How to Choose The Best Stain + Color For Your Hardwood Floors?

Almost everybody loves hardwood floors. And why wouldn’t they? Hardwood flooring is a classic and integral element of a beautiful, upscale house. However, the value of hardwood flooring transcends aesthetic appeal. Indeed, the installation of high-quality hardwood flooring is a financial investment that has the capacity to add a lot to your home’s overall value. Your home, of course, is the most important financial investment that you are likely to make over the course of your lifetime, so the work you do on your home should be done thoughtfully.

It’s important to be pragmatic when installing hardwood flooring, but there’s more to a great investment than just the nuts and bolts. Your flooring needs to complement the rest of your house. This means that you need to spend serious time exploring your options when it comes to species and stain. Today we’re here to talk about the latter.

A Word To The Wise: Choose Your Stain Carefully

When staining hardwood floors, you need to be careful. Hardwood flooring can only be re-stained a finite number of times. In order to re-stain hardwood flooring, you need to sand down the previous stain first. There’s only so many times you can sand your floorboards down until there is not enough floor left. The moral of the story is, the less times you re-stain your floors, the longer those floors will last. So choose your stain carefully!

Things To Consider When Choosing Your Stain

1. Light

The amount of sunlight that will be shining directly on your flooring is important to consider. Overtime, sunlight can fry your flooring and speed up the aging process. It may also serve to illuminate scratches and small areas of damage on your flooring. Obviously you’re not going to scrap the idea of hardwood flooring altogether just because you have a dog and a lot of windows, but you can mitigate how obvious these things will be by choosing a darker stain.

2. Traffic

Do you have a 5 children, a herd of dogs, a spouse who wears golf shoes indoors, and weekly dinner parties? If yes, then it’s safe to say that your flooring is going to need to score above average in durability. Some wear-and-tear—even minor damage—is inevitable, but some types of stains will draw more attention to it than others. When it comes to this type of damage, darker stains will be more discreet, while lighter stains may draw attention to scrapes and scratches. It is also worth noting that some species of wood will be more durable than others, which leads us to our next point…

3. Wood Species

The species of the wood you use for your flooring will have some bearing on the types of stains that can be used, or whether a stain can be used at all! Some species of wood, such as maple and birch, have limiting characteristics like tight grains and small pores. Coniferous woods such as pine are popularly left with no stain, as their nature and properties are thought to look better unfinished. However, some species of wood, such as oak, can easily be paired with any type of finish or stain. They are chameleons! You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each species for yourself, but don’t forget to factor stain compatibility!

4. Your Sense Of Style

Don’t be afraid to use your unique sense of style to choose a stain for your flooring. You’ll be decorating the rest of your home, so it’s important that the coloring of your flooring is a good fit. Choosing lighter stains can do a lot to make social spaces feel casual and comfortable. On the other hand, medium stains offer a rich, flexible look that is often associated with a classical home aesthetic. Finally, dark stains, which have been gaining popularity, can provide a sleek, minimalist vibe that can be leveraged to draw emphasis to a particular feature of a room, such as a favorite piece of furniture. The choice is yours!

Need Help Deciding?

Our team would be happy have a conversation with you about what types of stains are right for you lifestyle, your species of wood, your aesthetic sensibilities, and your home. All you have to do is reach out and schedule a meeting!