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Remodel entire kitchen due to hardwood floors?

5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

We are removing carpets from the bedrooms due to allergies and this presents an opportunity to change out the old oak parquet-ish wood floors in the living & dining rooms. However, I've been having trouble finding a floor color that won't clash with our 90's maple kitchen cabinets. Now, it's got me thinking about redoing the entire kitchen! Would you redo the kitchen if you were me? I didn't used to think they were dated and I can probably live with them if wood is coming back in. But the floor choice is proving to be a challenge and I wonder what will go with my livingroom?

One idea if redoing the kitchen is to paint the cabinets a white gray, install marble-like quartz countertops and white oak floors throughout the house. Alternatively, if I were to keep the cabinets as-is, then I would change out the kitchen floors to a gray tile laid in a herringbone pattern and find a hardwood floor like maple or beech, in a similar color.

What do you think?













Comments (39)

  • 5 years ago

    I definitely wouldn't install gray flooring of any kind.

    I am not sure why you think wood cabinets are on the way out. Not that I care what is in or out but if you look at various high end cabinet suppliers like Christopher Peacock, there certainly are wood kitchens. I just remodeled and had custom white oak cabinets done for kitchen, bathrooms as well as some custom wall units and room dividers. Again, this was a personal aesthetic choice as I don't particularly like white or gray kitchens - my inspiration kitchens were Arts & Crafts/Prairie rather than white shaker with Carrera marble :-).

    Painting your cabinets would make them less functional and cost quite a bit of money to do well. Gutting the kitchen is an economic decision - do you want to spend $70,000 for a new kitchen that is being done solely for your aesthetic pleasure with perhaps very slight functional improvements. Personally I wouldn't choose to do it and I am coming from a place where I just finished a gut remodel and deliberately spent more on my choices than was necessary just because I wanted to - but my kitchen/baths were objectively horrendous and past their prime by any standards as they were they were from 1965 and NO - they were NOT fabulous retro MCM that merited preservation.


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  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    “paint the cabinets a white gray, install marble-like quartz countertops”

    Please please noooooo! Not the eightyth-million person to do that again!!! My eyes! My eyes!

    Leave the living room parquet floor as is. Leave the kitchen cabinets as is. Decluttering will help your kitchen’s appearance enormously. Do wood floors everywhere else - but not in one of those hideous aged-gray or driftwood or other faux finishes; do a natural finish. Put a threshold wood piece between the parquet floor where it adjoins the new wood floor. That’s it. It is not a crime against the Design Gods to have 2 different wood floors.

  • 5 years ago

    FWIW - the kitchen doesn't have wood parquet - It has what looks like ceramic tile. The kitchen floor could be swapped out for a more attractive "non-wood/non fake wood") surface.

  • 5 years ago

    Thank you Helen for pointing that out. I’ve edited my post to specify living room parquet wood floors.

  • 5 years ago

    I agree with the others - leave the kitchen and the parquet alone. You have a very nice kitchen! Check to see if your parquet is solid and could be refinished. Choose a complimentary oak for the bedrooms and have them all refinished at the same time with the same color, maybe with a satin finish for a more modern look.

    As Shannon indicated above, decluttering the kitchen would be great. I might also consider replacing some of your upper cabinet doors with either solid wood fronts, if your cabinets are still available, or use frosted window film to conceal the contents of your cabinets a bit.


    https://www.decorativefilm.com/product-list

    Typically, those glass front cabinets are used for displaying pretty dishes or glassware and then you hide all your food, spices, random dishes in the doored cabinets. It will give the kitchen a more streamlined, cleaner look.

    What is the space at the end of the fridge and the tall cabinet in the last picture? Could that be utilized to give you more space for your appliances?

  • 5 years ago

    If you are looking for a refresh of the kitchen (not a full renovation) then look to the counter tops and floors as well as ADDING some hardware to the cabs.


    The maple kitchen appears to be in good shape and (I'm assuming) fully functional. If you feel like you need a bit of a lift, then the counter tops could be changed out to offer a different look. Maple looks very handsome with dark blue, dark green (like slate or soap stone) or a crisp white (blue-white). Yellow wood (like maple) has a hard time working well with gray....which is what you were hoping to use....which is why so many people are suggesting against gray+maple.


    When you swap out the counter tops, you will also add a new backsplash. The new floors will reflect the choices you made for the counters/backsplash.


