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How to Choose the Right Stain for Your Flooring

November 7, 2018

Whether you are looking to install brand new hardwood flooring or refinish your existing floors, picking out the perfect stain color may be a daunting task. The time and expense of undertaking a flooring project can make it difficult to settle on the perfect stain that will last for years to come, but if you take your time and answer a couple of different questions, you can be sure you get what you want out of your flooring.

The most important step is determining the species of wood that you already have or would like to have. Knowing the type of species will determine how they will take to the different stains and knowing the natural color and hardness of the wood will help determine the final color. If you have a darker species of wood such as a Brazilian Cherry, Walnut, or Reclaimed product, you might not necessarily want to apply a stain as it would darken the material or take away from the natural patina. A lighter colored material, such as Ash, Oak or Hickory, are better candidates for staining as it is easier to achieve different colors.
After determining the species type, next you will want to plan the overall space to ensure that there is added contrast between the floors and walls. If you are doing lighter colored walls, adding a dark stain to the flooring can help create a more modern space, and lighter floors can look beautiful next to a dark accent or feature wall. If you are planning on incorporating other wood elements into the space, consider what color might best complement them.

Picking out colors can be especially challenging because of the difference in the types of light in a space or the amount of natural light that is present throughout the day. When comparing color samples of stain or paint in your home, be sure to have the lighting already installed, and look at them at different times to get a better understanding of what they would look like in the space. The best way to gauge how a stain will look in the space is to either test them directly on the raw wood floor, or to create sample boards by purchasing extra material. Creating sample boards can be helpful for repairs in the future, helping match the stain and finish perfectly if a few areas need attention.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help in choosing the perfect color for your floors. A hardwood flooring professional will know how to achieve the perfect color to complement your design and can help with providing material samples to make the decision-making process a bit easier. Here at Ward Hardwood Flooring, we offer new flooring installation as well as hardwood floor refinishing, and have applied many different stains to many different material types, so you can count on us to deliver the perfect finished product every time. Call us today for a free estimate to see how we can help you!