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Need help picking out Luxury Vinyl Plank

Gin J
11 months ago

We intend to put LVP in our kitchen, dining room, living room and hallway/entryway.
We just installed walnut cabinets with Whitby Cambria countertops.
Now I need to pick out flooring and paint.
First the flooring. Our room gets plenty of light. We want a good quality LVP, like Cortec or? , but I don’t know how to choose the color, tone or grain that looks best with the walnut cabinets.
I have brought home dozens of samples and getting nowhere.
Here are pictures of the kitchen/dining area (going to get a new dining set) and a couple of my current samples.
Any suggestions are appreciated and feel free to name a specific sample to bring home. Thanks so much!

Comments (76)

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    11 months ago

    That's what I mean: )










  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    11 months ago

    Some advice: whether you hire someone or not, collect ideas of kitchens you like that have wood or lvp floors.


    Research advantages and disadvantages of wood vs lvp or other products both functionally and aesthetically.


    LVP is not necessarily less expensive than wood. The higher end LVP is better quality and does not repeat a pattern as often, so feels more natural. There is engineered also.


    What one person says on here is their experience. Might not be yours. I have had clients with flooring issues with wood in a kitchen. I have also had many who had zero issues.


    Flooring is a unifying surface in a home. I don't recommend chopping up that.

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  • Charlotte Nelson
    11 months ago

    Gin, I am following your post and excited to see your final decisions.

    I am facing the same decisions except with custom made maple cabinets throwing off a orange undertone.

    Show the final outcome and let us know if you went with the $500 design.

    Special note, Cambria countertops look beautiful!

  • DeWayne
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    $500 is a 1 1/2 hour meeting only, with a written synopsis included. So buyer beware. You don't get a lot done in an hour and a half. Not without 4-5 hours on the front end doing a design inventory and assessment. Most "Designer by Your Side" type services start at 1K per 8 hour day, or $1200 for 2 half days. That is for newbies. Experienced designers are more. And that is after you do an initial paid consult meeting to iron out styles, needs, and scope, which sets the boundaries for the work. $500 for all of what you need is some Pinterest persona, without any training or knowledge.

  • darbuka
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    Oak floors have never been outdated. They’ve been used in kitchens, and throughout the home, here, and in Europe, for hundreds of years.

    You know what is outdated? Wall to wall carpet…anywhere in the house. People have learned how unhygienic carpeting is. Dust, odors, pollen, hair, flakes of skin, and mites who feed on flaked skin, can be found in carpeting. Vacuuming may extract some, but not all of the offending stuff.

    If, as you said, you want your home to look ”awesome”, then leave out the plastic, fake wood flooring, and wall to wall carpeting. Install wood floors throughout the home, (except for bathrooms and laundry room), for a unified, up-to-date look…that is easy to care for.

    The key to having wood floors in a wood kitchen, is to choose a stain that doesn’t match the cabinets. Rather, choose a slightly different shade that shows some contrast, yet compliments the cabinets.

    My husband is the cook in this house…and he is messy. He drips water, and all kinds of food while prepping, and notices non of it. Hours later, when the floor is cleaned, the floor is good as new. Melted ice cubes, too, have not damaged the floor. A vacuum, and Bona Wood Floor spray, is all that’s needed to keep your floors looking great.




  • PRO
    Unique Wood Floors
    11 months ago

    Enjoy the discussion that good points were made from different angles. Here is one of our light white oak projects with walnut center island.

    Millennium Whisky · More Info


  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    11 months ago

    Gorgeous, @darbuka and @wsea!

    And to the OP, if you're going to go with tile, look into Marmoleum. It's a natural lineoleum product and comes in lots of colors.

  • chinacatpeekin
    11 months ago

    If your goal is “awesome”, skip the plastic and the carpeting and get real wood flooring. Some posters on this site claim that “quality LVP” looks and feels like hardwood, and all I can say is that I’ve never seen it myself. I’m not a pro, but all the LVP I’ve seen in the wild looks fake to me, and one footstep on it tells me it’s plastic.

  • Mary Iverson
    11 months ago

    Here are comparisons on a color wheel of neutrals - from Maria Killam.



  • chinacatpeekin
    11 months ago

    Agree with Diana that Marmoleum is a great product for kitchen and mud room/ laundry flooring. I have it in a laundry room and I love it.
    Also, I recently built an ADU in my unfinished basement and needed to use engineered wood (white oak, rift sawn) instead of hardwood in that application, and am completely satisfied with it.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    11 months ago

    @ Gin J


    There are always choices and each person has to make the appropriate choice for their home.


