How to Choose the Right Stain for Hardwood Floors

It is an important decision to stain your floors.

There are literally hundreds of combinations, colors, and shades to choose from. Choices, choices, choices!

This is a lot of pressure.

It’s not difficult to choose the right color for your wood floors. It’s easy to ask the right questions. We’ll walk you through some questions that can help you decide whether staining is a good idea. If so, we will show you how to choose the best stain for your home.

STEP 1: Should I or Can I stain my floors?

There are two options for staining floors: keep them natural or have them stained. Some floors are ideal for staining while others may not. Your answers to these 2 questions will determine which way you go.

What kind of wood flooring do I need?

You shouldn’t stain exotic or unusual wood floors like maple, cherry, walnut or walnut if you have the opportunity.

These types of wood look great in their natural state. Many homeowners attempt to replicate these wood floors by staining their floors. A lot of exotic floors are not able to be stained well because of the oily or tight grain. It’s likely that you won’t like the end result. It is better to let them be natural and not have any cosmetics done.

You may also have red or white oak hardwood floors.

Some finishes, especially those that are oil-based, can cause oak to turn yellowish-orange over time. This is often associated with floors from your grandparents’ 1960s. If applied to natural oak floors, water-based finishes may give the floor a washed out look. Timber floor staining is an excellent option if you don’t like the look or want to transform their appearance.

Oak floors can be stained easily and are very easy to stain if you use the right techniques.

Are there any pet or water damage?

You have two options if you have floor damage from an accident or previous owner who was a meticulous pot plant waterer.

Staining can be a good option if the water damage is not extensive and the damage is only to the surface. This will save you money over replacing your floors.

STEP 2: Which Color Should I Choose

This step can be overwhelming due to the many choices. There are many suppliers, and each one has different colors and shades. Many manufacturers, particularly those that use hardwax oils have pre-treatment colours that can be used on top or underneath stain to create an unlimited color palette. To see the full range of colors available, you will need to ask your flooring professional for samples.

When choosing a color, our suggestion is to ask yourself:

Which decorating style would you prefer?

It is a great help to have a particular taste in furniture and an interior design style in your mind when choosing a stain color. Are you planning on buying new furniture? You will have more flexibility if you are buying new furniture. You will want to match the color of your furniture if you plan on keeping it.

You wouldn’t want to stain your floors dark grey or ebony if you love rustic farmhouse interiors. This would clash with rustic furniture. It would look better if it was in mid-toned brown colors.

Rich reds are not appropriate for a contemporary, modern design. It would look much better in ebony, white or any of the many grey shades.

It is important to choose a color that emphasizes and sets the stage for your interior decorating style. Your floors will impact the overall design of your home. It is important to choose a floor that blends with your decorating style and not only looks good in the room.

Many of us have difficulty visualizing these images so it is a good idea to get some interior, architecture and home decorating magazines to inspire you. You can also find many online resources like Pinterest and Houzz for photos.

You can flip through the images and discover all of the photos that match your interior design style. What has been the experience of professional designers in similar situations as yours? What is it that catches your attention? What do you envision yourself living with for the long-term? Are you more attracted to lighter colors? Do you prefer the bold, dark look of a darker floor or do you prefer it? Perhaps something in between?

Save the photo of the color you like and send it to your wood flooring professional. They will be able help you replicate it.

What if I am unable to choose between 2 or 3 colors.

Once you have narrowed down your options to two or three colors, you are well on your way towards finding the perfect stain to match your hardwood floors.

Next, ask your floor professional to provide larger samples. You have two options: either he will place the stain samples on your floor after sanding, or he can make large portable sample panels.

Stain samples can be placed directly on the floor so you can see how the final color will look.

You can also move the sample panels around your house to see how the color looks against your kitchen cabinets and around furniture. So that the color doesn’t get distorted, make sure you have your floor professionally coated with the same finish system as you will.

You can observe the appearance of both types of samples in different light conditions and at different times of day.

After you have lived with the samples for a while, you will know which color is right for you.

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