Q: Our casual style home was built ’00 and has light golden coloured oak cabinets. We want to install engineered wood flooring, but are confused as to what type of wood to use that would compliment our existing oak cabinetry, rather than match it with another like oak wood. I am drawn to warm reddish tones like Brazilian Cherry, Merbau, and Mahogany, however, I am afraid these might be too contrasting.
A: OK, well the best engineered I have seen or worked with is Mirage. Perhaps yellow birch or American cherry would be something different that you might like. There are 2 drawbacks to these choices. both species are a bit softer than oak, for one, so you have to understand that the possibility of getting dents and dings will increase, especially in a kitchen setting. Additionally, you will have to use even more care with a pre finished floor in a kitchen, where each board is finished individually, rather than site finished with polyurethane over the entire surface, including board edges. At the mirage web site you can set up 3 dimensional scenes to see what each species might look like. If you went with birch, I would go with an exclusive grade, which is a mix of select and traditional. This way you get a bit of a mix of some boards with beautiful chocolate ruddy brown colour mixed in with boards that are almost white. It creates a very inviting look.