NataLee 9-1-1: New Floor Meets Old Floor

Christy from Sandy, Utah asks:
Saw you on Studio 5 a while back (your frame segment) and have been visiting your blog on and off so thought I’d send you my design dilemma.  We want to put hardwood floors throughout our house.  I like the darker richer tones and wider planks.  Here’s where the dilemma comes.  We have existing hardwoods that are thin oak planks  in our entry way and kitchen.  They are in decent shape so they don’t really need to be replaced.  Because you can see the living and dining rooms from these rooms I am thinking that I have to stick with the skinny oak so it doesn’t look like a patchwork job.  Do I?

Thanks for your question Christy… this is a tricky one and the general answer would be yes, you should try to match. But that can be hard too. Plus, you end up stuck with more flooring you aren’t absolutely in love with.  So I have come up with a couple of ideas of how to keep  your old floor and add a new wider planked version.

First, it looks like your existing wood floor is oak… unfortunately, I do think you need to stick with oak or a wood grain similar to oak in your wider planked strips to avoid a hodge podge look. Stay away from hand scraped looks.

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, this is really limiting me… but don’t despair.  Here are a few ideas to make  a really fun look.

1. Stain old and new wood the same color. A walnut finish would give you the richness you are after.

2. You are going to need some kind of transition between the old and new floors. Embrace the fact that they are different… don’t try to hide it.

There is a hot trend to paint diamonds on wood floors.

Here are some fun examples.

Doing something like this will distinguish from the old and new floor and also distract the fact that they are different… also adding another design element.

If this isn’t really your style.  Try a tile border in between old and new floors. I found this border and I thought it was great, but really you could choose anything you like.

Well, I hope this helps!  We would love to see the finished product!


Making the house you have, the home you want!

One thought on “NataLee 9-1-1: New Floor Meets Old Floor

  1. Kim says:

    The idea of a transition with tiles works great. I speak from experience. A few years back we redid our kitchen and put in wood floors.
    the living room is oak and I wanted a different, richer wood for the kitchen. We opted to put in a slate transition between the two. We also used slate in our back entryway, so there was some cohesiveness.

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