What wood to install to complement heart pine...

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Post Reply
Posts: 2348
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Georgetown, DE

What wood to install to complement heart pine...

Post by Abuela »

My house has heart-pine flooring throughout, and I need to put flooring in the dining room, kitchen, and a connected hallway. I have decided to put prefinished hardwood, bamboo, or engineered hardwood throughout the three connected spaces.

My question is, does anyone have suggestions about what to install (what wood/what stain) that wouldn't clash with the heart pine floors in the nearby rooms, and that wouldn't appear to be something that would look to an old-house lover to be a total sellout? The kitchen cabinets are a golden-stained oak.

Also, does anyone have experience to recommend prefinished hardwood vs engineered hardwood floor, for the kitchen in particular?

FYI, I feel an urgent need to explain this because I am feeling all kinds of old-house-lover guilt over what I really wish I could do, but can't: Installing heart pine in the dining room and hallway just isn't an option. Replacing the bleh oak cabinets just isn't an option. The current dining room was originally the kitchen, and the floor is heart pine but it was originally the subfloor and so still has (after countless hours of work) still way too much linoleum glue, plus lots of holes and nails, and it's just not cost effective to repair it enough to refinish it and have it look like something that someone in today's market would buy - especially since it's connected to a hallway that has a plywood surface (no idea if good wood is underneath) and a kitchen that needs a new floor as well. Housing prices around here have plummeted to the point where I will never recover any of my original equity (accumulated over decades of home ownership) and I'm going to be lucky to be able to sell it at all, and even luckier to break even on my mortgage. Hopefully having a decent-looking floor that connects the three spaces will help the house to sell.

(And btw, HELLO to all the folks I knew from here from a few years ago when I was very active here!!! Life has been... challenging but good: An ugly divorce dominated the end of 2011 and all of 2012, and I now have chronic physical issues that prevent me from doing any substantial amount of work myself, but I'm doing wonderfully overall, and my fiance and I are trying to buy a beautiful but accessible but alas not old house.)
Last edited by Abuela on Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Finished" is all a state of mind. ~Angolito

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

My house journal: http://retrovation.blogspot.com/

Post Reply