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Tips for Blending Old & New Hardwood Floors When Remodeling

Hardwood floors are a stylish, durable, low-maintenance flooring option, so it makes sense that you would choose this flooring for your home addition or renovation project.

However, if you already have hardwood flooring in your home, you may be concerned that the new materials you choose will work with your existing flooring. In this post, we’ll share our best tips for matching (or complementing) hardwood flooring for a seamless, natural-looking transition.

Factors to Consider When Matching Your Hardwood Boards to Existing Flooring

Wood Species

First, you need to determine the species of your current hardwood flooring to find the best match for your home, since each type of wood has its own unique look and qualities.

Common wood species for hardwood flooring include oak, cherry, ash, and maple. Some species even have subspecies. For example, oak comes in a white oak, which tends to be cooler and takes stain very well, and a red oak, which is warmer but doesn’t stain as easily.

Wood Grade

Next, it’s important to determine the grade of your current hardwood to find the right complement for your new floors. There are three common grades: select, one, and two. It’s important to note that the grade of your hardwood doesn’t reflect the quality of your wood, but rather, its appearance.

For example, grade two hardwood is the most affordable because it has more color variation and knots to create a more rustic look. On the other hand, a select-grade hardwood tends to be more elegant (and expensive) since it has fewer knots and greater color consistency.

Board Width

It may seem like common sense, but if you want to match your new boards to your current ones, you need to find panels of the exact same width. If not, your flooring will look uneven, and your contractor won’t be able to “lace” (or “weave”) the new boards with your old panels. 

It’s easy to measure the width of your hardwood floors. Simply grab a measuring tape and measure the current width of your boards. Usually, the narrowest boards are just over two inches, and thicker ones can be up to five inches, so your measurements should fall somewhere within that range.

Generally speaking, homeowners prefer wide boards since they can make your home appear more spacious, but if you own an older home, your boards will likely be narrower.

Board Thickness

In addition to the width of your old boards, you need to measure the thickness of each panel. Otherwise, you may have an uneven surface where your old boards meet the new ones. Not only does that look awkward — it’s a safety and tripping hazard too.

The standard thickness for hardwood floors is 3/4 inches, but there are also options for 5/16-inch and 1/2-inch flooring. If you’re not sure about the thickness of your flooring, an expert contractor should be able to help you measure and find the right match.

Hardwood Stain

Even if you choose the right type of wood and grade, and you perfectly match the width and the height of each panel, your boards still won’t look cohesive unless you’re able to match the color.

At Action Builders, we install unfinished hardwood boards during your home addition and lace them into your existing flooring to create a cohesive look. Then, we refinish the entire space — the new unfinished wood and the existing wood — to create a consistent color and finish for seamless results you’ll love.

Want to Skip the Hassle of Matching Your Hardwood Floors? Try These Great Alternatives.

We’ll be honest — it’s no easy feat to match existing hardwood floors to new boards. 

It makes sense to match new flooring to existing hardwood if your addition is part of an open layout (like a kitchen remodel that blends into your living room). However, suppose you’re remodeling a room with a doorway, hallway, or clean break from your hardwood floors (like a bedroom or office). In that case, we suggest choosing a different flooring altogether, like tile, luxury vinyl, or engineered hardwood flooring.

First, these flooring materials are slightly more durable than hardwood floors. But additionally, choosing something that coordinates with your flooring instead of trying to find an exact match and missing the mark is both a safer option and creates a better look.

Want a Home Remodeling Company That Will Pay Attention to the Details? Call Action Builders! 

Whether you plan to expand your kitchen, add a new master bedroom, or remodel an attic or basement, our experienced remodeling team at Action Builders is ready to turn your vision for your home into a reality — and making your hardwood floors look great while doing it too!

Learn more about the home addition and remodeling services we offer to homeowners in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to get inspired for your upcoming remodeling project. If you can dream it — we can do it!