perfect planks: selecting a wood floor

As I mentioned before, first on our renovation to do list is putting down some beautiful hardwood.    You’d think because of my career field it would be much easier and this girl would already know what she wants.  Not so much!  I think because I’ve been exposed to a wide plethora of choices it has made the decision that much harder.  There are so many different factors to consider with wood floors.  Before you make a selection, you need to make a decision on the construction & maintenance, wood species, plank size and texture, and color/stain.


This tops the list for a reason.  The most important thing you need to consider above anything else!  It’s such a large investment, you need to carefully consider the types of woods available, their price, their installation method, and how to maintain them.

It being an older home, I reallllly wanted to put down solid flooring, sanded and stained on site.  I soon found that the labor costs would bust the budget.  Then I explored some prefinished solid wood options.   The greatest advantage going with solid is that you can always sand the floors down and restain.    But when we began looking at engineered, I found there were so many more options, styles, and colors available, and usually at a better price.

Putting wood in the kitchen is big right now, but you need to remember: wood + moisture = disaster.  So if this is in your plan, make sure to order extra wood so you can replace boards in case of a leak or water damage down the road.

Hardwood in the bathroom is never a good idea, but have you seen the new plank style tiles that resemble wood?  That’s actually tile in the bathroom below.

tile that resembles wood


In search of something in a medium color, I realized I do like some color contrast in the planks.  Certain wood species are more uniform in color, while others have more variation.

living room by Haynes Roberts

This hickory and pecan floor mix (below) is really pretty. Variation but subtle.

hickory floors in bedroom

Certain species (like Pine shown below) are very knotty, giving a very rustic feel.

pine door and floors

Researching the different types of wood is a great way to learn their characteristics and what to expect in terms of hardness, color change over time, etc.


Smaller planks (2-3″ wide) tend to be more traditional, and can be found in older homes.

original oak floors

Most of the plank sizes you find right now are 4 or 5″ wide or even larger.

wide plank floor

Hand-scraped patterns for engineered floors are really in right now, most of what you find will be that.  Distressed and hand-scraped are more forgiving than smooth floors, as scratches will be much more noticeable.


I love the look of a dark stained wood floor, but the maintenance is something to be desired.  I’ve watched it go into many of the projects we do, and let me tell you every piece of dust, dog hair, and footprints would show up on this.

Kitchen by designer Linda McDougald

The look of very light wood is great too, but is a lot more contemporary and informal.   For my project, it’s  almost too modern for the look I want to achieve.

light wood floors

When considering color, you need to remember it’s all part of a bigger plan for your room.  Think about the colors of the furniture and fabrics you’re putting on top of it.  For example, if you have all very dark furniture or want to paint the room a dark color, it may not be a good idea to put down dark wood floors.  You could put a light-colored rug to create contrast, but more often than not the whole room will seem very dim or smaller.


After weeks of looking at different products, we finally decided to go with a natural walnut.  Not too light. Not too dark. Beautiful color variation.  The downside?  Mucho dinero.  I swear if it’s ridiculously expensive, I gravitate towards it.  Luckily, I found one that we carry that had been discontinued so I got a good price on it! 🙂 It looks similar to the floors in the picture below:

american walnut wood floor

Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

home renovation: before pics

I’ve soon realized that our new home is turning into quite the project!  We began ripping things up this weekend.  Saying goodbye to all the outdated and somewhat generic features is very exciting, but also a little unsettling.  Watching our home turn into a construction site makes me realize just how much blood, sweat, tears, money, & wine that will go into this home, not just now, but in the years to come!   This has been a life long dream that is now becoming a reality.

So let me give you the grand tour.  Here is a pic of the exterior.  (You may have seen this on Instagram/Facebook – if so sorry for the repeat 🙂 )

exterior home

When you first walk in, you come into the Living Room area.  For an older home, it has a pretty open layout, which I’m totally a fan of.  You can see the lovely laminate floor – it actually doesn’t look too bad and was in decent condition, but we want to put in hardwood before we move in.  So adios.


Then you walk right into the Dining area.


The Dining area flows into the Kitchen.  The kitchen was updated in the recent past.  Aside from the hole in the vinyl floor, it is definitely very photogenic.  Up close, it’s another story.  Honestly, the previous owners kinda half-assed their updating efforts.  The countertops, cabinets, backsplash – all items that I want to replace, but the kitchen project is years down the road.  I’m sure the new hardwood will warm it up, and we will make little additions to make it more presentable.  (first purchase: A FRIDGE!!)



That doorway you see in between the Kitchen and Dining Area leads to the 2nd Living Area/Bonus Room. Lots of wood paneling you see!


Here’s the hallway that leads to the bedrooms.


In that hallway is the smallest Powder Bath of life! I kid you not – all 3.5 x 4ft of it!


Then you come to the Master Bedroom.  (Awesome shot isn’t it?? Can’t see anything – we clearly need better lighting)


A cute little bath suite is attached to the Master.  Pineapple frame mirrors – oh boy.


I love the fact that it has a jacuzzi tub, but eventually we will be tearing this up too.   Some have told us this is cray cray, but there is no shower in the Master or a shower/tub combo in the whole house, and we want to put one in for functionality and resale value.


Bedroom #2… complete with built-in drawers and desk!



…And Bedroom #3



(There’s a jack-and-jill bath that connects to Bed #2 & #3 that I didn’t take a picture of!)

Can’t wait to see how it all progresses!  Anybody out there have any advice or past experiences with remodeling their home??? I’m welcome to your opinions 🙂