And a week’s worth of discussion, a near meltdown, and finally…a solution.
So as it turns out, our hardwood floors in the kitchen cannot be saved. This is not a huge surprise, they were kind of crappy to begin with. They were an early model of the now-found-everywhere pre-engingeered wood and they had been beat to death for over 20 years. We had assumed this might happen and planned sort-of accordingly in our budget. Nonetheless, we didn’t exactly know what we would do if the old floors had to be ripped out. So we talked about it…endlessly…for a week. Here’s how that went down via a college lecture-like outline:
We realize the old floors couldn’t be saved, so…
We ripped up a section to verify the condition of the subfloor.
- The subfloor was in good condition. (Phew.)
We spent a week debating, researching and pricing what type of floor we should use, some considerations were:
- Original hard wood (would be great, except in the addition section of the kitchen, where there is no original hardwood – not sure what we’d do there).
- Tile (I didn’t like it, hard surface to work on)
- Cork (Cool idea except it chips easily and is expensive [$8/sf] for the high-quality stuff)
- Pre-engineered wood (I hate it on principal)
- Cement (Again, hard surface to work on, not sure subfloor could support it)
- Bamboo (Could look like we were trying to match it to the other floors and it won’t match exactly)
- Wood – this ended up being our choice.
We then spent a week deciding what kind of wood, how to finish it, etc. Some talking points were:
- Painting the wood – my choice.
- Pros: is a neat/different look – won’t come across like we tried to match it to the other rooms – have lots of options with colors, finishes, etc.
- Cons: very long curing time. Like a month. Like, ouch. Also, too many options, may have to go with a less-durable water-based paint to get the look we want.
- Staining the wood – Ian’s choice.
- Pros: is a more traditional/legit way to treat the wood – can make it less matchy-matchy to the rest of the house.
- Cons: could still look like we tried to match them – is a finish we’ve already done in the house.
- Whitewashing the wood – a second choice we can both agree on, sort of…
- What kind of wood?
- TBD once we figure out how we’re finishing it.
- What cut of wood?
- We both agree on wide plank (5” wide or more) – and yay for agreeing on something!
- Decide who is going to install it.
- After getting quotes, we will hire someone to install it. Amazingly, it’s about $200 cheaper than doing it ourselves. Yup. You read that correctly.
At the end of the day, we decided to go with whitewashed wood floors. We both like it (although Ian is more a fan than I am) and it solves a multitude of issues. Plus, I think it will look nice in the white oak as a 5″ wide plank since it won’t look like we’re trying to match it to the other floors in the house. I’m secretly hoping that we do a thick whitewash and it comes out looking painted, but my husband is probably too smart and will discover my hidden plan…ha. Oh well.
Even if the floors do come out with a true ‘whitewashed’ look, they will still be very pretty…