What kind of wood floors with oak cabinets?

msroseJuly 25, 2013

I'm still saving for new floors, so I don't have to make a decision right now, but I've been thinking about it for 2 or 3 years and can't decide what I want. It's between wood, travertine, and tile. One of the issues I run into when I think about wood is what would look good next to my oak cabinets in the kitchen. I always thought if I ever got wood floors, I would get a busy oak to help hide dirt and dust. I'm definitely not one to Swiffer every day. Now that I have a house with busy oak cabinets, that's not going to work. Is there anything that would look good and give me the low maintenance I want? My house is long and narrow with an open floor plan, so I think it would like best to have the same flooring every where, but I keep wondering if my best choice is to have tile in the kitchen and wood in the family room if I decide I want wood. Would you go with tile or travertine in order to have the same floor throughout?

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Sorry! I meant to post this in the decorating forum.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 12:08PM
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I have oak floors with my oak cabinets. Peke

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:07PM
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I have maple floors and will be ordering lighter colored maple cabinets. I find cleaning the wood floors much easier than when I had tile. I do like traveltine, but haven't spent time in any home with such a floor.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Wood floors are very easy to clean compared to tile. Bookworm is right! I love the wood in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 11:47PM
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I have tile with my natural oak (lighting in picture is making them look more golden then they are).

This post was edited by zoey75 on Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 17:05

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Kristen Hallock

We have maple cabinets (natural color) and oak floors and I love that combo. I like a bit of a contrast.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Have you checked if your floor is suitable for natural stone? There is a formula that is used, taking the deflection of your joist into consideration as well as the thickness of subfloor. The formula can be found on the John Bridge forum. They call it the "deflectometer" or something silly like that. Very helpful tool. I wanted slate in a bathroom and found out I needed more joists to stiffen up my floor. Ceramic tiles don't need the same stiffness. It might help you decide if travertine is going to work for you.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 6:39PM
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Really? Wood is easier to clean? I've never had wood, so I just assumed tile was the easiest of all.

Peke - Thanks for the picture! Did you ever pick out a countertop to go on those oak cabinets :)

enduring - I have a concrete slab, so I'm guessing it would be okay??? I know one of my neighbors had travertine installed.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 8:59PM
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I don't know if wood is easier to clean, but it sure doesn't show much dirt, esp. if it isn't too dark a color. Of course, there isn't the grout issue. I have red oak floors and they looked fine with even when my cabs were golden oak.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Concrete should be ok. I believe that a decoupling layer would still be needed.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:29PM
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If you're on a slab, you've got to do a thin glue down floor. I wouldn't recommend that because eventually it will have to come up due to wear and tear. Taking out a glue down and preparing for new flooring is a bear, all the glue must come off. That means grinders and hand scraping. The prefinished engineered floors do not hold up well either.

How do people clean their wood floors? I would want to wash any kitchen floor. The wood will not hold up well to that. A family member has a glue down wood in their kitchen. They just vacuum. It is not a "clean" floor. It also has small fissures all over the surface from moisture coming up from the slab. Those collect grime. Spills with unsealed tongue and groove flooring is also unappealing. Liquids will seep below with any gaps.

Looking at your living room and kitchen, the travertine would seem to follow the feel you have going on. Many of the wood tones would suck a lot of light out of the kitchen and make the space feel heavy with your handsome cabinets being quite dark. I can imagine a travertine with a range of colors, not just the very light color, which would be pretty too. I think the rustic texture of a travertine would work nicely with your cabinetry. It would also tie in with and provide a nice complementary contrast to the more delicate backsplash. Another plus over more wood, imo. (Oh, I keep seeing those as onyx. Not sure exactly what the glass looks like up close, but the coloring is similar and it has texture).

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Jul 30, 13 at 22:31

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 1:52PM
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MSrose- I bought Sea Pearl. The fabricator called me and said if I would go ahead and pay for the slab that he would come over right away and measure for the slab. Then it would take a week. That was two weeks ago and I haven't seen him. I think I will call tomorrow and say that I am having the slab moved to another fabricator. That should get him to return my calls and get my kitchen measured.

As to cleaning the wood floor, I use a huge dust mop about 3' wide, a vacuum, and two mop heads that velcro on the dust mop handle. I bought the mops at a janitorial supply. They go right in the washer and dryer. I use one mop head as a damp mop and the other for wood floor polish/wax.

I sometimes use my shark steam mop. You can't use it with all floors. It has something to do with the how the floor was finished, I think.

Tile floors are hard to clean. I have had flat surface tiles that were super slick when wet and textured tiles that are not slick, but are a bear to clean. Then there is the grout! Worst of all. I would go with wood every time.

