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In Pursuit of Expansive, Contiguous Hardwood Floors

By Evolution of Style on Apr 23, 2012

Hello friends!

One of the projects on my 2012 house plans list is getting hardwood floors in our great room, and I'm excited to report that someone is coming out to measure this Wednesday.  Given my OCD mentality on projects like this, I feel the need to browse the web and pin like a madwoman do extensive research before making such a permanent decision.  Not only do I have to make a decision about the kind of hardwood floors I want, but there is also the issue of how to deal with multiple floor surfaces in the space as a whole. 

Let me explain.  When you walk in our front door, you're greeted with some wonderful travertine tile.  Even though I typically prefer hardwood to tile in general, I love this tile.  Why?  Because the dirt is hidden better than someone in the Witness Protection Program.  And with three kids and a dog, it's a mom's best friend.


However, as you can see, the "line" between the tile and the carpet is right at the entry, and even though I know it would look beautiful if the whole space was done in hardwood, it's not gonna happen.  The tile carries through the dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, powder room and laundry room.  So, given that 1) it's a nice, high quality tile, and 2) I like it - tearing it out just seems wrong on a lot of levels.  Not to mention that I'm guessing it would cost a small fortune to do so.


Then we have Problem Surface #2.  My husband's office has hardwood floors already, however, they're not what I'm looking to add to the great room.  They're narrow planks, and the sheen on the floor is too shiny and shows every little smudge.  I'm envisioning wide plank floors in a darker stain with a satin finish. 

Here are the (prefinished) samples I'm currently looking at:


I really like the second one from the left.  It's a really rich looking color, without being too terribly dark.   Like I said, we want wider planks, but you get the idea.

Here it is next to the breakfast bar in my kitchen (where the tile continues).  So hard to envision it and make decisions with such itty bitty samples.


And then there's the proximity issue:


Yes, the hardwoods bump up against the carpet that we're replacing, and I'm picturing mismatched floors in my mind already, and how it would drive. me. crazy.


Having one area of (justfied) mismatched flooring is one thing, but two?  It's giving me a smidge of anxiety.

Especially when I look to my inspiration photos with expansive and contiguous hardwood floors...

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Has anyone else had this issue?  This doesn't even address all of the options out there in terms of choices in hardwoods.  Right now I'm debating prefinished solid hardwoods or staining them on site.  I just don't know if I could deal with all of the issues, mess and inconvenience involved in getting them stained on site.  Although if I had them stained on site, I could potentially sand down and refinish the office floors to more closely match the new floors.

I'm thinking I may just have to get an estimate for replacing the office floors as well, just in case.

Would love to hear your experience and expertise on this matter.  How do you feel about your hardwoods?

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