Monday, July 16, 2012
It's actually ridiculous, how hard this floor decision has been on us. I feel like I am being slowly tortured!
I asked, and you answered. (Thank you.) I remained neutral in my last post so as not to influence anybody one way or another. And we received lots and lots of comments about our three options: (non-matching) hardwoods, tile, and cork.
Let me back up for a second and tell you quickly how we got here. We knew when we first walked through this house last year that we hated the parquet and would be replacing it. We assumed right off the bat that we would be doing that with tile. It wasn't until the start of our kitchen remodel that we started to consider hardwoods--especially those that don't match our existing hardwoods in the dining and living rooms. Then we got hung up on that for a while, thinking that was the way to go... but with a DARK hardwood.
There was just always a nagging voice in the back of my head that just didn't like the look of it. Hence the reason we've been dragging our feet on this.
So we got back on the horse again this past weekend and visited another flooring shop. The guy there swayed us to the opposite side of the color spectrum--to lighter flooring to bring more light into our fairly dark kitchen. BUT perhaps he swayed us a little too far to the light. We came home with natural-colored oak hardwood samples, but we also came home with cork. They look nice and bright, BUT... they eliminate a lot of the contrast we were hoping for with our newly painted white cabinets. Also to consider? We plan on getting a white kitchen table and chairs. It would certainly be a lot of white, my friends.
Some of you pointed out that you thought the tiles and cork that we picked out and showed you yesterday were too light with our cabinets. And as much as I love looking at the bright light reflecting off of those light floors... I do think you may be right.
As for the non-matching hardwoods: We are thoroughly convinced that this is not the way to go. We were already pretty convinced prior to putting that out there for you all, but now that we see that you all UNANIMOUSLY voted down the hardwoods, it is settled.
That leaves us with tile and cork. And here's the thing: I love the look of tile. But I absolutely hate everything else about it.
I like the look of cork. But I love everything else about it. For those who are unfamiliar with cork or asked about it, it's very similar to hardwoods, actually. It "behaves" similarly. You can scratch it, you can dent it--but really no more easily than you can oak floors. It is sealed like hardwoods are. And it's fine in high traffic and areas with potential moisture like kitchens or bathrooms. Because cork is actually naturally moisture-resistant. And antibacterial.
SO. After our shopping this weekend, and the narrowing down we did yesterday, I was leaning toward the cork but couldn't get behind the color. The one I posted yesterday--I was just really bothered by the pink undertones. Today, I began thinking that I do like cork... just maybe not THIS cork. And so I went shopping again. I picked up lots and lots of cork samples. I brought them all home, then laid out ALL of the tiles we picked up yesterday, too. We started from scratch (well, at least with the samples we have at home). We looked at everything again with new eyes.
I am naturally leaning toward the cork since I kind of hate tile. Except it's pretty. But I still really hate it. And a lot of you served to reinforce all of the things I hate about tile. Especially the "hard to keep clean" part, because lord knows I am not a good housekeeper.
Here's the darker tile. And no, the tile isn't blurry--that's the way it really looks. Which I kind of find a bit irritating, so if we DO decide to go this route, I might pick a similar color palette but a different tile, because this sort of gives me a migraine to look at.
And here is the cork:
I feel like I am never going to feel 100% certain with this decision, regardless of what we choose. And that's a difficult position to be in. But we are trying to remind ourselves that in the grand scheme of things, I don't think we can really choose wrong--whatever we do will be a gigantic improvement over the ugly parquet.
Now that I've confessed my stance on the whole thing--that we're heavily leaning toward cork--I'm interested to hear what you all think about the darker shades compared to the ones I showed you yesterday. And has anyone else been swayed toward the cork like I have been?