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New hardwood floor install with color issues

4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

Hi all, this is my second attempt to write this since the longer version went up as a sacrifice to the accidental page refresh gods. Apologies if it seems brief.

We had new hardwood installed. Went with Kentwood Brickerville and the product itself is absolutely beautiful ( The installed actually did a great job in general: nice ramp up to the tiled fireplace hearth, no obvious gaps or damage to the boards. The one issue is that they were somewhat color blind. The flooring product has medium color variation to it so it is suggested that installers work from multiple boxes at once to allow even distribution across the floor of light and dark boards. They claim to have done this but one quarter of the floor is all light boards and the rest is the remaining medium and darker boards. Fortunately, the lighter corner will be covered by mostly kitchen cabinets and an island - it doesn't bother us so much and we expect it to bother us even less when the cabinets go in. Unfortunately, they decided to borrow one of those light boards for later in the installation surrounded by darker boards. It sticks out horribly like a sore thumb and is in the highest traffic area of the floor but of course not in a spot where furniture or a rug can go.

Jared Flooring Issue · More Info

Jared Flooring Issue · More Info

Standard caveat that colors don't come out in photos like they do in person, but I hope these images at least demonstrates the point. No other board in the entire floor looks like that - it is definitely an outlier. My wife, who is usually not at all phased by stuff like this, is really upset about it, which was a surprise to me. Our guests have come over and asked about it and suggested we get the GC to replace the board, which is a little embarrassing to be honest.

We did talk to the GC about it. He is actually a very good person and GC, but in this case he has a differing opinion. He told us that we needed to adjust our expectations about what quality looks like. He admits the color blocking in the kitchen was poor, but brushed it off immediately since it will be half covered by cabinets and a kitchen island. But he told us if we wanted to be 'picky' about what boards get installed, we should have been there picking each board out of the boxes ourselves.

I understand his point, and I am grateful that the rest of the installation was done so well. I assume if we pushed hard enough and were willing to pay for the extra work, our GC would do something about that one board. My concern is that there may be no fix that doesn't just make things worse. As far as I understand, we have three options:

1) Thank our lucky stars the rest of it looks ok and just live with this board. Sometimes when things go wacky with the remodel, we give the thing that bugs us a name to make it seem more endearing. If we decide to live this with plank as is, we are thinking about calling it 'Timberthy'.

2) Have them cut the board out and replace it with one of the many remaining boards we have in boxes (two boxes full). Issue here is the boards were tongue-and-groove as well as glued down. Not sure why both were needed, it was a last minute demand from the flooring installer to add in glueing them down.

3) Re-stain that one board to match a darker color. The GC suggested they could try this but it will likely make that board different from the rest in another way (sheen or texture). The product is brushed oak, so I'm not sure how that would turn out.

Hoping for some advice on this!



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