Thoughts on Wood Flooring (and My Favorite Engineered Wood!)

My kids know that if the car makes a sudden U-turn, Mama found a new thrift store or saw an open house sign. :) A few months ago I flipped one of those big U's and walked through this pretty home that was for sale in Mesa's downtown historic district. 

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The house had recently been gut-renovated and was gorgeous in person! The cabinetry and millwork everywhere was especially TOP NOTCH. I wish these photos did them more justice!

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The staging was so much more tame than my style, but it was really pretty and soft. Those bobbin chairs have my hearth though. They were from Home Goods apparently!

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I also fell in love with the floors. So much so that I poked around on the instagram feed of Project Beautify, who had rehabbed the house, and discovered that the floors were from my favorite flooring place Floor & Decor!

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Later that week I went and checked out the product in person. It's called Montpellier and it's an oiled French Oak in almost a 9" wide plank. And it is only $5.49/sq ft! If you've ever shopped for wood flooring before you'll know that price is pretty unreal for the size of those planks!

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Floor & Decor has a great selection of every type of wood flooring - solid (including Timberclick!), engineered, laminate, and everything you need to install the floors yourself if you're a DIYer.

It can be overwhelming to figure out what type of wood flooring is right for your house, but I always ask three questions that usually help narrow down the playing field:

1) Will the flooring be in a kitchen or bathroom? 

How terrified are you about the idea of potentially needing to pull up and repair areas effected by future leaks? If your answer is highly terrified, then you might want to consider a product like Aquaguard (which is a water-resistant laminate).

That said, I put engineered wood in kitchens and baths all the time. Rugs help a lot with day-to-day water spills and if a bigger issue happens, the wood can usually recover if the problem is caught the same day. I always suggest buying 50-100 sq ft of extra wood as a precautionary measure, just in case a few pieces have to be popped up and replaced down the road.

2) Wide or skinny planks?

Planks under 4 or 5" wide are usually only found in solid woods anymore or unfinished engineered wood. Usually wider planks are more expensive, especially in solid wood. Once you're looking beyond that 5" width in solid wood, the prices start to get astronomically higher. If your budget needs to be under $14/sq ft and you are wanting a 7-9" wide plank, you'll definitely need to be looking at pre-finished engineered wood or laminate.

3) Most importantly, what is your existing subfloor? 

Solid wood is a great option if you already have a plywood subfloor (though you'll want to get verification that it is level and does not need to be replaced before laying your beautiful new floors on top!).

And while I love the idea of being able to refinish a solid wood floor five or six times in it's lifetime, I almost always recommend engineered wood, especially in places like Arizona, where most houses are built on concrete slab. Speaking from experience, it can be a very expensive and time-consuming process to add plywood subfloors to a slab foundation. Also it is comforting to know that engineered wood is a more stable product than solid wood, which means the planks are more resistant to changes in humidity and moisture levels.

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Laminate is another great option. Every time I look at the latest offerings, I'm blown away. So many of them look very similar to engineered wood and often they are half the price! Just don't skip on a good underlayment, which helps with the swooshing sound that old school laminate flooring is notorious for.

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Here are a few of my favorite wood flooring picks from Floor & Decor. I usually prefer an ashy undertone to reds and pinks, but I don't usually want anything too bluey-gray either. All of these are gorgeous in person - and super affordable!


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C - Oak Coffee Wirebrushed - $4.99/sq ft
E - Allegheny Oak Laminate - $2.29/sq ft

Do you have any great tips for picking a wood flooring? What type did you chose in the end? I'd love to hear!

A big thanks to Floor& Decor for partnering with us on this series. Read about wood-look tile here and accent tiles here!

19 comments:

  1. I always love your tips and ideas! You have such a great eye! We have a Floor & Decor here in town that I keep meaning to check out for some marble mosaic tiles to go on our shower floor.

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  2. Wow, that is a gorgeous home! Love hearing your tips and advice. We're looking to buy our first home this year which will more than likely be a fixer upper, so I'm starting the researching process on all the different types of resources and options out there. This article was definitely helpful.

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  3. did you happen to get the asking price for this home? Just curious.

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  4. No question! The inside of that house, is killer! And I'm just going to say it - the inside kinda doesn't match the outside? Anyway, twinsies because a junk store or an open house are my kryptonite!!

