Rove Concepts
« Left of centre ... Edwards Moore | Main | Straight to the top of the class »

My home renovation - hardwood flooring ideas

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my huge home renovation and addition project and my need for finishes for the bathrooms (and the almost non-existent budget we will have). Well, I am in the same boat with flooring. I would like hardwood flooring (could be engineered wood) throughout the house with the exception of the front entrance and bathrooms which will be tile. The flooring is another aspect of this renovation where we may be stuck with subfloor for a while if there are no funds for flooring materials - which is why I am hopeful that someone out there can help us out with a great deal on flooring with blog mentions etc. in return. I am thinking I would like to do something fairly light. I am a huge fan of Scandinavian/mid century/industrial styles and hope to mix these in my new home with lots of greys, black and white. I also have SEVEN cats and refuse to do white floors (been there, done that, didn't work out so well) or really dark floors. Both of these would be a complete nightmare to keep clean. We can always go back to the flooring we recently put down upstairs that you can see in this post.

I found some inspiration in my stash of photos, and my favourites are below. I did include one sort of dark floor (Luce Rosso) which I would reeeeeeeally love but if it were lighter. I love the idea of a light grey stain to show off the wood grain. And it's a bit unusual instead of typical clear sealed natural hardwood. If anyone has any suggestions for sources of flooring, or types of flooring you think would work, I'd love to hear about it in the comments or via email ( Thanks!

Bo Bedre Sköna hem
Bolig Magasinet Luce Rosso
Maison Deko
Sköna hem Katarina Malmström Brown
Vårt Nya Hem Guts to communicate

Elle Interiör
Hus & Hem
Per Magnus Persson
Magnus Marding
Hus & Hem
Indenfor & Udenfor
Sköna hem
Allt i Hemmet
Oak Management
Sköna hem

Reader Comments (32)

this might sound bizarre, but it was probably the coolest definition of "re-use" that I've heard yet for wood flooring. I heard of somebody getting a hold of old wood from a flat-bed semi truck trailer (ideally from a logging company), sanding and scraping off a few layers, putting it down and refinishing it. Not only did they get the wood for dirt cheap, but it was wide plank and ultra-sturdy (probably would last forever!). Lots of work, but a fantastic DIY option. Good luck!

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered Commentercorinne

SEVEN cats! I'm impressed and now I can completely understand why you would gravitate toward neutral flooring! Our three cats have absolutely destroyed our beige carpet--needless to say I never want carpet again!

The floors you posted are all beautiful! Hardwood really is my favorite flooring option! I can't wait to see what you choose!

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiscuit

If you want to hide pet hair, go with a concrete floor. I have light colored wood floors, and two blond dogs and a snow white cat. The hair poofs still show up, except on the bare concrete areas where we haven't finished the flooring installation. I only see it when I sweep. LOL then a huge mass shows up out of seemingly no where.

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBev65

The hardwood floors in our house are Brazilian Lapacho and look most similar to the last image. There is quite a bit of variation in the colour. We had to choose something that would work with our walnut cabinets, which actually proved quite challenging. Looking forward to see what you choose.

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Those are some amazingly beautiful options! I'm especially loving the dark espresso floors!


5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha Simpson

those are exactly what I was thinking for my house too

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAppleTree

I am fortunate enough to live in an 18th century stone cottage with original floors. Of course now that I am getting to renovate the kitchen addition the trick is find what is going to work best with them. Your post gave me some great ideas and inspiration.


5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

Love all of these floors! The wide planks and variation in color is fabulous!

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatrina

I live in an apartment from the 1890's, and have the original floors in my kitchen and bedroom. They're pretty similar to those on the Elle Interior picture. I love these floors because it's hard to see if they're dirty or not, but on the other side it's so much work to clean them. But I imagine that carpet floors are worse though, never understood why they're so common in the states - here in Norway they're quite uncommon and most people have wooden floors. Good luck choosing the perfect flooring!

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPia

God, I hate that word 'budget'! I was in a similar dilemma re flooring choices and monetary constraints so I started from scratch, avoided pre-conceptions and was amazed at the number of options that were available. It sounds yucky, but check out laminate strip flooring.I found a gorgeous wide plank, whitewashed, smoked oak that was stunning. It ticks your boxes re serviceability (they often use this in commercial fit-outs), and it was relatively cheap; $39 sq m AUD (uninstalled). A bonus is that once it's laid there is no further work - it is all pre-finished and very DIY!

