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Picking hardwood flooring color

Posted by lascatx (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 24, 11 at 18:34

I'm between that proverbial rock and a hard place. I'm am already at the 11th hour and about to strike midnight on ordering flooring and don't know which one to pick -- I keep going in circles.

We need to have flooring installed before the holidays -- the half bath and dining room have exposed concrete due to damage that has been repaired and they are now ready for flooring. We planned from the time we bought the house to install hardwoods in the entry, dining room and living room and now plan to extend that into the master bedroom. Due to some poor patching work, we have decided to replace the tile in the kitchen, breakfast and family room with cork in a similar color (thought about wood but really want the softer floor in the kitchen for long days of cooking and baking and there is no break between the rooms).

We had visions of cherry or mesquite, but when we got to bringing in samples, those choices didn't go with the knotty cherry island and hutch in the kitchen or the red brick fireplace. Neither of us can see blonde woods in this house, the golden, orangey and greenish tones don't work, so that leaves us with darker browns with red undertones. I've got several samples of the same floor in different finishes that are so nearly the same, yet the photos of those woods online and in their catalog look very different -- it scares me to think that the samples we have may not look like what we could order and get delivered. One other sample is a chocolate brown and it always looks pretty much the same, I love the look. It is dark enough to not fight any of the red tones in the wood or brick. It is a 5" plank while the first flooring is done in 4,6 and 8 inch planks -- and I do like the random width planks as well as the wider ones.

I'm finding this decision harder than all the decisions I made when redoing my entire kitchen. Short of drawing straws, how do I get past this impasse? Realizing that if it is this hard, anyone of them will probably be fine is not doing it. ;-)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Are they staining it on-site? Our builder had the flooring guys put down sample patches of the top 5 stain choices I picked, that way I could see them on the floor, in the light, etc... I knew I wanted a dark brown with no red, so I went with 75% Jacobean, 25% dark walnut. See if the can stain a sample area for you.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

No -- I am on a concrete slab near the Gulf Coast and limited to engineered flooring. I've heard of some unfinished, but no one around here sells them. We spent some time trying to hunt down some options because we were wanting to go with an oil finish. The few we found were not right and a lot more expensive.

We are favoring this one, but the photo looks more red than the sample we have

Funny thing is that we also have sample of this one at home and both of them look somewhere in between the two photos and as if they could be the same one -- but which one? I think they mismarked one of them which is one of the reasons I'm worried about what will get delivered. We also have a walnut that is similar color, slightly different grain.

This one is the other contender, which I love at times and cool on at times


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Wow...that is tough! They are all lovely, but I really love #2. Which looks best with your furniture and cabs? You said you have a cherry island...would #1 be too close? The random width is so pretty!


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Before I forget again, I remember your floor and the stain mix from all the previous threads I've been going through to study photos. You got a beautiful floor and I was envious of the ability to use solid would and stain to exactly what you wanted.

One of the reasons we've gone darker than we expected was because what we expected was too close to the island. These go a little darker and the tone variations pick up some of the red tone in the cherry without being red and pick up the dark of the knots and glaze.

I tried to take a photo of the samples we have with my son's camera and couldn't get the white balance and focus right. This photo is dark and reads redder, but it shows the three finishes in the random width with the cork that we are looking at for the kitchen (lower left). The sample of the first photo above is upper left. The second one above is upper right and lower right is a walnut.
Photobucket
This one is too light and orange/red, but again, you can see how similar they are and why I'm wondering if one is mismarked.
Photobucket


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A better color representation

I just went through the Home-A-Rama/Eye Candy thread and that first dining room has a floor that looks like at least the general color of what we are looking at. It's the photo with the lady carrying the blue jacket over her arm.


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Your samples don't look like the photographs to me...I agree. I honestly can barely tell the difference between them in your sample pic, while in the first pics there is a very definite difference. Before such a huge purchase, I would definitely double check those samples. They all look like pic 1 to me. Good luck...this is a big decision!


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Taking those photos convinced me that there is a question about what they actually are. The first sample -- in its true, not so red/not so dark color seems to work in our house, but the more golden tone or the orangey red would not.

Thank you again for your input and for being the only person to respond. My DH doesn't have a good eye for color and can't visualize how things will go together. I had to make copies of our proposed kitchen elevation and use colored pencils to draw in the different finishes, countertops, backsplash tile, and even paste in the island light fixture so he could see if he liked it.

