Saturday, January 28, 2017

Choosing Wide Plank Flooring for the Kitchen

We are making major progress in our kitchen! As i mentioned in my last post, installing hardwood floors in the #grazianobungalow kitchen was the most daunting "to do" on our project list for that room. The existing gray tile that was in the space wasn't terrible, but something about the tile made the kitchen feel so cold. I knew that hardwoods would really warm up the space and give the whole house a better flow. I mean....just look at these kitchens that I was swooning over as inspiration!

We decided it was best to tackle the hardwoods sooner rather than later, given that we were already sanding/staining the existing hardwoods in multiple other rooms. If your whole home is going to be a dust storm, it's definitely better to weather the storm all at once! And given how the few items that we moved into our kitchen looked after the floors were complete (completely white from dust), I'm so glad that we did this before moving the majority of our kitchen possessions in.

And now for the hardest part of the process...choosing the actual wood! Given the fact that there are thousands of options out there for floors, they are a big commitment financially, and that hardwoods are pretty permanent,  this was a BIG (and somewhat stressful) decision. Here were the things we knew we wanted which narrowed down the search:

  1. Wide Plank. I've always loved the look of wide plank floors so I knew that if we were going to spend the money to replace the tile, I wanted to go wide. We only looked at floors where the planks were at least 7 inches wide.
  2. Light in color to flow well with the adjoining family room, where we stained the hardwoods in a very faint coat of "Weathered Oak." We wanted to stay in the light brown/gray/white-washed range of colors. 
  3. Oak. The rest of the hardwoods throughout the house are white oak, so we wanted to stay in the oak/white oak/french oak family.
  4. Visual Interest. If I could have taken old reclaimed barn planks and used them as floors, I would have! I really wanted floors that looked slightly distressed, where you could see the knots/grains/irregularities that I love oak so much for. 
  5. Inexpensive. The kitchen's square footage is fairly large and we are on a new homeowner budget. We really wanted to stay under $8 per square foot!
Here are some examples of the types of floors we were looking for:
Given the cost, we knew right of the bat that if we wanted wide plank floors, we would have to go with engineered hardwoods vs. real hardwoods. Going with real wide plank hardwoods automatically puts you above $10/sqft, which was out of our budget. Engineered hardwoods have come a long way - to the point that we really couldn't even tell the difference between what was real and what was engineered in the samples we looked at. Plus, engineered wood is so much more durable and easy to clean! After a lot of research, here were our main contenders:

^ Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1. Palladio Wide Plank French Oak floors: These floors are wire brushed with a lime wash, which gives them a beautiful "washed" look. I had seen them in person in a friends apartment and fell in love with them immediately. The only issue was that you have to be a contractor to get them! Josh literally made up a company (Graziano LLC) to call around and get a wholesale quote - $7.49 per square foot. Within budget! 

2. Floor & Decor Montpellier Oak floors: My dad first spotted these on Pinterest, and after reading this blog post about them, they seemed to fit exactly with what we were looking for. They looked gorgeous in photos and at $5.95/sqft for over 9 inch wide boards, you really couldn't beat the price! However, with no Floor & Decor location within driving distance of us, sadly the shipping would have cost us almost the same amount as the floors themselves. The samples we ordered were also slightly darker in person than we wanted. 

3. Veneto White Oak floors: The entire Design Group 47 showroom in Peabody is done with these engineered wire brushed floors, and they are insanely beautiful. They evoke the feeling of walking through an old barn and have so many interesting details in each plank, yet look so sleek and modern against a white kitchen. When we finally got these prices out they came in at a little over $10/sqft, which was sadly a little high. 

4. Wayfair Engineered Oak Flooring: The obvious first place for me to look was Wayfair, where we ordered samples of #4, #5, #6 which were all wide plank floor options that were reasonably priced. I love how on Wayfair you can sort by wood type (oak), plank size (wide), price and even installation type. That made it super easy to narrow it down to exactly the options we were looking for! 

Our final decision? Drum roll please....we went with the Palladios! At the end of the day, we weren't in love with any of the Wayfair options, and the Montpellier & Veneto floors would have been too expensive. We chose the "Whiskey" color and ordered them through Wood Pro in Salem, NH, who were great to work with. These floors were my favorites from the beginning of our search anyway, and we are so, so happy with the decision. Here are some down & dirty photos of the process...
^ tile demo
^tiles gone! 
^Here you can see the difference between the wide plank floors and the regular hardwoods in our family room. So happy with how the colors flow together!
So the kitchen floors are officially complete and we are so happy with them. Sometimes I just stand there and stare at them, or sit down with Mac and rub my hand over them to feel how smooth they are (I'm pretty obsessed). This kitchen is slowly turning into my dream kitchen, and we've loved spending our first few nights cooking and eating dinner here. We have a few things left on our kitchen to-do list (we are hanging the floating shelves this weekend!), but then can't wait to share the finished space. Stay tuned! 

Kitchen Project list:
1. Remove tile and install hardwood floors
2. Install pendant lights over counter
3. Install open shelving on either side of the sink
4. Swap knobs, pulls, and faucet to brass
5. Paint walls white
6. Choose new counter stools
7. Potentially add a backsplash


  1. Hi there! Your floors are beautiful, I've been searching high and low for something similar, but I know they tend to look very different in person. Can I ask if and how you got samples of the floor your picked, and do you still like them? Thanks!! ~ Melissa

  2. Hi,
    We are considering using Palladio in Whiskey or Driftwood. How have your floors held up? Are you happy with your choice? You’re kitchen is beautiful.

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    your house looks gorgeous! Could you rate your floors? I ‘m afraid the matte finish may scratch easily?


  9. We're looking at Palladio too! Are these more grey or yellow in person?

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