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Hardwood Flooring


I’m curious to know about your flooring – I love it!  Where did you purchase it?  What is the color?  I love the dark look, but have been told it’s super hard to keep clean.  Thoughts??

I’ve had so many questions coming in over the past few weeks about my hardwood floors.  Thank you  for being patient with me for a response!  K – here’s the scoop on my floors.  I’ve been dreaming about having pretty hardwood floors for 16 years now – my whole married life. Which feels like forever.  (In a good way babe.)  We couldn’t afford them in our first house and when we finally could, I wanted to pull up the tile and carpet and put in hardwood so I spent some time researching floors years ago.  Kenny convinced me to wait for our next house so I’ve had a long time to think about and research hardwood.  When it finally came time to pick out the floors for this house I thought it would be a piece of cake because I knew exactly what I wanted.  But instead it was hard.  Because I knew exactly what I wanted.  And I couldn’t find it!  These are the things I personally love and was looking for in hardwood flooring:


– Maple – I love the look of maple and maple is DURABLE – so important.  It’s high enough on the Janka scale (a scale that measures the density and hardness of wood) that it won’t dent easily.

Wide planks – I’ve always loved the look of wide planks (these are 7 inches wide).

Slightly distressed  I didn’t want them too distressed and casual, but I wanted some distressing because it goes with the elegant/farmhouse vibe I wanted for my home.  Plus the obvious – I have three kids and distressing hides a lot!

– Brown floors with grey undertones – Originally I wasn’t too concerned with the shade of brown, but once I decided to paint my kitchen islands grey we had a problem.  The grey didn’t look as good with wood that had strong red or yellow undertones (which is common in a lot of hardwood).  I didn’t want grey floors (a lot of salesmen tried to convince us to go that route).  I really wanted brown floors so we kept looking for brown floors with a grey undertone.

I would find a sample with just the right shade of brown, but it wouldn’t have any distressing.  Or I’d find the perfect plank size, but the color didn’t work.  I drove Kenny crazy trying to find the perfect floor that only seemed to exist in my head.  :)  Finally after searching for months we were looking in a local hardwood store and I explained my dilemma to the owner.  He said “we can do that!  You just need to have your floors custom made.”   He showed me various options as far as types of wood and different levels of distressing.  I gave the manager (who at this point I wanted to embrace) some samples I had and told him I wanted Maple with 7 inch wide planks, this level of distressing (on a sample) and this color (from another sample).  Kenny used his mad attorney negotiating skills to work out a fair price and then the manager (my new BFF) told me he would make me a sample of everything I wanted all put together.   I was so excited when I got the sample.  Found my floors!

SO to answer your questions  —  while I can’t give you a color, I can tell you that the product line is called “Private Reserve” and Summit is the manufacturer.

As far as keeping dark floors clean…  I knew if I went this route my floors would be high maintenance!  But every time I debated going with something lighter I just couldn’t do it.  This was the look I wanted and I really needed some dark to contrast all of the white cabinetry and built-ins and moldings.  I have so much white in my house.  I needed the dark floors to ground things.  So this was one of those decisions where I opted for looks over practicality.  That was the debate with almost everything in my house!  Do I care more about how it looks or how it functions?  Some things I sacrificed the look I wanted and others I sacrificed some function/maintenance.  But I have to tell you that after living with these floors for a couple of weeks I am SO happy with them.  Yes – crumbs show.  Dust shows.  I will definitely have to clean them more often than my previous floors.  But I love them so much that it is worth it to me to either clean them more often OR learn to live with them not looking perfectly clean all the time (most likely the latter).  :)  I have several products I’m using to clean them that have been working great.  I’ll share more about them in a future post.  I’ll also answer other questions asked about my girls’ bathroom in a post soon.  (Thanks for the sweet comments on my girls’ bathroom post btw – so  happy some of you liked it!)  I hope this post helped those of you researching hardwood.  If you’re having a hard time finding what you want consider custom!  Just don’t tell your husband you heard that from me.  ;)

Enjoy your weekend everyone!  Is anyone doing anything fun?
 I will be unpacking.
Or cleaning my floors…
xoxo, Erin
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36 thoughts on “Hardwood Flooring

  1. They are stunning Erin. I wouldn’t have changed my mind either. The white looks amazing with the dark wood. I have to agree with yo, I love the wide planks. Everything is really stunning!

  2. Erin your floors are awesome! The whole house – well what you have shown looks amazing! We also have hardwood and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
    You know we all get excited who follow you when you post your new house pics, the anticipation is killing us! :)

  3. I love them Erin! I think all hardwoods show everything…or have some sort of maintenance involved…but they last forever and don’t get gross like carpet.
    Now would you just show the darn kitchen please??? I’m DYING over here!!! :)

  4. Thank you so much everyone!

    Cheryl – Thank you! I don’t have hardwood in any bathrooms except my powder bath and I’m not worried about it there because we don’t have a tub/shower – just a sink. I’m not worried about it in my kitchen either. Anything that spills I clean up quickly and we had a sealer put on them to protect them. My mom has had hardwood in her kitchen (and a laundry room!) for years and has never had a water problem.