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKL

Pretty much all the pictures above are refinished antique floors. They are also almost all oak. The extra large planks are out of the question budget wise because they are insanely expensive. Why? Because larger planks means larger trees... And larger trees are way more expensive. Go for knooty too, because the wood selection is far less restrictive. For a great great look for a small budget, go for oak with on site finishing.... It always look great. Another really important thing... Choose planks that have chamfer (rounded or square corners) It makes a HUDGE impact. Your last renovation didnt have it and your flooring doest pop as much as the pictures you posted above. You can DIY it by buying a router and a bit... Its pretty easy. Good Luck. Sry for my english.

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCedric

Bamboo Strand! Harder wood than most hardwoods YET less expensive and sustainable (as bamboo grows like grass - since it is a grass). It's also very beautiful, and should fit nicely in a budget. You can also get some light variations.

5 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa Sickels

I like the bo bedre - wide, wide boards are easy to sweep, and seem to connect the distant past into the mod future. In pale gray? Mmmm! But you might need a more magestic sweep of floor to give such broad planks the proper proportion to fit inside.

Oak gives a country feel, as does the 'nailed-down' look. If you like a country feel, that's the way to go. I know you enjoy the scandi look, but you seem to be against the white-bleached look... which I don't appreciate, but I know it's stunning with bright colors or a black&white motif. So if you want to pop your furnishings and art, that would definitely be something to consider.

I think the Indenfor is flashy, but not something that would be easy to live with long-term. It could look as dated as any 1960's pad within a few years. The Deko and anything that's over-knot-holed have the same problem - they are either dated or will date very quickly. The wide-boarded Magnus is just so over - that particular color, edge and sheen just cry 'schoolhouse'! Anything pieced together at random looks cheaply modern to me - like track housing.

The extremely narrow boards are perfect for an up-scaled institutional feel; I'm not a fan of the high gloss look. I think the Guts is also good for putting 'institutional' across - but in a much artier way. It's a fairly bold statement, that one - I'd probably like it better greyed down, but there's always the possibility that it would lose its punch.

The Per Magnus is my absolute favorite. I love how soft and inviting it looks, and it doesn't look "manufactured" as so many of the other examples do - the implied texture and patina gives it the sensual promise of an ancient rug - you would feel comfortable gliding across it barefoot. At the same time, it's very hip, without that 'of-the-moment' catch. I think it looks very fashion forward. Plus, the color you seem to want.

I hope you find something fabulous to repurpose; or something that, once you've repurposed it, is fabulous! (But I really like the Per Magnus.)

6 Jul 2011 | Unregistered Commenteroregonbird

I am in the middle of a way over-budget renovation right now too. What I have found to be the most helpful is using the bid as a general suggestion list. Don't like the drywall bid? Ask for another company. Paint cost seem high? Do it yourself. If you are up for it, you can also stop the project at a certain point and then do the subcontracting yourself, which saves you at least the 10% to 15% that the contractor tacks on for his troubles. By shopping a job like tiling your bathroom around yourself, you also have more control over the end product and the cost.

It takes a lot longer this way, but another positive to doing things this way is that you don't have to rush important decisions like kitchen layout and tile choice. If you can handle living in a construction zone for a few months, you might actually end up happier with the end results once you have a chance to live in the space.

Also, if you have it available, Marvin windows has a line called Integrity, which is wood interior and about half the price of the Marvin line and it's equals like Jen-Weld and Sierra Pacific and such.

Start visiting hardwood flooring stores now, a lot of companies have sales on certain products, and the longer you give yourself to search around, the more likely you are to find what you like.

Good Luck!

6 Jul 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlily

Light floors look better than dark fllor, although dark floors do look amazing, light floors are much brighter and bring in a lot more light.

6 Jul 2011 | Unregistered Commentermydeco

BarWood Flooring on Colonade has a great selection and they are super knowledgeable. Also, the nailer for hardwood (not engineered floor) is on sale at home depot right now (we got one, Husky $169)), if you wanted to consider putting the floors down yourself. We're actually taking a course at Home Depot on how to do it next week (Kanata).

We will be going with natural oak, narrow planks. I know this is not a popular choice right now. But I like how it adds warms to my gray walls. Also, the narrower the plank, the more stable the floor (and they are cheaper). With wider planks, the floor tends to expand and contract more = squeak down the road. Nothing worse than a squeaky floor, I know, I have that right now!!

