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July 30, 2021

Home Renovations: Choosing Hardwood Flooring

When we decided to renovate our home, a non-negotiable was replacing the flooring. We had parquet flooring in most of the living spaces, as well as old porcelain (ugly) tile. It needed a refresh. BIG TIME.

The challenge with most renovations is the snowball or domino effect. Once we decided to replace the main floor, what about upstairs?

So, we went for it – new floors everywhere! 


We knew we wanted hardwood floor (even in the kitchen), but know that there are also lots of vinyl options out there, as well as ceramic tiles you NEED to touch, or you’d think they were wood. There really is an option for everyone. 

From there, we needed to choose between Solid Wood and Engineered Hardwood (which is pretty much what everyone is laying in their homes these days). Solid wood is milled from solid lumber and can be sanded and refinished to maintain its natural beauty. Engineered wood flooring combines a layer of real wood with layers of plywood, softwood stickers or high-density fibreboard. It can also be used in basements. 

We went with Engineered.

One of the first places we visited was The Hardwood Outlet at Improve Canada. Ghaleb took his time and explained the variety of hardwood, the differences between Red Oak and White Oak and Walnut and Handscraped versus Wirebrushed and so on and so on. 

Like everything else, it’s overwhelming, to say the least. There are so many options and we haven’t even gotten to the price yet. I would recommend at least 2 visits.

My advice would then be to take photos of what you like and don’t like – from colour to texture to size and sheen. We wanted a wide plank and something matte in texture. As we have two young kids and a dog, I didn’t want anything too soft or delicate, but I am personally not a fan of super-textured or wavy flooring, so that ruled most hand-scraped options. 

In terms of colour, this was a difficult one. I knew I didn’t want anything too dark but also wasn’t sure of super light flooring either (I like it, just not for my space). I’m love a natural finish but not too rustic or rugged, either.

In the store, we narrowed down some of our favourites – and narrowed from there even further. We were able to take some samples from inside to an outside door to compare in different lighting because remember, it’ll always look different in your space! 

We also asked for a sample to take home. This is very helpful.


Here are some things you need to know if you’re considering hardwood:

- There are a lot of options, too many even;

- Wood is a natural material. It is not all exactly the same. There will be variations in the colour and texture. It’s best to order from the same lot if possible; 

- Don’t be surprised if the colour isn’t exactly the same as the sample. 

Earlier this week, our hardwood upstairs was installed. To say I love it is an understatement! A lot of dust was made, and a lot of clean-up will come this weekend, but I’m loving the tones and the feel of the flooring underfoot. It’s warm and inviting with character and charm. 

As for the specs: The planks are 7 1/2 inches wide, and we went with a Wirebrushed White Oak.

I can’t wait to see it all installed downstairs and in our new living spaces, so you'll have to follow along for the reveals!

If you’re just starting out on your search or reno, I would recommend visiting The Hardwood Outlet; in addition to dozens of options, they were able to offer pricing on the spot and delivered in a reasonable time. 

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and I have received some payment to write this blog. The opinions expressed on my blog are my own.

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