    Many of the same people who are saying not to use LVP flooring would say the same thing about using Quartz countertops. Don't use fake plastic. . .


    You have to understand the pros and cons of each flooring type to pick the one that best fits your aesthetic and lifestyle.


    I am concerned about the environment, but I think you need to look at all aspects of environmental impact, so is it better to fill the landfills with plastic or continue to cut down trees?

    If you research virtually any of the products you will see that anything we do to excess has devastating downstream impacts. Bamboo is always marketed as eco friendly, but is it really? https://news.un.org/en/story/2004/05/103082


    I believe we all must do our part, but would getting wood floors when I own a dog that would ruin them in just a couple of years be better than the LVT flooring I selected that will last 20+ years.


    Should I buy granite that was mined in another country by slave and child labor with no regard for safety of the workers in the mine or buy something else?


    For me - I have chosen to be conservative in my use of anything disposable in my day to day life. I fill one 13 gallon garbage bag per week. I don't use disposable plastics, paper plates, napkins. I do all of my errands on Saturday and map out the most efficient route. I average 1200 miles on my car annually. (No - not 12,000 1,200 - 100 miles per month). I walk to the closest grocery store or convenience store if I only need an item or two. (6 blocks each way).


    I am not feeling guilty over choosing LVT or Quartz for my home.


    Saw this on the Miriam Killam blog where she reversed her rule to never place LVP next to hardwood flooring based on the changes in quality of LVP flooring. It keeps getting better and more realistic. 10, 15 years ago this was not the case, but we have to keep pace with the times.



  • Jennifer Hogan
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I have had both good and bad experiences with getting help from interior designers.

    Finding the right person is really important. So many will spew out choices based on what is popular vs what will work in your unique situation and with your unique preferences that it is kind of hit or miss.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    11 months ago

    If you PM me I will give you my phone number and talk you through some of the ways I make my decisions and try to help you with your decision making process.

  • HU-918119203
    11 months ago

    "I believe we all must do our part, but would getting wood floors when I own a dog that would ruin them in just a couple of years be better than the LVT flooring I selected that will last 20+ years."


    There is no dog that can "ruin" hardwood floors in just a couple of years and would not also ruin LVP over time. The difference is LVP goes in a dumpster after it starts to look shabby, while hardwood gets sanded and refinished.

  • DeWayne
    11 months ago

    The only hardwood that I have seen ruined by dogs is dogs whose owners refused to trim their nails properly, or to potty train properly. Those same dogs would have ruined vinyl floors as well.

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    11 months ago

    That is correct @Jennifer Hogan. Most people want a clean earth and sustainable future. Truth is, every product has its upsides and downsides. A tree was cut down to create a hardwood floor, but not an LVP floor. Some LVP's are made at least partially from recycled materials and they can be recycled when they are no longer useful.


    I don't know the degree to which any of this matters to the OP, but I bring it up because the subject was mentioned.


    There is a market for wood floors, LVP floors, engineered hardwood. People buy them. In all categories, there are ranges of quality.


    I have no idea what the OP budget is. I like to guide people to buy the best they can afford and also meets their goals functionally and aesthetically. This often means sometimes what others might deem "lower quality" and may not meet others definition of whatever is best for that other person.


    You should have the best home you can with the budget you have and I wouldn't let others determine what "quality" is for you.

  • shirlpp
    11 months ago

    Just keep posting on this dilemma - for good advice. Save the 500 bucks for something else.

  • kl23
    11 months ago

    @Gin J This is going to sound crazy, but I think I like your plywood. In your pictures the color blends nicely, and the pattern is kinda softer than wood planks will be. I wondered if you considered cork flooring. I got some in my laundry closet for noise reduction and moisture tolerance. It's also a good insulator for temperature. It comes in colors too if you think that would be nice. Feel free to ignore.

  • Mary Iverson
    11 months ago

    Agree with KL on cork flooring as a possibility.


  • ginjohn100
    11 months ago

    WOW!!! Everyone has posted AWESOME COMMENTS!!! I went to Pro Source and Flooring Expo yesterday and came home with several samples! Busy running errands today and have company so I will post pictures of samples Wednesday morning!! Thank YOU!!!

