Your shopping cart is empty.

Refinish Maple Floor Color? Birch Cabinets, Pine Trim

May 18, 2019

Preparing to sell our house and getting our Maple floors refinished. Kitchen cabinets are a light birch. Wood trim on first floor is a medium Pine. So what do I do to help update things and make it most attractive to the largest number of people?? Wood is so trendy, which was very obvious after recent house hunting.

Maple floors are hard to go dark I'm told (and researched). My refinisher suggests the current color or lighter. Note that walls will go neutral (soon). Although the kitchen is far from up-to-date, I think it's aged well for 12 years, and I just want to make it most appealing to homebuyers. I'm convinced I think it looks better than it really does.

Do I keep floors the current color (or go lighter)? Do I push for darker, against the recommendations of my refinisher as well as online resources?


Comments (28)

  • kgfrayne

    So images with light wood cabinets, darker floors = "blech" - I think they make the cabinets look out of date, or maybe just doesn't look good. Here are light maple floors with a cabinet color similar to mine. Thinking this is a real possibility. Current color or lighter??

  • SJ McCarthy

    I love a crisp white counter top with maple flooring. Is that an Ikea Kitchen? The birch is a clean look. The pulls are modern. Other than the paint colour and the counter tops, there is nothing 'dated' about this kitchen.

    The wood floors might need a new coat of finish (buff and coat) or they might need a full sand/refinsh. It is hard to tell without a clear photo of the floor.

    Your space needs to be brighter. Adding in updated lighting (relatively easy fix) and new paint (white is always nice and bright) will do wonders. A dark floor is the OPPOSITE of bright. It is dark. It will throw a TREMENDOUS amount of "dark" into the space. In fact, it will darken your home by 3 steps. It could become SOOOO dark, you can't find your way down the hallway without SERIOUS lighting updates.

    And you do NOT want to try to stain maple. Not unless you pay a MASSIVE premium on your HIGHLY SKILLED (ahem...very expensive) flooring refinisher who has TONS of experience staining maple (like decades of mastering this technique). And even with that premium price tag (both skill level and product price) you will have to go DARK. As in "looks painted black" type of dark.

    And the price of this type of update is never going to come back to you through the resale price. The only thing I would consider for the flooring would be a buff and coat if you have tons of little scratches all over the floor. If you have areas of wear through (raw wood is showing through) then you will need a full sand and finish. If you have neither, then I would leave the floors alone.

    The options open for 'most bang for your buck' in terms of getting back your investment at time of resale: #1 paint; #2 updated lighting. Both are quick and relatively painless (financially).

    If you MUST touch the kitchen, the counter top is the only obvious stand out. And only because it is causing the kitchen to appear darker than necessary.

    Paint first...update lighting and then reassess.

    kgfrayne thanked SJ McCarthy
  • thinkdesignlive

    You are selling - has your realtor advised you to refinish the floors? If so keep them light. Dark floors turn off more buyers than lighter floors - dark is harder to keep looking clean (dust, sweaty foot prints, etc show like crazy). Maple is a relatively soft wood so you want a tone that can easily be touched up with a wood crayon as it scratches easier than oak or hickory.

    kgfrayne thanked thinkdesignlive
  • jonio
    Nice layout and pretty cabinets. I would eliminate the pot rack. I think it screams “no place for pots and pans” and is heavy and obtrusive next to the counter seating. Good luck!
    kgfrayne thanked jonio
  • iamtiramisu
    Agree with all SJ and thinkdesignlive said, as well as jonio. The pot rack screams “no storage” and that is the last thing you want buyers thinking when they see the house. I would think your realtor would mention that too. When we sold our realtor advised us to remove 1/3 of the clothes in our fairly large walk in closet and remove all of the infrequently used kitchen items in the laundry & storage area for exactly the same reason. You don’t want the potential buyers thinking “the kitchen is nice but there’s no storage.”
    kgfrayne thanked iamtiramisu
  • housegal200

    Leave the floors as is. Get a color consultant to help you choose the best possible neutral paint for the walls that will harmonize with the birch. I agree the pot holder has to go. The kitchen is beautiful. These birch kitchens both have light floors or matchig floors.

    2nd St Loft · More Info

    Bayview House · More Info

    kgfrayne thanked housegal200
  • kgfrayne

    Thanks, everyone! Very useful. Especially since the floor quote we received today just called and has an opening on Monday!!!! Now I have to relocate a stove/fridge (and 2 cats) ASAP!

    Yes, these are Ikea birch I put in myself 11-12 years ago. The countertops are granite, so they are not going anywhere - but thank goodness our new house has light granite, the dark is horrible to keep clean.

    I'll get rid of the potrack, too! Funny how it's hard to see issues with stuff you live with everyday. Then again, I have a few moldings to put up yet - 12 years, is that a record??

