Building Our Dream Home – Selecting Flooring

We’ve been plugging away with construction of our new home and are definitely making progress! Lots of “construction-y” items like sheetrock, plaster, roofing, etc. has been covered, but nothing “fun”. Until now! FINALLY, it’s time to start thinking about a design item…hardwood flooring! Yippee! It’s a major decision and I’m excited to make it.

Truth be told, I love real, authentic hardwood flooring. It makes me so happy….whenever I can use it, I do. It beats laminate, carpet, and luxury vinyl every time. There’s something really warm and cozy about walking on hardwood floors. Growing up in Miami, it certainly wasn’t something I saw a lot of. But moving to northern Florida opened up a whole new world to me. Fireplaces…real hardwood floors…brick..what are these things!? I loved them all and couldn’t get enough.

So, with that being said, hardwood flooring was definitely on tap for my new home. Let’s dive into the selection process, step by step. How exciting!

Our new home…underway!

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home. So far we’ve tackled:

Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint

Where to Start

Just as much as I knew I wanted to use real wood throughout my home, I also knew where I wanted to get it from…Shaw Floors. Hands down, Shaw Floors is the go to in my book.  They lead the design field in fresh, new introductions and have a quality that’s unmatched. Clients love them and so do I.

I was lucky enough to score an invitation to Shaw Floors Headquarters in Dalton, Georgia, which I was tickled pink about. I happily drove myself up there to see, firsthand, what they had. Talk about a dream day.

The Mothership!

The team welcomed me with open arms and showed me all around. Good grief, they have some beautiful things! Carpet, tile/stone, luxury vinyl, hardwood…you name it. All beautiful, but I had my heart set on hardwood.


I was introduced to their brand new premium line of hardwood from The Gallery collection, which you can see here. The style in this image is Expressions, which is unbelievably gorgeous. It’s a white oak product, which is completely on trend, and comes in 10 great colors. I loved it.

What I really like about this line is that the planks are wide and the finishes are gorgeous! You can see the entire line here. I quickly singled out Harmony as my favorite and it became a contender!


With dreams of  Expressions in Harmony racing in my head,  I then came across another beautiful style in The Gallery collection. Ohh…now this is what I had in mind. Oak-y, grainy, traditional hardwood floor that would “ground” my white cabinets, walls and trim. A classic that would never go out of style.

This style is called Castlewood Oak and is absolutely stunning! Two colors quickly jumped out as contenders: Drawbridge and Arrow. Both feature traditional dark wood with a grayish glaze.

Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Drawbridge
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Arrow
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Arrow

Well, now I don’t know what to do!? I love all three of these. To remind myself of my direction and vision for the home, I pulled out my trusty inspiration board. What would look best with this? Honestly, all three work and work really well.

Decision Time

I knew I wouldn’t make the decision right there and would want some time to think about it. I gathered samples and took them home to ponder. Three seems like a good, workable number to choose from and is often the amount I would advise for a client.

I also thought I’d dig around a little and see how they look online, in a large space. Shaw Floors website is great for that! You can see how it looks “down” on the floor via their new Floorvana + virtual tool where you can view different flooring options in your home!  Again, reminding myself what I tell clients…don’t just look at it head on, look at it “down” on the floor.

I poked around their site and compared the three finalists.

Shaw Floors Expressions in Harmony
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Drawbridge
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Arrow

Going back to the site, I compared and contrasted the technical specs of the hardwoods. Shaw has a handy, dandy chart that makes it easy. I dove in to see if there were any glaring differences between the two styles (two of the contenders are the same collection) which might make it easier.

Ok, here we go…

•Both were nice, wide planks (7.5″) which I like.

•Both were actually White Oak, even though they look so different.

•Both have a high color variation, which is something I always like to see also. It keeps things interesting to have a cohesive variation through the room.

•Both had a wire brushed finish, which I also gravitate towards.

•Both call for the same installation.

Soooo…now what? How do you decide between three things you love?

My Trick

Yet again, I reminded myself of what I tell clients. I always ask, “What’s going ON it?”  What I’m basically asking is,  what type of things will you be putting ON the surface? Contrast always looks good and keeps things interesting. Dark or dark on dark is depressing. Light on light on light is boring, in my humble opinion. So, let’s stop and think…what will go on top of this?  I think this really helps you make a decision.

For my personal home I envisioned white…light…clean…fresh…beautiful things ON this floor. Looking back at the inspiration board, I really liked the idea of all of this fresh looking decor in a rich, dark, grounded space. Would it look good on the lighter Expressions in Harmony? Of course! But what I really had in mind for the space was a classic Hamptons traditional look and I just feel like the darker floor gives it just that.

They're Here!

I excitedly ordered my hardwood flooring and counted the day until it came. Let me tell you, it’s even more striking in person. I LOVE it and can’t wait to see it all down. I convinced my General Contractor (husband) to get started on it, even before we typically would during a project, so I could see it down. A-ma-zing!

Quarantine haircut

Final Thoughts

My take away here is that I LOVE my new Shaw Floors hardwood, like I’m in love with it. I’m happy I went with my gut and selected classic dark hardwood. It looks amazing and the project is really starting to come together! We will follow the installation and have more updates, along with a final reveal, soon! Stick with us and follow the whole blog series here.

Keep this info for yourself and Pin it with this cute little Pin. You never know when you’re going to need it!

Note:  This post is sponsored by Shaw Floors.  All of the opinions are mine, I promise.

Hello there! I’m Lori Evans, Interior Designer and co-owner of Evans Construction & Design. Welcome to my world! I created this blog to share all the projects, tips, ideas and inspiration that I have. My goal is to help you make your rooms look even better than your Pinterest boards!

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