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:
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/