One of the first things we chose with this reno was how we would finish the wood floors. A lot of y’all have asked about the floors you’ve seen in pictures and what we chose.
We went with very dark floors in our last house.
I did love the contrast of the dark wood with all of the white walls. And I know dark floors are really popular.
But y’all, I would never do it again.
I talked about our experience with it here. But the gist of our experience was two-fold. First of all, the dark stain shows every little scratch and every morsel of dust. We had light floors in our first house (before the dark) and the floors never looked dirty or scratched, though I KNOW they were. These dark floors show everything. And with a 115lb. Great Dane, we need durability and scratches masked.
We also were told to go with a “more-durable” water-based finish on the last floors because it would be harder and help prevent scratches. To say we hated that is an understatement. It actually seemed to scratch more! For example, we put painter’s tape down on it at one point and when we pulled it up, the entire strip of finish came off! And it was dull-looking and hence, always looked dirty.
ANYWAY. That is why we’ve known long before our house sold that the next house would have lighter floors.
Doing the kind of reno we did can be tricky when it comes to the floors. As most of y’all know, we added on 1,000 square feet to a 700 square foot bungalow. There were great original hardwoods in the existing part of the house, but when you’re doing so much new construction, you want them to match as best as you can.
To match the existing wood, we laid 2 1/4″ white oak boards. We knew we wanted LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT and so we went with just a clear, natural stain. We didn’t add any color to the boards.
One issue with going so light is that the older boards are naturally going to be darker because of time and age. If you look closely below, you can see right past the foyer where the wood changes slightly. That’s new wood. The dining area was in the existing house, but the wood was damaged in that room badly and had to be replaced.
This was something we really weighed because we wanted them to match as good as possible, but we also wanted light floors to camouflage scratches and dirt and dust. We could’ve gone with a medium tone wood to help camouflage, but scratches and dust would’ve been more visible for sure. As soon as you stain wood any color other than natural, scratches are going to show up against it. In the end, light won out.
We both love the old floors so much. When you’re living in the house day in and day out, the difference isn’t as apparent. Plus the new floors will darken and change over time as the old floors did.
But the old floors in the foyer here have age. They have nail holes and give us that rustic touch we love.
What we love most about choosing the natural stain is that you can really see dimension and a variation in color in the boards.
And already, we are so happy with the durability of them. While we did sod most of the backyard to minimize mud being tracked in, there is still plenty of mud and with all this rain SC is having, Gracie tracks it in almost every day. We have already scratched these and you can hardly even tell!
We went with the normal oil-based topcoat and so far, it seems more durable than our last. It has only been two months though 🙂
And don’t forget about the Blogger Stylin’ Home Tours Thanksgiving series this week!
You can find the start of the tour with all of the participating bloggers’ links here.