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Brighten Any Room with COREtec Flooring

February 19, 2021

Our new COREtec floors gave us a bright, minimalist look that feels even warmer than the old espresso style. Each room feels more inviting, unified, and a lot cleaner! 

Between completing the kitchen and bathroom renovations and getting the house back into living condition, there is one transformation that I haven’t reeeeeally gotten to show off on the blog yet. You’ve already seen glimpses of it, but there have been so many other changes you might have missed it. 😉 The impact is HUGE. Care to take a guess? It’s our new flooring! 

Goodbye Dark Hardwood…  

In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, espresso floors were all the rage. So when we first bought our house 14 years ago, I thought I was getting my dream home. All that gorgeous, dark hardwood: swoon! Of course, times change and styles evolve. All old things become new again, so I know they’ll be back some day. But after living with dark floors for over a decade I’ve learned two big things: 

Our old living room floors were pretty, but they made the whole room feel dark!

1. Dark floors look dirtier, faster. 

Every speck of dust shows up on dark floors. And it was SO annoying. You’re constantly sweeping, mopping, vacuuming—all for the floor to look dirty again in a matter of hours. Obviously changing out your flooring doesn’t mean you just stop cleaning, but the dust isn’t nearly as noticeable (or irritating).  

2. The whole house will appear darker

Dark colors absorb light, so when the natural sunlight is pouring through the windows, your dark floors are absorbing all that light. It’s easy to overlook the floors as the cause of interior gloom. In fact, for a long time, I strongly considered adding another window in our living room. Turns out, I just needed a more reflective surface to amplify all that California sunshine.  

Hello COREtec Floors! 

Now, I’m actually able to see the beams of sunlight on our floors, and it brightens the whole room! We did the whole first floor of our home, plus the stairs. 

The bright new floors still with painters tape

I couldn’t wait to capture the light on our new stairs!

I wanted that Scandi minimalist color, so we chose Manor Oak for its yellow tone and smooth finish. In fact, I’m almost in the brown tones, and I’m definitely on the beige spectrum! The trend is to have some kind of grey in the grain. Of course, when you buy real wood planks, they can’t guarantee the variety of colors that an engineered product offers.   

Because COREtec is manufactured, I was able to get exactly the color and grain pattern I wanted—and there were a lot of options to choose from! The wood grain is printed on, so they can do all kinds of shapes, colors, and undertones. Most of the selections use oak grain, since it’s very in vogue now. 

A grey toned oak floor care of Studio Mcgee

Image Credit: Studio Mcgee

Studio McGee is definitely an inspiration for this trend: they use a lot of American traditional oak with a lot of grey. I knew I wanted some grey in the undertone, since that is such an important color in my existing color scheme. But when you look at all the tones available for the oak family, I picked something more yellow-y with a softer grain. I don’t tend to like it super grainy because that feels too rustic for my taste. 

The result is a bright, minimalist look that feels even warmer than the old espresso look. Each room feels more inviting, and I think the whole look is a lot cleaner and more unified! 

Life-Proof Flooring 

Really, the wide selection is an awesome bonus. First and foremost, we chose luxury vinyl floors because they’re waterproof and kid-friendly. COREtec is significantly more durable than actual wood floors, so it was a no-brainer for us. 

Hard to scratch, dent, or damage, the core of the planks is super strong. Plus, if there is an accident, (knock on wood!) you don’t have to rip everything up. All my contractors love it, because you only need to replace the planks that are affected. It definitely makes sure those “oh-no” moments are way easier on the wallet.  

You guys all know that the girls have been begging for a dog for years now, so if we finally cave, at least we’ll be prepared! 😂  

Perfect Floors for Any Style 

It’s exciting to see first hand how you can reflect light so it bounces around the room: it really shows you how intentional design can make rooms feel bigger and brighter. I see this trick a lot when I have client designs professionally shot: photographers often use white and black silks to control the light in their photos. It’s so cool to implement the same technique permanently with flooring! 

My neighbors and friends who have seen it in person are blown away by the transformation. My best friend Kelly even said she wanted to get the same exact floors! If she does, you can bet I’ll share. I can’t wait to see how she’ll style them—a brighter space is a great upgrade for any taste. 

Happy day! 


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