Decorating & Renovating
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Matching New Flooring to Cabinets and Counters - Help!

I haven't been on the Nest for quite some time (I have a 7 month old now so I spent a lot of time on the Bump recently) but I was hoping for help in the renovation department!

My house was built in the 90's and has a lot of the dreaded honey oak look, if you catch my drift. The laminate floors, cabinets, trim, etc. are all honey oak. The kitchen has an odd sort of Mediterranean style tile that ties into the counter tops, which are a marble that has hints of blue and black.

So now, a lot of the tiles in the kitchen are breaking, and they don't make them anymore so there are no replacement tiles. Plus, I HATE those tiles! Also not crazy about all of that honey oak flooring.

My husband and I are hoping to replace all of the flooring on the 1st floor with new laminate. I know laminate isn't great, but I just want to give the floor a face lift for the next few years until we can maybe do real hardwood. We also might want to do an addition, so we're holding off on good flooring for now.

What color laminate flooring can I do? I want it to look as close to real wood as possible. I mean, what the heck is going to go with those cabinets AND the blue/black counter top? Also, my first floor is on the smaller side, so how do I make it larger? I'm not sure whether to go dark or light, or what kind of tones or tints to look for in the laminate. I will be eternally grateful to anyone who can help!! :)


Re: Matching New Flooring to Cabinets and Counters - Help!

  • labrolabro member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    Lighter colors will almost always enlarge a space while dark colors shrink it. However, why spend all that money replacing the laminate floors if you're planning to do hardwoods in a few years? You might as well save the money you'd spend on materials and labor and speed up the process on putting down hardwoods on the main level.

    There are a lot of great non-hardwood flooring options out there that are much more cost effective but are still nicer looking and feeling than laminate - have you looked at bamboo flooring, engineered hardwood, the hardwood that snaps/locks in together? I dunno...I just wouldn't want to waste my money on a flooring I knew I hated if it meant I could get something I loved a bit earlier.

    I don't have any advice on the tile. Why do you think it's cracking/breaking? Maybe you can get a contractor in who can find a match for your tile and help to stop the remaining from getting ruined as well?
  • I'd really suggest not wasting the money on a quick fix now and just wait.  You will end up spending a good junk of change of laminate, so just wait and spend a little more to get something nice later.

    When it's time for a new floor, I'd suggest doing bamboo or engineered hardwood.  Regular hardwood isn't a great choice in bathrooms or kitchens as it can stain or warp from water.

    Wood is neutral, so any shade would go with anything.  Really dark and really light woods show dirt easily, so I'd suggest going with something mid tone or mid-light tone.  Doesn't have to be a honey under tone.

    It doesn't look like laminate to me.  Are you sure it isn't ceramic?  Ceramic would crack like that.  Laminate tends to peel and bubble, not crack so much.
  • You should search for some good contractor for the cabinets, counter tops and all. I was going through the web and look what I found. There are some designs which I guess can help you.
  • I just want to say that I think you've got some great bones to work with! I agree with the flooring - I love my hardwood but know there are a lot of alternatives which are more cost effective and durable. We bought a house and were lucky to be able to refinish the original 1950s hardwoods but they are definitely prone to scratches and high-maintenance! The refinishing was $3/sqft. so it still took a toll on our budget in a house where the entirety is hardwood except the bathrooms and family room.

    It sounds like you're not in love with your kitchen so I feel I would be remiss if I didn't pass on this (unsolicited) advice. While they might not be your style, I think the granite counters you have could go nicely with a lot of different styles and the style of cabinetry you have is timeless. Assuming you'll have a carpenter in there to update the flooring, I think you could make a couple of quick updates - like we did with our home - and be much happier with your kitchen. We purchased a home with similar golden oak cabinets that were not our taste but still were quality construction with great bones. We had them professionally painted and changed out the cabinet hardware and fixtures. Everyone is amazed at how different it looks - no one can believe they are the original cabinets. Assuming you're planning to keep the counters, which I like, I think you could even DIY sand and paint the cabinets a nice light grey or white color, straighten the scalloped edge or eliminate the frilly molding above the sink/window entirely, update the backsplash and possibly the hardware and feel like you've got a brand new, updated kitchen for a really reasonable cost. Attaching a couple photos from our kitchen so you can see the before/after when we were almost done (hope this works, I'm not too active on The Nest). Good luck! 

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