Tag Archives: refinishing hardwood floors

Wood floor stain options

Choosing a stain is hard. Like really, really hard.

And that’s probably because it’s a big decision. It’s expensive, so there are no “do-overs” if you don’t like it. It also sets the tone for the home – too dark of a stain can make a room feel heavy and cold, and too light of a stain can make a room just feel blah. And, in our case, the entire first floor will be wood. There’s no escaping our stain color. We will literally “live” with the color we choose for a long, long time. No pressure, right? HA!

Let me step back a bit. We chose wood floors because they are timeless, versatile, and we love the overall look of them. We also chose them because we had really, really beautiful wood in 75% of the house, so we thought we’d just add on to what we inherited with the home. This choice though, was a BIG investment. So we really don’t want to screw it up. We want to do this job right. So much so, we hired Union Floor Co., a local company that has been in business for 100 years. They’ve seen it all, and are total experts when it comes to wood/staining/sanding/care.

As I mentioned here, we decided to “seam” the new wood floors in with the old wood floors, and I’m happy to report you’d never ever guess the floors weren’t all laid 50 years ago. Once the floors are sanded and stained, they will truly appear to be seamless.

Now, for the stain. I wish I could tell you the color of all 5 of these stains (the small natural stain in the lower right-hand corner is just that – the natural color), but Union Floor custom mixed them for us, so I don’t have specific color names handy. I showed them a few photos and asked them to give me a range of stains, from super dark to medium, and this is what they mixed up….

My first impression? The dark is too dark and I’m not feeling the red tones in a few of the stains. Also, I’m trying to be mindful of the fact that wood really does darken over time, so what we chose today, will be even darker down the road. And I hear dark wood floors are tough to keep clean too. Hmmmm…..tough decision!

Any favorites? Do share!