Matching New and Old Hardwood Floors

It’s no big surprise that although plenty of hardwood flooring alternatives exist, many homeowners still argue that there’s still nothing like the real thing. And, once you have hardwood installed somewhere in your house or workplace, it’s hard not to want it everywhere.

One of the biggest challenges with installing hardwood flooring in multiple rooms of the house is working with any existing hardwood floors you might have. After all, older hardwood floors can be scuffed or worn just from everyday wear and tear, in addition to any fading or deepening in color caused by exposure to light.

With that in mind, here are some things to remember when you’re trying to match new and old hardwood floors.

Keep thickness and species in mind.

Thickness and species is sometimes referred to as the wood’s profile. The thickness of the flooring is very important when trying to match two different surfaces. Solid hardwood flooring is easier to match than engineered wood primarily because identifying the manufacturer can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible. You should also try to get the same species of wood and be mindful of the grade as well. Different grades vary in color consistency and in the number of knots in the wood.

After you’ve selected a wood of the same species and thickness, you’ll need to consider the sub-floors. Are they the same height in the two areas? If not, you need to think about adding or removing a layer of plywood underneath before performing your commercial or residential flooring installation. If it’s pre-finished wood, you need to match the thickness of the existing hardwood surface. If it’s not then you can simply install the floor and sand the surface down to match the existing one.

Don’t forget direction and transitions.

Flooring typically runs perpendicular to the joists underneath, but you may want a change in direction to mask differences between two surfaces. It’s also a great way to avoid having to weave the wood together, which is when the opening between two spaces is too wide for a transition strip and the surfaces need to run into each other.

In cases like these, the existing floor planks that end at the opening must be cut, pried out, and replaced with new planks of various lengths to create a seamless continuation of the existing floor pattern into the next room. Then, you need to sand and refinish both surfaces.

But if the opening between the areas isn’t too wide, you can use a narrow piece of wood called a transition strip or T-molding to bridge the space between. Some are flat and others are thicker on one end, providing a gradual slope that allows surfaces of different heights to match.

We hope this post gives you a better understanding of all the factors you need to carefully consider when trying to match new hardwood floors with existing ones so that you can take the necessary steps to ensure your surfaces come together seamlessly.

Do you have any questions about matching new and old hardwood floors? Contact Smart Carpet and Flooring at 1-800-526-7847. We are here to help!