Home Improvement

Exploring Flooring

When we bought our home in 2011, we knew our flooring would eventually need to be refinished or replaced. We still have a bit of time left with our red oak hardwoods, but because the colors are not in keeping with our style, it’s become a bit of an obsession of mine to seek out what we want when we do make a change.

I’ve read up on all of our options, and because the floors are true red oak, any attempt to whitewash or oil them in white would likely end up pink. Bleaching is time consuming and not all floor refinishers will do it. Another option is to refinish with a darker stain/poly, but because the main living area of our home only receives sunlight in the first part of the day, it would be too dark inside if we went that route. Painting the floors a very light gray would be lovely, but I’d worry about chips and scratches, especially with two crazy dogs skidding around.

Our last option is to replace the floor entirely. Cost is obviously a factor, but we also want to purchase a quality floor that will last many years. Our three main options are laminate, engineered hardwood, and hardwood. I have pretty much ruled out hardwoods because they’re expensive, and to achieve the color I’m looking for (think Scandinavian neutrals) we would need to have them custom-stained ($$$). Laminate flooring is the most cost-effective option, and there are some great varieties from Pergo and Armstrong (examples here,here, and here) that fit our style. Still, my better half thinks we should look at all options, even if that means spending more up front.

Enter Kährs. I found them via the Nordic Homeworx Instagram feed and it was like all of my flooring dreams manifested in one company. All kidding aside, they have TONS of engineered hardwood flooring options that fit our style. One of the benefits of engineered hardwoods is that some of them can be sanded/refinished up to two times. I’ve pulled wood swatches from the Kahrs website and paired them with our paint colors (Sherwin Williams 7051 “analytical gray” walls and 7004 “snowbound” trim) so that I can narrow down to 3-4 samples to order. At first I was overwhelmed by how many finishes are available, but once I paired our paint swatches together with the floors, it became much easier to predict which ones will jive with our color scheme.

Here they are:

Kahrs Arctic Oak
Kährs Arctic Oak
Kahrs Manor Oak
Kährs Manor Oak
Kahrs Oak Chalk
Kährs Oak Chalk
Kahrs Oak Cirrus
Kährs Oak Cirrus
Kahrs Oak Dome
Kährs Oak Dome
Kahrs Oak Gustaf
Kährs Oak Gustaf
Kahrs Oak Hilo
Kährs Oak Hilo
Kahrs Oak Linen
Kährs Oak Linen
Kahrs Oak Moire
Kährs Oak Moire
Kahrs Oak Olof
Kährs Oak Olof
Kahrs Oak Oyster
Kährs Oak Oyster
Kahrs Oak Strobe
Kährs Oak Strobe

The next step will be to select 3-4 samples and check them out at home under different lighting conditions. I have samples from Pergo and Armstrong that I’m still evaluating and will post more on those next time.

For now, I’m looking at Arctic Oak, Oak Chalk, Oak Moire, and Oak Strobe. I’ll write a follow-up post when I receive them with thoughts on what direction we’ll take. In the meantime, pop on over to the Kährs website to play with their room simulator and see which finishes you prefer: http://www.kahrs.com/en/consumer/

xo,
Amber

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4 thoughts on “Exploring Flooring

  1. Hello,

    So what floor did you end up choosing? My husband and I are looking at Oak Linen…. Do you like the Kahrs product in general? Are you happy with your floors?

    Holly

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    1. Hi Holly!

      We had to postpone this project because of some crawlspace issues under our house and a bathroom remodel, but we have selected Kahrs for when we get to the floors. After I posted this, I found that Build Direct had started carrying Kahrs, so I ordered several more samples from them. The one we’ve selected is the Oak Vista: https://www.builddirect.com/p/Khrs-Supreme-Smland-Collection–15044530

      It’s a little pricier than the original samples we looked at, but it’s oil finished and is really gorgeous in person. It’s also a bit more natural looking than the Oak Strobe, which was my original favorite from the samples I received from Kahrs. I want to be sure they’ll still be a good choice once the white/gray floor trend has passed and these have a little more tan/brown wood tone. I would suggest looking at samples from a variety of different Kahrs collections in the same color range as the Oak Linen and seeing what they look like in your home. That was deciding factor for us. I have also researched online and found that people love their Kahrs floors. I talked to a local company who installs Kahrs regularly and they had nothing but good things to say about them. I bet if you searched #oaklinen or #kahrsoaklinen on Instagram you’d find plenty of photos and reviews!

      I’ll be sure to post when we get to this project and hope to hear from you once you make your final decision!

      -Amber

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  2. Do you have any ideea how can i prepare this Kahrs Oak tinting colours with Wood Lacquer or Oil ( together with Pigments )?

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    1. I can’t really give advice on that as I’m not a flooring professional. If you’re interested in doing this process specifically with Kahrs products, I’d contact the Kahrs manufacturer directly. Most of the flooring I’ve looked at comes with a finish already so you’d have to remove that first with sanding which is messy if your home is already furnished. Also, I know engineered wood floors have a limited number of times they can be sanded before they have to be replaced (the Kahrs website specifies this) so if you aren’t happy with your finish you may only have one sanding left OR have to replace it altogether. Woodlawn Flooring Supplies may be helpful – I follow their instagram (@downtownfloorsupplies) and they are a Kahrs authorized dealer and also specialize in custom finish flooring. They may be a good resource for you. If you don’t want to deal with removing a finish, you could look on BuildDirect.com – they have a good variety of unfinished flooring which would allow you to use your own finishing technique from the start.

      Good luck on your project!

      -Amber

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