Grey floors

We've had a few showings lately here, which is good news. The house we want to buy is still available as well, and I'm starting to wonder (foolishly perhaps) if something isn't afoot. Are the real estate gods conspiring to put us somewhere new? Is that somewhere the place we hope? There's no way to know of course, but in case it is, we can prepare.

As I've been reworking that house in my head, a task that will take years to complete unless we happen onto a pile of cash, there are two issues I've been unsure how to handle. The first problem is a pair of walls, one which should (and I believe can) go away, and the other which should change. I can't explain it coherently here without drawings, but I've figured out what we'd need to do.

The second problem is the floor. I hate broken up floors, which is what this house has. Stone in the entry, parquet straight ahead, hardwood to the left and right, and eventually linoleum in the kitchen and a different tile in each of the 2.5 baths. Looking at photos I discovered that a quirk of the house could be the saving grace for my floors.

The family that lived in this house for all but the first two years of its existance owned a carpet business. As such, the living and dining rooms, as well as the hall and bedrooms were always covered in wall-to-wall. And under that carpet, the original oak flooring was never finished. It's there now, raw as the day it was installed.

More importantly, it's a standard three inch oak plank, still available today. Which means that the stone entry and the "family room" parquet can be easily replaced. Same for the kitchen. I don't know what's under the lino, but if necessary I can install what I need. I can even run it into the powder room, a far better answer than the pink mosaic you'd find there today.

The photo above is an engineered wood from Berti. I'm not a fan of engineered wood, but this is exactly the color I have in mind. One unbroken surface of grey-stained, satin-finished oak, as far as the eye can see.

This warm neutral ground also helps me in the kitchen, where I want dark base cabinets. A lighter floor means those cabinets won't blend in and disappear.

We'd end up with exactly two flooring materials in our home, an idea which appeals to me greatly. The master and second full bath get a carrera marble herringbone mosaic bordered in six inches of China Black marble. Everything else is warm grey wood.


ChrisToronto said...

I appreciate the resignation in your attitude, the wise understanding that these things are mostly out of our hands. I hope your dreams come true!

Living the life in The Little City said...

Your plans for your possible next house sound great. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Raina Cox said...

Um... yes, yes, and YES!

David said...

Now if we can get you, The Pea, and LB similarly settled!

Decorina said...

That sounds gorgeous David. I too am a fan of a contiguous floor throughout. If only I had the money to do that in my house. Maybe someday.

When did you say the place was built? It may just have plywood under the kitchen vinyl if it was later. If it was really early it may have fir or pine.

Love the grey wood. That house may be waiting for you!

soodie :: said...

David, love love beyond love your idea of warm grey oak wood floors.

go with it. what about a slight cerused finish then seal it? too much?

hope the gods are in your favor! because your ideas are too good for it not to work out.

(nerve wraking isn't it. we're heading to be in the same boat soon. i've already designed my entire house in my head and haven't even found the house yet. but god, sometimes it is the only thing that can get you through the day...)

David said...

Decorina: 1952, so I'm betting you're right and there's plywood under the linoleum. My great aunt & uncle built a ranch in 1953, and when selling we checked under the carpet it was all plywood.

Soodie: That's exactly what I have in mind, just a bit of white rubbed into the grain before sealing. You know me =)

I'm hoping the real estate gods are good to Raina, you, and me! And you're spot on too when you say planning is all that gets us through some days.

Decorina said...

1952 was still pretty early - it may be fir or white pine. Could be plywood - that's what my kitchen/laundry/FR has. But the vinyl isn't original 8x8's it is 1969 white sheet vinyl...ick.

BTW, I've specified some engineered wood floors - they can be really nice. They can even be refinished. But if you are able I know you would want planking. So cool that it doesn't have a finish on it.

Toad said...

One of the unintended consequences of oak flooring we found was that our dog's have a terrible time getting around. Be sure to lay a number of area rugs. The dogs slip, slide, can't seem to get their footing.

Karena said...

David, your mind is working on great ideas, I would love to see the gray wood floors throughout, and as Soodie imagined, a bit or rubbing before the final finish!

home before dark said...

Love the ideas of the floors. What about an oiled finish rather than polyurethane to keep this beautiful aged finish looking aged! Good luck with the real estate gods. We all know that gods like to play around with us from time to time. Hope this change is coming your way.

And, yes, I live in Lawrence. Starting today for the next month or so, Lawrence will be like something out of Soodie's teenage movie list. I try to avoid the KU zone and stay in the garden until kids have learned their way around the streets in town and that you really can save some of that beer for another day.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Good luck -just say yes to gray! I assume you ultimately want hardwood in the kitchen as wel? bravo! I'm all about continuity in finishes!

Sandra Oles said...

THIS FLOOR IS TO DIE FOR!!!!!! GORGEOUS! Can you email my mom in the Northeast and let her know how to get this for her kitchen!