I am sure whatever you choose will look wonderful with your cabinets. Peke

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 11:34PM
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have you already thought about a porcelain stoneware with wood effect? I think that this could be the best solution, easy to clean and beautiful . IâÂÂve a porcelain stoneware of Cerim (brand of florim group)with chestnut effect in my home, both in the kitchen and in the living room. Have a look also at this solution!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 5:25AM
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Appropriate wood floor cleaner and use of sponge mop and a bucket of warm water has cleaned our wood floor well.......respect the top finish and a wood floor is just fine.[a mat at the sink and any traffic lane perhaps gets a runner......but not necessary] Does one not wipe up a spill when it occurs? use of a broom and dustpan to sweep a bit between mopping is not stressful or difficult.Are the beveled edges and hand scraped profiles the styles that some are against? there shouldn't be gaps[?] between the boards for whatever to collect . traditional oak floor laid properly should not be a maintenance hassle.I like Peke's oak with oak....very classic.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 7:50AM
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I've found the best way to really clean my oak floors (or any noncarpeted floor) is on hands and knees. I use water and white vinegar as recommended by the guy who installed the floors. I'm not on a slab and my red oak has three coats of oil-based sealer on top. I don't slop on the water, but use a wrung-out sponge. The floors clean up nicely and show no ill effects from their brief encounter with a little water. I sweep and spot-clean in between.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Snookums - Is glue down my only choice? I got some samples in the mail today and I really like one of them, but it's a lot thicker than the other samples. I remember someone telling me one time that's what you use if you're building a new house, not replacing a floor in a house that's already built. I went to the Shaw website to see if I could figure out the difference and this is what it says for installation: nail down/staple. For some of the others, it says float/glue/nail/staple. I'm wondering if I need one that can be floated? I still don't understand why some are thicker than others.

Peke - I'm finding that no one ever does anything when they say they will. I get to where I don't even want to do anything else to my house just because I don't want to deal with the people. You'd think he would want to get it done, so he could get your slab out of his shop and get paid. I just don't understand people.

Angy85 - I have given some serious thought to going with the wood like tile, but I'm chicken and I don't know why. My mother is also giving it some serious consideration. We went to a new Chili's recently and they had it and she thought it was great. Do you have picture of your floors? I haven't ruled anything out at this point.

herbflavor - So, should I look for something without the beveled edge? It seems like the ones I look at usually have the beveled edge.

Thanks for all the cleaning tips!

Here is a link that might be useful: Nail down/staple floor

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 6:43PM
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You can't nail or staple to concrete. So your options would be to glue or, yes, forgot about floating. Not sure I'd want to float a floor with potential for liquid spills. Research slab installations for limitations and requirements, but the specific flooring documents will tell you how they need to be installed and cared for.

It looks like the linked floor is 3/4'. Glue down is typically 3/8', some can go up to 1/2' but I'm not sure it's a best practice. Can't remember floating specs either but they are usually thinner, maybe up to 1/2' and need to be at least 3 inches wide, as I recall. They are certainly easier for install and removal. These new floors just do not hold up like the solid wood ones of the past. Engineered can be better than solid depending on the weather in your location.

Beveled edges are often if not always used for prefinished floors so the boards can fit together as a flush surface. With square edges on solid unfinished, they install, sand flush and then finish. There are micro bevels that are less noticeable.

Be aware of the board lengths of the floor you select, if you want a traditional random length look. The cuts today are often shorter and sometimes even all the same. Note how much variation in color/grain there is. There is a scale for comparison. Also be aware of the way floating floors sound and feel under foot, with or without underlayments, before you commit. They have a different hollow sound and feel. One I walked on in a show room, supposedly professional install, squeaked like the devil all over.

Unfortunately, you need to do your research quite a bit on this! Make sure you know how they will install it so that it will meet specs. Avoid the mass production stair stepping method and H joints. Make sure the wood is acclimated to your house for a number of weeks; stored flat, only two or three boxes high. Floor must be flat and level; checked for moisture content and be in equilibrium with the flooring boards moisture content at install . Etc! And verify anything I've said, lol. Installers are not necessarily diligent (or even reasonably careful) with this stuff.

Here's a link with some pointers:

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardwood installation tips

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 20:11

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Msrose, our house had a concrete porch that was turned into part of the living room. The concrete was about 12" lower than the interior concrete floor. The previous owners walled the porch in, put a 30' I-beam in, then raised the floor. They put wood rafters over the concrete. So part of my living room has the oak floor over plywood and them other part is over concrete.

I called the fabricator today and reminded them that 16 days has gone by since I paid for the slab. They promised they were coming this morning to measure. Around 5:00 they called and said it would be tomorrow. We'll see! Peke

All of our flooring is nailed. They nailed one piece into the other. No glue at all. I think my floor is part white oak and part red oak, but all mixed up.

I have seen medium oak cabinets with medium oak floors and I have seen medium oak floors with light oak or natural oak floors. Both look great, but lighter oak hides "things" better.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 10:55PM
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Ok, now I remember the word......it is not rafters, it should be joists. Duh...my poor little brain has dust in it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 10:56PM
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Sorry msrose, I didn't see your question until just now!

'Do you have picture of your floors?'
...this is a picture of the tile (taken from the producer's website)

Here is a link that might be useful: woodessence-chestnut

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:12AM
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Thanks, Angy85 - That looks really nice!

This post was edited by msrose on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 7:25

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 7:23AM
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You can see the laminate color I have, in my before and after kitchen remodel videos that I posted online to better show my kitchen, at;
You definitely need something in a contrasting color. I think My light floor worked with both the light oak and the dark color after I stained them.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 12:45PM
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I would probably do oak, just no stain or a very light one. Your cabinets look kind of dark so I think there would be enough contrast.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 1:29PM
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