Choosing a Hardwood Floor Stain

Posted by Aaron Schaalma

How to pick the perfect color and finish

When you’re building or updating a home, it’s normal to fill a space the size of a small room with swatches - 3” squares of paint colors, cabinetry, countertops, and flooring can pile up quick.

Paint swatches on laminate floor

 Pro Tip: Snatch up as many of these as you can and tape them on your walls to save on paint

 Choosing what stains to add to your hardwood floor can be the exact same game. Having enough options to be able to see what each color will do in your room needs to be balanced by not having so many options that you can’t possibly choose.

 Additionally, seeing colors in the store or hardwood flooring office doesn’t always give you the best idea of which ones to even take home.

 As experts in the industry, we know that choosing the right hardwood flooring stains is a matter of having enough choices to be happy, but not so much that you’re overwhelmed by the volume. Here’s how we begin to narrow down the huge number of options available.

Think about what each color does

Every color is going to have a different effect on the feeling of the room. That may make picking the right hardwood stain sound like an impossible task, but it’s not. Starting with broad color categories and narrowing down to individual stain colors will help you get to where you need to be. Let’s talk about where to start.

  Light colors

Light colors make a room feel light, airy, cheerful. They are also especially popular with modern and minimalist interior design schemes, so if you’re big on geometry and Scandinavian furniture, a light color is a great option for you!

Light hardwood in modern living room

 A light color makes this room feel open and fun

 Looking at this photo, it’s hard to imagine a darker color on the floors with this level of openness and accessibility. Modern design and light flooring go together like two peas in a pod. It can be difficult for light stains to be applied to dark hardwoods, so be sure to consult with a floor expert if you’re interested in these airy colors.

 Midtone Colors

 Midtone colors are extremely popular for flooring because of their versatility. Additionally, if you’re looking to lighten a natural darkwood, or darken a natural lightwood with the stain, a midtone may give you that option. Midtones evoke feelings of warmth and conservatism.

Midtone Hardwood in Cozy Dining Room

 This cozy dining room features a beautiful mid toned floor. Image credit to Wonderlane | Flickr

 As you can see in the above photo, the tone of this wood gives this room an extremely welcoming and cozy feeling. It’s hard to describe, but it really feels like home. Midtone stains work in a variety of interior designs, but especially well  in traditional minimal architecture, and old character homes. A little secret from the flooring experts: They also cover blemishes or scratches the floor may have picked up in its life.

 Dark color hardwood floor stains

 Dark colored stains like reds, browns and black add luxury and depth to their surroundings. The great thing about dark hardwood stains is their ability to be used with a variety of natural hardwood tones.

ebony stain on light hardwood floor

 You can see how much this stain changes the room. Image credit to Nina Hale | FlickrWhile having the effect of “bringing the room closer,” a dark wood stained floor adds a degree of drama that can hardly be achieved with furniture or paint. Even though your room may feel smaller, it will gain a level of distinction that may better complement your decorating.

dark hardwood ebony floor

Image credit to Nina Hale | Flickr

 Ask a flooring specialist about your staining your floor

 A swatch will generally give you a good idea of what your floor will look like with a given stain. It can be deceptive when your floor has other factors that may affect the outcome of the staining.

A qualified flooring specialist will be able to tell you about the material of your floor and how the stain you’ve picked will lay on it. He or she will also be able to provide assurance that the sanding will not leave areas of uneven finish - a problem we’ve seen far too often in people’s homes. Ultimately, it’s your decision! If you don’t find anything you like, flooring specialists are able to mix colors together to get you the perfect stain for your wood floor.

 Questions about staining your floors, let us know! Click below to contact us.

 Contact us today

Worried your floor stain, refinish or replacement isn’t going to match the beautiful furniture you’ve spent time and money picking out? Read our blog on decorating for hardwood floors to be put at ease.