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Please help me choose a color and type of hardwood flooring. Please!
June 14, 2011 6:45 PM   Subscribe

What color engineered hardwood should I put in? What are the trends? What are the fads? What color would you NOT recommend?

Dear Design Gurus,

Hi. I'm about to choose engineered hardwood for my first home. I need a floating floor because of a suite underneath.
I don't have a designer's eye, so my friends cries of "just get what you love", leave me baffled and anxious.
I was told by the woman at Home Depot (although I am not buying it there) that no one is installing the dark colors of a few years ago, but then, when I watch those home reno shows on TV and it's ALL they are installing.

I'm completely confused. I do think that a bright bright maple may be too cold looking and I worry about keeping dark dark brown clean...
Beyond that -- I really don't know. I have two small, bichon-type dogs and a teenager.

But I also want to keep in mind that I will sell eventually and I don't want anything too trendy. (i.e. like the green shag that I am replacing...)

Also any tips on the brands of engineered? It's a fairly new phenom so. I live in dry, dry Alberta -- and we all take off our shoes when we come in and walk around in stocking feet. (Don't know why... we just do that here.)

Thanks in advance!
posted by Toto_tot to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Could you perhaps post pictures of your place? It's really all about what looks right in your particular place. You need to consider such things as what the other floors are in your place and how it'll look to have the two different kinds meet, the colour schemes you have chosen for the walls in the rooms you're going to be reflooring, the amount of light in your place, and so on.

Fpr example, in my house, I am going to be installing a golden oak tone hardward flooring in my hallways and guest room because a) it will be a good match to the golden oak tone parquet flooring that is in every other room and b) my house doesn't get a lot of natural light, so keeping the flooring light helps maximize what light there is and keeps the place from looking too dark.
posted by orange swan at 6:53 PM on June 14, 2011


dark floors can make a room darker, but too light (white) and you get a cold effect. Going with what you love means that hopefully it will match the rest of your decor. We went with a reddy-brown warm coloured floor, (engineered boards.) Are you installing DIY? don't get the one that glues together, but one that will click into place.

Scratches happen, especially with dogs. Shallow scratches can be buffed out with a bit of cotton wool (or a rag) and a tiny bit of olive oil.
posted by titanium_geek at 6:57 PM on June 14, 2011


Fair question. I'm not living there so I can't take photos at the moment.

However - the floors are a blank slate. There is only terrible carpet and lino on them now, so I'm starting from scratch. The home is 1969 and has a nice wood narrow wood trim on the doors. A medium colour.

There is a very large picture window in the living room and an enormous spruce tree outside it -- so the light is so-so. Then there is a long hall and three bedrooms that come off it. Light is good in the bedrooms.

Everything is square lines. It's a bungalow of right angles.
posted by Toto_tot at 7:03 PM on June 14, 2011


I got dark flooring here in Florida and it was a royal pain to find. It is beautiful, but I find that a lot of people are intimidated by dark colors and don't do well accessorizing. Start putting together a "look book" from magazines and websites to get a feel for what you like.

My personal style leans towards dark colors on floors and/or walls, but I use a lot of tricks to make the room appear larger. (My black living room curtains, for example, are floor to ceiling and make the room look *huge*).

My only complaint is that deep scratches will readily show up due to the contrast between the veneer and the wood underneath. My floor style is "handscraped", which means it has a naturally distressed look, so as long as I fill in the scratches with color, they aren't a big deal. You could probably also get some scratch masking with any flooring with a heavy grain. (I have 3 cats -- they have given me about 3 deep scratches in the 8 months I've had the flooring.)
posted by Wossname at 7:03 PM on June 14, 2011


I also need new furniture... but I like contemporary couches - I was thinking red or black.
I love colour.
posted by Toto_tot at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2011


I got Lyptus Engineered Flooring and I love it (i've also gotten many compliments on it, bot from friends and from potential tenants I've been showing the palce too). The color I got is most similar to the large picture in the link. It's not too light or dark and has a pleasant red/brown/orange shades.

Only thing is, it's a little soft, but then again a lot of the floors will be as well.
posted by pyro979 at 7:35 PM on June 14, 2011


We are replacing (formerly) white wall-to-wall with regular hardwoods, a room or two at a time as we can afford it. It was important for us to find a color and brand that had staying power since it may be a while before we can buy the next batch. We decided to go through Lowe's and selected the stain "gun stock," which our salesman said had been a consistently strong seller for the 12+ years he's worked at Lowe's and is an industry standard color that is pretty easy to match. We bought Bruce, although based on not much more than price + "this looks ok" + "we think Lowe's will keep selling this."
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:40 PM on June 14, 2011


I have a dark reddish brown hardwood floor in my living room. The boards are fairly uniform in color, and they have a kind of machine-made "hand scraped" look. It looks fantastic, like an art museum. But it also shows dust very easily.

In my kitchen, I have golden toned oak "shortboards" as they apparently call them in the trade. The oak has fairly visible, contrasty grain. It doesn't look nearly as good as the living room floor, but it will hide *anything*. I've spent a good 30 seconds or so looking for a penny I dropped which turned out to be sitting in plain view, just very well camoflaged, hiding out on the floor right in front of me.
posted by smcameron at 7:59 PM on June 14, 2011


What color your dogs? I ask because matching your floors to them... well, it's not the worst idea ever.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:05 PM on June 14, 2011


In my opinion going with the kind of floor that would have been put in when the house was built can be an easy way to determine what would look nice. In your place you could find out what kinds of hardwoods would have been installed in a new house in 1969 and choose your favorite from those.

I just don't know who you'd talk to in your area to find out what kind of floors were popular in the late 60s.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you look at pictures online of houses for sale in your region, you will get an idea of age of house + age of last renovation + colour of wooden floors, and if you find a colour that is consistently popular across ages of house and renovations, you know you are onto something that is not just a fad.

We did this recently and in our region (Australia) it seems to be (a) golden-ish pine or (b) reddish brown that has been consistently popular over the years. We plan to ignore that and go with dark brown, because we love the way our dark brown bookcase looks against our walls and furniture, and are not so keen on the way our paler dining table looks against it all. But at least we know that we can't rely on dark wood staying in fashion, and we can do a relatively cheap job and budget for replacing it in 10 years or so if necessary to sell the place.
posted by lollusc at 10:36 PM on June 14, 2011


I installed very, very dark flooring. I love the way it looks, but it's really hard to keep it looking clean. A friend has light flooring (like pine-coloured) and it tends to look cleaner, even though he doesn't vacuum or mop much.
posted by neushoorn at 11:17 PM on June 14, 2011


Will the new place have built-in wood cupboards, is there unpainted wood trim, is there wood paneling anywhere? It's worth thinking about how their colors will go with any floor color you are considering.

A darker floor will show more dirt, as will a shiny floor.
posted by sevenstars at 3:49 AM on June 15, 2011


Green beetle-kill lumber has been the hot new flooring in Colorado for a bit.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:30 AM on June 15, 2011


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