The Great Floor Debate: Solved!

7.12.2010

Hi! Wow, sorry for the long and unexpected hiatus. How is everyone doing?

Finally, our new floors are done!!! And they look awesome, we love them! This whole project was a bit of a pain in the butt, but in the end it was worth it. (Read about our debate and see the before pics here, here, here and here.) Here's some pics from right after everything was finished...but before we had moved back in any of the furniture, put back on the baseboard heater covers, etc. (Most of that is done now, these photos are from last week, but I haven't had time yet to take real afters with the house put back together yet. PS. It is really annoying to move all the furniture and accessories out of your entire downstairs and then put them back again!!!)


{from the foyer looking into the living room...before the foyer floors were cherry and the living room was nasty off-white carpet}

These photos are terrible, they don't do the floors justice at all. You really have to see them in person.


{living room with family room in the background...excuse the random french door...both of these rooms had carpet before}

They did not actually come out exactly how we had envisioned (but not in a bad way, in a completely different, beautiful way). The floors we had in the kitchen and foyer were pre-finished maple in a cherry color. They were very even (in terms of color) and sleek/modern. Maple is not really supposed to have any grain which is one of the reasons why we (mostly Paul) chose it. However, we did not realize that staining maple is a completely different story. It does not stay consistent and even in color...instead the stain brings out a lot of contrast in the wood, not necessarily tight patterns of darker grain like you would see in oak but large shapes of different colors, some light, some dark. I'm sure if we had started with a knowledgeable finisher instead of our original "floor" guy, he might have explained this to us right from the beginning when we told him the look we were after. But in the end, we are really happy with the way they turned out! This completely worked in my favor because I was after a more rustic, uneven look than Paul was (but he's not disappointed, he loves them too). The different tones are beautiful, they remind me of tortoise shell glasses - there's some golden spots, some really dark chocolate spots, some medium very unsaturated spots.


{the family room}

So, just to review - these are 3 1/4" x 3/4" solid maple boards with one coat of Minwax's Dark Walnut stain and 3 coats of semi-gloss sealer.


{looking from the living room into the kitchen...before the living room was carpet and the kitchen was maple wood in a cherry finish}


When we realized halfway through the new floor guy that things were going to turn out more than alright (and we stopped panicking and were really getting excited again), we decided to change part of our original plan. We were going to leave the oak in the dining room and just have that sanded and stained to "match" the maple. However, the color between the oak and the maple was not quite as close as we hoped for and we realized that we just really liked the way the maple was looking. So we had the new guy rip up the oak in the dining room (I know, I felt really bad when he was doing it - so much for my attempt to be environmentally friendly!!) and install and stain the new unfinished maple exactly like he did in the living and family rooms.


{dining room...used to be skinny natural oak}

So we went from having 4 different types of flooring in our downstairs to all the rooms (except for the bathroom, which still has tile) having the same floors. What a huge difference it has made in terms of flow and scale and making the whole house seem more unified!!! Yay!!! And we learned a lot along the way;)


23 comments:

  1. Wow, your new floors look amazing. They look so textured and, how do I say it, cool. :)

    I think consistent flooring throughout was a great choice. It makes everything flow so nicely and of course seem bigger.

    We have crusty old linoleum in our kitchen right now but our neighbour gave us the old maple hardwood they ripped out from their house (the matches the hardwood in our living/dining room) so that we can install it in our kitchen and have matching hardwood throughout the whole main floor, too.

    You've got me itching to start that project! :)

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  2. P.S Would you mind sharing the name of the paint colour you used in your living room / dining room? Love it!

    Sarah :)
    http://gettingmycrafton.blogspot.com/

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  3. Gorgeous!! We are thinking of doing ours a dark color, but know it's going to be a huge project to tackle and not sure if we want to do it quite yet ;) Love to see your final outcome, inspires me to get moving :)

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  4. They are stunning! I love the way they came out. If I could, I'd do my whole house in exactly the same way.

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  5. Isn't it amazing what a difference flooring can make. I think unifying the floors was a great idea even if you had to pull up the oak. Can't wait to see it all put back together!
    www.divinedistractions.blogspot.com

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  6. Wow...Your floors look BEAUTIFUL! I love the colors...adds a bit a texture! I cannot wait to see pix of your rooms once you add in your lovely decor!

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  7. Absolutely stunning! The way the stain pulled out all the character in your flooring is awesome! Great job!!! You have to show afters with the furniture in the rooms!

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  8. Your new floor is gorgeous! All the different shades plays along so nicely and makes the floor a lot more interesting. I'm sure it looks even better in real life. Shiny floors looks so clean and nice!

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  9. They look beautiful! I'm sure you notice a huge difference having everything uniform. You will really enjoy this!

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  10. SARAH!!! They look GORGEOUS! Now invite me over so I can see them in person.

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  11. WOW. They are breathtaking. I love the way the maple came out when stained. Beautful job!!

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  12. the floors look amazing!! so glad your project is finished - we moved everything out of our house to rip up carpet and refinish floors back in november, and i recall very well what a pain it was!

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  13. Seriously stunning. They look fantastic! Hope you and baby Paz are doing well!

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  14. Aw, thanks so much, guys!!! I'm so glad you like it...it was a bit of touch and go there for awhile...and this whole project lasted 2 weeks longer than it was supposed to, but it was so worth it!!! Everyone who's seen them since has said how unique they are, so that's cool. I love having the carpet gone!! Since the floors are now so dark, we are definitely going to have to rethink some of our stuff/decor, we have a lot of dark brown things. We definitely need area rugs, both for comfort and aesthetics. That'll be another post:)

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  15. It looks fantastic Sarah! I really do love how they came out. They're interesting and beautiful and will look great for years and years. Also smart to go ahead and have the floor extended into the dining room. Nothing makes a house feel more cohesive than consistent flooring!

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  16. Holy cow! Those are absolutely beautiful. They have such a great "depth" to them.

    Gaw, now I want to rip up all my flooring (of course, I already wanted to do that). Are you noticing that these floors show a lot of dust?

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  17. Hey - the new floors look amazing! Gorgeous...I'm so jealous! ;) Catching up and wanted to say I'm thinking of you! The shower looked so elegant and fun!

    Take care!
    R

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