Painted hardwood floor? OR ... ?

beaglesdoitbetter1March 6, 2012

I am tearing out some carpet in my Florida house. I really would like to do a painted hardwood floor ala:


1) Has anyone doen something like this, especially when putting in brand new floors?

2) Do you think this is an OK/practical look for a house w/ a pool and w/ two dogs that live in the house that like to run around?

3) What kind of wood would you use to paint? I'm having my great "handyman" do the install and the paint job. I found some white pine that is really inexpensive that I think would work but is that going to be a good choice w/ water and dogs

Alternatively, does anyone have other suggestions for hardwood floors? I am going for a beachy/coastal sort of theme. Laminate is not an option in our house, nor is carpet, and I don't particular want tile so it needs to be some kind of hardwood and I really lean towards light, not dark. I also don't want to spend a fortune because this is a "winter" house, we won't be here all the time...

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Hi Beagles,

Is that painted? It looks pickled. If you want light, pickling may be better. Paint doesn't hold up too well on floors, as you might suspect. I think with Florida humidity it'd be even worse. Have you thought about Saltillo tile, in the lighter colorways? Or even cork (not sure how that will do w humidity but I had it in a 1920's kitchen in a rental years ago, and it was great)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:42PM
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I think pine is too soft for your purposes with the dogs and all. It is not a hardwood, and it would splinter up if laid like the example above, with gaps like that.

It's usually better to stain wood floors white than to paint them. Paint is nice too, but stain will last longer.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:53PM
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That looks bleached or pickled, and some people complain that the scratches look darker.I don't know, but I like the look. If you want to do a fairly hard, fairly light wood you could do select ash.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:07PM
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mtnrdredux and palimpsest after googling, I think you are right. It is pickled.

Can I pickle select ash? It looks grainier than the pine which I'm not sure I like as much. I want something calming and not too busy.

Maybe cork could work? I found a picture of white cork online that looks nice:

I've never seen a cork floor in person though so I guess I'd need to get some samples and see how it looks..

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:19PM
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I did one of those (I think like the Ivory White) in a white on white apartment. The homeowner walks around in his stocking feet, and the subfloors are concrete. He didn't want carpet, and the engineered floors that were in there creaked and crackled.

Anyway I love the way it looks and the way it feels. I don't think it was installed well, but the client is happy. Make sure the brand you get has trim pieces if you need them

The client does not like that it indents because it is soft, so he sold the Cherner chairs we had selected because the legs were "too pointy" and left imprints.

I think your dogs might scratch the cork...

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:52PM
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I agree that cork floors might not work with the dogs. My parents built a MCM house in 1955 and we had cork floors then. Pair that with the stiletto heels that were in fashion and you had some issues.

But I do like the idea of painted and/or pickled floors.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 6:54AM
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I do love the look of painted floors, and I think they would hold up fairly good with a good floor paint. I do have pine, and they are pretty soft, but I think a good paint would help.. but I think a stronger species might be better?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:59AM
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I found the source of that picture I love above and it is pine that was used.
If I paint/ stain, I would assume that I could touch up periodically to deal with any scratches?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 2:14PM
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I saved this blog because I loved this painted floor. I believe they put in
a whole new floor and then painted it with white paint diluted with water.
More pictures near the end of her kitchen section.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fleamarkettrixie

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Not exactly, because dogs will leave scratches pretty much everywhere, just walking around. In our case, an old farmhouse setting, we don't mind because its wide plank and supposed to look old anyway.

I dont remember what your house looks like but so I don't know if it's good a setting for the distressed look. With pine and dogs, you need to be ok with scratches (you dont see them unless you look in a certain light,though usually).

We dont have scratches or dings in our cork yet (its in our craftroom/gameroom) but its not even a year so Im not sure.

Are you just totally against tile? Practical, reasonable, and so Floridian. It neednt be too orange; see the first photo under Saltillo Tile Creams as you scroll down.

Here is a link that might be useful: first photo under Saltillo tile Dreams

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 3:22PM
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I copied the following from the Sarah's (designer Sarah Richardson) Cottage site:

"Floor show

Summer is a season for barefoot elegance and nothing feels better underfoot than painted wood floors. They are easy to sweep up, glisten in the light, and allow the introduction of yet another summery hue to your design scheme. The key to successful floor painting is to ensure you use the right materials, and never cut corners on the prep work. Oil-based floor enamel gives the most enduring finish and high gloss shine, plus it can be mixed in any colour you dream of. Be sure to sand the floor well to allow the paint to adhere to the boards. If you are starting with a raw wood floor, cut the paint by 25 per cent with mineral spirits for the first coat so that it penetrates the wood and provides a lasting base. Sand between coats to remove any dust particles, and don't stop till you have a gleaming and beautiful finish (three coats is a good rule of thumb). As the promise of summer draws nearer, I can almost feel my bare feet gliding across those pretty painted floors."

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 4:49PM
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mtnrdredux I am pretty against tile. We have it in every other room of the house and it is very slippery for the dogs when they are wet. Bailey ran into the house from the pool the other day and skidded into the screen door.

Thanks Fun2BHere! I wish she mentioned what kind of wood to use, then it would be a perfect step-by-step guide.