  • Ally De
    11 months ago

    The only hardwood that I have seen ruined by dogs is dogs whose owners refused to trim their nails properly, or to potty train properly. Those same dogs would have ruined vinyl floors as well.


    Sigh. I don't know why I care so much about this, but I do have to take exception to the comment above.


    I have 2 dogs, who are still young and like to run and play. Their nails are exceedingly short. I dremel them every week. (And yes, I know how to do so safely - very quick touches, the dogs are not uncomfortable with this process. You can really hurt a dog with a dremel if you don't know what you're doing.)


    I have one dog who digs in when cornering. It does not matter how freaking short his nails are, he leaves scratches in my hardwood. Unless I have his nails removed, I can not make them short enough that he can't dig in and scratch my hardwoods.


    I have LVP in a beach house. The same dog has made exactly ZERO scratches in that floor. That floor has been down 2 years now and it is still in pristine condition - not one scratch in it anywhere, aside from one place where the appliance installers decided to drag my stove across the floor. This is in stark contrast to my real "hardwood" floor which is covered in scratches.


    I genuinely don't care if you like LVP or hate it. However I promise you that there is at least one dog on the planet who can scratch hardwood and not make a mark in LVP.

  • kl23
    11 months ago

    @Mary Iverson the picture of the cork samples... what manufacturer is that please? Glad at least a few people didn't think the idea was too nutty. Thanks all! 😁

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    11 months ago

    Yes, cork is a great natural alternative!

  • deegw
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    Keep in mind that a lot of these opinions about the "perfect" flooring are regional. Where I live, you basically have to beg the people in the flooring store to show you something other than LVP. Everyone buys it, and nobody bats an eyelash about it.

    You may want to ask a real estate friend what's common for floors in your house's price range. You should get what you want, of course, but extra info never hurt anyone.

    A cream tile with some slight variation would look great with your cabinets and counters and brighten the space up. (It won't be the option that's easiest to clean,)

  • Mary Iverson
    11 months ago

    @KL those are samples from WECork. I'm fond of cork myself, I've seen it used beautifully in libraries and public buildings.

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    11 months ago

    I too, can attest to the dog situation and flooring. We moved into a home with pine flooring. Again, keep out dog nails short and they are very well-behaved. They don't jump on people or run in the house. They are not allowed on furniture. Had our pine floors sanded and refinished. In one year, certain areas where they turn are scuffed up.


    Harder woods will hold up much better, but wood still is not immune to scratches, even with well-mannered dogs.


    By the way, Corectec is known for its cork underlayment. Again, many choices out there and all homeownes should inform themselves as to the choices and the plusses and minuses they bring to their particular situation.



  • Ally De
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    There is no perfect flooring (in my opinion, of course). It's all too personal and all too subjective. We all value different things....differently.


    I've had site-finished oak hardwood, pre-finished engineered oak hardwood, and LVP in a wood-look plank. They all have their pros and cons.


    The pre-finished engineered hardwood was (correctly) sold to me as having a harder finish than a site finished floor. It definitely is harder to scratch. However there are things I still don't like about it...


    I bought the LVP almost as a "throw-away" choice. We bought a beach house 2 years ago that needed new floors in some areas before we could move in. I wasn't sure what my longer term plans were, so I picked a Coretec LVP as a quick/easy/semi-cheap option just to get something down in one area. 2 years later I love that floor so much I decided to have it run through the rest of the common areas.


    If someone doesn't like LVP for whatever reason...that's fine. It's a free world and you are free to share your personal likes and dislikes with anyone who will read what you write. Heck, that's the business model for internet! (LOL.)


    However, to try to say that the only way a dog can scratch a hardwood floor is due to their owner being either lazy or a moron is a bridge too far. IMO, of course.

  • Gin J
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Here are some samples that I brought home .
    White oak. Real wood

  • Gin J
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Kenyan Tigerwood by Kardean (da vinci). Lvp

  • Gin J
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Red river Hickory by Core-Tec
    Love the color but maybe it’s too busy?

  • deegw
    11 months ago

    I like the first one. The second looks busy to me as well. You can look on the manufacturer's website and see how the floor looks laid out in a room. That's the best way to discover unattractive patterns.

