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|