Over half of all homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home that has hardwood floors.
Expanding hardwood floor coverage is often a great idea because it increases the value of a home. But, if your existing floor is more than 5 years old, its appearance has likely changed due to oxidation and wear.
Unfortunately, awkward transitions between preexisting and newly covered areas create an inharmonious look.
Read on for a quick guide on how to match hardwood floors!
What to Consider
It’s difficult to match hardwood floors by eyeballing floorboards. Here are the three factors you should look at if you want a consistent floor throughout your home:
Thickness of the Floor
For aesthetic purposes, you want to ensure that your new floor is the same thickness as your existing floor. A hardwood floor is generally 3/4″ thick, but you can opt for other sizes. However, make sure the thickness of your subfloor doesn’t vary.
If your new boards aren’t pre-finished, you don’t have to worry so much about the thickness.
New floorboards tend to have a thicker profile, and you can always sand them down so they match. You just need at least 1/32 of an inch to work with in order to sand them properly.
If one floor is only slightly thicker than the other, you can use transition strips to introduce a smooth slope between the two floors. In particular, reducer transition strips work well for this type of situation.
Type of Wood
When attempting to match hardwood floors, you want to find out the species of your current hardwood.
Oak is the most popular hardwood flooring species, but there are two types of oak: red oak and white oak. Other common flooring wood species include hickory, walnut, maple, yellow pine, and mahogany.
Even after you figure out the species of the wood, you need to determine the grade as well. For example, the four most common grades of oak are No. 1 Common, No. 2 Common, Clear, and Select.
Width of the Planks
The width of the planks also plays a significant role in the appearance of the floor. Wider planks make a room seem larger, but they often look out of place when paired with thinner planks.
The standard width of oak flooring can range anywhere from 2 1/4″ to 5″. Use a tape measure to find out the width of your existing planks.
That said, you can use wider planks in one room if you’re trying to distinguish it from another.
Refinishing or Finishing
Due to its photosensitivity, wood reacts to sunlight. As a result, some types of wood become darker over time, whereas other types become lighter. This means that it will be difficult to find wood that perfectly matches your existing floor.
Hardwood floor refinishing may be a necessary step. You’ll need to strip your old floor and finish both of them at the same for the best results. If you cannot strip your old floor, you also have the option to use a custom mixed stain on the new floor to match the look of the old one.
Final Thoughts on How to Match Hardwood Floors
In some cases, contrasting floors can also work well. Just make sure to use transition strips, or t-moldings, to accomplish smooth transitions. However, reach out to a professional installer first. They can help you find the right species, grade, thickness, and color to match your existing floor.
If you want your hardwood floor to have a seamless appearance, don’t hesitate to contact us today!