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austinbirdman 03-08-2008 11:09 AM

Side by Side Floors - Cherry and Hickory
I am looking for advice and opinions on laying a hickory floor in a living room that butts up to a kitchen/dining area with American cherry. Do you think using two species like this will look okay?

We need to lay engineered flooring in the living room because it sits on a slab, whereas the solid cherry floor sits over a pier-and-beam addition. (I know you can lay solid hardwood over slab with a plywood substrate, but this raises the floor too much in our case.) I started out looking for cherry engineered flooring to match the 3 1/14" wide hardwood cherry. So far I can't find a decent engineered cherry with a square edge, which we really want that to match the square edge of the kitchen. Also, the good cherry engineered I've seen cost about $10 s.f., but I want to pay $6 or less.

Meanwhile I got a very high-quality sample of a hickory engineered floor for $5.70 s.f. from internet lumber. It has the thickest wear layer I've seen on an engineered floor, 5.22 mm (.2 inches) and comes in 3 1/4" width. The engineered looks a lot like the lighter sapwood of the cherry hardwood floor, which is "character" cherry, about 70% heartwood and 30% sapwood.

Any thoughts on how this lighter hickory might look butted up against the cherry room? There's a 7-foot opening between the rooms. The hickory will be in a much darker room than the cherry, which I'm hoping could minimize the hue difference, since the cherry is acquiring a warmer, darker look with age.

glennjanie 03-08-2008 05:24 PM

Welcome AustinBirdMan:
I like the use of different woods for your floors; I would even try to get some other species in there with it, like white oak or poplar. One of our neighbors has a white oak floor with some strips of walnut for contrast. Its all laid in a square with mitered corners around the living room, beautiful! I'm so glad your cherry has a natural finish; I get so sick of furniture that is stained black and is called cherry.

inspectorD 03-09-2008 06:13 PM

Get Glenn said with the inlays, they look great.
I have installed many floors with contrast colors. Never a regret.:D

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