    My wife picked up samples today of the "in" colors to neutralize the house. We saw a lot of horrible colors when we shopped for the new place, and it's so easy to eliminate. And truthfully, it makes me question if I even like the colors we currently have!

    It sucks that the things I've put off are now going to be fixed for the new owner - but a little work to get a quick sale/higher price is worth it.

    I'll keep the floors the current color!

    BTW - the new place has dark, wide plank wood, and greige cabinets. I wonder how long until that looks dated? ;)

  • thinkdesignlive

    Yes wish we had a crystal ball - just FYI with paint as you made mention of that....The thing that really stands out as a negative in my mind is when people paint in 'current' colors regardless of what their existing carpet and hard surfaces are. From the very limited pictures I see green and red and white walls - so a fresh neutral paint will definitely attract more buyers. Just don't go too 'grey' or too 'dark' - I'd suggest something like Sherwin Williams Natural Choice as it's not too warm or cool or dark and doesn't read as 'white'. Just make sure it harmonizes with your carpet too. Good luck with your sale!

    kgfrayne thanked thinkdesignlive
  • mark_rachel

    Are you floors in bad shape? Why are you refinishing them? If refinishing them is a must I would go light. As for the walls I would also go light. Something in the off white family.

    kgfrayne thanked mark_rachel
  • kgfrayne

    Floors are done! A little lighter/less amber than before. If anything the variation in the Maple stands out more (in a good way). Time to put tow kicks and moldings back up! I'll wait a few before I move appliances (ugh).

    @thinkdesignlive, yes - all rooms will get neutral colors. That SW Natural Choice is a warm - was leaning towards cools - but not too gray. Maybe with my cupboards/floors, the kitchen should stay in the warm realm?

  • kgfrayne

    BTW, our realtor was pushing for dark floor pretty hard!

  • mark_rachel

    Looks great!! I'm so glad you didn't go with your realtors suggestion. I'm so over dark floors!!

    kgfrayne thanked mark_rachel
  • thinkdesignlive

    Looks great! I’d avoid grey walls as they can look drab with your wood tones. This article might be helpful

    kgfrayne thanked thinkdesignlive
  • kgfrayne

    @mark_rachel: Don't make me hate dark too much! This is the new place we're moving to - Dark floors, greige cabinets!

  • mark_rachel

    Beautiful space! Congrats on the new house!

  • kgfrayne

    @mark_rachel - we'll see if it looks as nice after the current owner's furniture is removed, and ours goes in ;)

  • kgfrayne

    @thinkdesignlive: This BLOG has a lot of useful color info for selling a house, and it pushes the cools hard - but yes, I do worry about harmonizing with the birch/maple kitchen, as well as all the pine on the first floor (medium tones on baseboard, windows - it shows in my first post/picture up top).

  • kgfrayne

    Thanks all - now dealing with paint issues. Too many tones to harmonize (birch, maple, pine, backsplash, granite). I started a specific thread HERE. May have to try that SW Natural Choice...

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I love a pale grayed green for walls it is neutral without being blah and looks great with all kinds of wood. Gray Wisp from BM is a good choice

    kgfrayne thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • kgfrayne

    Ha! Okay - so at SW, I (a man, BTW) picked out jogging path - a gray/green color. I figured if the darker green worked, maybe this would! Prior to seeing the comment above, of course!

    So the pot rack is gone, the walls are gray green, and I think it works. Now onto the other 78 things we must get done!

  • arlosmom

    Your floors look amazing. I'm so glad you didn't go the dark route. Good choice on the paint color too...light and bright.

  • lauraalarid2002

    I love the paint color with your countertops.

  • chocolatesnap

    For Sale, I would remove the platters, etc. from the tops of your kitchen cabinets, and focus on some spare, but artful staging of the countertops instead.

  • iamtiramisu

    Looks great! Removing that pot rack made a huge difference and the floors look beautiful. Agree with chocolatesnap though, take everything down from the tops of the cabinets and leave them clean/clear from anything. Platters up there say to me the kitchen lacks the storage to store them and that is NOT what you want buyers thinking when they are standing in your lovely kitchen.

  • kgfrayne

    Platters/vases are my wife's touch. I'll let her know she's out of touch ;)

  • chiflipper

    Just remind her that you are selling space, not decor. Remove anything that causes the eye to "pause".

    kgfrayne thanked chiflipper
  • iamtiramisu

    It’s not about being “out of touch” it’s about depersonalizing the space. She likes that and it’s fine - for YOU, but may not be someone else’s. You want people to “see” themselves and their things in the space. Once you decide to sell you have to stop thinking of it in personal terms/as your home and start thinking of it as selling space, as chiflipper said.

  • Hypeastrum

    Great job. The colors go very well together. I would also suggest removing platters and, maybe, ir you have the time and energy, change the glass panels in the upper cabinets to sheer. Congrats on the new place and good luck

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).