Selecting flooring for our home was without a doubt one of the most terrifying decisions I’ve ever made. Flooring is one of those permanent “you only get to do this once” kind of decision. I have sympathy for anyone who experiences design paralysis when choosing flooring. I am usually quick decision maker, yet I had to take an extra pause or two during this process to reflect on my options, which typically isn’t normal for me.
In our last home we installed wood-look porcelain tile, and while I love the look and functionality of wood-look tile for flooring, we decided hardwood was the best option for this new (old) home of ours. And if I’m being frank, ultimately I didn’t want to deal with 2,000 sqft worth of grout lines, not to mention we had just resolved a foundation issue in this space. Any chance of movement would be a tiled floor’s enemy.
My dream floor has always looked something like this space below. My good friend Carly introduced me to Madera earlier this year, and after browsing Madera’s line of flooring, I was knew I could achieve the flooring of my dreams.
I contacted Madera and ordered a bunch of samples in all of their lighter oak options, then narrowed down my 4 favorites.
Next, to help myself make a decision, I narrowed the samples down to my favorites to two choices. The decision was so tough! The samples are small, visualizing them in large scaled space is a challenge but ultimately I went with my gut and Dimma won out!
We received the flooring, almost 4,000 lbs of it! We ordered 2,500 sqft, enough to cover our entire home (with extra as we have goals to add onto our home in the future). So far we have only installed the flooring in our master suite. I can’t wait to show you the final reveal!
Sometimes you just have to trust your gut because guys, how beautiful is this flooring?! It’s even more perfect than I imagined! Dimma has this subtle white milky finish which reduces the pink you typically see in oak, although European oak is favored for it’s warm honey tones. The texture and grain add the perfect amount of charm and warmth.
We are waiting for the painters to paint the walls, which should happen late this week or early next. Then I can share the final reveal! I’m so excited!
After interacting with so many of you on Instagram as I shared our renovation process in this room, I’ve been collecting your (very important!) questions on our flooring process. I hope this post serves you as a comprehensive resource to the flooring we choose for our home. Here are 5 of your most asked questions:
1) What product of flooring did you choose? Why did you choose it?
Here are the exact specs of Dimma we ordered: 3/4″ x 8 5/8″ Engineered European Oak Flooring, UV cured polyurethane finish, rustic grade with dark epoxy fill, tongue & groove end matched micro beveled, random lengths 2′-10′.
I spent a lot of time researching flooring options before moving forward with Madera. I ordered samples from all corners of the internet from widely known discount retailers. I compared the discount product to Madera’s product and the difference in quality was extreme. Notice how clean well bonded the substrate (plywood layer) is on Madera’s sample vs the online retailer? Crazy right? Madera’s wear layers are also thicker, meaning the slice of hardwood top layer is almost twice as thick as the online retailer’s options. On engineered hardwood, a thicker wear layer means you have more opportunities to sand and refinish the floors.
2) Why did you choose engineered flooring over solid hardwood flooring?
While solid flooring is most traditional and clearly the real deal, it can experience a greater amount of change with expansion & contraction during season & environment changes compared to other flooring. It is true that solid floors have greater risk of cupping, crowning, bowing, or twisting more easily than engineered floors. Engineered hardwood flooring is more economical than solid hardwood mainly due to the way it’s put together.
Engineered hardwood is in fact real hardwood, Madera’s engineered wood flooring have two elements, the wear layer and the substrate. The wear layer on our floors is 4mm, and is cut from logs that naturally fell in the forrest. The substrate is the multi-ply veneer plywood, which is an extremely stable, strong, moisture resistant layer. The combination of the plywood and the hardwood makes for an extremely stable floor.
3) Why did you glue down your floors instead of float them?
Floating floors is an economical and a quicker installation method, but ultimately isn’t best suited for Madera’s solid hardwood or engineered hardwood flooring. Glue down makes for an extremely strong bond, and the newer technology of adhesives are elastomeric which allow the wood to expand & contract but not grow or shrink as much as they would in a floating installation environment. Floating floors have the risks just as you’d expect given the name of the method, they have a lot of movement which isn’t ideal for solid or engineered hardwood.
We installed our floors with 100% troweled glue application on top of concrete slab.
4) Are these floors durable with families, dogs, etc?
These floors are in fact hardwood, and even the most durable hardwood is prone to scratches. European oak is about 1360 on the Janka hardness scale. Selecting wood that has more character and has rustic qualities will hide normal wear and tear, but you should take the normal steps to take care of hardwood. For example, I definitely don’t recommend wearing work boots, high heels, or do outdoor activities not he flooring. We keep our dogs nails trimmed anyway, which helps reduce wear and tear. We will also be adding felt floor pads under the feet & legs of our furniture to help protect from dents and scratches.
5) Can you share the cost?
Yes! I will dedicate a full post to the cost of our project! Stay tuned!
Not only do I feel happy about purchasing a product I love and will last forever, I feel great knowing I directly supported a small, growing business. Madera was founded in 2011 by 3 guys who have dedicated their lives to good design and environmental sustainability. Their perspective is to offer quality and sustainable flooring at competitive prices by means of a forest-to-floors approach. The owners established a direct link between clients and the wood source. I could call up Madera and ask the name of the tradesman who milled my floors if I wanted to! All Madera flooring is carefully selected from sustainable forests, and all milling takes place in the US and Europe.
The more adult I become, the more I value the quality of purchases I make. I intentionally choose to invest in quality rather than save a dollar and compromise quality. Madera has made it so much easier for folks to get the highest quality for a reasonable price. As a small business owner myself, I also have become a huge proponent of supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. I know how convenient it may be to drive to the big box store to buy something off the shelf or order online from a discount retailer with 2-day shipping. I appreciate, cherish, and value every single dollar someone invests in my business to purchase quality products. Supporting a like-minded business like Madera is only win-win.