Can a mismatched hardwood floor look good?

deejeAugust 27, 2012

Our house, having been built in the early '90s, is all honey oak -- baseboards, doors, window trim, staircases, kitchen cabinets, built-ins -- and my husband refuses to consider purchasing anything else in that orange-y color. Fair enough.

But now we're discussing replacing our existing main floor carpeting and tile with hardwood, and he wants a dark floor... but he doesn't want the hassle of replacing or staining any of the other woods. I can't imagine using one color for the floor while EVERY other piece of wood is a completely different color.

Would it look ridiculous, as I suspect? Or am I just a traditionalist? Could a darker stain work, if the wood itself matched? Has anyone ever done this successfully, or seen it done? Photos?

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Whatever you decide, remember that dark floors magnify and emphasize every speck of dust and lint, and every tiny little spot of liquid, even if you are meticulous.

I Think it would be fine to mix the woods, but I would want the baseboards at least to match the floor.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:29PM
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Dark floors look wonderful the day they're mopped & dusted. But Shermann is right, they definitely emphasize dust & lint. Why not blend the hardwood to a somewhat darker color than the baseboards without going to a really dark color.(I would not want to restain either). Bring home several samples & decide what will look good with the honey oak.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:44PM
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I'm with Shermann on this. Dark floors show everything. White floors show everything. I love those old black and white checkerboard floors, but that's why I'll never have one.

That is the beauty of the "orangey" oak floors. Medium toned and heavily grained, they hide dirt well until we can get there with our mops.

You could always take a cup of dirt from your back yard, mix it with dog/cat hair (whichever you have) then take it to the flooring store and match it. Or if your DH still insists on a dark floor, make him mop it. LOL!

You can mix the woods, if you like. Lots of houses have that, including mine. My baseboards are white throughout.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Oh my gosh, I didn't even think about the dust visibility factor. Thanks for that, sherrmann. Until your comment, I didn't have anything against the dark color per se, just that it wouldn't work with all the honey oak. Now I'm even more skeptical that his idea could work... has anyone done their floor in a different toned wood than everything else?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Wow, I totally missed the other comments while I (slowly) typed my response to Sherrmann. :) Thanks, oceanna and southerngal25!

I wonder whether a slightly darker stain on a different wood might be different enouh for hubby?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:53PM
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We have oak cabinets in our kitchen and oak wood in all of the first level except the kitchen and dining room. I didn't want the grains to compete so we went with Brazilian Walnut for the floors in those two rooms instead. It looks really good with the oak because it has a mix of colors and hints of a similar tone as the oak. I'm not sure how it would look with oak trim, but as you can see, with the cabinets it goes very well.

I know a lot of people say the dark floors show ever speck of dirt but believe me, they don't; at least ours don't. We got it from Lumber Liquidators. No stain, the wood is that color all the way through the plank. It's also a very strong and durable wood, equal to teak.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 4:54PM
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The house we're moving into next month has Asian walnut floors and I could see that or something similar being a good compromise if you both like flooring with a lot of variation. It's a combo of lighter and darker colors so it could go well with your current woodwork but also coordinate with some darker wood furnishings if you have them.

Houzz has some good examples of homes with Asian walnut flooring and oak trim like yours to give you an idea. I would think hickory flooring could be another option for the same reason.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 4:59PM
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lukkiirish's floor looks like it would blend well with your golden oak, It doesn't look (on my monitor) to be dark and the variations would help it blend in.

Is painting the trim white a possibility? If so, I like the white baseboard with the the quarter round the same color as the floor. It definitely is easier to keep clean.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Our floors are medium-tone wood. All our woodwork and doors are dark-stained wood, except in the bedrooms where trim is white, but doors are still dark. I think it all looks great!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:50PM
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lukkiirish, your floors don't appear to be dark. Our last house had dark floors, and NEVER AGAIN! the dust drove me nuts, I hated them! We have had oak & a stained hickory and and current floors are 75 yr old southern pine, and all these floors are so much easier to keep looking good. The dark floors looked good for the first hour after cleaning.

Oh, and they replaced the wood floor in the kitchen with oak, so we have pine and oak, and I think it is just fine.

Old dark floors - looks great - but oh.. never again!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Wow, Tinker, your floors (and house) were gorgeous. Ours has a blend of color in them from very dark to that light oak color but is predominately a darker tone. From another room they look much like yours did. I don't have as much of a problem with them and dirt but have to admit, the oak is even less of a problem. Maybe lighting has something to do with it as well.

Deeje, if you want to see how the oak would look with a different wood, maybe you can photo shop a mock up of a photo of your room using Tinkers floors or use Tinkers photo and have someone mock up the trim in it with oak. (or ask someone to photo shop for you) At least that way you'd get an idea of what it would look like.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Here is our Asian Walnut floor (please excuse the primed, not painted walls). It's quite striking and everyone who sees it comments on how pretty it is.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Well, I am LOVING both the Asian Walnut and the Brazilian Walnut floors. I really think the variation in colors would work well, as we have several large pieces of dark wood furniture to consider... these floors would tie in tones from both the furniture and the trim. And no restaining or painting! Bonus!

Now to look for good-sized samples of one/both so I can run it past my husband... or get some current interior shots and photoshop in these beautiful floors! I hope he'll agree. Thanks so much, everyone!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 8:42AM
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