ALSO, BarWood has a collection of flooring made in Quebec. Many ppl say that putting down wood that is local will help prevent expansion and contraction, because the wood is used to the climate (that's why many don't suggest exotic woods, or you will need a humidifyer/de-humidifyer for every floor, yuck!).

Also, you will get a longer life out of real hardwood, because you will be able to refinish it, if you so choose, down the road.

The really wide planks are usually in older homes and is the original timber (my grandma had those floors). The quality of floor (long term stability) cannot really be replicated by wide plank choices out there right now.

ok, sorry for the long speech. We've been thinking about this a lot and just wanted to share what we have researched.

PS> if you go to Quebec to the actual mill, they might give you a different price than the distributors in the city! I've heard of ppl driving over there for their wood as well. You might be able to get unfinished planks for really cheap and finishing them yourself in whatever stain you choose. ok, NOW I'm done! :)

6 Jul 2011 | Unregistered Commenternat

Thanks for all of your opinions and advice everyone!

Here's the thing - we're living in the house during the renos. Not an ideal situation but with 7 cats we are sort of out of options. Which means ideally we'd prefer to use pre-finished flooring...that way we're not stuck in the basement for days. But we'll see - if we can get a huge deal on unfinished, perhaps banishment to the basement won't seem so bad. :)

6 Jul 2011 | Registered CommenterKiM

Hi Kim,

I don't know if you are still reading entries in this post, but I have a few ideas (I havent' been on the site much lately too, I recently got promoted and I have been running for quite a few months, so maybe you have considered these options elsewhere):

1)In our total house reno, we have used a country maple and birch mix that we got at Rona. It is prefinished and really cheap. With my 4 cats, 2 guinea pigs and 2 super-active and untidy pre-teen's, this has worked. Hides dirt well.

2)Another idea that I have come across on websites, tv shows etc has been the use of either chip board or plywood as an interim flooring idea. Either painted, stained or just sealed I have seen them look really fab. Then, when you get more $$$, you can slowly add in the floors.

3)Another option is marmolem which is both cost effective and eco-friendly.

4)Finally, both Home Depot and Rona have some intersting vinyl flooring that can kind of be funky. Have you been to the Art -is - in warhouse outlet at 250 City Centre??? Aside from the most amazing bread in our fair capital, the flooring is I believe vinyl from either the HD or Rona. Super cheap and funky. Jacques and I are putting that in our high end basement apartment that we have been working on.

Anyway, these are my suggestions for alternatives. I will drop you an emial as well iwht the same nfo in case yo don't get a chance to check this post.

Best of luck - I love your style and I look forward to seeing whatever you come up with - even if you think my ideas are icky.

Beautiful floors! I'm not a flooring expert, but I work in an architect's office so I've learned a few things. Most of those floors are softwoods -pine, hemlock or fir and many of them look like what was used as subflooring in the days before plywood. In your neck of the woods, those species may be on the cheap side- but are also more easily damaged since they are so soft. Finding that grayish, weathered finish isn't going to be easy to find in a prefinished material. Even though that look is popular on design blogs, it's not very mainstream, so there may not be enough of a market for it to be produced. You may be able to have the installer stain the boards individually(outside the house-no fumes) with a weathered gray stain and satin polyurethane (or no poly for a more rustic feel) before they are installed to get a more irregular look. when they are finished in place, they sand the floor after it is installed and the surface is completely uniform.
The spaces between the boards give it an older, rustic look, but stuff does get stuck in there which may make them harder to keep clean. Also, wider boards tend to shrink and expand more than thin boards so they can develop larger spaces.
Sorry I can't give you a source, but hopefully this info will help.

7 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Per Magnus flooring! I've had this idea of old, gray wood for flooring, but have not yet found anything that matches the picture in my head. This Per Magnus is IT!

8 Jul 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElise

can I wax a laminated floor?

14 Jan 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeri

It's a beautiful floor.Thanks
for sharing.

7 Mar 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovely

This type of flooring really looks great!!!! Wooden flooring gives your home a new look. I have seen wooden floor many times and I liked this type much more.

20 Sep 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRony Mikal

Great ideas. Thank you for posting.

8 Jul 2013 | Unregistered Commentercaressa

Great post. I like your idea, and even the pictures in this blog is also really very nice and beautiful. Thanks a lot for sharing the blog.

19 Aug 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShruti Jain

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.