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Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Flooring, The House | 0 comments


When I haven’t been working in the garage, I’ve been researching selections for the new house and collecting samples – flooring, paint chips, etc.

Possible Exterior Colors

Possible Exterior Colors?

As I’ve mentioned before, we’d like to have hardwood floors throughout the entire house (in addition to tile) and we need something really durable for our large dogs.  I had pretty much narrowed it down to Brazilian Walnut (Ipe) or Brazilian Teak (Cumaru).  Both are used for exterior decking and are some of the hardest woods on Earth.  I love the look of teak, but after getting a few more samples, I’m not sure it’s the look I want.

Brazilian Teak (Cumaru)

It’s a bit too light and has too much gold and red in it.  I’ve managed to get my hands on several more pieces of Brazilian Walnut and now have them laying along our bedroom wall where I can walk by them several times a day.

Brazilian Walnut (Ipe)

As I received each sample, we began to get concerned about the wide range of color variation.  After looking at a ton of installation pictures online, I noticed that some appear to have a lot of variation and others have less.  I actually don’t mind variation, but as you can see below, we have everything from a light golden-green to almost black.

Brazilian Walnut (Ipe)

These 3 samples are from the same vendor and also show the most variation.  The middle piece is almost black in person and it looks incredible (although I wouldn’t want my whole floor that color because it would always look dirty).  The piece on the right has a lot of green on it and is a bit too light compared to the rest.

Brazilian Walnut (Ipe)

Here they are grouped together by vendor.

Brazilian Walnut (Ipe)

After looking into it, it appears we need to buy clear grade flooring for the least variation.  I will also probably end up spending a lot of time at the house while it’s installed so I can inspect each board and make sure they are laid in a random pattern.  I found a place with by far the best price on clear grade, prefinished Brazilian Walnut, but I’ve read that their shipping can be high which offsets the low price.  We discussed the possiblilty of picking it up from the warehouse which is about 8 hours from here.  The problem with that is the weight.  I’ve estimated the amount we need will weigh over 14,000 pounds.  (This wood is extremely heavy – ~3.7 pounds per square foot).  David’s truck will ‘only’ pull 10,000 pounds.  The largest U-Haul will only hold 7,600 pounds.  We may be able to rent a flat bed truck, but we haven’t looked into it yet.  Wouldn’t exactly be a fun trip, but it would be worth it to save a chunk of money on shipping

Brazilian Walnut (Ipe)

Anyway, after walking by the walnut for the past couple weeks, I really like it and can’t wait to see it in the new house.

Meanwhile, I’ve already made a couple purchases for the new house.  The first was a ceiling fan which is currently installed in the bonus room of our rental.  There was just a ceiling light up there when we moved in, but there really needed to be a fan up there.  We decided to go ahead and get one we can use in the new house.  I found this style a while back and really liked that it is close to the ceiling and fairly non-descript.  It’s really quiet and moves a lot of air.

Minka Aire Traditional Concept

I also came across a great deal on our favorite shower heads on Groupon, so I ordered 2 with matching arms.  My parent’s 50 year old house came with the original Speakman shower heads.  They are the greatest things ever.  On their hardest setting, they are almost like a pressure washer.  When my parents remodeled, they bought some nice Grohe showerheads, but it didn’t take long for them to change the main shower head back to the old Speakman.  They plan to take them with them when they move out.  Our old house came with cheap builder’s grade shower heads so we replaced the master showerhead with a Speakman similiar to this one.

Speakman Anystream

While it’s not as big and heavy as my parents’, it still has very little plastic in it and you could probably knock someone out with it.  The shower heads in this rental were awful, so we brought that one with us and bought another one for the guest bathroom.

Speakman Anystream Hotel Showerhead

This one is mostly plastic, but it still works great and is fine for the guest bathroom.  A couple weeks ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest for a great deal on Speakman shower heads and arms.  I jumped on it and bought 2 of each for over 60% off the list price.

Speakman Modern Shower ArmSpeakman Caspian

This shower head is somewhere between the 2 we already have.  It’s not all plastic like the guest bathroom one, but it’s not has heavy as the brass one in our bathroom.  They look really nice though and are the polished nickel finish I want to use in the new house.  Now, if I can just find more deals like this for the rest of the house . . .




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