cherry cabinets with wood floors

nikrugaJuly 26, 2011

I need help! i am building a new home and need to decide on a flooring color for the entire house. we are doing cherry cabinets but LOVE dark walnut floors. we are afraid with cherry it will be too dark in the kitchen. we also have 2 large dogs and have heard that dark stains are terrible with pets because they show the scratches big time. we are wondering if we should go for the dark color we love, go lighter with a medium stain like special walnut or provincial, or just leave them natural to avoid the scratching. i really don't like the natural color at all though. Our builder uses minwax so if anyone knows their stain colors and has advice please help! Also, I have heard mixed things about pets whether you should poly the floors with shine to protect them or if that shows the scratches more.

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Walnut is a softer wood so scratches will happen. We put new walnut floors throughout the whole house and they are still working on them, but we are starting to see the light at the end if the tunnel. I am nervous about them because if their soft quality (we have dogs and little kids) but we love the look so much we went with them. We went with the traditional walnut stain and they are site finished. I'm not sure how natural finish will avoid scratches. Do you mean natural in color?

Here is a bad quality phone pic of the empty kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Oh, that walnut is divine!!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:27PM
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We just put in cherry cabinets and pondered the same issue as you are now. (We also have dogs, so scratches and hair were a consideration.) We ended up going with Chelsea Plank Flooring in Honey Ash -- it is a pre-finished plank, and ash is harder than oak, so we haven't had a scratch from the dogs yet. It's a nice medium stain, too, so it hides well (which natural would not do) without showing every dog hair and speck of dust (which I've been warned dark stains will do.) The prefinished wood was definitely a good choice for us -- the finish on this floor is very nice.

Here's the floor:

Here's the floor plus cabinets:

The darker grain in the Honey Ash planks really picks up the cherry cabinets. Highly recommended!
    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Thanks cat mom! We couldn't be more excited about them. I just hope I can live on them without stressing about them :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Fori is not pleased

Can't you trim the dog's nails and get the floor you want?

I wonder if I subconsciously got a dog the same color as my floors. I have a natural oak dog?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:07PM
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I would personally go with floors you love and not worry at all about dog hair or scratches. Typically you would sweep the floors before a party or other big event in your home so the hair becomes a non-issue. Scratches don't bother me personally - most people will just notice the pretty floor. We chose wide plank white oak for our recent reno and went with water-based Bona finish to keep a natural look. We have always had lighter floors (natural oak and maple) and light colored dog so that does help on the days you don't feel like sweeping :-) We are still in the planning phase of our kitchen reno but may be doing natural cherry cabs. Are you dead set on cherry cabs or is that negotiable? I would rather pick floors I love throughout the house and then pick cabs that work, rather than vice versa.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:22PM
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We are doing our kitchen in Alder/Cherry cabinets and had a hard time with picking the wood floor but in the end went with Aztec Cherry from Casa De Colour mainly because it was a solid stain since we did not want a bunch of variation that the natural woods have. The wood is actually a Brazillian Oak with a cherry stain.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:19AM
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Thanks everyone. We will have oak floors and are just choosing a stain color so the type of flooring is non negotiable. I just love the walnut colored stain and countrygirl it looks awesome. I am somewhat concerned about the dog's nails because I have 2 dogs around 100 pounds and I can absolutely keep their nails short so I feel a little better after hearing everyone's comments about that. I was just worried bc I heard horror stories of people having to get floors resanded after 1 yr bc dark stains show the natural color underneath when scratched up. Our biggest concern though is whether dark floors will be too cave like with cherry cabinets. We love cherry and can change the cabinet color to cream or something but I just find cherry so much warmer. What do you guys think?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:22AM
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I guess I misunderstood your original post about the type of wood. We had oak in our last house and it is a good tough floor but dogs will scratch it too and darker floors do show more dust and dirt but I prefer cleaning wood floors any day over carpet so I just sweep mine every other day with my central vac. Our old house had the standard oak color but I've seen the walnut stain on oak and it looks great. Espresso stain would be very hard to clean! How dark your kitchen is would depend on how much light there is, but I would pick the floors throughout first, then base your cabinet choice from that, like Jenny said above.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Fori is not pleased

Do you like natural cherry? It's pretty light, even after it's darkened with age.

A thing about oak is that there is a variation in grain depending on species among other things and some of it when stained dark will have a lot of stripeyness. This is not a bad look, although it may be less trendy right now, but it has enough variation to be dark and conceal scratches at the same time.

If your dogs don't RUN in the house and don't have crazy nails, you should be okay. I have a 60 pound (and growing) dog and we have had one episode where he was a little too excited and did that Wile E. Coyote thing and did mark the floor a little bit. He normally doesn't run in the house so we forgave him.

I think a shiny floor will show every flaw and a satin finish will be easier to touch up should it be necessary. It'll be just as tough as the shiny finish.

And if you like rugs and proper lighting, a kitchen is never too dark.

I think you should get some stained and finished samples, make sure they look nice with your doors, see if you like them, and then scratch them with keys. The floor guy should be willing to do a sample for you.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Thanks thats good advice!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:47PM
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I had the same concern so I ended up doing limestone tile instead. While i love the tile it was a lot more expensive than had I just done the wood.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:56PM
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When I want to see my ideas in use, I go to the Finished Kitchens Blog site and also to to search my criteria. By doing that rather than asking others to post pictures on your thread (that a lot of time have already been posted on here and are on the blog site already) you will get a lot broader spectrum of ideas.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 3:29PM
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I have two big boxer dogs who do run in the house.
They are a bit older now but one refuses to have her nails
trimmed. It is a battle we avoid these days as she is
rather fragile in old age. With two dogs, wild kids
and an active family wood has been the best option for
us. We love wood so much we are thinking about our
second floor all wood.

I have dark stained (oak) floors. They do not have a poly
shin like a Gymnasium. Rather they look more flat, matte
with a softer look. I am not sure what my floor guys
used I think Bonikemi traffic. Even if the dogs scatch the
floor it does not show.

Have you thought about hand scraped oak? These are rustic
but beautiful and would not show action from active

Here are some images of dark wood floors with cherry or dark similar cabinetry.
Hope these help.

walnut floors but I wanted you to see the contrast
with cherry cabs

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:19PM
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Fori is not pleased

As you can see from those lovely examples, it'll be fine as long as you don't also do your ceiling and you avoid yellow counters.

The 4th and 5th photos really show that streaky stripey oak to remind you that all oak isn't the same, even if stained the same. Samples samples samples!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:27PM
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Thank you so much boxerpups for all of those great pics- i really like the first one. i don't think i have much choice about the type of oak the builder uses- i'm sure i could upgrade it if i really wanted to but it would be out of the budget. i will definitely ask about the bonekemi traffic though. was that just the top coat over the stain?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:47PM
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SO UNDECIDED about dark cherry cabinets and what kind of flooring-ceramic or wood. Like the wood but I don't think any match the cabinets and really don't like the look of any color wood with my cabinets. ANY SUGGESTIONS? I've dragged this out for months.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:11AM
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