Okay, here's the story. Our crew pulled up the tile floor and several layers of linoleum and found that the floorboards in most of the kitchen were intact. We were pleased we would get to keep the original flooring. The flooring in the addition had to be pulled up, since the whole addition had to be re-structured, but the rest of the kitchen would have the original wood and we'd get something that matched it as well as possible for the replacement wood in the addition.
So, our contractor had his floor guy come look at it and the floor guy informed us that the matching wood was more expensive and would have to be ordered. Both the extra expense and the extra time seemed worth it in order to keep the original wood, so we said yes. And we waited. The work on the kitchen stopped.
And then we were told about the stain on the floor. It's not that we didn't see the stain before, but we didn't realize it might be a problem. The floor guy came and sanded to see if he could get it up, but informed us that he couldn't. Would have been nice to know before waiting for the matching flooring to arrive.
The original floor couldn't be used after all. Then we had a new decision to make. Did we use the more expensive flooring if we couldn't keep the original? We decided that it was still better to use flooring that would match the rest of the house. Plus, our wait was over, so it was just the extra expense, not the extra time.
The Stain- After sanding
The wood arrived and Ryan looked at it, and looked at it again. I was too sick to care about wood, so he fussed over it alone. He had a whole evening to think about it and research and he decided it simply wasn't the matching wood we were promised. The wood in our house is heartwood pine, which is, admittedly, expensive and hard to get since it is only acquired through reclaiming old floors. They had gotten red pine, which is also more expensive than the alternative, red oak, but not nearly so precious as heartwood pine. And it wasn't a perfect match. And we were willing to pay extra for the same wood, not a wood that would be slightly closer to the original than oak.
When challenged, the floor guys admitted that they knew it wasn't the same wood, but that heartwood pine was even more expensive, so they didn't think we would want it, and they would have had to purchase it in a larger unit than was needed for our floor. We may not have chosen heartwood pine if we knew the full cost, but we should not have been lead to believe that we were purchasing heartwood pine.
So we made them put in red oak. And it will look lovely.
The red oak floor
It's not a perfect match, but it looks good. It's a skinnier cut of floorboard than the red pine boards they purchased, which will fit the style of the house better. We're not quite sure how the thicker boards ever would have worked with the original flooring. The fact that the stain "couldn't be removed" seems a bit suspicious, given the logistical challenges of making the new and old floor boards fit together. Or maybe they hadn't thought that far ahead. Other interactions with them make the latter seem possible.
One day they spent pretty much the whole day, as far as we can tell, hanging out in their van in our driveway waiting for Ryan to come home to give his opinion on the wood. Didn't bother to try calling to see if he could come by on his lunch break or come home a bit early. Just waited. They chose not to work on Friday, when they would have been out of our hair and could have gotten everything completed in plenty of time, but came on Saturday instead. And when they needed our opinion on the color of finish and we weren't there, they painted several squares on the floor and left instead of calling us first to see when we would be back (we were in the car on the way home). They had only worked for a portion of the day, starting at 10:30 and ending by 3.
Our color choices
Now, instead of staining the whole floor, they will have to do the stain around the cupboards. And they will probably disrupt our main crew's schedule in the process. The main crew is working incredibly hard and doing a great job. They did an 11 hour day today. I wish I had a completed kitchen so that I could bake them cookies.