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  5. We've done tile that looks like wood in a few of our bathrooms, and I love it. It's a wide plank with light gray weathered texture-and it looks really beachy and great.

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  6. What exactly is the difference between the three? Is engineered hardwood "real" wood?

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  7. Totally agree, Sharon! I was so excited to see the inside but totally disappointed once I saw it. The inside is beautiful...in another house.

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  8. Hello, this is Rio with Project Beautify. So the outside of the home had to 100% stay exactly the same as it was because we were in a historic district. It was originally a ranch style home with mid century flares. We stayed with the ranch style theme with the rustic wood flooring and the sliding barn doors and gave the house back some mid-century flare by adding the water fall island and leaving the three sides fireplace. Thank you all for your comments :) The asking price was $499k

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  9. We purchased our home last spring and had some remodeling done before moving in. Because the kitchen and bathrooms need some love (i.e. original 70s pressed plywood cabinet doors) and due to the neighborhood comparables, we had to be cautious of how much we invested in other areas of house so we can resell within price point and not lose on it like we did our California house. We also live in Oregon so its very wet here. Its an open floor plan so it was impossible to have a decent transition in flooring from the kitchen to dining area and family room. I ended up going with pergo xp's Riverbend Oak. I love it! They came out with a great choice in the middle of my time deciding and it looks amazing! Everyone is so surprised it isn't real wood when they look and feel it. Its not perfect, has a few dinges from furniture the kids have knocked over, but not noticeable to most. I did purchase extra in case of leak. So far if spills are caught soon after no problems. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Pergo-XP-Riverbend-Oak-10-mm-Thick-x-7-1-2-in-Wide-x-47-1-4-in-Length-Laminate-Flooring-19-63-sq-ft-case-LF000773/205661735

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  10. This house is gorgeous! I am loving the light floors. They are so pretty! My favorite, I have to say is the hallway - love the sconces!

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  11. That house is adorable. And what a bargain! That place in a historic district in Austin would be $750K easy.

    Anyway, I LOVE those floors and would kill to have something like when I save up the money to re-do my floors. I have cork and while I was really excited that my house had cork floors in it when I bought it, they're SO delicate. I have two big dogs who just do a number on them. And water is not kind to them either. Suffice it to say that I'm ripping them out the first chance I get. While I'd love to do wood, I am not willing to baby my floors (nor are my pups!), so I'm looking into wood planked porcelain tile. Indestructible and cool under my feet in the summer!

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  12. That hallway! What I would give to have a hallway with windows in my 1950's bungalow. I love the finishes and the mill work - exquisite XO, Amanda @ life on linton

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  13. I love engineered hardwood flooring! We've had Bruce engineered hardwood flooring in our kitchen for 14 years now and it still looks fantastic, except for normal scratches and yes, some deep gouges. Those are from moving the fridge and dropping heavy things onto the floor. We have the same flooring in the living room, hallway, and 3 bedrooms that's about 10 years old. Again, has held up beautifully. I just wish it didn't scratch and dent so easily. We don't have dogs - just cats - so I don't know how well this type of flooring would hold up with dog claws. Hope this helps someone!

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  14. If I found those bobbin chairs in my Home Goods I would be jumping up and down. *sigh*

    And that home would easily be over $1m in my area. So jealous .. lol

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  15. That is a beautiful home, the entire house is my dream home! So nice to see the house I envision building already done!' I think the outside is charming, though it did catch me off guard too compared to the inside

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  16. The trimwork and finishes in that house are amazing! It's almost an optical illusion from the front - looks teeny but the inside looked so spacious. I am really over the sliding barn doors because they are everywhere and I just think people will be cringing in five years at how dated they look. I might be wrong!

    We have engineered hardwoods throughout our house and I love them. But... we've gotta do something about our kitchen and bathroom spaces because the little bitty drips of 10 years have accumulated into rough/stained flooring. It just doesn't seem practical for a house with kids and a Mama who really does cook in the kitchen. :) I want to replace it with tile -- wet spaces only.

    Love this post!

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  17. P.S. Thanks for linking to the Project Beautify web site -- so many drool worthy pictures!!! :)

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  18. This is so helpful! Thank you!

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I so appreciate hearing from you. Nice comments make my day! Thanks for keeping things light here, friends! :)