If you go hard you gotta get on the floor… If you’re a party freak then step on the floor… If you’re an animal then tear up the floor… Break a sweat on the floor… Yeah we work on the floor. I’m turning into JLo as we speak. Were you singing along? Just admit it, you KNOW you were.
I’m 99.99% sure that all of things will happen at one point or another. We will be working hard at the house and want to lay down on the floor. I won’t even go into the party freak… but I’ll make sure to step on the floor. FYI to all animals, PLEASE don’t tear up the floor. And breaking a sweat… on the floor… that is a definite yes.
Are you wondering where this is going?! Today I’m going to let you in on what flooring we chose for our home. We have gone back and forth for months (like at least 6 months) and finally made a decision. It was what we wanted from the beginning. It’s like going to a restaurant and one of the pictures on the menu making you think you want something else… when you already knew what you were getting before you ever got there. Happens to J.C. all.the.time. Bless his heart.
So, we looked at the following options for flooring in our “new to us” house.
- Wood look tile
- Unfinished hardwoods
- Engineered hardwoods
There are pros and cons to each, but that was the least of our worries. We KNEW we wanted hardwood flooring in our new house. What we didn’t know was that you just can’t lay them down on a concrete slab and be done. Our old home wasn’t on a slab, so there was a layer of wood underneath the hardwoods floors. This allowed the installers to nail the hardwoods to the wood underneath.
I don’t know from experience, but I don’t think you are going to “nail” much of anything into a concrete slab. I mean, it’s possible, but not for hardwood floor application. That got us a little worried. We wondered, “maybe we should look into something else?!”
The nice guy at Lumber Liquidators told us there was an option. We could use a roll out sticky pad and “stick” our floors down. Seemed easy enough… until he mentioned the price. That’s REALLY when we decided we might look at other options. We looked at bamboo, which was gorgeous and very, very, very hard and reliable. It would have also needed some sort of underlayment layer to stick to… so that was kind of out as well. Want to see which one we were scoping out? It’s so pretty, but we just weren’t sure it was for us.
(Click on the picture for more details and pricing.)
I mean, come on… you can’t say that isn’t pretty?! The sales rep told us that if our house ever flooded or we had a water leak, it wouldn’t be a big deal with bamboo. That was kind of a nice “selling feature.” I then asked him if it was watertight. And the answer was no. What I mean by that is there are little tiny cracks in between each piece of bamboo. Even though it’s tongue and groove, the crack is still there.
What’s the big deal, right?! Well, we have a baby puppy that has accidents sometimes. If he peed on the floor and I didn’t get home until a few hours later, there’s a chance that our floors could eventually be RUINED! No bueno! Not going to happen… which brings us to the next option we considered.
When we were in Home Depot one day, J.C. happened to notice this wood look tile.
Lord Help! I thought he was SOLD right then and there. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love tile. I even like this particular tile. We are installing tile flooring in our guest and master bathrooms and in our walk-in shower. But, I did not want tile in our whole house. I felt like it would be cold… literally and figuratively. It might be for some people, but I knew it wasn’t going to be for us.
That didn’t stop J.C. from trying to talk me into the idea. For starters, it could easily be laid on our concrete slab. There wouldn’t be a lot of prep work to install it. Secondly, it really does look A LOT like hardwood flooring, especially if you use the right grout color. I still couldn’t see past the fact that it would be freezing cold underneath my feet. J.C. told me one time, “I would NEVER have tile in my house, especilly in my bedroom. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t want to put my feet on cold tile.”
I kept trying to remind his of this… but he was having a hard time listening. The other “cold” factor was also bugging me. I wondered if our house would feel kind of sterile and not as charming. We loved every minute of our hardwood flooring at the other house. It was so charming and cozy. It just made the house feel so warm and inviting. And upkeep was a breeze. Here’s an Instagram pic that I thought I would share.
Weren’t those floors so pretty? I miss them 😦
At some point, we priced heated tile floors… WHAT A JOKE! That’s way too expensive. At that point, we pretty much ruled them out.
Our other only option was back to hardwoods, either unfinished or engineered. In the long run, we decided to choose what we initially wanted, what we REALLY wanted. And that’s unfinished hardwood floors. This allows us to choose our stain color and to seal them. That means those little cracks will be covered with a few layers of polyurethane, meaning we don’t have to worry about puppy accidents or spills.
We really like Provincial stain from Minwax. Here are a few spaces that feature that exact stain color.
Aren’t they stunning? It isn’t too light or too dark. Perfect for hiding dirt. Not that I need to worry about dirt, because I sweep every day. Ok, I’m lying. You caught me! Here’s another inspiration photo I found.
That’s it! We are SOLD!
As for installation, we learned that the hardwoods can be installed kind of like tile, using a trowel and hardwood mortar. Since we both work full time, this will probably be a job that we have hired out. I will keep you updated on the progress as it occurs as well as share more information on our hardwoods.
Do you agree with our final choice? Have you ever lived in a home with real hardwoods? Did you like them? We just couldn’t imagine our house without them. Leave a comment below to tell us what flooring you would put in your home if you could choose.