I think we have decided on the random width rather than the 5" plank. It is going to still look fairly dark-- and a lot darker than the once off white carpet, crema marfil tile and travertine look porcelain tile it will be replacing. DH has never liked the crema marfil in the entry (I did), but its fate was sealed when we had to repaid a plumbing leak under the slab and part of it had to come out.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

We agonized over the same thing. I did not want flooring that read orange or red and so many of them do. I also wasn't sure what size width to use. We finally picked Shaw hickory flooring in a color called Burnished Amber and used the 5" planks. We absolutely love it. Not dark, dark, but a nice brown. Good luck. I made myself sick wondering if I was going to hate it and knowing how much it cost if I did! It is very difficult to pick flooring from the samples they have but our installer actually had some left over boards from a job he had done and let us bring them home. You might ask them if they have any "leftovers" from another job you could could borrow to get a better idea.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

I love the dark but consider dustiness, unless you like to sweep daily. I'd go with #2. . Very pretty.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Completely agree with gmp3 - if you are ok with cleaning every day go with the darker floors. If you want to be able to give yourself a little time between sweeping, then go with #2. I have had both and love a little bit of a lighter shade.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

We have left the darkest one behind, but the funny thing is that #1 and #2 are almost exactly the same, but tot he extent one is redder, it is the sample of #2. Neither one is lighter or darker than the other. The rep pulled a board for us and I'm going to the store to see it tomorrow. DH has said he wants to get a roomba when we get the new floors in. With 2 dogs -- might be a good idea no matter which choice we go with.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

I FINALLY found a room photo with the same wood we are planning on installing --

This is off facebook and appears to have been an HGTV Property Brothers install. It goes under Palmetto Road in that area and Southern Traditions in this area. It really helps to see more than a sample board, especially when the colors vary. It does appear one of the sample boards is not marked correctly. Anyway, this is the closest photo to what the samples really looks like. Little different than the snapshot photos, huh? We won't get the furniture or big windows, but it is a nice, classic looking floor.

Looks like I have a week to pack up the loos stuff on most of the ground floor. OMG


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

That is going to be gorgeous!


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Thanks. The only thing I need to decide between now and Monday morning is whether to stick to the plan of putting a similar color cork in the kitchen running the other direction. The cork actually came up because we wanted to switch directions. I know it's not necessary to switch materials to change directions, but the cork seems warmer and softer underfoot and eases my fears of every dropped knife or fork, much less can or pan, dinging the floor. Besides, these cabinets are a lot different than my white and lighter knotty cherry.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Wish I could help. We just picked our floor.....Shaw Vintage Charm, from the Epic Collection (in Prairie Dust). It's hickory and I love it. We're also on the Gulf Coast and hope to have it done by the holidays.

FWIW, my sample board looks the same as this pick from Shaw's site:

October 22, 2011


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RE: hardwood flooring color

Let me try that again...


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

That's pretty too. Very different, but you know, it's easier to find a pretty floor or a floor that's not right for you than to find an ugly one. Do you have you availability confirmed and installation set yet? We have that done but I have to call them Monday to confirm the color because we brought home yet another sample. The one they had pulled but he rep was a little deeper in color so we wanted to double check it in the house. Better to know there will be more color variation than I was expecting now than later.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

lascatx - Can you tell me the name of the floor you're looking at? I just love the random width.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

I love your new flooring! It is a pain getting it laid, we had to move everything in the house, twice :-), but it is well worth it. We have two shedding white dogs but I can run around with a swifter in just a few minutes and it hasn't been that big a deal for me. A lot less trouble to keep than the beige carpet we had before!


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Msrose, in the Texas and adjoining Gulf Coast states, this is Southern Traditions Amalfi Coast. It also has the name Bella Cera on it. The photo is labelled Palmetto Road, which appears to be Tennesee and the southeastern coastal states. The Southern Traditions version launched this summer and it looks like Palmetto Road is following by a couple of months, so it is pretty new and might not be in all areas yet.

They have two random width versions (the one factor DH didn't like when I showed him pictures but decided he liked best when we brought a sample home -- he's funny that way). Verona is a 4-5-6" combination and Amalfi Coast is 4-6-8". They are engineered flooring -- which we need on our cement slabs. They have a variety of species -- at least hickory, maple, cherry, and walnut. We also looked at an acacia and a hickory in 5" width.

Carolfm, we are ripping out the last of the light beige (or was it once offwhite?) carpet here. We didn't replace in the formals when we moved in 9 years ago because we planned on wood floors. Then we started having pet problems and put things off. That nasty stuff is about 20 years old now best we can tell. Good news is that it's been long enough to rip out what we did put in the master and put wood in there too. I can't imagine the black dog fur will be more of a problem with wood floors than on white carpet.