  • Gin J
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Those are the three samples I like the best and am trying to get the right color first… then decide LVP or real wood and plan to get an estimate for the latter. I do want to check out cork too but won’t be able to do so till next week

    I do appreciate the deeper warmer suggestion by Jan Moyer (thank you)and would like to know if that was red oak in the picture? I did set myself up with limited choices by doing walnut…but that’s what the husband liked and would agree to…. I do love it too!
    Fyi… my husband doesn’t cut his hair, his hair stylist daughter does…for free! lol!
    Darbuka, those floors look absolutely awesome!! More details please?
    Jennifer Hogan…thank you for all expert opinions and I appreciate your comments. Will PM, later tonight but have been crazy busy preparing for a big party here on Friday.

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    11 months ago

    The lvp's are too busy. I recommended you look for something not busy.


    These small samples, once on an entire floor will look much busier.


    You need somthing with golden tones, lighter than your cabinets and not busy.


    You need to look at rooms with the wood in an entire room.


    The first one is engineered wood, not solid wood. Manufacturers say it will last around 30 years. Here is what I believe the first one is. They are showing much more golden on the website.


    https://appalachianflooring.com/product/natural-white-oak-excel/


    Can you take a photo of #1 from a distance?

  • Gin J
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Here’s a couple… does that help?

  • Gin J
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    A couple other things…
    Husband doesn’t want me to paint the woodwork which is honey oak.
    I think it might look nice painted white (milk paint).
    We live in Minnesota which is extremely dry in the winter, can be quite humid in the winter and we don’t like to run the air conditioner.
    I had oak floors throughout my 2nd house which was originally built in 1971 and never had any problems with shrinkage or expansion.
    The floor in this house is going on the upper level (so no concrete).
    We also have a wood stove and are kinda in the country, I like rustic but I don’t care for the distressed look.
    As far a a budget, we’re more focused on getting and paying for the right flooring and then waiting on other less important things till the budget catches up.
    Eventually we want new lighting and furnishings.

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    11 months ago

    That engineered is a little too tan for me. I'd get something with more golden tones.


    Overall, when you are planning on making a lot of changes, you need a plan. So, it needs to be decided whether or not you are painting the trim. You don't have to execute all at once, but you need to have a plan.


    Otherwise, a lot of costly mistakes are made. Hope that makes sense.

  • PRO
    Unique Wood Floors
    11 months ago

    @ Gin J.

    Thanks for starting such a useful and practical thread. I enjoyed reading all comments carefully.

    Natural white oak floor is what I suggest. Below are a couple of project pictures to show you, one against black walnut cabinets while the other has some golden oak trims your husband thinks to keep., Let me know if you have questions or like to see more choices. What a coincidence I happen to be in Twin Cities.

    Cicerone Lager · More Info


    Cicerone Lager · More Info



  • Gin J
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    I am embarrassed to say that I cannot figure out how to private message someone…. Googled and tried and tried again. Clicked on the profile from these messages… no lozenger shaped thingy in the upper right corner.

  • PRO
    CDR Design, LLC
    11 months ago

    It could be that whomever you are messaging does not have it turned on in advanced settings. Otherwise, I am not sure.

  • PRO
    Unique Wood Floors
    11 months ago

    If you put a @ sign in front of username, it should notify the party you like to reach. @Gin J

  • DeWayne
    11 months ago

    Then real wood floors are going to be your best choice. Get a humidification system in place, for your comfort, as well as the warranty requirements on your cabinets, furniture, and flooring.

  • deegw
    11 months ago

    Gin, it's not you. The Houxx messaging system is glitchy. If you post an @ comment in this thread to the person you are messaging and let them know they have a message, they should be able to find it.

  • cupofkindnessgw
    11 months ago

    @Gin J To me, the white oak (real wood) looks best. Please keep in mind that woods darken as they age and some amber in the process which gives them an orangey cast. I had unstained maple cabinets that ambered and seemed to become pinker in certain spots, all at the same time.


    Have you thought of putting down slate tile or slate-look porcelain that matches the hearth that your wood-burning stove is on? A 12" by 24" slate type of tile might look wonderful with that cherry, though it might seem very dark in the winder.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    11 months ago

    I had the same thought as @cupofkindnessgw about using slate or a slate-look tile. It gives a nice contrast to the cherry wood and eliminates the problem of melding two different types of wood.

  • cupofkindnessgw
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I live near a Daltile showroom and picked up this black slate look tile (click these words) for our kitchen family room renovation. This "Daltile Delegate Black" is porcelain and has some "slate-like" dimension on the surface. I also have samples of Daltile's real Brazilian black slate tile so I can make a comparision.

