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Flooring dilemma Sign In/Join 
OK, so my husband and I have been going around for over a year about flooring for our kitchen/laundry/powder room area. Our home was built in 1997, all of our cabinets/baseboards/trim are oak in a honey spice finish (not quite as yellow as golden oak). Flooring is currently a patterned vinyl that I DETEST! Changing out the cabinets/trim is not an option right now. We are very experienced DIYers so will probably tackle the flooring by ourselves. I don't really want new vinyl nor am I crazy about tile. My first question is this: Is wood flooring a good option and if so, do I try to match or contrast with the cabinets/trim? Go darker or lighter?
Second question: Is laminate a good option for a kitchen? A portion of the area is fairly high traffic as it is the entry to our home from the garage, plus we have a couple four-legged family members. Since my husband is convinced that any type of wood/wood-look flooring is going to be "too much", I DID find some very nice laminate that has a tile look to it. Last question: I have also looked at some of the "click together" bamboo flooring and really like it - especially the carbonized (I think that's what they call it) that has more color to it. Would that product be a good option for a kitchen, both in style and function?
Any help or opinions would be greatly appreciated - I am ready to do something about this floor but am just not sure about the whole "wood on wood" thing.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Apr 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We have real hardwood floor in our kitchen and it works ok, even with two dogs. But it was not installed very well and it shows.

We had Pergo-type laminate in our last kitchen and we liked it. It was easy for my wife to keep clean. We had a leak from our fridge ice maker that damaged it but I procrastinated about fixing it and it fixed itself. Had to replace the base molding but that was a snap.

The most important advice I can give for any such flooring is to be sure it is acclimated to the room floor before installing it.
Posts: 12155 | Location: Ft Collins, CO USA | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Newer laminates have better joints that handle water better. Read the laminate topic on my website at for more information.

From what we have seen, darker wood-type flooring near medium cabinets works ok. Lighter colored wood flooring near darker wood cabinets seems upside down.
Posts: 12155 | Location: Ft Collins, CO USA | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Sparky
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Don't try to match, you never will get it exact.

Go for contrast. I have light oak hardwoods and natural cherry cabinets.

General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Posts: 6865 | Location: Cary, North Carolina | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agree with Sparky. You will never really match and it will always look a little odd.

Vinyl, or that type of flooring is the most practical for wet areas like utilities, kitchen,etc. before you totally discount them check out a couple regular flooring stores. Some of them have very nice vinyl flooring.
Posts: 6733 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you all for the good advice. I actually took some samples home last night to compare them to my cabinets. Turns out the cabinet finish is lighter than I thought, but I do like the idea of the dark wood against the lighter cabinets. Bob, I'm with you on the the lighter wood floor/darker cabinet thing - it didn't look right to me either. Thanks for the info about laminates as well - I have found several that I like but was just worried about the seams, especially around the ice/water dispenser on the fridge. Sparky, thanks for your input as well. I did have a sample I REALLY liked that was almost an exact match for my cabinets, but in the end decided that would just be overkill and with the variations in the floor, any differences would just look weird. Metwo, actually new vinyl was my first thought but it's not a job we would try to tackle ourselves. When we had the flooring store who did all the original flooring when we built our home come out and give us an estimate, I was shocked. Don't know if I mentioned the area or not, but it's about 450 sf total and they wanted almost $5000 and that wasn't for their top-of-the-line product!
I'm still having a hard time convincing my husband about the wood-on-wood look so we may end up going with the tile laminate. I found a couple of Armstrong ones that I REALLY like - more of a stone look actually - but all the store's samples were checked out so I'm going to have to wait to try them out in my kitchen. We have laminate flooring in two of our bedrooms and I love the look and easy maintenance, but don't care for the hollow sound. The salesperson at Lowe's assured me that a high grade underlayment would eliminate that and the tile laminate is in the higher end line - 12mm thick - so I think that would help with the noise, too? Thoughts?
Posts: 2 | Registered: Apr 03, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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