We had originally wanted to install entirely new hardwood flooring, using wide plank local Oregon myrtlewood. Although it is not FSC-certified wood, it is a very green option in terms of being local and relatively quickly renewable. More so, it's just a beautiful wood with ashy and olive-y undertones. With budgetary constraints, however, we instead opted to refinish our existing (and fairly new) narrow plank oak flooring.
Before (red floors) and After (nutmeg/medium brown floors):
Our previous floor had a very red, artificial looking appearance. Some people actually wondered if it was Pergo even though it was a real solid hardwood. Since it was prefinished flooring, it also had very deep grooves between boards. The grooves actually do not bother me like they bother some people. I really hated the color of the floors though, as well as the high gloss finish which showed every smudge, smear, and bit of dirt. I also dislike the narrow strips of 2 1/4" width.
Most remodeling projects involve compromises and ours has been no different. Though my heart was set on using myrtlewood, I decided I could still love our new kitchen with refinished oak flooring even with the thin strip widths. I couldn't love it with the same color, though. So, we elected to save some money, skip the myrtlewood, and restain/refinish the floors with a matte finish. The new color is a combination stain of "nutmeg" and "medium brown." The grooves are now sanded down smoothly as well which is a nice bonus as far as cleaning the floors go (less chance of trapping crumbs and the like).
I am liking our new floors way more than I thought I would! I am now actually relieved we didn't choose to spend the money on myrtlewood. Although I love myrtlewood in and of itself, the olivey/ashey hints of color were actually becoming problematic to design with as I was searching for other finishes -- so many stains and colors were too yellow, too red, etc, all clashing heavily with the myrtlewood. Finding things to "go with" this new floor stain has been considerably easier than the way my luck was running with myrtlewood.
And while myrtlewood is a good green "conscious" option... the best green option, of course, is usually to just reuse what you already have.
For now, our project is on hold for two weeks as the new floor topcoat cures. We are supposed to have no heavy-footed contractors with tools in the house, risking damage to our floors while everything sets. At the end of two weeks, we will have some painting done, baseboards put back in place, and furniture moved back into a couple rooms of the house. Then flooring protection will be reinstalled in the kitchen area, and work will proceed to actually installing cabinets in the kitchen!