Wood Floors -Confused

SeededMay 15, 2012

Came across this forum today. Usually hang out in the garden forums and never thought to check out forums for inside. I am having a design/decor issue with wooden floors. We have an open floor plan foyer/living/dining/den. Eight months ago we put eng. oak floors in the master to match as close as possible what's in the living area. Needless to say, it doesn't match (color or grain) at all. The bedroom is rotary cut (more grain) and the other rooms aren't. We are removing the wood from the living areas and trying to figure out what to do. I think the bedroom floor is too busy with the swirls and lines. Husband thinks we should keep it the same. At this point (and price) I wish we could cover it all with laminate. New flooring guy wants to do hickory, but I really like oak even though he says its outdated. Help.

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I think the sales guy just wants a higher commission. Oak cabinets may be considered dated but oak flooring (IMHO) is a classic that's been used for generations. It's a great choice for floors because it affordable, hides dirt well and wears well. It also accepts stains very easily so sanding a restaining the planks in a different color is not a problem. What more could you ask for?

In regards to your floors, while consistency is always nice, it's not mandatory and you can use something else in the main living areas. There's lots to choose from and you can get oak flooring with less pattern as well. We have oak cabinets in our kitchen so we laid Brazilian Walnut in the kitchen / dining areas because we knew the grain in the cabinets would compete with the grain in the flooring. I didn't want that, but we have a nice prefinished oak throughout the rest of the first floor. We installed our own though and it's 3/4 inch planks.

I'm personally not a fan of laminate and if resale is in your future, it can affect the value depending on where you live. I'm also not a fan of the engineered wood flooring, simply because it doesn't have as much life to it or wear as well as the solid planks.

If you like the oak, then I would just get a nice gunstock with less grain.

Can you post pictures of the spaces your referring to?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 5:14PM
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I agree with lukki. Oak flooring is pretty classic. I feel that hickory is a bit more taste specific. My mother's house, that was built in 1945 has original oak floors.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:01PM
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QS White Oak would look nice.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Okay. Went back to the floor store. Found an eng. wood floor that I really like. It is Anderson- Rushmore- Lantern Oak. Finish is really well done. It is darker than the faux pas in the bedroom. Spoke with another flooring man about the situation and he said he could "bring the existing floor in the bedroom pretty close to the sample" as long as I was going darker, not lighter. He would not be sanding the floor, but putting some sort of top coat on it.

I told the man where I found the sample that I was not interested in Hickory (that he kept pushing). He proceded to tell me how "in" hickory was and how young people like it because oak reminds them of their parents. Had to laugh because I wish my parents had oak. I grew up on a nasty multi-colored shag.

We'll probably be making the decision at the end of June. So far the best news is the tear up price wasn't as bad as we thought for the living areas. We aren't going with solid wood because we've been advised to go with prefinished eng. wood because we are on a slab in a very high humidity area.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:21AM
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I'm a bit confused. Are the floors you are replacing in the living area real wood and are you just replacing them because they don't match the bedroom?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:10AM
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I have the same question as lizbeth. What type of flooring is in the LR? If you've got real wood there, what type is it and why not refinish it and then replace the bedroom flooring to match the LR?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Sounds like you're getting bad advice. I live in the very humid deep south. Wood floors are common on slab and pier construction.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 12:14PM
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Exactly what lukkiirish said. I am certainly guilty of labeling many things "outdated", but I do not believe oak flooring is one of them. Oak flooring is beautiful and interesting and can take many fantastic stains. I only wish my home had oak flooring in the main living areas. I also do not think there is anything wrong with having two different wood varieties between two separate areas. I personally do not like to mix wood varieties in open adjoining spaces, but that's my personal opinion. And that does not seem to be what you're dealing with now.

Also, I would absolutely not replace a living area full of wonderful solid oak with laminate or engineered. In my opinion solid wood floors are much better quality both for durability, refinishing, and re-sale.

As lukkiirish suggested, can you post some pictures? Maybe you really don't need to replace the floors. Then the flooring guy can go enjoy hickory all by himself.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 2:23PM
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lizbeth and annz - the floors in the living areas are eng. wood. They are too thin to sand down even once (previous owners left half a box in the attic). We tried to match them for the bedroom and that was a huge mistake. Wish we had solid floors.

Lived in Kansas for a few years with gorgeous solid red oak floors throughout (older home). Loved them, even in the frigid winters.

The master isn't completely viewable from the living area. So, I guess the new areas don't have to match exactly. And they won't because I can't live with the crazy grain over so much square feet.

I will try to post pics again. Must be doing something wrong.

Thanks for all the input.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Hi, Ok dieing to know if you put in the Anderson Rushmore?
I am looking at the exact same floor, same color and just
can't pull the trigger. Price is all over the map. Latest is $3.10 sq.ft. Please let us know if you put it
in and what you think. Also post pic's if at all possible.
This is my first post ever. Let us know... thanks

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 7:29PM
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If your bedroom has a door, I would not expect the floor to match. Maybe put a runner outside the door to the master bedrm to disquise the difference since it bothers you.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:50PM
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Oak floors dated! Sheesh! I like hickory, it's tough and full of character, but it is so popular so recently I would be more worried about hickory dating a house than oak. Re matching-- gosh, I would go with what you like better (calmer grain) and not worry excessively if rooms don't match. Wouldn't an area rug be less costly than redoing the floor?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:02AM
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Natal, pier and beam is very different that working with a slab foundation. On a slab, most folks will not install anything other than engineered wood and they will generally not warranty it unless the slab was specially prepared for solid wood flooring or you add a plywood base and wind up raising your floors an inch and a half. The only exception we found was possibly mesquite -- which is harder to find, most flooring people are not familiar with it, it will either have shorter boards and/or be much more expensive, tends to be orangey-red (the reason we didn't get it) and even then, you may or may not get someone who is willing to install in over slab or warranty the job. With the weather variances in the last year or two, we found further qualifications with them telling us the moisture meter would tell us whet we had after a year of drought, but not what would happen with our slab in a wet year and they would not warrant that.

Hickory is very different. We looked at it and I didn't want the grain and color variation. If you don't love it, don't do it. I don't love oak cabinets, but I like some oak floors. I don't care for the heavy grain -- might be what you describe as swirly in your BR.
I think it is okay to have different flooring in your BR, but if you aren't happy with it, can you find something that will allow you to do it all in the same flooring? We ordered our flooring, but both the place we bought from and one or two others had in stock materials they order in large quantity and can give better deals on. Maybe you can find something along those lines that will give you the look you want and a good enough value to get them all the same without spending more than you were planning. Might be worth looking into.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:59PM
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