April 19, 2018

I had a time where I was going back and forth about our kitchen flooring. What I loved about hard wood flooring was 1) warmth and 2) continuity with the rest of the house. My caution was wondering if they are too much of a challenge to keep clean or if the whole WATER SITUATION in kitchen activity makes them more vulnerable. Then I remembered I have seen a few of my mom friends with young children have wood floors in their kitchen so I took a poll from them how it works for their life and all had only positives to say!

Green light, wood floors. Our previous floors looked okay enough in a picture, but in person they were a very fake hardwood-look vinyl. The color of the wood tone was fine, but like 90s R&B, I wanted something REAL.

Also something that matched everything else.

The hardwoods we bought for our house were a crazy good price – $1.49 a square foot for solid hardwood. But it was closeout at lumber liquidators and when we first moved in as I was buying the floor for the whole house, I was unsure if I would do hardwoods or not in the kitchen. I went ahead and bought enough for if we did. Maybe I would have overspent, but at least I would be prepared and have the option.

Part of what made that hardwood so inexpensive was that it was “rustic grade.” This means it had more unusable boards in each box. Unusable boards occur in all solid hardwood (maybe not bamboo?) because of imperfections or crooked planks. Most woods have you buy an extra 10% to account for unusable boards. Our “rustic grade” recommended and extra 15% which I went ahead and did 20%. And we STILL ran out in our house. So even extra prepared-ness I didn’t have enough for the kitchen and couldn’t re-buy.

But I was DELIGHTED to find a solid match at home depot. It is also a medium brown “gunstock” maple in 2.25 inch planks at $3.49 a square foot. I liked buying from home depot over lumber liquidators because the wood I wanted was available in store the same day and if I need more (or wanted to return an extra!) it would be way easier at home depot than lumber liquidators who is more complicated, in my experience.

We have installed the wood floors in our whole house, so we have our method down and it’s pretty streamlined. This was only going to take us four days. Then we ran into some vinyl tile underneath the old floor (not pictured because I never want to remember it).

Just to be safe we had it checked for asbestos and it came back positive! We had it all professionally removed and so we are safe, but it delayed us a full three weeks.

Okay, then AFTER those three weeks the process only took four days!

Now we really get to see the full change of having the widened doorway. And with continuous flooring the first level feels bigger and just smoother. I love all white kitchens, but I think the warmth of this wood keeps it from going too girly, as all white rooms sometimes can.

Next we are building out the toe kicks under the cabinets for a more custom feel and then sprucing up the mudroom and doing a first wave of changes to make it much more functional for our family. This will definitely involve shoe bins.

My New Cookbook


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  • Rachel Loucks

    We are renovating our old house as well and I have loved to watch your progress. We have a white kitchen with wood floors and love it. I’m interested to see how you guys will build out the toe kicks on your cabinets.

    • Rachel Schultz

      That’s awesome! We have made a lot of progress on toe kicks, still have to do the finishing touches to caulk and such

  • Laura Lyons

    So beautiful! I need this too!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thank you Laura!

  • Phylicia

    Looks great! We just put hardwood in our kitchen last fall and love it. We’re going to redo our countertops soon and I want concrete but my husband isn’t convinced. How are your concrete countertops holding up? Any staining, cracks or other blemishes?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Mine aren’t solid, just the coat of concrete kind. They definitely show wear and tear. Which I feel like would look better on gray concrete than on white concrete. But I’m so glad I did them because they were inexpensive solution for covering bad laminate.

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