Hey there! Thanks so much for stopping by to check out another home tour of ours! I hope your month of love and all things pretty + sweet has been exciting! We’re getting ready to pull out all the sugar cookie dough heart cutters and sprinkles that my kids could possibly handle. It’s a lot of work and mess to do these holiday crafts but I’m learning that I want the fun decorating projects as much as they do! Sugar frosting crusted all over their noses and fingers is what childhood dreams are made of, right?? No, just mine? haha Also, once you’re finished up reading this home tour featuring the wood flooring then pop on over to this blog post here where I chat about choosing the right paint colors for your home. And if you haven’t entered the Five Star Painting giveaway for a free room (up to $1000 value!) then do that quickly! Giveaway ends February 23rd.
Now on to the floors and before/after photos.
The previous floors were fairly beat up. Lot’s of wear and tear. There was tile in the kitchen and wood in other areas of the downstairs. I really wanted a space where the floors flowed freely from the living area into the kitchen. A seamless transition! Every day I’d envision in my mind that airy flow and it’s amazing that it’s finally here! I don’t like the way tile looks in a kitchen, and standing on it for a while always hurts my feet. I especially didn’t want wall-to-wall carpet in these high traffic areas. Having a bunch of young kids certainly doesn’t allow us to entertain that idea even if I was tempted. And not gonna lie, after our horrific experience with a tiling company for the tile in the laundry room/ guest bathroom, we were both a little nervous to do another, much bigger flooring project. I’ll share a laundry room post in the next week or two, but just to give you a little insight into what happened…. We hired a well respected company (Ibanez AGM Countertops) to re-do the tile in those two rooms. Pretty small job. We provided a gorgeous tile from Riad Tile and asked the company to handle the installation. It was a complete disaster. We started the project 1 week before Christmas to allow plenty of time. And I’ll just summarize by saying they wasted about 45 tiles, had to redo a whole room, and then completely ditched us after laying the tile down. So Aaron ended up having to do most of the work himself, which took hours and hours over a few days (especially because he had to use youtube to figure out how to do most steps in the process). More on that nightmare in the future. 🙂 But we got over our fear and, spoiler alert, the process went absolutely smoothly and perfectly with both Armstrong and Nebraska Furniture for this project!
SOLID VS. ENGINEERED?
Using engineered wood was the last thing I wanted to use. The previous floors were engineered and they looked terrible in person. The hollow sound my shoes would make as I walked on the floor just felt cheap. It was actually the first thing I noticed when we were still house shopping. These are wood floors? Oh, engineered? A very low quality engineered wood. Solid hardwood comes from a single piece of wood. While engineered hardwood is created by bonding layers of hardwood together in a cross-grain pattern. This gives it stability and withstands higher humidity levels as opposed to solid hardwood. We needed to choose the best flooring that could handle kids tracking in water from our backyard pool and engineered wood would take care of that! Since floors are such a big investment, we needed floors that would stand the test of time. A huge factor for us in choosing engineered hardwood was the enormous amount of work to raise all trim along the walls AND needing to cut the bottom inch off every door since solid hardwoods would’ve raise the floors from the added subfloor that would need to be installed on top of our concrete slab. We needed a surface under our feet that was comfortable and durable. The best choice for us and our lifestyle was engineered wood! But we definitely wanted a much higher quality floor that what was installed previously. We eventually chose the Armstrong 7.5″ Oak Hardwood in Limed Beach Getaway. (This flooring option isn’t showing up on Armstrong’s website, however it’s available from other online suppliers.)
