A mega stumbling block in our kitchen reno is deciding on our flooring and choosing whether to put in unfinished hardwood floors to have sanded and stained on site, prefinished hardwood floors, engineered wood floors, whether to install wood floors on top of our existing (and very damaged) wood floor, or whether to just live forever with this:
Scary, right? That’s original hardwood flooring covered with a yucky/fuzzy/black glue product and then covered with particle board and then covered with a very thin glued-on laminate floor. And it’s in our entire kitchen.
The flooring decision is kind of big for us because it isn’t just a decision for our kitchen. We plan to replace all the floors on our entire main floor (except my favorite white wood floors in our guest bathroom). Our main floor has lots of probs, and here is the visual evidence:
Check out the random sections of plywood, tape/glue on floors, really bad patch jobs, and even a random section of tile. Yowzas.
Our number one goal for our floors was to save our existing wood flooring but it just isn’t going to work. We’ve got lots of wood to patch and we even tested patching and staining it. But the old wood won’t match up with new wood, despite our best efforts. The below pic shows old wood in the middle and new on either side, and even after trying two different stains and one section with just sealer, the difference between old and new wood is even more obvious in real life.
We are super bummed. So we’ve gone back and forth A LOT to try and decide what to do. We’ve gotten multiple bids for multiple options each, have tested various samples, and still can’t figure out what to do. Here are a few samples, where the top row has unfinished wood stained and sanded and the bottom row has various types of prefinished wood.
Bottom line: we need help. Mental and otherwise. After thinking and worrying about this waaay too much, I’ve condensed down my thoughts to these ten (no way I could get it down to five):
We are locked into wood floors for sure. We love them and that’s that. Any efforts to dissuade us will fall on deaf ears (we had wood floors in our last kitchen and loved them).
- Tearing out our existing floors is a couple thousand bucks (ugh). We could do it ourselves, but it will take us forever.
- Adding flooring on top of our wood floors will not cause a problem for doorways but will shorten the overall height of the room.
- Engineered flooring generally is thinner than solid wood, but there are some options for thinner solid hardwoods.
- We are leaning toward a medium/darker wood with some natural wood variation to hide dents/dings/dirt better.
- We love the variation of walnut but it is a softer wood (and way more expensive) so we would prefer something harder so our kiddos can race around freely. And so I can clack around in my high heels. We appreciate nice stuff but our house is not a museum.
- Semi or high gloss floor finish is not ideal – our primary living areas (including our kitchen) are exposed to tons of light and I really don’t want to have a shine/glare off my floors. Matte or satin would be best.
- Pre-finished flooring, whether solid wood or engineered wood, has beveled edges and I’m worried about my ability to clean up things like yogurt spilled into the bevels.
- Installing unfinished hardwoods to be sanded/stained/sealed on site will take longer and will require us to be out of the house for at least the last few days (or a week?) of the process.
- We’d have to hire out installing/finishing unfinished hardwoods (we just lack the time to get it done, although we did it in our last house) but maybe we could take on installing prefinished on our own.
So many things to consider! We are really struggling with a decision. So if you have any input, any at all, we are all ears. We’ve got to make this decision so we can actually cook and eat – someday…