4 Questions To Ask When Staining Wood Floors

4 Questions To Ask When Staining Wood Floors

When it comes time to stain your floors, deciding which color and shade to use can be quite perplexing. For designer appeal, you can also try not just one stain, but a combination. The end result will be a look that compliments your home perfectly, and also floors that are impressive in their own right.

Whether you’re doing a new install or just have wood floors that need to be sanded and stained periodically, read on for more info on the considerations and options that I discuss with my Fairfield and Westchester clients.

Light or Dark?

Generally speaking, lighter floors tend to make a room feel more open and are easier to keep clean. Dark floors can visually make a space seem smaller, but also create a dramatic contrast against lighter color walls.

Stained Floors
From studio mcGee

What Type of Wood?

When staining wood, it's important to consider the material you are dealing with. Oak is the most popular wood used for flooring, due to its durability, so let’s consider the two species; red and white. Red oak is more porous than white, so it will absorb more stain. Additionally, red oak has a pinkish tone, so the color will appear different than when applied to white oak, which has more beige and brown undertones.

Sampling your choice on your actual floors is always a smart thing to do before staining the entire room and possibly being disappointed.

White and Red Oak
From valenti flooring

Which Stain Color?

Floors with gray stains are very calming and as of late have been wildly popular. Though, in 2022, natural and brown options have started to trend and are worthy of consideration. Whatever color you prefer, know that gray, browns, and tans are neutrals that go with anything. You can also mix these colors together to create a unique shade with specific undertones.

Stain Color
From wide plank floor supply

Which Stain Combination?

The first step is to identify the undertone of the wood on your floors. There are two types: Warm (red, pink, yellow, orange) and cool (blue, purple, green). Next, choose 2-3 stains maximum to work with the undertones. Lastly, and most importantly, request samples and test them out in your home in the actual lighting where the floors will be. This will give you the most accurate picture of what the floors will look like finished. Remember, this is a big job, so you want to make sure you get it right the first time.

Here are some samples of winning stain combinations that I have used for my clients.

Red Oak
From kellydesigns
Oak Floors
From kellydesigns

It’s a good idea to choose just the right color to stain your wood floors. After all, your floors take up a lot of visual space, so you really should love them. If you are selling your home, it’s one of the first things that a buyer will notice. Selecting a stain color and combination can be daunting, but not to worry. This makes a quick and easy E-Design project. Just let me know if you need help.