    Brazil Black Slate These tiles do not come in 12 by 24." Although they look black in the picture, they are a soft charcoal gray in real life. Only available in a square shape. Perhaps a sealer would make it look blacker? If so, we don't want a floor that requires that level of maintenance. As such, we will probably go with "Delegate Black."

    I just took this picture. Here is a single 12” by 24” Delegate tile on the bottom, two Brazil Black slate tiles above and a square sample of a black painted wood for reference. The Brazil Black tiles are slightly darker than pictured below. The Brazil Black (the real slate) also leans slightly blue (at least these two tiles do). The Delegate Black doesn't appear to lean blue or green. What appears to be "veins" in the tile are actually changes in the surface of the slate/porcelain. I've been to other tile showrooms and the Daltile "Delegate Black" is the best fake slate I've seen.



    @Gin J Choosing flooring is just a tough process for those of us who cannot have single type of hardwood throughout the home. Our kitchen is next to an engineered hardwood floor that we cannot match since it's a distinct style that was made 10 or so years ago. Porcelain tile is our best bet. Black plays nicely with the amber/ distressed/ red tones of the engineered wood floor it will abut.

  • M R
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    Probably not the best photo of my floor but you get the idea! the is paradigm conquest in citadel. look into spc, it is very similar but better than lvp in many ways. I will tell you this floor is bulletproof. Looks identical to the day we moved in 2 years ago. I tested probably 30 samples for durability. This one is IT. regarding dogs….dogs get old. Potty trained dogs can develop urinary problems late in life. Those sorts of ammonia ”leaks” cannot be sanded out of hardwood. Ask me how I know…



  • Susanne Logan
    7 months ago

    I fell in love with a lvp, but it it soooo expensive! Any idea how I find a very similar color match in a less expensive format? Provincial Altelas is the one I like but 5.42 per square foot - ouch!!!



    My Project · More Info




    My Project · More Info


  • Jennifer Hogan
    7 months ago

    When I was shopping for LVT flooring I selected an in house brand at Flooring America (Made for Flooring America by Coretec). I found out that Flooring America, Carpet One, ProSource, The Floor Trader, and Flooring Canada are all owned by CCA Global Partners and all had the same in house brand under different names and each store/location (even two different Carpet One stores) sold it at different prices ($2.00 a SF difference highest to lowest). I bought mine from the lowest priced store and talked to them about upcoming sales. He didn't have details but knew they typically had a sale in March. I told him to call me when he got the details. The sale gave progressively larger discounts based on the sqare footage you were purchasing up to $500.00 off. I was buying twice the amount needed for the $500.00 discount, so I purchased 1/2 and had my sister purchase 1/2 and we each got the $500.00 discount.


    There are ways to save, it is a trade off between time spent comparative shopping and money.


    I think the biggest savings for me was that I could install the LVT flooring myself so I didn't pay for installation. If you are not installing yourself you do have to consider installation costs in your estimates, as those vary from store to store as well.

  • shirlpp
    7 months ago

    What square footage do you need? On the Net there are stores that give a bit of a discount depending upon how much you need.

  • Gin J
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Update after a crazy busy summer.

    I still have No flooring… but we’re getting there.
    Would love some input from everyone regarding these products.
    First off, we live in Minnesota and go camping from Jan-Feb. We turn the heat down to 45 degrees while we are gone. In the summer, we rarely turn the AC on unless it gets to the 90’s because we live on a lake and enjoy the breeze. It can be humid too.
    I went to the Parade of homes and love the engineered hardwood and would like to go with white oak. I found out that Shaw Repel has a scratch resistant coating and claims to be waterproof. The veneer is about 1 mil thick and I tested it and it seems more durable than the other brands. Obviously it can’t be refinished but we probably only going to live here another 10-15 years so I am fine with that.
    No dogs or kids here.
    My concern is whether or not the floor will be okay in winter with the heat turned down. We can add a humidifier.
    Also, does the mill layer make a difference as far as expansion/ contraction due to humidity and temperature?
    Would I be better off with a thicker mill layer even if it scratches more easily? There’s an engineered oak grown in northern Wisconsin that is 4mil.

    Should I bag the whole thing and just go with a good quality laminate.
    If so, I like RevWood because the bevels aren’t painted and look like real wood. I am open to other brands and suggestions.

    Should I really bag all of the above and go with bamboo?

    Thanks!!!