How to Match Hardwood Floors

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Hardwood floors add beauty and value to any home. If you're considering adding hardwood to a remodeling project, you may be concerned because you already have hardwood in an adjoining room and are confused how to match the floors. You'll be pleased to learn that it's not too complicated to match a new floor with an old one; all it takes is a bit of detective work and a couple of visits to a flooring store.

Things You'll Need

  • Camera
  • Measuring tape
  • Take a close-up photo of the floor you wish to match, making sure the area photographed is near the room where the new hardwood will be installed and the floor is in natural light when photographed. Check the photo for quality and true color; repeat the process until you have a true representation of your floor.

  • Measure the thickness of your floor, either at an area where an end is exposed or by lifting a heat register cover to expose the edge of the floor where it lies on the subfloor.

  • Visit one or more flooring dealers, comparing your floor photo to new hardwood styles that are the same thickness of your current floor. Narrow your choices to three hardwoods that appear to match your current floor.

  • Request a sample board for each of your three choices. Most reputable flooring retailers have sample boards for the products they sell; you may have to pay a refundable deposit depending on the store's policy.

  • Compare the samples by laying them one at a time on your current hardwood floor, taking care to lay the sample with the grain running in the same direction as the floor grain. Eliminate any sample that doesn't match.

  • Repeat the process until you have matched your current hardwood floor to your new flooring choice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check your choices in both natural and artificial light.
  • Remember that a transition strip will connect the new floor to the old.
  • Because wood is a natural product, some variation between rooms is acceptable.

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  • Photo Credit hardwood floor texture image by GoodMood Photo from Fotolia.com
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