    Sarah – ha ha.. you crack me up. Kitchen is coming! And I’m writing you tonight! Time to catch up. :)

  5. I have very similar floors! And we live in the country on gravel. They are a nightmare to keep clean. You will probably have better luck living in town. I have to clean them daily, and they get dirty pretty quickly after. But I love them. :)

  6. We love our dark floors and honestly, they aren’t any more difficult to “keep up” than any other floor we have had. We have lived with tile, bamboo, laminate etc. Our dark hardwood is a dream. I am obsessed with having a clean floor anyway, so I clean it as much as I have cleaned my others. You seem to have that same sort of “cleaning” personality so I am sure you will be forever in love with your floors. No looking back! Well, except to be so grateful that you no longer have the tile and you now have the perfect wood!

  7. Your dark floors look SO good with the lighter walls and moldings and cabinets. I think you picked well! I think you’ll be happier cleaning a little more often/dealing with the dirt and loving your floors than the other way around. I love all of your house posts, keep them coming!

  8. Your floors are gorgeous! We have dark hardwoods as well and I can tell you that the Mint floor cleaner (kind of like a Roomba) has become my new favorite household item. It takes care of those days where you really just don’t feel like getting out the broom AGAIN. ;)

  9. LOVE the floors!! And, like Sarah, I am dying over here- kitchen please!! We are spending the weekend at the coast with our daughter and son-in-law and it is in the low 70s! (unseasonably warm for NC in November)

  10. Would you recommend Summit Forrest? Can’t find too many reviews except a negative one on Yelp nor BBB accredited.

  11. I just stumbled across your blog & that is the same color & style of wood floors I’m looking for. I went to the Summit site & didn’t see that any of their Private Reserve planks were made from maple. Most are made from American Hickory – with a few from Walnut & one Cherry. Do you remember the specific color/style you installed?

    1. Hi Stefanie! I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help. I know our floors are Maple but the color was a custom mix (I gave them a different sample of a Shaw floor piece to copy the color). I don’t have any other details!

  12. Hi Erin, I am currently wood floor shopping, and I too cannot find what I want that is in my head! I love your hardwoods! Are your floors solid hardwood or engineered? I’ve been looking for solid hardwood, but I am starting to think the wide plank I want doesn’t exist in solid. Your home is absolutely dreamy! I also love your blog, and have been reading it for awhile now.

    1. Thank you so much sweet Amy! Means a lot that you like my blog and house! :) Our floors are engineered! Just like you we couldn’t find solid wide planks. I wanted solid hardwood, but wide planks were my priority so we ultimately ended up going with engineered. There is always a give and take with this sort of thing! Happy floor shopping! xo

  13. Beautiful floors! But, I’m a bit biased when it comes to dark, wide planked hardwood floors :-) When we bought our house (almost two years ago), we fell in love with the floors. They were solid white oak 5″ planks in a dark espresso color and handscraped. Fast forward to December 2015 when we had a major windstorm that left us with water damage in the dining room. The builder informed us that the company didn’t make these floors anymore (went to engineered). What?! I had to select new hardwood floors. Ugh! It took me 4 long months to find something that I liked. It had to be 3/4″ and solid so they wouldn’t have to remove door jams, etc. We wound up spending hundreds of dollars on boxes of flooring samples too. Which was a good thing, because the one that we fell in love with, a Shaw product, wound up being way too distressed! We have had our new floors for about four weeks and we LOVE them. Went with 6″ planks, solid white oak in Urban Barn, and they’re lightly wire brushed and handscraped. Yes,hard to keep clean, but worth it.

    1. Oh my word Shari! Your floors (both old and new!) sound absolutely beautiful! I’m so happy you found something new you love! The struggle is real finding that “perfect” floor. ;) xo

  14. What kind of sheen are your hardwood floors? Matte, Satin? I’m going to be installing maple distressed wide Plank floors in our new home and people keep telling me that if there is any sheen they will scratch more and show all of the scratches. Have you had that problem with yours?

    1. Hi Victoria! I’ve heard that too! My floors are more of a matte sheen. They’ve held up great! A few minor scratches, but not too bad considering what my 3 kids put them through. ;)

  15. I love your floors! I always wanted something like this. We are building and stuck on picking the flooring right now. Many places that we have been are recommending the luxury vinyl flooring instead of hardwood. Why did you go witb hardwood and not and other option?

    1. Hi Tanya! I have always loved wood floors (the look and feel) so I knew that was the way I wanted to go, but there are so many fun options out there right now! Good luck deciding! xo

  16. They are beautiful!! And your comment about custom cracked me up – it’ll be our secret!! I love dark wood. If we ever build, I’ll probably go for it too!! sometimes beauty is pain. or more cleaning. or something like that ;) stumbled on your blog today via pinterest toy organization search… but i got distracted here and have toured your whole new house. oops! haha! absolutely beautiful! Love your site :)

  17. Thank you so much for referring me to the correct post about your flooring! Do you happen to know if it is floating or glued/nailed down??

    I REALLY want to do a mix of tile/engineered wood flooring like in your entry but wondering how they did it……

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