagree, but I also do not possess great vision when it comes to designing.

My thought is to tear out the existing flooring in the foyer and install the new hardwood throughout. My concerns are price to do this and also what to do with matching the staircase with the new hardwood floor.

So, I was hoping for opinions/advice as to:

1. Leaving foyer alone - how would the contrast of flooring look?

2. Tearing out foyer flooring - How to match the staricase to the floor?

3. Other design options.

I look forward to your ideas.

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I had this exact same dilema 6 months ago - we opted to rip up the old and have a uniform look. The wood we put down was kempas, our staircase railing is oak. We had the stairs wrapped in wood (it was carpet) using oak. the flooring looks great with no 'break up' in the pattern. The stairs and railing match each other and provide a nice transition to another level. good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 2:48PM
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We had the same problem when we bought our house. The foyer was dark wood with matching staircase railing. The adjacent rooms were carpet which we removed to find beautiful 40 year old hardwoods that were light and yellowed. Our floor guy sanded them all, working especially hard in the foyer to remove the dark stain and match them up. Then he polyurethaned them all in a light/natural color. The woods are different so there is some variation in grain, etc. but they look great (untill our flood last week, but that's a different post!) I think this is preferable to more contrasting floors. Can you refinish the foyer to match the new floors and not remove it? ask your floor guy. Oh, and as for the stair handrail - here we are 4 years later with it still dark wood. I started refinishing it myself 2 years ago and abandoned the project! maybe in 2007 :) but I have to admit, not one person has ever noticed that it doesn't match the floors. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 9:58AM
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Thanks Nicole,

We have decided that we would like to have all of the wood match. I think I might just replace the foyer wood as it is 2 1/4" and I would like wider planks throughout the rest of the house.

The handrails will be left alone (for now) but I am trying to decide what to do with the landing area on the stairs. It is the original hardwood which matches the handrails and foyer. I am leaning towards leaving it alone. It is part of the stairs and, as the previous poster replyed, would provide a natural transition to another level.

I think changing it to match the new hardwood color in the foyer would look out of place in the middle of the staircase. Did you have the same problem?

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 10:20AM
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Why not border the foyer, with the new woods color, to tie it all in, and give it a very custom look, for less work, then tearing it all out.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 2:51PM
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Our stairs are carpeted, so I didn't have to do anything with the landing. But I think I would leave it the way it is too. One of these days we'll remove our disgusting carpet and refinish the hardwood floors that go all the way up and through the 2nd floor of our house. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 11:07AM
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