Question on Flooring

Hi Claudia,

I enjoy reading your home articles in The Times Herald Record. Thank you for the many helpful tips you provide to inspire people to love their homes. I have laminate flooring in my home that is about 10 years old, in great condition and I still love it. The problem is I have an open floor plan. The kitchen is a stone type of pattern and the main hall and dining room is a red oak butterscotch. The living room is carpeted which is worn out. I wish it was laminate. I have been told that it is too difficult to match old laminate, so I have to find another carpet. I am wondering if you know of another choice for me. I am attaching 5 photos for you to see what I described. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. – Mary M., Highland

Hall to kitchen is Hardwood to laminate

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your question. My first thought was to try to match the laminate floor as close as possible to the hallway floor with the living room flooring going in a different direction, so it doesn’t look forced. Since I am not a flooring expert, I asked David Lionheart of Newburgh City Estates for advice. Lionheart is a carpenter by trade and an artist who will be featured in a future column.

“With so many different flooring types that are already installed the customer would have to commit to replacing everything at the same time, or start off by visiting the local flooring store or some online sources that can send free samples of different flooring products in those color palettes although it might not be an exact match it may be an option to start replacing those areas with the flooring that they would like to use moving forward once everything needs to be replaced. There are some great durable snap together flooring options that are affordable and widely available on the market.”

“Another point of reference prior to doing the install is to make sure that the levels from one room to another will match each other, meaning no additional subfloors have been installed, or a subfloor that needs to be put in like quarter inch luan or plywood to raise any additional installed floor to the level of the foyer if that’s the level they desire to maintain. The purchase costs are reasonable and once a team of installers are there it may be beneficial just to replace everything in need at the same time, making the mess just once, and starting over with a product that can be easily replaced and repaired if ever damaged.” – David Lionheart


Flooring terms

Luan: refers to a tropical hardwood plywood product used as an underlayment for different types of flooring. The luan creates a flat, smooth, durable surface to attach flooring materials. The panels are typically ¼ inch thick.

Laminate Flooring: Laminates have a dense fiberboard core with a paper pattern layer sealed both tops and bottom under high pressure with a plastic-like substance. Sold as planks and panels in wood, stone, tile and other looks.

Wood Flooring: Most wood flooring is made of hardwoods; oak, maple, pecan, hickory, beech, birch, as well as exotic species. There is solid wood flooring and laminate flooring, which combines wood layered in different directions for strength and to inhibit shrinkage or expansion. Most wood flooring today is prefinished at the factory for uniformity of finish.

Subfloor: Structural layer that supports the floors. On ground floors, it may be concrete or plywood; upstairs it is usually wood.