Cool Lego Castle, Cool Floors too!
RG, LOVE the post! Problem – I have no wood to rescue! We really want to put in solid hardwood in our kitchen and dining room, 4″-5″?, more rustic than fancy, WITHOUT breaking the bank. Do you have any good sources for wood? Also, we are gutting the kitchen and putting in new floors and cabinetry. What is the correct order of things – floor then cabinets or cabinets and then floors? THX!
Hi Marjorie –
The picture above is the floor in my previous home. I couldn’t find a shot of just the floor, so you got a Christmas morning picture with an awesome Lego Castle! (yes, he was done while it was still Christmas morning!)
That floor is solid 3/4″ thick pine, installed over a 3/4″ thick plywood subfloor over a concrete slab. I much prefer everything about a solid wood floor as compared to a glue-down. Everything but the installation process that is.
A glue-down floor can be installed in a day and done, because most are prefinished. A solid floor like this takes much longer to install, costs more, and takes days to finish. But the result is a lifetime floor that feels different, looks better, and is more durable.
As to resources:
Your best bet is to look locally for the type of wood you described. The good news is that the wider planks, more rustic like you want, are less expensive generally speaking. As a professional contractor, knowing all the wood places in a big city, I would still call four or five to get prices before buying a job like this and usually go look at the stock at at least two or three of those.
Wood described as: 3/4″ T&G Hardwood flooring – #2 Pine, random lengths, 5″ wide – can be totally and completely different in each place you look. So you’re not only shopping price, you’re shopping grain and color and quality.
I was particularly interested in wood that looked like “heart pine” without paying for reclaimed river lumber. You can see one of the dark colored boards in the picture.
As to order of operations:
The answer is, you can do it either way. I’ll list the advantages of both ways:
Putting the wood under the cabinets:
You can move your cabinets around in ten years and not ruin your floor.
Your counters will be at the proper height and your toe-kick will be the right height too. If you install your cabinets without taking the floor into consideration, then install 1.5″ of flooring, it can make a mess of things.
No need for shoe molding (quarter round) at the base of your cabinets.
Installing the cabinets first, then the wood:
A few hundred dollars in your pocket to spend any way you want to!
No matter what, you’re going to love the floors you’re thinking of!