Personally, I'm a fan of hardwood floors in the kitchen. I think they are like jeans. . . they go with everything. I prefer a darkish walnut stain, but maybe something lighter would be better with your white cabinets and counter. Take a look at this color. . .
Here is a link that might be useful: princess white and hardwood floors
I'm also a fan of hardwood floors in the kitchen. I have white cabinets and dark counters and am I ever glad I have red oak on the floor to breathe warmth into the mix. It's nice to stand on and mine looks like new after 6 years.
Firsthouse used Du Chateau Vernal Collection Lugano..I just purchased my WP slab (finally, that decision took forever!) and I chose a gray/natural oak also from Du Chateau, Antique White Vernal collection. I have had yellowish maple natural floors for 13 years so really wanted something more neutral/grayer and to avoid orangy colors like the plague. They are gorgeous, they just came in yesterday. They are oiled floors like in Europe, you don't refinish them, you just oil them yearly for maintenance. That appealed to me.
linelle, what kind of floors and finish do you have? I would do hardwood in a blink of the eye as it's my favourite look but I'm worried about durability.
We just installed hardwood in the living room, dining room, breakfast area, and the bedroom hallway. I am so pleased with how much warmth the floors add. I went with Chestnut Sapele (a very dark warm brown with red highlights) .
I would post pictures but everything is a mess right now as I have cabinets, and drawers on the floors waiting to be installed tomorrow. Once the cabinets are in I will post some pics of the floors.
I was so worried about putting hardwood in the kitchen but oh my goodness there is nothing that beats the beauty and warmth of hardwood. IMO my chestnut sapele would look stunning with white cabinets!
I have 20-year old natural red oak floors with a "Pacific Strong" waterbased finish. They still look pretty good, despite dogs , kids, tricyle riding etc. A few years ago, we did the upstairs in Bona commercial grade finish. They wear even better.
Dina, I have red oak in my kitchen, dining room, living room and halls. It's got 5" wide planks. Not stained, but it had three coats in-place of what I'm guessing was an oil-based finish, because peee-yew! It has goldened up a bit over the 6 years, but uniformly...some gets direct sun, some none at all ever (hallway). Other than the very odd ding from who knows what, it looks like new. I have two EXTREMELY active indoor-only cats who chase each other and do wild spinouts on their sharp claws. You can see a bit of scratching at certain angles, but I think most of it is the finish, not the wood itself.
I just this minute washed the kitchen floor with white vinegar and water. It's been ages and I was feeling guilty. I know this is hopelessly medieval, but I prefer to do the floors on my hands and knees to really get it clean. I am amazed how good the floor looks up close and how little dirt actually was present.
My only regret was that I didn't get my entire house done instead of only half of it. I love red oak, as it brings a lot of warmth and life into my otherwise boring neutral palette.
Edited to add: Fortunately I've never had serious flooding in my kitchen. But I've had my share of spills on the floor and have wiped them up with no ill effects. I don't know why people are so afraid to have hardwood in the kitchen. It's a joy to stand on and a beauty to behold.
This post was edited by linelle on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 19:14
Linelle, hardwood does feel great. I am not at all a barefoot type but I love going barefoot on this floor. I love my floor so much I am considering doing my bedroom also.
linelle, is your floor stained on site or prefinished?
just to let everyone know, i just purchased an ash walnut hardwood planks, beautiful! (thanks eckbecker1) hopefully i'll post pictures of the finished kitchen in about a month. thanks to all!
JAM_SF, where did you buy your floors? I'm looking at the same ones you and firsthouse picked, but have only seen photos. I'm in the North Bay.
You can view Du Chateau floors at most wood retailers.. there are a lot of them here on the Peninsula.. Bay Area floors, Perfect Floors, Chimere, Master Mart, California Carpet all carry Du Chateau. Perfect Floors has pretty good pricing and installation charges. The sample boards do vary a lot, so try to check out a few retailers to get a sense of the floor. Du Chateau also has a lot of installation photos on their website. I chose Vernal Antique White, which is a smooth finished oak floor with gray undertones and has kind of an unfinished look. Firsthouse used Vernal Lugano, it has some wire brushing and white washing. They are all beautiful, you just have to see them and pick what you like.
Thanks! I emailed DuChateau and they sent me a list of retailers in my area. What do you think about the maintenance on these floors? Yearly oiling? The photos on their website are to die for- I really want these to work for me! I will be installing about 2800 sf so this is a huge project, huge investment, and I have to get it right.
I haven't installed the floors yet so I can't speak to maintenance. First house loved hers, and we were able to talk to another homeowner who loved hers, so we are hoping they wear well and are easy to maintain. I liked the oil maintenance aspect as I have had natural maple floors refinished twice with a water based lacquer, and within a short while with active kids my floors were scratched and once you scratch that coating its all downhill from there. I like the idea of being able to buff out a scratch and reapply the oil to refresh it. You do need to oil high traffic areas more often. Whether the floor is completely renewed as they say I don't know.
We will be starting demolition next week on our kitchen/dining remodel. I have also chosen the Du Chateau White Antique Vernal Collection flooring which will run throughout the kitchen, dining and living areas, about 900 sq ft total. We will have white cabinets with a metallic glaze and either the White Macaubas or Madre Perola quartzite countertop (waiting to see if the Madre Perola opens up at the warehouse). It will be a white modern looking kitchen with lots of windows and glass. I chose the Du Chateau because it has a matte finish (showing less dirt/dust), it has low VOC, the ease of which you can clean stains - just rub oil into it, and the fact that the oil helps it repel water. Everyone was trying to talk me out of it as it is so expensive and it felt like it was an uphill battle at times but I persevered. No one up this far North really has it so it was a huge effort to track down samples. I have quite a reputation at the distributorship. But, I did get my way and the contractor is going to order it any day now. I would love to see pictures of it JAM_SF once you get it installed. I think the flooring will elevate the entire remodel to a casual elegance and will be the highlight of the remodel.
We absolutely LOVE this floor, it's being installed as we speak, however the stair noses and reducers have been a challenge. They initially sent the wrong ones (different color), and then replaced those with stair noses with chipped edges.. and have been very difficult to deal with to get replacements. They actually sent us an email today with photos of new stair noses and said we had to approve the photo and we would be financially responsible for them if we refused them. We are very disappointed in this service, but the actual floor is breathtaking. Hopefully you aren't doing stairs.
I will take a pic if I can (most of them are covered up) and try to post tommorow. The saga continues with the stair noses. We aren't asking for anything out of the ordinary, just that we get the product we paid for.
We actually had the operations mgr tell us we couldn't call them and we had to work through our retailer, so it's been like playing telephone to try to get this resolved, capped off by this very off putting email today with photos of stair noses that some looked OK, and others had chips in them. I mean, it's not our responsibility for their quality control.
Here is another photo of the floors. I had no maintenance issues with them. They supplied me with some cleaner that they recommend and I used that. I only oiled them once in two years and it was fairly easy--used their product. I found the floors incredibly forgiving....they are a bit "rough" to the touch. They are not the super smooth polished feel. If you like that, the floors are great. I especially loved the matte finish because it didn't show dust like my old darker walnut floors.
Here are two different colors of the DuChateu. The sunken area is my living room and I used a darker color for that. Partly because of the tripping hazard (I have lots of old relatives) and partly for dramatic effect, I used a different color there.