    Of course if your kitchen's foot print is less than ideal (non-functional) then a full redo is well worth it if you have the budget. A Certified Kitchen Designer would be able to take your square footage and turn it into a magnificent and fully functional space where you work your culinary magic.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If you have outgrown the functional storage space of your kitchen, you may need to consider a serious Marie Kondo move and/or an update on the cabs :)

    Sounds like you are trying to decide the scope of your project, and far be it for me to encourage you to take on a large project lol. A few simple things, like checking to make sure what you have stored in your cabs is what really needs to be there, and if not doing some thinning and rearranging is one thing. Another might be to change out the wall paint color, (hate to paint lol, maybe easier said than done).

    Love the parquet :)

  • 5 years ago

    Thanks all for the feedback. Yes, we have major de-cluttering to do and it has been an ongoing project (counter forces include 2 little ones with too many things & a hoarder hubby). I like the idea to frost the glass cabs and might give that a go since it can be DIY and cheap. I would also consider changing the countertop to a white quartz to brighten up the room and add hardware to the cabinets.


    My husband says that there is a part of the parquet floor where the wood flooring is warped since it is under the kids' eating table where they commonly spill drinks. Maybe we should bring in a flooring specialist to take a look at repairing it and/or refinishing the floors. It struck me that we should consider hypoallergenic carpets vs installing wood floors in the bedrooms (son has dust mite allergies). Anyone with recommendations for what brand of hypoallergenic carpets?

    This certainly makes me feel better that maybe this won’t need to be a complete overhaul of the kitchen! I probably won’t do anything drastic for another 15 years once the kids move out (I have a 6 and 2 year old)!

  • 5 years ago

    Carpet harbors dust and therefore mites. Hypoallergenic carpet means the PRODUCT is made with low levels of KNOWN allergens...but nothing against dust mites.


    If you want something soft and warm in the bedrooms you can have a look at a floating cork floor (click-together planks = DIY level project). Cork is a solid floor option that is considered a 'carpet replacement' because it is as warm and quiet as carpet. And most insects do NOT like cork. It has high levels of suberin which is a waxy product found in all plants...it is a natural antimicrobial product that reduces insect and microbe life.


    Just a thought.

  • 5 years ago

    Definitely get someone in to give you an opinion on the state of your current flooring. Maybe even a couple opinions!

    Totally get the battle with stuff... What is in the space at the end of the kitchen? Looks like maybe 27" wide based on the floor tiles. Maybe we can help with some storage options.

  • 5 years ago

    The space at the end of the kitchen on BOTH sides are door ways. The space to the right of the fridge leads to the hallway (and bedrooms) while the space opposite leads to the family room. We are not at a loss for cabinet space, just at a loss of time to de-clutter!

  • 5 years ago

    I'd save the $. I doubt you'd get much ROI. You could ask a realtor.


    I hear you on not having time to declutter. Of course, it would take you lot of time to remodel. (and you'd be cleaning out the cupboards anyway) Maybe just block out a half day to do it (maybe if you're staying home to babysit the carpet installers--you can do it then). If you're really pressed, there are people you can hire--still way cheaper than a kitchen remodel. Some people put rugs in their kitchen, if you want to change the look.

  • 5 years ago

    I honestly don’t think the bones are bad. If you take EVERYTHING off the counters and “Frost” the glass cabinets, I think you will feel like you have a whole new space!
    I actually like your counters and think they compliment your cabinets. Maybe a less $ change but enough to give you a different look would be to remove the 4” backsplash and find a coordinating tile.
    We have parquet floors, and as much as I love hardwood, they are in good condition and the stain is nice. I’d ask a flooring person about the section of concern.

  • 5 years ago

    If you're tired of the parquet floors, maybe you can get a bigger rug. (I've seen some steals on craiglist). Or re-arrange your furniture--pull the sofa from the wall so it sits on the edge of the rug, put the two chairs on the left of the fireplace and coffee table, again covering up the floor, (declutter the baby stuff on the left...LOL). etc

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    So here are a couple of my inspiration pictures prior to the feedback. I believe that is a dark gray floor and didn't think it looked so bad. I was leaning towards using a similar flooring in terms of color as well.

    Fresh Maple Kitchen Remodel · More Info



    Fresh Maple Kitchen Remodel · More Info


  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I love the tiles in this inspiration kitchen! So fun to have something that is not angular like most tiles. Maybe you could do something like that -- in keeping with the suggestion earlier to retain the counter but redo the backsplash wall treatment. This kind of organic shape to the tiles would complement the flowing pattern in your counter.

