Monday, 6 February 2017

Dark and Moody: Our New Floors

The Project

The floors were a mish-mash of grey-brown carpet in the bedrooms and front sitting room, and engineered French oak boards stained a strange yellowish colour. In addition, the boards in the hallway were running width-ways, not long-ways. We wanted wood all through the house like we had in our previous house (kauri) and to salvage as much of the existing flooring as possible.

We engaged Wood Appeal Flooring to do the following:

  • Remove all carpet.
  • Remove all existing oak from the hallway from the top of the hallway steps back to the front door.
  • Retain existing engineered oak from the steps downwards into the main living area, kitchen and dining.
  • Lay down new oak in bedrooms, sitting room and hallway (in the right direction!).
  • Sand back the entire floor.
  • Stain the entire floor.


The project took two weeks. We moved every item, ourselves and the cat out for the duration. We stayed at Vanessa's lovely Airbnb 10 minutes away in Parnell. It was like a home away from home. Lily stayed with the lovely Michelle at Pablo's Palace Cattery in Remuera. Unfortunately, despite all the care in the world, Lily was very anxious during her stay and remained in her little sleeping unit.

Before Photos

Here are a few photos that give you an idea of what the floor used to look like. You can see the odd yellow tinge and the way the carpet and floor boards did not match. In the final shot you can see how the boards ran the wrong direction in the hallway!

After Photos

We still have pictures to put up and rugs to buy but you get the idea! We love the contrast of the very dark floors and white walls. The floors absorb a lot of light so at night, the light from the street is greatly reduced. The space seems cosier (dark floors tend to make a room look smaller). To our surprise, the acoustics hardly changed despite removing four rooms of carpet. The effect is elegant, cohesive, bold and different to the normal Scandi pale boards everyone is going for. We love it!



Interior Design Consultancy
Rachel Brown from Trinity Interior Design provided much-needed guidance. She met with us several times on site, liased with our flooring installer and met me again on site as the final decision about stain colour was made.

Floor Uplift, Sub-Floor Repair and Installation
From the first time I met Kyle when he came to assess and quote the work last October, I knew that Wood Appeal Flooring was the one. This is not a small job, so you need to trust your contractor before the floor gets ripped up. We got many quotes and the key difference is that Kyle used to be an installer so he wasn't just wandering around with a tape measure agreeing to my every question and throwing a price back at me. He was honest about the unknowns of a job like this (the condition of the sub-floor and required repair and levelling) so we built in contingency into the budget to allow for it. Removing the original engineered oak from the hallway almost killed the crew as it was so badly glued on but they delivered and the project ran smoothly. We were kept involved the whole way. I went on site to decide on the options around the sub-floor and it was really nice to be consulted and shown the reasons for the required work, the degrees of perfection we could strive for and the impact on schedule and budget. As a former Project Manager, this was music to my ears. We felt very safe with Wood Appeal Flooring and I have no hesitation in recommending them.

Floor Sanding and Staining
Andrew Holloway and his team sanded and finished the entire floor. What a perfect job!