Kitchen floor dilemma!

lisaleJune 9, 2013

We are embarking on a kitchen and FAmily room remodel and I love the look of hickory flooring! We are struggling now with weather to put down unfinished oak and sand and refinish all the existing oak on the 1st floor to match (LR,DR,foyer)or to rip out the oak and put in solid 2 1/4 hickory instead? The cost of both options would be similar.
If we refinish, we would go with the water based commercial grade Bona Traffic poly. It is much more expensive than the oil, but it has lower odor and VOC's.
My biggest reservation with putting down new hickory and ripping out the oak is that it may not lay as flat as the oak currently in place does. The house was built in 1967 and there has been some minor settling. So, the floors are not completely flat in the foyer. Over time the oak has settled along with the house and conformed to its shape. Not sure how the hickory would react to this?
Any opinions as to whether we should replace with hickory or just match and refinish? Any feedback is appreciated!!!

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I would place oak in prefinished factory finish in your new might get a very close match to what you have in the other areas...or shift away a few degrees of tone....that works.Stick with similar plank widths which should be doable. I would not lay a hickory floor throughout. If something has to be differentiated, I would stick with family room in the oak and get an entirely different product such as marmoleum in the kitchen. but of course, much depends on the details of your space which are not shown.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Do you know what caused the settling and do any structural repairs need to be made before you replace any flooring? We have a similar issue with our 1967 house and will be getting a basement level garage door header sistered and the sub floors shimmed in the area over the bedrooms. Then we will approach the best way to restore the hardwood floors in those rooms. No flooring installer we talked to would guarantee their work with an existing issue. It cost us $600 for the engineering report, and still waiting on the estimate for the header repair.

BTW natural hickory floors are awesome. We put them in our living room 15 years ago and I am still happy with them. We get a ton of compliments.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:51AM
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My friend has hickory floors and they are awesome. I love baseball and the floor reminds me of bats.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Not much help, but we have commercial grade Bona traffic ply (matte). Has held really well, including kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Thanks for all the feedback!!
LoPay, not sure if there are any structural issues. In the foyer the bowing is so mild, no flooring guy commented. However in the kitchen it is more severe and that area will need to be taken down to the studs and addressed. I was told it may be due to
A) normal settling
B) old or active leak
C) subfloor being too thin
D) termites in a couple of the beams, however I was told that was unlikely

So we will see what happens with regard to that issue!

Nosoccermom, was there any lingering noxious odor with the bona traffic? I had headaches and nausea for 8 months following application of oil based poly...this is also part of my hesitation with refinishing!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 9:55PM
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