    I think the finish on the parquet-ish floors looks fine. Refinishing floors is a nightmare for anyone with allergies or other respiratory sensitivities. I'd limit that kind of work just to a few square that really need it, and try to do it when the sensitive kids won't be around for a few days, until the glue or finish materials have had lots of time to gas off.

    Don't put WTW carpet in the kids' rooms. Use only rugs you can put in the washing machine, making sure to keep them from slipping.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Since I am sort of obsessed with tiles in general, and a hobby ceramicist, I had to look these tiles up because they are so unusual.

    Wow! Turns out they are handmade by Fireclay, in a shape called Picket and a pattern called Braid. And look at these pics!

    First, the one that's called Cream, tho this tile comes in 130 colors:



    See more at: https://www.fireclaytile.com/gallery/detail/ultra-cream-patine-picket-backsplash

    Of course, you might want another color than something in the countertop granite....maybe something like your endwall. And note that with this tile pattern, the choice of grout can make a huge difference....



    Finally -- here's an idea for those glass doors, IF you use this tile on the backsplash: replicate the tile pattern when you do the 'frosting" on the glass doors. One method would be to add the pattern on a thin fabric or paper to attach to the inside of the glass (maybe on a different scale as in the photo below where the pattern on the room divider picks up on the pattern used in the aqua colored backsplash at the end of the room):



    This installation can be visualized a little better on the website: https://www.fireclaytile.com/gallery/detail/grosvenor-conference-center

  • 5 years ago

    Stain the parquet black and replicate in the bedrooms.



    Living & Dining Space · More Info


    Flat Renovation · More Info


    living room · More Info


  • 5 years ago

    ^^^Black floors are a maintenance nightmare. They show every speck of dust. A toast crumb will look huge against a black floor. If the OP is having trouble finding time to clear her counters (understandably), she won’t have time to swiffer her floors twice a day.

  • 5 years ago

    karenmo - what color would you suggest for the fireclay tiles in this kitchen? I live in the Bay Area and can easily make a trip to fireclay for samples.

    After reading so many of the comments (thank you all!), my thinking on changes are: frost the glass on cabinets, add a tile backsplash to brighten the room (while removing the 4" granite backsplash), refinish parquet floors, install oak floorboards in the bedrooms (most likely wide plank) that match the color of the parquet. Much less intimidating and easier on the wallet. With raising two kids and living in the Bay Area, I have no money burning a hole in my pocket!

  • 5 years ago

    Oh and one other thought: looking back at the bathroom remodel I did last year (didn't ask for advice or have a designer), I made the faux pas of using gray flooring. Maybe it was a design mistake, but I liked how it turned out :)

  • 5 years ago

    Don't feel bad if you liked how it turned out, just because people tell you it's a fad that will soon end!

    The important thing in terms of being aware of decorating fads or trends is not to do something that you don't like just because it is what everyone else is doing at the moment!


    Anyway, for the backsplash tile color, I really like that aqua or green on the end wall of your kitchen (my personal taste!), so I noticed that you have that color on a cushion in your living room. If that's a color that's been a lifelong fave for you, it could be tempting to go with that! But put a big piece of something that is that color (the cushion?) up where the backsplash would be and see if the color really works in that space with the granite.


    Get your most artsy friend to help you with the cabinet frosting thing. I would not paint the glass -- I'd do something more easily reversed, like using paper. For my glass door cabinets in my laundry, I put a thin fabric on the inside, slightly gathered, held in place with velcro strips adhered to the top and bottom of both the fabric and the doors. For another glass door cabinet (over a desk in the living room), I used a patterned translucent paper sheet from an art supply store.


    How lucky your are to be close to the tile place! I'd ask them about replicating their "Braid" pattern for the inside of your glass cabinets. They will likely have good ideas for you!




  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    But seriously, from a health & safety standpoint, I wouldn't do a typical full refinish job on the parquet floors -- that is, involving sanding them down completely and putting new coatings on them. Sanding is really messy and dirty, not the thing to do with respiratory sensitive people in the house. And whatever coatings are used will off-gas for a while. Maybe if you are sending the kids away to grandma for a month....

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Nothing wrong with grey tiles, they are perfectly fine. After all plenty of old stone floors are grey. And your bathroom looks lovely. The grey tiles are a nice cool contrast to the warm wood vanity.

