Our first project will be replacing our wood flooring with stain in place White Oak! When we looked at the home, we were hopeful that we’d be able to salvage this original wood flooring. However, after meeting with 4 different highly recommended flooring experts – they all came to the same resolution…replacement.
To back up, we did a ton of inspiration pulling and had lengthy discussions around what we wanted in flooring. That was to modernize, but always tie back to the traditional style of the home – especially since we are more on the timeless vs. trendy style. We always knew we wanted natural toned flooring, but all of our conversations solidified that thought. Inspiration below:
So, we set out to find a reliable expert. I highly recommend utilizing local Facebook groups and/or talking to people you know in the area that have used someone you’re evaluating. In meeting with the various flooring experts, they informed us that the current floors are Pine and very red toned. There would be no way to achieve a natural stain. In addition, the living room was added on in the last 10 or so years, and those floors are Red Oak. Both would never match or be a natural tone.
While it’s a little tough to not use beautiful original flooring, the good thing is that we can put down the new flooring on top vs. ripping them all out. From a cost perspective, it wasn’t THAT much more to put entirely new floors down, which would also guarantee the look we want and be a better investment for the long-term.
We knew it would be most efficient to start with the sitting room, my office, living room, staircase landing/hallway and two bedrooms upstairs (holding on the primary bedroom & kitchen until other renovations are done). We got quotes that were around the same, but ultimately went with an expert we really hit it off with that was very responsive and timely. As for the flooring itself, we decided to do real white oak that we will have stained in the home. This gave us more control over the color vs. engineered. Again, wood pricing is so high right now that it wasn’t really that much more to go with real over engineered (couple thousand). Totally a decision for you, but the engineered world really overwhelmed me with varying opinions and I loved the idea of the staining process to decide in my own home. We’ll be going with a 5 inch plank – a wider look but not TOO trendy with an 8+ inch width, to maintain the traditional integrity of the home.
The next item to pop up was how to approach the staircase. Our flooring craftsman shared that the stairs were a little unleveled and of course the pine would have to be replaced. While the staircase has a lot of character, a lot of balusters aren’t stable and the curve cuts off walking space to the powder room. Of course, we are trying to save as much as we can – but came to the conclusion that ripping out and rebuilding the stairs is the best long-term resolution. It guarantees the stairs are safe and up to code, and will match the look of the new flooring we will have just put in!
Note: You will always have to hire out a stairmaster as it is such a speciality skill. Luckily, our flooring craftsman uses a company very often and the stars aligned to have them work together on our entire project. We’ll be straightening out the bottom step to open up the space and going with tapered balusters for a touch of a unique look.
I’ll be sharing all of the behind the scenes of install, stains and more over the next week when our wood gets delivered! It has to sit for about two weeks to acclimate to our home, then it will all begin. Please comment or email me with any questions – thanks for being here!