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Does hardwood have to match?

montydog's picture

Hi there,

I'm new to this forum and I hope someone out there can provide me with some help.

We had a problem where one of our dogs tore up a 3x10ft piece of carpet on the upstairs landing during a thuderstorm (she has very bad thunderphobia and we weren't home when the storm hit...) Suffice it to say that we have to at a minimum replace the carpet. However, we are thinking of pull all the carpet on the upper floor and replacing it with flooring (easier to keep clean and generally nicer).

The problem is that our staircase is solid red oak with a natural stain. Are we stuck with natural red oak flooring upstairs or can we mix it up a bit? The staircase is off to the side of the house (it's not a grand staircase right into the entrance) so generally, unless you are on the landing or at the bottom of the stairs, you never see the staircase and the floor together. Any thoughts on this?

We are thinking of either laminate (because it's easy, cheaper and durable) or full hardwood (because it's very nice...). If any of you have dogs and kids (in the near future for us...), have you had experience with flooring? What works well in this situation?

Many thanks in advance!

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Purlgirl's picture

I too really like the look and feel of cork, but I've heard that cork is easily scratched? I'd be worried that with dogs of any significant size they would damage the cork.

AlexandraToso's picture

I also don't think you have to match the flooring. I have a light oak in my hallway and beech in the dining room and it looks fine.

All I would say is that you choose something that does complement your existing flooring rather than something that is totally different.

Before you commit to a whole flooring order, ask your local store to supply you with some samples so you can take them home and see them in your light.

A word about laminate: Yes it is very good value for money, but if you're going to choose it then opt for the most expensive you can afford.

Cheap laminate can look really tatty very quickly and easily scratch - believe me I speak from experience!

If you can afford it, I would go with solid wood - that way if it gets damaged you can re sand and varnish it whereas with laminate you're pretty much stuck with any marks.

Hope that helps

Alexandra Toso
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montydog's picture

Thanks for the reply. I kinda figured that matching wasn't that necessary, but the real question is: what colour to go with? Should I pick a colour that complements the natural red oak? or can I go with something very different like chocolate ? Although I would be likely to go with a solid colour like that, since any scratch/dust will show right away.


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