Well before I played with paint colours, linens, and doorknobs, I needed to establish the tone of the home through its floors. Being one of the first things you notice when you open the front door, it had to be hardwood. The sort of well-aged timber that grounds your steps, and humbles your feet. The kind of practical timber that doesn’t scratch too easily, and is simple to clean.
Since the house isn’t old enough to have original hardwoods beneath the carpet and tiles, we knew the lengthy process that lay ahead. The former owners of our home kept the house in practically perfect condition for its age. There wasn’t a single crack in any of the walls, and the subfloors themselves were still solid and level. All that was needed were a few nails to patch the creaking in the staircase, and some strong arms to rip up the carpet and cement-laid tiles.
Carpet covered the stairs and first floor.
Days of sanding and prep work...
After a day of searching- that’s right, only a day- we settled on American Hickory. Sturdy, well grained, it was heartier than some of the oak counterparts we explored. Warm without being too dark, and not too light that it faded away from the traditional, cosy farmhouse style we were aiming for.
We placed the engineered hickory sample in every space and different light, to ensure it was the perfect fit for our home.
It took three days for the installation to be complete.
The painting of our walls, was next on our job list.
We carried the hickory throughout every room of the house. From living spaces to linen closets. The exception being, our wet areas. As the original tiles were still well intact in these rooms, we preferred to make the most of what was already a part of the home. Our new hickory floors would come to be the perfect transition, between the old and the new.
Are hardwood floors worth it?
If you love earthy tones and have a firm appreciation for the heritage of timber then yes! There are generational skills of craftsmanship that go into installing, repairing, or refinishing all kinds of wood, which will leave you admiring it for years to come, even after the kids, heels, and paws have danced their way through life on them.
Hardwood Floors are too expensive!
Yes and no, and it depends on your budget. Nowadays if you can’t afford solid hardwood, there are plenty more affordable and still great quality alternatives. Ranging from resilient laminate to hybrid timber planks, which was the happy medium we opted for. And though installing the Hickory flooring is still to date the most expensive part of our renovation, it was the most needed and worthwhile. After all, it pulled our home out of the dated time warp it was stuck in and laid the grounds for more homespun design choices to come.
How do I know what timbers suit best a traditional or farmhouse style?
Earthy grains and tones are what you need to focus on. The key is to find a timber or material that looks as though it always existed in your home!