    It's fake grey washed wood that people around here don't care fore. Personally, I think it's ugly, especially combined with more grey surfaces. Fake grey wood floors just don't make any sense, as it's driftwood or dry-rot wood looks grey. And who in their right mind would use either one for flooring.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I just got my Fireclay picket tiles! Can’t wait until they are installed. I had to take them out and see how they’ll look.

    The staff is very helpful and will have great ideas for you.

  • 5 years ago

    If you end up wanting to do new counters, and since you live in the Bay Area, try East Star Building Co. for counters. You don’t have a big island to cover, so their half slabs would work. Installation is cheap, they do a great job and they have a ton to choose from. New counter would freshen things up a bit without breaking the bank, and look great with all the other things you’re doing.

  • 5 years ago

    IMHO
    I would never paint a kitchen an avocado green. I believe it is a "no-no' color in kitchen design, along with 'poo' brown.

    I have asthma and would never, ever have carpet, even hypoallergenic carpet, in any of my rooms.  Dust collecting articles should be kept to a minimum.

    Your inspiration kitchen has too much light brown.  I'd shake things up so that your kitchen isn't so monochromatic.

    I do love the stainless steel countertops. It's the best choice for kitchen countertops, if you can afford it.
    Stainless steel is resistant to water, heat, stains, and just about anything else.  Stainless steel has a non-porous surface, which means that no type of liquid or substances can penetrate into the material at all.  Bacteria, mold, and other common household germs don’t stand a chance with stainless. Also, stainless steel doesn't stain. My restaurateur husband changed out all our kitchen countertops when we bought our house. 

    And I'd never paint my cabinets. That's a nightmare to keep up.  The paint chips from closing the doors, your fingers leave constant stains either around the hardware or at the corners where you open the doors and drawers.

    I do love the uniqueness and wide color range of the Fire Clay Tiles!  Love it!

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Personally would stay away from floating floors or cork flooring. Those types of floors can cost almost tthe same but add no value to your home. Ask an appraiser. For the cost to put down a solid 3/4 wood floor. Depending on type you pick will cost little more. White or red oak depends on the square footage. Should be less than 500 you get maple or any other type. The price of wood changes like gas. I usually quote a wood price for 2 weeks. After that can go up or down 10-50 cent' a square foot. That is a parkay floor. It isn't the most common finger parkay floor. I install and refinish hardwood. There are all types of stains now. Some are very expensive. You would need to talk to floor professional about the different brands and color of stains Few stains dont require finish and water will not penetrate just bead up on the floor. Those are expensive but have many different colors yellow,green,red,blue,grey,
    You can even smoke or do other things that will change color. The stains a floor professional can get make a lot more colors than you think. I would say you could get a close match if you like. Personally need a little color difference from floor to cabinets. Imo you just dont want them the exactly same color.

  • 5 years ago

    Decluttering before redecorating/remodeling is a good motto. Your kitchen is warm looking but all the stuff on the countertops is unappealing. I'm confused as to why decluttering is more of a challenge than renovating the kitchen, a massive expense consuming months of family time! If necessary, hire an organizer to do declutter for you--money well spent. This will give you a fresh eye to see how attractive your kitchen actually is and how to make the most of it before you spend a fortune in money and time to gut it. When you've gotten rid of duplicates of things, then consider putting in Rev-a-Shelves in some of the lower cabinets to increase functional space. Get carousels for upper cabinets.


    The countertops are beautiful and go well with the cabinets. Add some under cabinet lights if you don't already have them. Consider adding a backsplash of rippled subway tile in a warm cream color that harmonizes with the countertops. This will lighten the kitchen hugely along with undercabinet lighting like this kitchen with dark countertops creamy backsplash and wall color:


    Since you have adjoining spaces opening up near the kitchen, consider painting all the walls throughout a warm white that you pull from the background of your countertops. This will give you a feeling of flow and lightness--no need to repaint the cabinets. You have some beautiful wood floors in your house. Refinish them in a stain that goes with your cabinets so everything flows from room to room.


    Yes, the kitchen floor tile isn't an ideal choice with your warm cabinets. Once you declutter, get an attractive indoor-outdoor rug for now with golden tones and colors. As for gray floors, why? You have warm, golden floors elsewhere. If you're changing out the kitchen floors down the road, then find a floor tile that harmonizes with the wood floors you will have elsewhere.





  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    One other countertop thought, if you decide to keep the granite counters, it might be satisfying to somehow continue the stone surface to the right of the stove, where it looks like there is now a maple butcher block counter section. Those maple cutting surfaces are typically most useful near a sink where most vegetable prep happens; perhaps the maple slab could be relocated to sit atop the counter on the other side of the kitchen tho it might need a bit of trimming to fit well.

