Hardwood Floor Makeover: Choosing The Right Stain & Finish Options

Hardwood Floor Makeover: Choosing The Right Stain & Finish Options

Sanding and refinishing your floors is like getting a facelift for your home. You see your floors in a whole new way literally! But, let's be honest, selecting the perfect stain and finish can be overwhelming.With so many options in the market, how can you make an informed decision and one that you won't regret when that new color and finish is finally revealed?

At Flooring Solutions, we've experienced times when the stain and finish our clients selected wasn't what they thought or expected. That was an Ah-ha moment for us to simplify this process. And part of that new process was walking our clients through exactly how to select your wood style, color, and finish. With this understanding, our clients felt empowered to make decisions!

In this article, we want to give you a glimpse into what this process looks like and what your options are as a homeowner. Hopefully, it will empower you to select what is best for your home confidently!

Choosing Your Width & Style of Wood

The width and color of the wood are two critical factors that can influence the stain and finish you choose. Lately, wider boards are trending and becoming even more popular with the increase of homeowners sharing their home decor style online. Width and wood style are very personal decisions, as it's your home that you want to love and feel confident in. But it's also fun to hear what is trending and popular.

There has been an increase in demand for cooler tones that give off a more natural and muted/neutral look. Achieving that is definitely possible, but important to know what kind of wood will achieve it the easiest and what the most common styles are.

1. White Oak:
One of the key advantages of using White Oak is it can be customized to any color. You have the freedom to bring your unique vision to life by customizing the color and finish of your floors. Whether you want a timeless and classic look or a contemporary and bold statement, White Oak provides the versatility and customization options to fulfill your design aspirations.

2. Red Oak:
When it comes to hardwood flooring options, Red Oak is a popular choice known for its durability and warm, inviting tones. However, if your goal is to brighten up a room and create a more airy and light-filled atmosphere, it's important to consider the color characteristics of Red Oak and the desired effect you wish to achieve.

Other Wood Options

If you're looking for a practical installation, engineered unfinished hardwood is an excellent choice. With its thick wear layer, it can withstand heavy foot traffic and can be glued down straight to the subfloor. You can potentially sand it once to restore it to its original state. Not all unfinished engineered hardwood can be sanded down, however you do get to choose your specific stain color. Talk about durability and convenience!

Stain Color Selection

Selecting the perfect stain for your hardwood floors is undeniably crucial, ranking high on the priority list for most homeowners. As we discussed in our article,??Should You Sand & Refinish Your Hardwood,??the beauty of the process lies in its potential for multiple refinishing sessions, sometimes up to four or five times. However, it's wise not to approach stain selection with the notion of "oh, I can always redo it if I don't like it."

Can you picture yourself meticulously viewing up to 20 to 30 different colors, in hopes of finding "the one?"

Enter DuraSeal, a leading supplier of hardwood stains that shines brightly in the market, proudly bearing the Sherwin-Williams name. But here's the really unique part about this company, and why we prefer them over others you're not bound by pre-set colors. You have the power to mix and mingle different shades, creating a unique color perfect for you. It's like being an artist, but painting your floors instead of a canvas!

There are instances where a stain might not be necessary at all. In fact, a toned sealer can work wonders, magically lightening the floor, especially if your taste leans more towards lighter finishes. A light, waterborne finish would work perfectly here.

Choose Your Hardwood Finish

After carefully considering the width and color of your hardwood floors, the next pivotal decision lies in selecting the perfect finish. Matte, satin, and glossy finishes are the most popular finishes, each offering its own charm. Let's take a closer look at their unique qualities.

If you want a subtler, more understated aesthetic, the matte finish works perfectly. Matte finish creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere on your floors. To achieve a touch of sheen without venturing too far glossy, the satin finish works great. Slightly shinier than its matte counterpart, it's a great balance between matte and glossy. Finally, if you're looking for a high level of shine, a glossy finish works best. Choosing a glossy finish is a bold decision that adds elegance and sophistication to your floors.

Now, here's a little secret: the beauty of selecting a finish lies in its independence from the type of wood you choose. Unlike certain stain colors that may vary depending on the wood, the finish has a universal power to transform the look and feel of any hardwood species.

Waterborne & Oil-based Stain Finishes

When it's time to consider finishes, you have two main options: waterborne or oil-based finishes.While waterborne finishes may have a slightly higher price tag, they bring many advantages. Not only do they emit less odor, but they also dry more quickly and offer enhanced durability. Plus, you have the bonus of choosing between a clear finish or one with an amber tint, allowing you to alter the wood's color to your liking.

On the other hand, oil-based finishes require more patience as the odor takes longer to go away, and you need to tolerate it during installation. Also, applying oil-based finishes is different from using waterborne finishes, so you need to follow a different process for the best outcome, where that be the actual application process, the absorption process, and/or the drying process.

Whether you prefer waterborne finishes for their efficiency and versatility or oil-based options for their traditional appeal, both have unique qualities for hardwood floor finishing. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your preferences and the specific needs of your flooring project.


Customized Hardwood Stain & Finish Selection Process

Choosing the right stain and finish can be challenging, and we highly recommend consulting with a flooring specialist. With up to 20 different options to choose from, finding the right color and finish can take time.

In conclusion, selecting the right stain and finish for your hardwood floors requires careful consideration of various factors, such as width, color, and finish options. But with the right guidance and expertise, you can create a custom look that elevates the beauty of your home. So, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation, and let us help you find the perfect match for your floors!