I put the facebook link below. If you are closer to my area, look up Southern Traditions (that plus floors-dot-com will take you to their website).

Here is a link that might be useful: Facebook link


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

I'm really not liking the pronounced edge bevel that the floor seems to have. The deep horizontal slash where the two end pieces come together totally disrupts the linearity. And, the deep groove has got to be difficult to clean. With dogs, I'd imagine that lots of fur would get caught in those grooves. I'd choose the cork for the whole floor rather than choose a wood that beveled. That's not a "micro" bevel.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Lascatz, that looks very similar to my dark hand scraped floors, and of course don't remember the name. They *are* beautiful, but I have a dog and 3 cats, and the sight of fur is very evident! I love my 'kids', and swiffer or vac every day. Just thought you might want to know that in case you have furry kids. ;o)


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Patty-Cakes -- I do have furry kids, but two black dogs now. Until recently, I also had two lighter color cats and there would have been no winning the fur bunny battle on any floor. Our current flooring is all very light, so I think we will actually be better off between sweeps. Still, DH and I are both thinking a roomba sounds pretty good. ;-)

Hollysprings, you are right -- that's not a micro bevel but I didn't say it was or that I had to have a micro bevel. The sample has been dog and cat fur tested (we started this process when we still had one of them) and nothing gets stuck. The samples don't look that choppy. The accentuated appearance of the ends is a tradeoff for the near studio lighting that finally lets you see a truer color in a room that already has a lot of natural and artificial light. If you saw my house, I doubt you would put cork in the entry or formals. DH and I both felt it wouldn't fit the house or the neighborhood. My entry has at least 20 foot ceilings and the dentil moulding has blocks that are about 6 inches each. If anything, I think the aged look and random width, even some chunkier boards, will seem more fitting. In another place -- definitely a possibility.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Update -- we got the floors installed and the wood is really pretty. We wound up using it in the kitchen and family room too after the cork that was delivered was not as expected. The random planks look great. This has started a rash of new projects, starting with touch up painting and new trim and spreading to more trim painting, painting a cathedral ceiling, new rug pads and new rugs, installing a new vanity, faucet, mirror and toilet in the half bath. Can't wait to redo our stairs now, then paint the entry and stairwell. No photos yet -- still putting back together.


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Lascatx, I just saw this thread. I'd love to see your floors installed! Which version of the Amalfi Coast did you get? I see this brand is available where I've been looking here in New Orleans. So far I've liked a Mannington floor and two UA floors. But I didn't know of this brand. I see on the site there are several AC versions. What type of wood did you go with? Thanks!


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

bump :)


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

I got the Marconi -- a maple that was between the cherry and the walnut in color. They are gorgeous. I will try to get a decent photo. I wish I could rec my store and crew too -- I really like them too. Ill be back.....


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Thanks! I can't wait to see a follow up. I hate the whole flooring decision. Our downstairs is so open. The flooring choice will make or break this house. I almost feel its against the grain to do engineered over on-site finished floors. But we need to cut costs but not beauty and have a ton of wood. There are some really beautiful wood options to choose from now!


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

Engineered is about all they will install here, at least on the concrete slabs of most newer construction, unless you have specially prepared foundations. I'm not sure how pricing works out. I saw engineered woods and solid woods all over the place. The random width seems to cost more and my installer said it took longer to install, so that might cost a bit more too.

I had a hard time getting a decent photo, buy this is the best one I got -- with the TV stand still pulled out from the wall for paint touch up. This one in decent, but I think it looks better in person.
Photobucket


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

That looks really good!! The color is nice! It's a nice balance between light and dark. We're in New Orleans and will have a raised slab (about three feet above base flood level?) Apparently we can have either type. But people do both and seem to love their choice!


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My flooring install is going now. I am amazed at how fast...3 installers. Happy day!


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

How's the floor holding up?


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RE: Picking hardwood flooring color

The floor still looks great and cleans easily. The only imperfections are seen only in certain light and that is some pressure marks from the dogs before we got the claws trimmed. The finish isn't scratched, it's just from pressure on the wood. Had we not planned on the cork, I think we would have gone with a similar finish in a harder wood (this is maple -- the softest but DH loved it). The dogs are nearly 50 and 60 lbs and very high energy. We never had to trim their nails before, probably should have before the floors were done or right after, but we got busy and I still don't like it. They both have black nails so you can't see what is safe to trim. I took them to the vet so I wouldn't hurt them and the vet even got one of them. We are going to try filing now, but we know the floor's finish is really tough. I love the character in the wood, and you see that all the time, no matter what the light. It really is a beautiful floor.


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