Is it OK to install different hardwoods/species in different rooms/areas of house?

Q: Could you please settle a quandary. We have oak floors downstairs in our home. We would like to install hardwood flooring ourselves upstairs. The thing is that we would like to put in something more interesting than oak. Is it OK to install a different hardwood species upstairs?

Does this lessen the homes value, turn potential buyers off? The current golden oak is older so we wouldn’t be able to match it exactly. we were thinking of a light hickory (no dark boards, it’s really pretty) upstairs.

A: I (personally) don’t see any issues in using a different species upstairs because it is a different living space altogether. It might be risky installing some exotic that that is so foreign in it’s appearance. For example, Purple Heart. Not all buyers would want a purple floor. Hickory is native to North America and our hardest species. I’ve never seen a hickory sample that didn’t have dark boards in the mix. Where are you getting yours from? I’ve never worked with Hickory in 36 years, though I think it has become more available in recent years. One day I want to remove the 70 year old oak strip in the front of my house and replace it either with quarter sawn white oak or Hickory.

Related Q: We have birch hardwood throughout our hall, living/dining areas, that has been varnished. Would it look like a mishmash job if we were to put oak parquet floors (similar but not exact coloring to existing flooring) in the bedrooms off the hall? I am not sure if I would be able to get an exact match for the birch anyways, so I’m wondering if it’s okay to mix woods?

A: I don’t (personally) have a problem with using different species in a house provided the area that has the different species is a totally different type of living space or is isolated from the rest of the house. For example, I would consider the kitchen to be quite a different area compared to living room, dining room or den, so I wouldn’t have a problem with a different species in the kitchen. You might consider the bedrooms to be isolated somewhat from the rest of the house, generally separated by a hallway. (I’m not an interior decorator though!) I’m not so sure I would use parquet if the rest of the house is plank or long strip, though.

Related Q: I want hardwood in 3 bedrooms. I have oak, red, in great room. Bedrooms are separated from GR by a tile hallway. Do I need to match bedrooms to the great room?

A: In my opinion, no you don’t have to match the bedrooms to the living room. They are 3 separate rooms, somewhat isolated from the other. You might say they share no relationship to each other. Would you feel compelled to paint the bedroom walls the same as the great room? No, I didn’t think so either. 😉

Note from webmaster: It may be best to ask a realtor to find out how fussy people can be about this.