So, assuming you can’t refinish existing and you can’t afford to replace it now, then focus on the new kitchen and put solid oak there. It’s okay and very common for this to be higher than the rest and it’s easy enough to add a wood transition. And, then later, you will need to replace the existing worn down floors w/ solid oak, so they will eventually be the same height.
First, most people are unable to successfully refinish the floors themselves. It takes a lot of experience to refinish properly. Most people can’t get it smooth/even and also don’t realize that you need to sand them 3 times before putting the stain on. It’s even harder to do it right if they are pine or maple floors (and if they are, they require conditioner before stain is applied). Also, once the floors have been sanded unevenly by a non-professonal, it’s even harder to correct due to the waves usually created by the non-professional.
One of the drawbacks of cork flooring is the cost. It is more expensive than other wood flooring options. The cost of import, plus material, plus installation is more than many budgets can handle. Due to the soft nature of the flooring, it is easily damaged by furniture and shoes, but it can and should be protected just like any other type of wood floor.
Another common hardwood floor malady is the development of gaps between planks. The most common causes of gaps between the boards is Mother Nature. Wood shrinks as it dries out, and it expands when it gets wet and humid. That regular expansion and contraction over time is the most common cause of gaps, and is the main reason why most gaps are seasonal in nature. Perhaps your best plan of action is to exercise patience. Denver Hardwood Flooring
A number of proprietary features for solid wood floors are available. Many solid woods come with grooves cut into the back of the wood that run the length of each plank, often called 'absorption strips,' that are intended to reduce cupping. Solid wood floors are mostly manufactured 0.75 inches (19 mm) thick with a tongue-and-groove for installation. Denver Hardwood Floor
– If you want to change the species of wood, you may consider replacing the hardwood. The majority of homes in the US have oak. Some people love the look and graining of oak; other customers prefer a more unique look – such as a brilliant Brazilian cherry or a clear maple or a modern looking bamboo. If this is the type of look you are going for, changing woods may make sense for you. But, please understand that you can stain your current floors a different color than they are now. So, don’t just make a change because you don’t like the color since that is easily changeable. Denver Hardwood Floor
Although hardwood floors are amazingly beautiful and durable, they are not indestructible. The best floor maintenance plan for hardwood floors include regular vacuuming or sweeping with a soft bristle broom, especially in high traffic areas. Removing dirt or grit from your floors will reduce scratches. Vacuums with rotary brush heads can also scratch your floors.
– If your floors are REALLY OLD and have been refinished many times, it may be time for a new floor. I’m not talking about oak floors that have been dinged and scratched up…I mean if your floors have been down for over 100 yrs and refinished at least 5 times. If you can see the “tongue” where the boards fit together, it’s probably time for a new floor. Or, if your floors are rather bouncy and/or don’t seem very sturdy, it’s time for a new floor. This happens more often with pine floors as pine floors are softer and used a long time ago. Denver Hardwood Floor Install