What style appealed to me was the number 1 consideration! The design of the entire house was up for grabs which allowed existing home decor not to limit my options. If you’ve ever seen my Instagram, or the painting post, you know how much I love white! I loved this bold, saturated Loloi rug by Joanna Gains’ Magnolia collection. I’m OBSESSED with these rugs (I have another runner from her same collection in the kitchen!) and the contrasting effect of light wood floors against bold, beautiful rugs stirred my heart. I also looked for wood choices that didn’t carry a ton of variation from board to board. I didn’t want checkerboard floors with deep contrasting light and dark pieces. This meant a few species of wood wouldn’t work for me. A nice balance between with consistent color was beautiful to me! Lighter wood colors also pick up less dust than darker wood colors that seem to show it all! So lighter floors were beautiful and very functional for a mama who’s in charge of cleaning the house all day, every day.
Choosing the look and feel of home I wanted to create helped me narrow down my options. There are SO many styles to choose from, it’s amazingly ridiculous the number of options. I started out with the width of each board. I wanted a light and airy mood in my areas which meant the wider the plank the better. I wasn’t willing to go smaller than 5″ boards. The slender, skinny strips were far too traditional for the home I’m trying to create. My kitchen and office are fairly contemporary while my great living room is very modern with touches of mid-century modern added in. Ideally, I wanted closer to 7″ planks. Also, the wider the plank, the bigger the space appears. I chose a wood that came in 7.5″ and I love it so much!
It was important to not have glossy floors. I just loved the softness from more matte, low gloss floors! It’s a bit more modern than traditional high gloss. Low gloss is also very forgiving as far as scratches and wear on floors as opposed to glossy floors that show everything! This was a big deal to me which helped tremendously to narrow down my search.
DESIGN & TEXTURE
This was the final question! With having a bunch of little children that seems to only be capable of one-speed, running, I wanted to avoid have a super slick surface to prevent falling accidents. Aaron loves the hand-scraped appearance with visible grain. It seems to add a subtle timeworn appearance. At the same time, I wanted the floors to feel and look soft. We chose a wood floor that has wire-scraping. It gives a similar appearance as hand-scraped but it still maintained a smooth appearance. The soft portion of the wood is gently brushed away, exposing the grain and drawing attention to natural knots, filled splits and beautiful grain patterns. This definitely makes the floor more durable and masks everyday use from all the furniture rearranging and kid’s toys covering the floors. I chose a wood that also had a liming effect. The etching lightened and darkened the wood creating depth and dimension to each plank. It’s beautiful!
The great news about choosing Armstrong was their 50-year warranty! The floors are back by this incredible warranty, and protected by their Lifetime Finish for scratch, stain and wear resistance that keeps floors looking newer, longer.
Our neighbor used Nebraska Furniture Mart to install their floors and had a great experience! We used their company as well and I was incredibly pleased with that entire process of installing Armstrong floors. Going to the store was always a pleasant experience with having so many people willing to help and answer the millions of questions I had. The project team leader did a walk through with me to show all the floors that would be replaced. He asked questions and gave some great suggestions about replacing a few of the closet floors. I’m so glad he did! Many of you warned me about the terrible amount of dust that would cover everything! I expressed my concerns and he shared with me their standard practice in using drop cloths to protect all areas not having floors installed. Their team also covered all of my freshly painted cabinets, fridge, tv, etc.. It was perfect! They took care of everything so that the space could be move-in ready 1 week later. We moved out of the house and stayed at my mom’s house because we couldn’t move around downstairs with the entire crew working in every room. Not photographed is Avery’s hallway that leads into her nursery room that we also had the existing wood floors replaced. They sent daily updates with photos of progress. I also stopped by each day to see it all come together! At the end of the week, I did another walk-through with the team leader and we found a few things that needed touch-ups and adjustments. When we got home to move back in, we found the house dusted and vacuumed! So minimal cleaning, which was so appreciated!! After the entire project was complete and signed off, I found a small section that sounded a bit hollow as I turned the hallway to go into my room. I texted the team leader about it and he came over and repaired the area so that it was perfect! I’m 110% happy with the entire team from Nebraska Furniture Mart!
Thank you to my awesome sponsors, Armstrong Flooring & Nebraska Furniture Mart, for partnering with me in my home renovation! As always, all opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help Hello Ivory Rose!