Decisions, Decisions!

And I need YOUR help! Once again I have to apologise for being the worst blogger ever...but I must say that life has been quite hectic lately!!! My sister and her wonderful electrician boyfriend flew out from Victoria to wire our work-in-progress basement for us, but when we arrived at my house from the airport we opened the front door to discover it had rained indoors...yes, my top-floor washing machine had overflowed and all the water had flowed through the ceiling and destroyed our laminate floor. I think for a lot of people this would seem like a huge disaster, but when you have a sweetie overseas I think you learn to take everything in stride...so I thought to myself...no big deal :) on the down side, our insurance deductible is pretty steep, on the up side, our WHOLE main floor gets new flooring!!!! Since Nathaniel had just recently added laminate to our living room before he left, the existing laminate wasn't ever an exact match to the new laminate in the living room. So I will be honest and say I do think this is a blessing in disguise because now instead of having 2 different laminates on our main floor, we get to have one seamless matching floor!!! Here is where I need your help...opinions and advice and expertise are SO SO welcome!!! Since I have an opportunity to start fresh I have a few questions....
Do I go with laminate, engineered wood, or solid hardwood floors? We have been given a budget of $3 per square foot...anything above and beyond we can pay out of pocket as an upgrade. I know I can get laminate and engineered wood at that price, but for solid hardwood we would need to pay out of pocket. I have heard solid hardwood and especially engineered wood floors do not hold up well with large dogs (big claws)...and that with dogs laminate is the best option. I would LOVE to make the switch to real wood but do you think this would be a mistake with dogs? what is your opinion? real or faux? live with the scratches from the dogs if I choose wood or have a scratch resistant surface with laminate?


My other question is... what shade of flooring do I go for...light, medium or dark?? I do have a favorite shade in mind, but since I'm oh so indecisive and have a habit of changing my mind I wanted to ask what you think...so here are some inspiration photos I love to help me make this decision...which do you like best?

LIGHT~ pros: airy, fresh, gorgeous, and shabby-chic cons: dogs + muddy paws = major prints, and since Toto is of the black variety and sheds like the dickens, I think his hair would show big time!


MEDIUM~ pros: large variety of floors available in this shade, a compromise between light and dark, wouldn't show my white cat hair or black dog hair as much as the other two shades  cons: seems a bit predictable and boring to me, not as much contrast





or DARK~ pros: stunning, rich, love the contrast, wouldn't show dirt as much  cons: if we go with laminate, there is only one dark shade to choose from at the store we have to get the flooring from








I cannot wait to hear all of your opinions!
ps~ I ran it by Nathaniel and I pretty much have free reign on this one :)

32 comments:

Mrs. 5C said...

What a fun way to look at a small disaster! Good for you for staying positive!!

I love the look of dark floors in pictures. Dark hardwood is very chic, and perhaps a little more formal. I have to wonder about the inevitable dust bunnies... I think they might stand out more on a dark hardwood floor than on a light or medium wood floor?

Our house came with medium wood floors and I like the way they glow in the sunlight. I think they brighten up our home. If I had picked the shade of the floors I would have picked the dark color that's all the rage, but I think in the long run, and in my quest for a bright, cheerful house, I'm happier with the medium color floors.

Oh a side note... I LOVE the light fixtures in your inspiration pictures! I would like one of each, please!!

Ok. and now I'm going to conclude my small novel. ;) The End!

Stacey Halphen said...

If you don't clean your floors frequently (every other day), then I would stay away from the really dark colors. They are very beautiful, but they show dirt and dust like you would not believe. I would stay somewhere more to the middle ground.

Annie @ The House That Jade Built said...

My mom has real hard wood floors & 2 dogs. Her floors do scratch, but she likes that because they look really aged. She has a house full of antiques & it's perfect for her. She just puts a coat of some sort of shine on them once a year and that seems to be it. I personally like the lighter or the medium wood floors. I think the dark floors would get dusty pretty easily & I'm a cleaning freak. However, I do love the look of the dark floors too! Best of luck - you have a tough decision!!

