Time for A New Wood Floor - Which Sample Is Your Favourite?

Houston, we have a problem. We need a new wood floor. It's not a decision to take lightly - but sadly, ours has bitten the dust! When we moved in over 12 years ago, our open-plan living room featured a dark oak floor throughout. It's a really dark room, so we decided to lighten it up by sanding down the floor and then applying a whitewash. It was only then that we realised that the owners before us had laid a laminate oak wood floor -  and the actual oak element was only a couple of millimetres thick. It looked beautiful to begin with, but over time, cracks started to appear, and the edges of the laminate started to furl. You can catch a glimpse in the picture above as well as the close-ups below! 

It had been bothering us for a while, since a tired looking floor can really bring the entire look of a room down. But the final straw came on New Year's Eve when we had a bit of a raucous party which resulted in a dance-off until 4am (remember those days before the - whisper it - 'C' word?). It was great fun, but our poor floor was not up to it - and great lengths of laminate became dislodged. It was definitely time to get a new wood floor! 

Where to start?!  
Living in Scandinavia, a wood flooring is the obvious choice - and thankfully we don't have a dog so   we're confident that the right wood floor would be a great, sustainable, long lasting option. The natural material helps to draw nature indoors and add warmth and depth top a room. There is an overwhelming array of options out there, but I already knew I wanted one of two looks: herringbone parquet or a wide plank. 

Herringbone Parquet

It's no secret that I've always loved a parquet floor (see my 'all hail the parquet floor' feature) - aren't they stunning?! The herringbone parquet floor in particular is hugely popular in Sweden and many turn-of-the-century homes are blessed with original versions, in all their creaky glory. This particular Boden oak with a matt finish in 'extra white' is absolutely stunning, the only thing is, our townhouse is modern (it was built in 2001 which incidentally makes it 20 years old this year - time for another party?!) so we felt we needed something a little more contemporary. 

Wide plank oak

I've been fan of wide plank floors for a long time. There's something really clean and contemporary about them and yet they still add a lot of warmth to a space (this one is the wide plank SVANSHALL in hardened oak - isn't it beautiful?).  Are you a fan too? Per and I agreed that this option would be the best one for our open-plan living space. 

The brand
Bjelin - one of Europe's largest floor manufacturers - was an obvious choice for us. Their wide plank wood floors are produced not far up the coast and since we're planning to lay the floor ourselves - we like that their planks click together without glue or nails. They also have a great sustainable approach: maximising the use of every log, reusing waste as filler or energy and sourcing raw materials from responsibly managed forests. And finally, they sell beautiful wide plank flooring made from cured the wood, which is super strong (roll on New Year's Eve!). Yay! 

It's one thing looking at the pictures on a website, it's another thing entirely testing out samples. We approached Bjelin and tested out as many samples as we could. We wanted to make sure that the wood had more of a grey tint (and not a yellow or beige note that might get more pronounced as time goes on). We also wanted to make sure that the wood wasn't too dark and fitted the design of the room (it's amazing how much a wood floor can change a space!). Here are a few of the wood floors we tested: 

Clockwise from left to right: Loarp, Lyby, Torekov, Arild, Hittarp

Do you have a favourite? 

I'd love to hear about your favourite wood floor style - and any tips and advice you might have from laying a wood floor in your home! Feeling a little nervous!

I promise to update you soon! 


PS Stop by tomorrow to take a peek around a breath-taking Danish summer cottage, it'll have you dreaming of a summer in Scandinavia all weekend! 

Photo 1: My Scandinavian Home. All other photos: Bjelin


  1. Replies
    1. I agree with this. Based on the pictures, Arild looks great followed by Torokov :-). the others seem too pink. I am a bit sad that you are not going with the herringbone pattern as I absolutely love them but I am sure that the wide plank will be amazing. Good luck, looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  2. Hi Niki,
    Real wood floors always crown the interior. In my opinion herringbone parquet floor would add an extra chic to your beautiful, sophisticated home. I've had parquet floor in my homes for 40 years and wouldn't like to live without its warmth and beauty.
    Thank you for your inspiring posts, always a delight to read them.

