FINDING THE PERFECT DARK HARDWOOD FLOORS
Before we moved in, I knew I wanted to refinish the hardwood floors. We sanded and stained our floors in our old house-you can see evidence here. We did it once, and that's enough to know that we won't do it again :) I just didn't like having our house in disarray for so long and this was a lot bigger of a job-it would have taken us amateurs forever. The benefit of doing it right when we moved in was that we didn't have any furniture on our first floor. We just left everything in the garage. Before we moved in, we went to the house for a home inspection-now, I know a lot of people don't go to this appointment, but I don't know why.. it was the perfect opportunity for my husband to walk around with the inspector and see what things needed to be fixed, he then could tell my husband how to fix simple things and what things to push for in negotiations with the sellers. It was also a perfect time for me to set up an appointment with the flooring guy to come over and get a quote. So, my husband walked around with the floor guy to tell him of our plans and we were able to get a quote and an appointment for them to fix our floors, before we even moved in. Dark floors are pretty popular right now, below are three of my favorite stain colors-and what I was deciding between.
The day we moved in, they came over and ordered our wood-they didn't want to order it until we closed on the house. They also wanted to sand down a little bit of the floor to see what type of hardwoods they were dealing with-something they also couldn't do until we closed on the house. The wood came a couple days later and needed to acclimate to our house for a few days before they laid the floors. During the week before they came back to do the floors, we ripped up carpet and quarter round trim to cut costs. Also, we saved money by moving the kitchen island (something we were replacing anyway), our refrigerator, bathroom sink and toilet. They could either lace in the new hardwood floors with the old ones (which you can see in the picture). Or they could just put in a single piece of wood like a threshold. I chose lacing in because I thought it would look better. It was a little more expensive. They also ripped up the hardwoods in the bathroom and laid new hardwoods so that it would line up with the new hardwoods. That was an added cost. I also upgraded to a water based stain so that our house wouldn't smell. In hindsight I am so glad I did all the upgrades. The original wood floors are about 90% redwood and 10% oak. But when they laid the new hardwoods, they did just redwood. So they said I may notice more variation in the wood in the old floors, but I didn't notice a difference, it all looks the same. He also said that no two redwoods are the same, unless they are cut from the same forest, there may be some variation in the wood, but again, I didn't notice a difference between the old and new redwood. And the type of wood you have will determine how the stain takes to it. An ebony stain on an oak floor will look different than ebony on a redwood. We scheduled the refinishing to happen while we were out of town, so they came over before we left to do some color samples. Above were my color samples. I chose the bottom left which is Jacobean. The flooring buy said he called that the "north shore" color because it's the most popular color in North Chicago. We still have to put all the quarter round trim on the floors. At first when they were done I think I wanted them a little darker-but by the time we got back from out of town they were all done and it was too late. But after I started painting the rest of the house and getting the decor up, I decided that I love the color. I think if I would have gone darker, it may not have been as warm looking as it is now. I loved that we just got it done right away and while we were out of town so we didn't have to be in our house during the mess. I think these guys did a great job! If you are in the Chicagoland area, email me and I'll send you their contact information ;)