Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Choosing the right wood flooring

We are coming down to the final stages of our home renovation before we move back.  Don't get me wrong, we are not nearly finished with the renovations, we still have another bathroom to do,  install moldings throughout the house , more painting, staining the stairs, change skylights, add radiant heating under the floors and lots more.  But,  we can't wait for everything to be completed before we move back in, my children are desperate to go back home after over a year of being away from their friends and home.  So, we decided that if we have to sacrifice living in our temporary housing with makeshift furniture and other temporary accommodations, we can sacrifice in our home with all of us using one bathroom and some renovations continuing while we are there.  With that said, we are almost finish with installing the new wood flooring.  I am so in love with this floor, I get so giddy when I see them… Is it possible to actually be in love with flooring?

We had bit of a tough decision to make when it came to choosing the right floor for us.  One thing we knew was that we needed very durable and forgiving floors.  We have a 140 pound black lab mix with great dane (possibly) four legged family member that loves to buck around the house thinking he's a "black stallion" when he gets excited.  We have kids in and out of our house all the time, which I love! The floor was going to run through the kitchen also, so it had to be able to handle spills.  Another issue was that we eliminated the radiators on the first floor and are adding radiant heating throughout, floors would have to be durable enough to withstand heat.  I will post about how we install the radiant heating when it is completed.  Along with durability, we wanted style too.  A few people suggested that we tile the floors, especially living by the beach we can control the sand easier and also the radiant heat will not effect the tile floor.  Although, it probably makes sense to tile and there are beautiful tile that looks like wood too out there, I just can't get past the cold feeling it gives a space.  I always loved wood floors and I feel the main living space should have the warm look of wood, if it is possible.  So we went in search of the perfect wood floors with all the requirements in hand.

What we learned that we needed or not needed was:
- We shouldn't have smooth shiny floors with our stallion.
- We wanted to have a hand scraped, wire brushed finish.
- Regular hardwood flooring should not be used over radiant heating.  The wood will expand and contract too much with the heat under the floor.
- Wood such as Quarter Sawn oak can be used over radiant heat. It is not prone to twisting, warping or cupping at the edges after time as much.  This is because of the way the wood is cut from the log to make the flooring.  The Quarter Sawn wood expands top to bottom instead of side to side like regular wood flooring.
 Even though, Quarter Sawn oak can be used over radiant heating they are not recommended as much as Engineered wood flooring.   I was opposed to engineered wood floors at first, I thought they were fake and if in the future I wanted to refinish the floors, I wouldn't be able to.  Until, I saw Alta Vista Hardwood from Hallmark Hardwoods.  Oh,  the grain, the color, the 7 1/2" wide plank, wire brush, hand scraped, uneven cuts of planks, it was love at first sight!  These floors were perfect, they met every criteria I had. They are made with real wood that can be refinished up to 4 times like  the regular wood flooring, (not that I would probably refinish once).  We ordered 1200 sq. ft. of this beauty.  Our supplier recommended that we use glue and nail method for our situation.  That is what we did to ensure we get the right results and we don't have trouble down the road.

I love the knots, the grain and the unevenness of the floor.

Livingroom is done… It's hard to see the floor when they are covered with saw dust.

Looking good!

I'll be showing the completed and cleaned floor very soon.

What do you think about these floors, minus the dirt? I would love to hear your opinion on these type of flooring.

Thank you for stopping by!


  1. If there's detail that's usually overlooked, it's how the floors should look. Wooden floors never go out of style. And in a beach setting, the wood floors certainly connect with their surroundings. I hope the final stages of your renovation turn out great!
    Arthur Bryant @ Contractor Express

  2. Hello! Thank you for this post. I was reading article from BC FLOORS and they actually missed this details


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