Mar 20, 2015

New Hardwood Floors - Reveal

This afternoon, with the installation of the base shoe molding and the last of the touch-up painting, our new hardwood floors were completed in the living room and dining room. Tomorrow, we'll move the furniture back in, but first I thought you might like to see the new floors without anything on them. I visited many websites and blogs searching for examples of different floors when deciding on ours, and I wanted to give as much information here as possible to help others doing so.

These are sanded and sealed on site hardwood floors, meaning the bare tongue and groove boards were nailed down to the sub floor then sanded and sealed on site, as opposed to manufactured hardwood floors which are installed already finished. Our wood is rift and quarter sawn white oak, which gives it the characteristic tiger grain pattern and makes it very strong and stable, minimizing cupping and shrinking. 

Our floors were stained with one coat of Minwax Special Walnut stain and finished with two coats of very durable satin Glitsa. We chose a medium neutral brown color that won't show dust and will darken over time. We'll need to have a maintenance coat of Glitsa applied every five to eight years, but the rustic grain pattern of our wood should minimize the appearance of scratches.  

The staining and sealing stage is toxic and extremely smelly, so we stayed at my daughter's house for four nights and kept our windows open for another four days after returning before the odor dissipated completely

I've tried to minimize editing of these photos so that what I'm seeing on my computer screen is what I see when I look at my floors. When choosing a stain I found that Special Walnut on white oak tended to have a slightly yellow cast rather than an orange (Early American) or red (Chestnut) one.











 I love how the late afternoon sunlight warms the wood and makes it glow. Going through the whole process of having our floors finished on site really makes us appreciate that this beautiful wood was once a living oak tree. It's a long messy process to live through, but we feel a connection to our floors and absolutely love every single knot and grain pattern. Sounds sappy (pun intended), but we'd do it all over again.

And in fact we are, because this weekend we start the whole process over again on our family room floors.

We bought this baby gate to keep Tucker off the floors until they're fully cured and we can put our area rugs back down, especially at the front door where he does his happy dance when someone knocks at the door. At the bottom of this photo in front of the gate and behind my watermark you can see how well the kitchen tile color and new wood floor color blends. Even though the surfaces are different, the similar colors help make the floor appear fairly seamless.

We couldn't be happier with how our floors turned out. We did a lot of homework before deciding on site finished floors, the wood, color, and finish, and then we waited for the best contractor. We feel like all the careful preparation really paid off with the beautiful floors we always wanted. 

Thanks for taking the journey with us!


Read more about our hardwood floor saga:

New Hardwood Floors - Preparation

New Hardwood Floors - Demolition

New Hardwood Floors - Installation

31 comments:

  1. Your new floors are absolutely stunning. :)

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  2. So beautiful! You must be delighted!!

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  3. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information!

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  4. What lovely floors you now have! I am sure that they are even more amazing in person. Good luck with the rest!

    ~Trisha

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  5. It's quite a process, but your floors look beautiful and will be durable, too. Our oldest daughter has oak floors in her old home, and they take a beating from her family and never show any wear. Won't it be nice when you're all done and you can kick back and relax?

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  6. Your floors are gorgeous, Laurel! Your home has such great bones. I always love seeing it!

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  7. Absolutely beautiful. The color is an excellent choice. Rich and warm. I'm especially enjoying your recent posts as we are trying to decide what kind of wood floors we want in our master bedroom and another room on the second floor of our house. Great information. Thanks.

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  8. Looks lovely, Laurel, and will last a lifetime!

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  9. Oh how gorgeous your floors are!! That is what hardwood flooring is supposed to look like:-) There is such a difference in finished on site and the pre-finished flooring we got. I have always hated the beveled edge our flooring has. Yours are beautiful and I know you are excited to have them done!!

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  10. Laurel, Your floors look beautiful! I love the color so much. I can't wait to see it all set back up with your furniture too. Have a great Saturday, my friend! ~ Jamie

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  11. I love the way your floors look. We have Hickory floors and I would love them sanded and refinished. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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  12. You must be so happy this is finally finished. Great choice of color and they look fantastic!

    Cindy

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  13. Absolutely beautiful Laurel!!!!! I love how you can see the grain and how light and airy it all seems!!!!! Now, time to re-decorate!

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  14. Beautiful Laurel! I am so excited for you (and for me) that you chose Special Walnut because that is one of the colors I am considering! Except mine will be on Red oak instead of white oak because the floor guy said we should match the wood on our stairs. He also told me that Red Oak is cheaper these days because so many of his clients in New York are using White Oak lately because it works well with gray stains. Also glad to hear the smell didn't last too long when they stained yours. I am not looking forward to that part! Congrats on the new look!
    Shelley

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  15. Oh yeah, and I wanted to mention how much I LOVE the wall color with your floors too! So pretty!
    Shelley

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  16. Those are just beautiful! I know you must be so happy with them.

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  17. Your floors look beautiful, Laurel! I know we were so happy when we did ours.

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  18. Beautiful! I have such a hard time choosing the correct color tones - I'm just going to keep notes of everything you choose! I love the way all the details in your home are coming together!

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  19. Hi Laurel, your new floors are gorgeous. You are going to enjoy it. Have fun putting the rooms back together.
    Happy Spring.
    Hugs, CM

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  20. Oh, Laurel, your floors are amazing! How gorgeous. The color is just perfect. Sooo worth all the work and trouble! Beautiful!

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  21. They turned out beautiful!

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  22. wow! soooo pretty Laurel! I did notice in one of the above pictures how the kitchen matches soooo well. Lots of work and patience, but beautiful. I definitely have floor envy.

    gail

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  23. Laurel, looks like all your homework paid off. The wood floors are gorgeous!

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  24. Just plain "yummy" floors and house!
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

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  25. Gorgeous, Laurel! You must be walking on air. No pun intended. xo

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  26. We just installed the same wood flooring and stain. Do you mind sharing the color and make of your wall and trim please?

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    1. Hi, Susan. Our walls are Benjamin Moore's Manchester Tan, and our trim is Benjamin Moore's White Dove.

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  27. Your floors are gorgeous! Do you mind if I ask whether you had your floors water popped before the stain was applied? I love the richness and the way your grain shows, but at the same time each individual board seems to have taken the color well and not just the open grain areas. Was this just a single coat of special walnut? Thank you so much in advance if you have a moment to reply:)

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    1. I’m so glad you like our floors, Karen. They were not water popped and there was one coat of stain applied.

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    2. Hi Laurel. Thank you so much for replying to me. I really appreciate your taking the time. We are having the final sanding done on our floors tomorrow and have had the hardest time making a decision about this! Our floors are on-site-installed, 4" quarter sawn white oak. If they end up looking even close to yours, we will be victorious! Thank you again!

      Karen

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