Deb said...

Hi I have to say from experience that while I love the dark hardwood, it shows up Everything! Light hair dark hair, it all shows. I would go with hardwood definitely for looks, durability and resale value. I have heard lots of good things about engineered flooring so I don't think I would have a problem with it. Good luck!

MrsKBJ said...

Sorry to hear about your water damage, but yay for redoing your floors!! :P

I say dark solid hardwood floors!

DreamCatcher said...

Hi!
I have "light" laminate floors all over my house and love them. They are very very beige and have also a few wood-alike grey veins so dust and hair NEVER shows. I'm very very very happy with them. I think it's the best thing I had installed in my home. Very resistent and easy to take care, too. It wasn't the cheapest in the market, though. I opted for the best solution out there and never regreted it.
Now, my sister on the other hand, has wenge hardwood floors and HATES THEM. And she's stuck w them because of their cost.
Every teeny tiny dot of dust shows, so she needs to vaccum every single day and even then they are ok for an hour or so. She can't even move furniture around because they scratch very very easily. I don't have to mention high heels...
They cost a lot of money to install AND maintain AND repair.
So...think wisely, because family life with children and/or pets can become short of a nightmare if, among other things, you have to clean every.single.day.those.damn.floors!!
Hope I've helped!

Amanda said...

Hi honey. Thanks for the sweet comment. I've not been blogging much myself... way too much going on to get into in a comment. :/ Lucky for me I have dear blog friends who keep me smiling with nice comments or lovely inspiration.

How darling of you to get excited over ruined floors. :) I myself would have dark hardwood floors in my dream home. However, with cost, pets, and me assuming you all may not be in your current home forever, I would go with practical flooring. Style and color. :) Or do dark laminate. Beauty in both. The fur kids can't tear it up and it's dark and lovely. Hope that helps, I know how you feel because I am the most indecisive person ever, it seems.

Good hearing from you beautiful. I'll try to catch up soon.

Dayka said...

I would say that unless it's a high-quality laminate (mannington), go with either engineered or solid. It's much better for resale value than laminate, and can also be refinished, which will add life. I have bamboo floors and they bruise easily--much easier than wood, but I'd still do it all over again. I get tons of compliments, and they look beautiful. A good solid or engineered wood should stand up to a dog's claws. You floor will probably get scratched over time anyway, but I think it gives a bit of character. In terms of color, I personally LOVE the dark floors, but the medium is always good too. I'm sure whatever you decide on will look stunning--can't wait to see it done (sorry for the long dissertation).

mrso' said...

I think you should go w/ the dark floors. That's what I would pick for myself lol. And I would go w/ real hardwood if you can. I have a dog and he doesn't scratch them or anything. Can't wait to see what you decide!

LisaC said...

Hi! Congrats on your rain! We had rain in our house and got a new bathroom and living room. I wish it would rain again so I could get a new kitchen and flooring. Just wanted to put in my 2 cents about the flooring and dogs and kids, we have a Mastiff. She's large. Ok, she's ginormous. I also have a daughter and 4 sons. We have light laminate flooring and I have to say I hate it. It shows footprints and hair big time. Our dog is a fawn brindle, so we have light and dark hair. When I bought the flooring I was told it wouldn't scratch. It does. There are lines all over the floor, little scratches to scrapes to chunks. I won't buy laminate again. We're looking at flooring now and I will get real wood. I figure at least it can be sanded down and refinished. I like the look of reclaimed wood so maybe then the lines won't bug me so much. The dog doesn't scratch the floor though. I keep her nails pretty short so I rarely even hear them on the floor. The scratches are from us and furniture. IMO, get the real thing. :)

Meg said...

I have a problem with being practical. I absolutely love dark floors as well as white floors and though they're probably the worst at showing dirt, I'm weak in the knees for them.

