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Hardwood-to-hardwood transition ideas?

Nuke's picture

Morning All,

Today, I am taking the wife down to Floor & Decor to have a look at some prefinished 3/4"x2.25" solid-hardwoods to determine the finish. I cannot tell in the store if its a nutmeg or cinnomen oak kind of finish on what I have. The idea with looking at prefinished is because I am not open to the idea of a) sanding hardwood safely (the wood's safety, that is), and b) matching the stains between what has been on the floor to what can be had in a can.

Since eyeballing it was difficult to impossible yesterday, I decided to go pull up a roundover endcap at the threashhold where the carpet is coming out and more hardwood is going in. What I discovered was not good, but I started to get the feeling as such when I was touching some prefinished products at Floor & Decor yesterday.

When I was in Floor & Decor yesterday inspecting the prefinished 3/4" solid hardwood flooring I noticed the square-edge seams were more imperfect (i.e. you could feel the seams easily) compared to what has been sitting in my home for the past five years. Well, pulling up a roundover piece I can see what appears to be an unfinished install of an endcap with on-site staining.

Ug, I really, really, really do not want to go through the hassle of sanding and staining just to get seams like what I already have. This 'hardwood can be cheap' is an urban legend. My 8AM trip to Lumber Liquidators was also a complete disappointment in that I had to park about 1,000' from their 'hole in the wall' place. Also, it was a hole being overrun with customers and their once a year sale stock appeared to have gotten rained on from the heavy downpours the night before.

So, for the Buford/Duluth (Gwinnett county) market what should one expect for $/SqFt for installed hardwood flooring as a starting point? I'm getting the feeling that I could put gold-leaf down cheaper. Anyway, here is a question:

How does one consider making a transition from one hardwood run to the next if a perfect match cannot be had?

(post #175905, reply #1 of 1)

Your best bet for a match IS to refinish existing along with the original. Prefinished will never have a perfectly flat floor with nice neat square edges - that is what you give up to have prefinished. So yes, if you want a nice flat floor you have to go through the hassle of sanding and staining.

That said, there may be some things you can do to disguise the difference between old and new. You could try changing the direction of the wood. Or you could put in a decorative border of a different specie around the room where the new wood is going in - that will put a break between the two 'near miss' colors. I've also seen a tile border around wood that looks really good, and that is another way to separate the two woods that are 'close but no cigar'. Or embrace the difference and go for a completely different specie with a different finish. If you have 2 1/2 wide oak, get 5" plank cherry