Here is a not-very-good picture of the room taken w/ my iphone (I didn't tidy up first either!). As you can see, there's a lot to be done. We bought the house for the location, but it's very 1970s. We're going to go room by room and update, remove popcorn ceilings, add beadboard, etc. But first, this carpet has GOT to go!

To give you an idea of the sort of look I'm going for, here's what we started to do w/ the sunroom (the room is still in progress; we're adding french doors, trimming out the windows, doing a beadboard ceiling and switching out the fan next):

And here's what it looked like before:

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Tile does not have to be slippery underfoot. Look for a tile with a high coefficient of friction.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 5:37PM
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I think you should paint the floors! Sarah's looked beautiful and after's a Florida house, which sounds like a light/airy vacation home, to me :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I'm in Florida too, hate tile... just so over done here! In my last 3 houses I have had wood floors, and will never go back to tile. I think the painted floors are beautiful (I just never had the guts to paint them). It is totally "coastal" and "beachy". Make sure you post pictures... it might make me brave enough to paint a floor someday!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 11:10AM
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tinker_2006 do you have yours over a concrete slab? And did you use engineered wood or hardwood?

Ours are going down over a slab. We're doing a vapor barrier, but I think I will probably need a plywood subfloor as well(?) and I'm not even sure if that will be effective at solving the expansion/contraction problems. I do not want to use engineered wood if I don't have to...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 11:55AM
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We have had our kitchen floor painted for about 10 years. First light green, now red. The red took a long time to dry (and I'm in the midst of redrying after a repaint last year). It does show the wear and tear, but it's a fun, unique floor option. If I had it to do over again I would stick to a light color as it doesn't show as many imperfections and it dries so much faster.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Tile can be practical, but it is very hard on your back and, if you are, er, not a youngster, on your hips and knees as well.

And everything breakable you drop on it is likely to be a goner.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 5:20PM
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That is such a great look for a Florida home. I would do it on the pine and enjoy the look and touch up once in awhile. If you wanted it to look perfect I suspect you wouldn't own dogs. I vote to embrace the distressed/relaxed look and enjoy the dogs.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 9:55AM
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You've already had good advice -- and the Sarah Richardson paragraph is great. I thought I'd give you our experiences with painted floors and pine, since we also have Beagles.

First, the pine. I agree. Don't use it; use a hardwood instead. When we bought our house, most of the floors were southern yellow pine. We had them refinished. It didn't take long before there were deep scratches, especially near the exterior doors. Picture three Beagles dashing to the door whenever someone comes in or out. Also picture mad chases around the house on days of pouring rain or deep snow! I would NOT use pine.

Painted floors. To save money after tearing out horrid carpet upstairs, we temporarily (for about 8 years!) installed oak faced plywood in a couple of rooms and painted them with floor/porch paint. One room got daily use as we walked through it to get to our bedroom. Because of its location, it was part of the long "raceway" between the two end bedrooms upstairs. Again, lots of fast and furious Beagle traffic. The floors survived much, much better than the pine floors. They were painted a deep blue, so had they scratched like the pine downstairs did, we'd have seen it.

Of course, we're in New England and don't have Florida humidity.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 11:48AM
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My old thread got resurrected somehow :)

Our contractor did not think that painted floors were a good idea after a lot of discussion about it. We're right on the water so incredible lots of humidity and there would have been a lot of expense to getting the hardwood, sanding, painting, etc. I ended up getting a white bamboo that was click together and not very expensive so if it does get damaged over time due to the humidity, we wouldn't feel as bad about replacing.

It is going to be installed shortly (had to remove the popcorn ceilings first which has taken a LONG time. The guy doing all the remodeling work is good but molasses moves much faster than he does! We're back in PA now anyway but going back at the end of July and if the floor is done by then, I'll take pictures!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 11:59AM
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I love the look of the painted floor. However, in order to simplify, isn't there a wood or wood product that comes prefinished in the finish you want? The idea of ripping up the carpet putting down a vapor barrier and installing the floor and being done would be soooooo appealing to me.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Have you looked at the cushioned sheet vinyl? Not the cheap congoleum gunk of years ago but the durable stuff they make now, like flexitec...soft, non slippery, easy to clean quiet, and you can get it like stone or wood. Affordable and it will stand up to sand...I'm not sure painted wood never did in our old house and we weren't near sand.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 9:30PM
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Oh please post pictures of the bamboo when you head back there in July!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 3:47AM
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We painted the floors on our third-floor. Our house is an 1890 Victorian, and at some point someone had painted the random-width old floors in the attic. I wouldn't have painted if they weren't already. But I fell in love with a blue floor on some blog somewhere... And when we renovated the third-floor into a library, we (ok, me...) picked out a light blue, and I LOVE it. It's unusual and it makes the space so bright.

We used an exterior porch paint, in a low gloss. The light color does show dirt, but I personally like knowing my floor is clean. It's washable, and easy to take care of. We don't wear our shoes in the house, but I do have a cat with claws who loves to run around like a crazy animal up there... (she seems to think it's a race track,) and it's fine.

We had a painted front porch floor at another property and were surprised at how well the paint held up to weather, and snow shovels and whatnot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our 1890 Victorian

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:49AM
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