I'd vote dark or white because they'd look so sleek and sexy, but you might hate me if they're more work than you're ready to commit to.

Love how I didn't really help?

beautyoflife said...

To be honest, I have very dark wood floors and I have a dog and four kids and we see ALOT of dirt, dog hair, muddy paw prints etc.....not too mention the dust shows up on it pretty good too. I love how it looks, but they are a major upkeep. Always sweeping and mopping. That is a tough choice, but I wanted to let you know, that dark does not equal less dirt showing.

Pretty Little Things for Home & Life said...

Good on you for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! With dogs, I would suggest laminate. As for the color: we have incredibly dark floors in our house and while I love the look of them more than anything, they are ridiculously hard to maintain. As stated by others, they show EVERYTHING!!! Every clump of kitty fur flying by, every speck of anything. I would go with a medium or light tone if you're looking for practicality.

Rosie said...

Yay for the blessing in disguise. Sometimes things just work out!

We had this very same dilemma, and while medium is probably the most sensible...I love really light and really dark! I LOVE light floors so much though, that I am putting my vote in that direction!

Hope you are well, and so impressed you just took it all in your stride!

Lisa said...

Lucky you!! Half of my main floor is natural wood. I have raised 4 kids and a few dogs with no problems- dust-wise or dirt wise. You do have to refinish occasionally. I've always done a satin finish- again, to hide scratches and dust. Last year we replaced our living room carpet with a medium stain hardwood. It's beautiful, richer than the natural. I would never go dark since I love light and dust is so constant here in the desert.
My initial plan in building the house was to paint the wood- Now that I have conflicting stains- (not too bad, since it's in another room)-I'm thinking about it again. A traditional black/white check, maybe. I'd probably go navy instead of black, a little softer....
The great thing about real wood is that it's 3/4" think and you can sand it dozens of times. Engineered is super thin and will not last against pets and kids...
My take on laminate- not warm. Slippery. But it sure looks good!
Good luck!

Brakes and Gas said...

Hmmm... this is a very timely cunundrum! As I type, I am admiring my newly installed solid, wide-planked, hand-scraped, medium tone hardwood and it is gorgeous! Like so gorgeous, I would makeout with it if I could (is that weird? Maybe, but it is that gorgeous!). My original vision was a very dark solid floor but as I do not sweep every day and it shows so much dust, not to mentions scratches that our two huge black-haired dogs would no doubt leave, we went with a medium tone and I could not be happier! Since it is handscraped, the scratches will blend really well and just contribute to the overall character, which is perfect when you have dogs and a baby! We considered laminate but when you see laminate next to real-wood there is really no comparison. If I were you, I would go with a hand-scraped engineered, that way you don't have to pay and you'll have the richness of real wood! Good luck and I can't wait to see pics of whatever you choose!

lauren @ gathering moss said...

i vote medium color! it is classic, will go with changing decorating tastes, and will be best for re-sale in the future. as far as type of flooring, i don't know much about that. we have hardwoods and two humungo dogs, and they are fine. when we had some carpet removed and all the floors refinished, they recommended putting this specific kinda of clear varnish on them to make them easier to maintain (as opposed to my parents' waxed hardwoods, which they had to wax on a regular basis) and stronger against wear. before refinishing, the exposed wood was still in pretty good shape too, and it had been around for 50 years! i'm glad you're able to take what others may see as disaster and turn it around into an opportunity :) good luck making your decisions!

Little Lovables said...

I have a large dog and also the laminate wood flooring. Scartching is minimal and also remember, if your dogs ever has accidents, the wood can be stained from it, b ut hte good laminate flooring won't stain.

Also, I have an all white house like you. The classic white and splashed of color I uese really pop b/c our floors are in the medium dark t- dark color.

I personally love the very dark color floors, but agree it shows everything, so maybe going to a medium shade would be great.

Jill Nittolo, Den Leader said...

I totally get your indecision. Tough choice.

