For every check off the house building list, there are approximately 1,500 unfinished tasks and decisions to make.
And floors were a huge decision when it comes to finishing this house. While we were pretty certain we’d go with carpet upstairs for comfort and noise buffering, Ryan and I have had many discussions about the best choice of flooring for the main living space, where we’ll likely spend the majority of our time.
Because the main living space is an open living/kitchen/dining room space, we both wanted the flooring to visually flow. And we both determined we wanted a wood-look, after living in two homes with original wood floors. We discussed everything from prefinished wood, to engineered wood, to luxury vinyl, to wood-look tile …
But in the end, we both agreed that installing unfinished wood floors and finishing them was really the best choice for us.
Why we chose wood:
- The wood floors feel more authentic to an old farmhouse. I mean, we’d imagine that this is what a farmhouse would have installed 100 years ago.
- There is longevity and flexibility in hardwood floors – they can truly last forever when done right. And they can be refinished and redone multiple times.
- You can get exactly the look you want by choosing the best wood and finish for the job.
- Ryan’s had a lot of experience finishing floors, so it’s something we can do ourselves.
- It’s a bit more labor intensive to install and finish the floors in place, but can also be more cost-effective.
So, wood it was. Then it was time to narrow down the look we were going for. I scoured Pinterest for flooring I loved and read lots of information about types of flooring and finishes.
A few inspiration images:
What we wanted:
- Lighter tones (no battling with cleaning up dark floors).
- Rustic feel – knots, imperfections, and scars.
We ordered five or six samples from Lumber Liquidators to check out the wood and widths – including oak, pine and hickory planks. This gave us a chance to check them out and even try potential finishes on the wood.
Once we received them, Ryan and I agreed that pine was our choice – we loved the white pine and the yellow pine and ended up choosing the yellow pine (almost 9 inch planks) because it tends to be a bit more durable. Plus, we both liked the graining and yellow tones in the wood.
One major note about pine that I’m sure some of you will bring up – it’s a soft wood. Which means that we’re expecting to see dings and scratches over time. It’s par for the course. We may even try to ding it up right away to add some patina.
We have had original pine floors in our last two houses and were more than happy with how the floors wore over time. The wood tones deepen and the imperfections just add to character. The floors in our first kitchen were definitely swoon-worthy.
The floors have arrived and are waiting patiently in our garage for us to prime and paint all the walls. So, by my estimate, Ryan will be laying floors by Saturday. (Kidding. But hopefully in the next week or two.)
Once we get them in, I’ll be back to share the process and discuss our finishing options. (I *think* we’ve decided on the finish.)
Thanks to Lumber Liquidators for providing flooring for our main living space in our new home. And thank you for supporting sponsors who make projects like this possible.