Do you wish to expand the hardwood floors in your home to include new areas? Are sections of your hardwood flooring damaged and in need of replacement? Matching existing hardwood can be challenging and pose some problems. Don’t despair! With attention to detail and some professional help, it’s possible to match existing hardwood flooring.
Factors to consider when matching hardwood flooring:
If you want a smooth transition between rooms and/or an undetectable replaced section of flooring, there are some factors that need to be considered.
Species, grade and finish:
Identify the species (red oak, white oak, maple, douglas fir, yellow pine, Brazilian cherry, merbau, santos mahogany, Ipe, purpleheart, wenge, ebony, etc.) and grade (select grade, No 1 Common, No 2 Common, Quartersawn, Rift, Millrun) of the wood used in your existing flooring. Determine if it was prefinished or finished on-site during installation. Consult a flooring professional. They’ll be able to identify the species, grade and finish of your current floors.
Condition of the existing floor:
Assess the damage to your flooring (water spots, pet stains, sun fading, peeling, gaps, cupped or crowning edges, buckling, scratches, cracks, wear & tear) to determine whether you’ll need to sand existing floors before attempting to match them.
Age of the existing floor:
Age can change the colour of wood making it difficult to blend new and old flooring. Specialized staining/finishing processes may need to be implemented. Take a sample of your wood plank to your local flooring experts. They’ll compare the colour, texture and size to their hardwood samples.
Profile of the floor and subfloor:
Is the subfloor of the area where you’re installing new hardwood the same height as the subfloor of your existing hardwood flooring? If not, extra steps are needed to match the floors. The thickness of hardwood flooring boards is known as the profile. Profiles vary. What is the thickness of your current flooring? Picking new flooring that matches the existing thickness allows for a smooth and consistent look. Do you have engineered hardwood floors? These are more difficult to work with as sanding to match height is not an option.
Width of the planks:
When looking to match existing hardwood floors, you need to know the exact width of your planks. Most homes are built with a standard 2 ¼ inch strip but hardwood flooring also comes in 3 ¼, 4 or 5-inch strips. Use a tape measure to determine what you have.
A flooring specialist can recommend replacement flooring that closely matches your current floor colour. For a perfect match, stripping and staining your current hardwood floors or staining the new flooring may be necessary. Have this done by a professional to ensure a seamless transition and a perfect custom colour.
Consider not matching hardwood:
Floors next to each don’t have to match to work together. Contrasting floors can be beautiful and visually interesting. Sometimes it’s better to make a transition from one space to the next rather than matching. Darker hardwood floors (mahogany, walnut) look great next to lighter hardwood (white oak, maple, hickory). Transition strips (narrow pieces of wood that bridge the flooring seam between two rooms) adjust the height in doorways, allow you to change the direction of wood and help with colour changes.
Contemplate removing the old hardwood floor:
If you’re not attached to the existing flooring or the floor is worn and damaged, it may be worthwhile and cost-effective to remove the original flooring and start fresh. Sometimes a whole floor project is simpler and more affordable than matching and repairing.
No matter how you decide to add hardwood flooring to your space, reach out to a flooring expert and professional installer. They can help you find the right species, grade, thickness, and colour to match your existing floor. They’ll guide you through the process and recommend solutions for your situation.
Looking to match an existing hardwood floor? Not sure if you should match or replace your flooring? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest flooring companies; family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With an experienced crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.