Once we got the floor busted up we realized that it was time to make a decision on flooring. I’m normally a pretty quick decision maker. ML is one of those people who like to exhaust all their resources and not make any decisions until he has done thorough research. So we make quite a combo. I do the initial sample pulling, pinning of ideas, and share my ideas with him and then he challenges me to keep going while he gathers all the technical information and pricing details. Normally by the end of this process it’s usually pretty evident what our best choice is. With our flooring it really wasn’t any different.
So let’s talk about it.
The first decision we had to make was what type of flooring did we want to use throughout the downstairs. With soon to be three kids, two pets, and hopefully lots of friends in the house we knew it needed to be durable and practical. Before I dive into the three types of flooring we considered let me just share that as popular and practical as ceramic “wood” tile is it just isn’t for us. I don’t know why and I can’t explain it but my feet are very picky about the type of flooring they walk on barefooted and cold, gritty ceramic tile just isn’t one of them. Plus, since we live so close to the train tracks I really want a floor that will work to absorb some of the sound.
Originally we through we wanted hardwood flooring because it could be sanded and refinished down the road if we ever wanted to change the stain color. The more we looked at our options the more we realized this might not be the best choice.
For one thing laminate and engineered flooring was sometimes half the cost. Meaning that later down the road if we ever wanted to change flooring it would be just as affordable to replace it. Laminate flooring has really come in a long way and in terms of durability it is probably one of the best choices of the three types of flooring.
It’s also a great way to get the look of expensive flooring for a fraction of the cost. I mean look at some of these beautiful options available. It was certainly enticing but in the end we ended up choosing engineered hardwood flooring.
Engineered hardwood is made of a core of hardwood or plywood with a layer of hardwood veneer affixed to the top surface. It’s more resistant to moisture and heat compared to solid hardwood. Since it’s actually made of wood it sounds like wood when you walk on it instead of the sometimes hollow sound you get when you walk on laminate flooring. Since less hardwood is used in the construction of each flooring plank the cost of the material is less. Once again broadening our choices of flooring to choose from because some of those expensive hardwoods get on up there in price!
The hardest part wasn’t choosing the type of flooring though it was choosing the type of wood, finish, and stain that we wanted in our flooring.
So if you’ve been on Pinterest any at all lately you may have noticed that gray floors are the flooring to have right now.
They are absolutely beautiful but flooring is not as easy to swap out as paint or pillows on the sofa. Flooring selection is a long-term commitment and as beautiful as the gray flooring we didn’t want to choose something trendy that we might regret five or ten years down the road. So gray flooring was out.
Our initial serious favorite was a flooring with a dark almost chocolate/coffee stain.
This beautiful dark flooring really contrasts with white trim and cabinets and gives off a subtle clean and contemporary feeling. It’s as if it’s saying, “I’m stylish and know what i’m doing here. I’m bold and beautiful!” But then I talked to my sister who is in her second house with dark flooring and she shared with me how hard it is to keep looking clean and that the dark flooring shows every little pieces of dirt. Ok, remember the part of the story where I’m a mom to almost three kids and two pets. I’m also a mom who is NOT good at cleaning and certainly not used to cleaning the floor daily. So the chocolate/coffee flooring was out.
Before I move onto where we actually landed with our flooring choice let me just say that for some reason I didn’t want a super light or yellow finish flooring. So the typical look of the lighter oak flooring wasn’t really something we considered.
To help us nail down a flooring stain finish we turned to our fire place. The brick in it has some beautiful reds and blues that we wanted the flooring to pull from. We laid out samples against the fireplace and finally began to narrow down the stain color for the floor.
We chose the second flooring from the left. It is a medium color wood finish with hints of red in it that highlights the natural grain of the wood. And you know… I has totally won me over and I get the feeling I’m going to love it more than the dark chocolate flooring that first caught my eye.
We pulled sample pieces from several vendors here in the Memphis area before finally deciding but in the end chose the Mullican Lincolnshire Hickory Champagne. I can already envision the planks bringing a feeling of warmth to the rooms. We are crazy about the slight color variations throughout the flooring. From the beginning we were pretty sold on using hickory. It’s one of the harder woods used for flooring meaning that it won’t scratch as easily as birch, walnut, or oak. Because we want the floor to be durable and because we love the look we chose a hand scraped finish with some distressing.
I love the look of distressed flooring because my vision is to have a wood flooring that looks like it could have been there since the house was built in 1979. Of course the 5″ wide planks may give away the fact that it hasn’t been but don’t you just love the look of wide planks?
So there you have it. That’s all the thinking that went behind our flooring choice. Well really not all the thinking because I left the more boring parts out. But if you are considering including engineered flooring in your home renovation project or in your new home take some time and research the wear layer on top of the wood finish, the thickness of the wood veneer, the warranty on the product you are looking at, and if your flooring choice can be re-sanded and finished in the future.
Our hickory flooring will run throughout the downstairs except for the laundry room and half bath off of the kitchen and in our master bathroom.
So as we keep moving forward in our decision making process of selecting finishes, how do you choose to incorporate trendy fashions in your house? Interchangeable artwork, pillows, bold colors on the walls?
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