    I'd try to get the microwave off the counter -- maybe figure out a place to build in a shelf for it somewhere? Often the microwave perch is now arranged just under a counter, iwhich would involve some tweaking of your lower cabinets. Alternatively, perhaps the tall pantry one is wide enough to insert a microwave shelf there, with some modification of the doors, etc.?

    And one other thought about Fireclay -- they don't just make the same tiles with different colored glazes! They use different colored clay bodies, and the some glazes have more color variation than others, with some having some very cool crazing/crackling effects, some more than others. See the chart in their spec sheet for details, color by color.

  • 5 years ago

    I am really liking the idea of that fireclay backsplash and the color family of slate/ soapstone to match the back wall (pictured here). The living room is where the aqua is (through pillows and a picture), but I had not thought about pulling it through in the kitchen. The dining room which adjoins the living room and kitchen has this photograph of calls lilies (taken by a friend so not moveable). I think in order to pull off any green tiles, it might be best to change out the countertop (to white) otherwise I worry that the orange in the granite clashes with the green.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    When you go to Fireclay, take lots of pictures with you, and maybe even a video you make while walking through all the relevant spaces. Their website says they provide design help, so you want the person working with you to get the whole picture.

    Also, can you detach the piece of granite behind the stove and take it with you for color coordination....assuming it's the same as the counters, and that you will (or may) keep the counters....


  • 5 years ago

    Not sure if this is helpful to your analysis but my cabinets are a stained a medium color (white oak) and I opted for a colored tile and a dark counter. My tile is from Encore which is somewhat similar to Fireclay in that their tiles are hand painted and so there is a lot of "movement" as the glaze is very variegated.

  • 5 years ago

    I agree with others, what stood out in the inspo pics was the beautiful Fireclay backsplash, not the floor. For the amount of $ they charge, they should be able to offer you design advice on the color/shape that would work best in your kitchen. I’d be curious to see if they could work some design magic using your existing materials, including counter. That shape and color in the inspo pic are stunning but there may be another one that fits your kitchen better. BTW, it sounds like you are doing a lot of work. Have you gotten bids for the rest of it yet? Remodeling is $$ these days (both labor and materials), so that might provide a reality check on the budget.


    Painted walls are the easiest and cheapest thing to change, so if you like changing around your design (which it sounds like you do. Me too) it might make sense to have the backsplash be more neutral and repaint the walls when you need a change. housegal’s pic w/ the creamy backsplash ties in with the counter—that’s one big design element to consider. You might, for example, choose a creamy neutral color in a fun shape. I bet the Fireplace people have a lot of ideas. (They are $$$, as you probably know, but it doesn’t hurt to ask and get ideas, even if you ultimately choose a more affordable option. Have fun!) But I’d still start by de-cluttering, lol. ;)

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Agree that a neutral color backsplash is safer. Many people don't figure our their "forever colors" until they are 50-60 years old.....

    When you go to Fireclay, try to also take a cabinet door/drawer with you so the designer understands better.....yeah, take everything but the kitchen sink!

  • 5 years ago

    Love my handmade tiles and the pickets are beautiful, but I think those bright colors of your beachy/MCM inspo pics clash with the more muted, transitional colors/style of the rest of your spaces. I think the cabinets work with the current counters well, but I agree even the green of your kitchen wall right next to the counters would be a little jarring.

    In the end it all comes down to how much you want to spend... :)

    You could get some beautiful handmade tiles in a color to match your current counters (light peach/beige), repair/refinish the parquet floors and call it done.

    You could replace counters and choose a muted blue or green color for the backsplash. Typically LIGHT gray does not play well with maple (the yellow tones make it appear purple) but dark grey and black have often been seen with maple. If you have some extra bathroom tiles, lay them by the counters to see how they look if you decide to go with a lighter counter.

    As far as refinishing the floors, most modern sanders have attached vacuums to suck up most of the dust. For us the staining was awful - so smelly we had to leave the house for a few days - but the actual poly was Bona Traffic HD in Satin, a commercial grade finish that dries in hours and we had zero smell afterwards.

  • 4 years ago

    Indoor outdoor rug for kitchen as a interim solution to coordinating cabinets, countertops, and existing kitchen floor with adjacent flooring and possible repainting of walls in warm white.


  • 4 years ago

    Here's a nice transition between parquet and planks.

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