We have three dogs; small, medium and very large (170 lbs) and very sheddy. Two rough boys to boot. (I chose to install medium solid hardwood (Butterscotch by Bruce at Lowes). Don't regret a thing. The floors are holding up beautifully from the dogs claws and boys rough housing and it doesn't show every bit of dust or hair.


My sister on the other hand has dark engineered flooring and only one cat and one quiet little girl. Her floors show everything and are badly scratched after only 5 years.

I love the look and idea of the dark floors too, but I think it might be a bit trendy. Medium is classic and will never go out of style.

Good luck!

Suzy said...

I love the darkest colour!

creekside rummager said...

We have medium brown southern yellow pine floors and 1 large dog. I literally clean our floors almost every day - muddy paw or foot prints, hair, etc. Fortunately, our house is small. Like another person that posted, our floors have gotten scratched alot from our dog and every week or two, I'm on the floor filling in the color. I think we need another round of sealer on our floor. I love their look and feel and I believe the floors are cleaner overall, but wood is work especially with a dog.

Kelly Muys Wood said...

i've gone with all different shades of flooring , and i think it just really depends on the space (especially what kind of light the room gets).

my only recommendation, based on your info, would be to purchase the thickest (and probably most expensive) grade of flooring you can afford. especially with laminates, it really makes a difference.

kelly

Maran said...

I really do not like laminate so I would choose hardwood or engineered. I think it raises the value of your home much more than laminate and I know tons of people who have hardwood with pets and say it's not a big deal at all. It has a warmer feel too. From what I've heard, you don't want to put a high gloss sheen on the floors b/c that's where the tiny knicks show up from the dog's nails.

As far as color, I love the look of the dark but I wouldn't want to have to clean them every day. Light or medium would be my choice. Good luck with your decision! Can't wait to see what it looks like!!

Audra said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. I now won't miss anything as I am a follower. I love your style!

MrsKBJ said...

How is the floor coming along?? I hope you are doing well!!

Kelly

Ms.Cupcake (aka Becky) said...

where are you my dear?? We all miss your blog updates! I vote for espresso!

Mark and Trisha said...

Check out Lumber Liquidators, they have great prices.

The Beige House said...

Just recently stumbled on your blog! I vote for dark- we have dark floors and while it's true that they do show dirt, everyone who sees them loves them. I think it will definitely help with resale.

Jessica said...

Update your blog missy!...show us your new floors.
Love your annyoing sister
Xox

Meg Mitchell said...

I love white or light colored painted floors. Then throw some fun and colorful rugs on top and enjoy. In Canada, people usually take their shoes off at the door which helps in keeping floors cleaner.

ktmills said...

I agree with all of those against the dark floors. I have them in my own house, and they get so dusty that I clean them every day and then have to do a once over again if I know guests are coming. EVERY speck of dirt shows!! However, I do have real wood, which I think is awesome and it feels so sturdy. If you do go with real wood, remember you can always have them sanded and refinished if you change your mind about the stain or if the floor gets dented and scratched over time!

Timeless Style Design said...

I agree with Dayka. We have one dog and while our hardwood floor may have a few minor scratches, it's nothing significant in my books. The big advantage with hardwood is you can sand it down in a few years and voila, new floor. I also consider it an investment...depending on the value of your house/neighbourhood buyers would "expect" hardwood and will pay a premium for it (and some will "deduct" for laminate), so you can consider it an investment in your house. One ky thing to consider is the finish -- we used a satin finish (vs. gloss) which will help reduce the visable surface scratches. I've been hearing/reading that the hand-scraped (more rustic looking floors) are the trend of the future (vs. glossy floors) which would work in your favour as doggy scratches would only enhance the look :). One last thing to consider... I would suggest an area rug in the area where your dog(s) typically lie/sleep. I've found most of the scratching occurs when the dog is trying to get up/lie down (because he/she can't get a grip on the hardwood). Using an area rug will help him/her and will reduce the scratches.