  3. If it were my floor and money wasn't an issue I would go with the herringbone parquet floor. However, if Bjelin is going to allow you a discount for using their product on this post then go with "Arild".

  4. Personally, if you can afford it... it's parquet all the way, for me! I have always lusted after parquet flooring, it's timeless. It would move your already gorgeous and stylish home into more, Parisienne chic. My sister's husband recently laid it in their home. He cut each individual piece himself...he's a perfectionist and of course, it was much cheaper. I love the wide planks too but it depends what look you're going for...I think the Loarp would go well with your home. It adds a little bit of colour in the wood, dark and light shades but is a bit more rustic. For a chicer look, the paler Arild would work well. Good luck and I can't wait to see the finished product!

  5. Love the wide plank oak...I've lived with parquet, but prefer the simplicity of the wide plank. We have all wood floors throughout our house, except tile in the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, and cement in my studio. Our wood is the laminate and used to be in the kitchen too. But we had a flood in the kitchen 25 years ago (first year in the house) and that really destroys the laminate...finally decided to pull it up and tile, ending up updating the whole kitchen. However, fortunately the flooring in the rest of the house still looks good. More than you wanted to know.

  6. I wish the sample pictures were a bit bigger. I see little difference between Lyby, Arild and Hittarp but these I are the ones I am leaning to.

  7. Herringbone! As for which sample, the samples are small and I'd want to see them in the space. If you could bring home samples, that could be a huge help.

  8. I have both floor types in my home. Wide plank and herringbone. I like the wide plank because it is more laid back, which I find suits your style better and you do have a rug that also covers a bit of space. I like the far left upper Loarp

  9. We are just in the process of renovating at home, and are changing our floors. We have chosen a floor made of ash wood, which is a beautiful light, golden floor with beautiful pattern. So undervalued compared to oak, but in my opinion so much nicer! And actually even harder than oak, so even more resistant to wear. It will go a little darker as the years go by, but not at beige/yellow as oak or birch gets. Our is from Boen, a company based on the south coast of Norway. Great quality floors! (they really should pay me for advertising their product, I just love their floor so much and keep recommending them to all...) It has really changed up our rooms. We used it in our old apartment as well, so I know we will love it for years.
    As for advice on laying the floor: It is actually super easy to lay floors that click together - and we are by no meas handy people. Just make sure you measure well. Measure twice, cut once, as they say, is a great tip. But I am guessing your house is easier to lay a floor in than min - mine is from the 1880's and has no straight angles...
    Also, do some calculations when you start - make sure you don't end up with the last lenght of planks having to be cut to a narrow 5cm plank. It often pays to start with a narrower plank to avoid this, so do measure and check. for instance, if your room is 3 meters wide, the planks are 28 cm wide, then you need 10,7 planks to cover the width. That means the last plank will be have to be cut down to 20 cm, and that is very good. If your room was 280 cm wide, then the last plank would only be 5 cm wide, and that would not work, a narrow plank like that will be both hard to cut, get in place, and might easily break. You would be better off cutting perhaps 10-15 cm off the first one to get the last one to a more sturdy size. Was this at all understandable?
    Anyway, good luck and look forward to seeing the result!

  10. Lyby, Torekov or Arlid (leaning heavily on Lyby)!��

    Good luck!

  11. Dear Niki, what a difficult dilemma I do not envy you. Interestingly, we have both, wide plank white washed oak in our house in the London suburbs, which is more modern, and herringbone parquet in our aged flat in Budapest, where I believe the parquet is original about 90 years old and we restored it 10 years ago. The two floorings are not comparable. Both are nice, do not get me wrong, but it is the herringbone one that draws my eyes every time I walk into the flat, it is stunning and I would never change it to oak. However, it would not fit in a more modern environment. Good luck!


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