If you are looking to refresh or refinish the hardwood floors in your home, I am in the process of having the floor in my kitchen and living room refinished. I am sharing ideas and tips that will help make choosing the wood stain color and finish easier.
This is Part 1 in a 3 Part Refinishing Hardwood Flooring Series
Over the past 3 weeks, my house has been undergoing two “big home improvement projects”. My usual modus operandi is to go back and forth between larger projects and smaller ones, but these two projects just hit at the same time and have been taking all my time and attention.
Both projects have involved the process of having to choose a color. The first is for the exterior of my house and the second a new color for the hardwood floor that is getting refinished in my kitchen and living room.
I am very excited about both projects and how they are turning out, but the process of choosing the right color with so many hues and variations can be a little stressful.
I hope by posting about the process will help you make the best decision when it comes to picking wood floor stain colors for your home.
Usually Ed and I DIY our home improvement projects, but for both of these big projects we felt it was better to call in the pros.
My kitchen and living room have herringbone patterned oak floors. To get the project started I needed to figure out what color I wanted the floor to be.
Since the first day we moved into the house I have wanted to get the hardwood floor in the kitchen and living room refinished.
I love the unique herringbone pattern on the floor, but not the shade of orange.
Once upon a time the floor probably had a more natural wood color, but the oil-based poly that sealed it, yellowed with age and for my floor – took on an amber orange tone. For my design style – this is not a color I like to use in my decorating, except maybe for a few weeks in the fall.
In my previous house, we had the wood floor in the kitchen and mudroom refinished in a color called Gunstock.
It came out fine, but the process of sanding made a mess and the poly smell as it was applied and dried was pretty intense, which made it hard to stay in the house for a few days.
I knew I didn’t want to go through that process again and started doing research about hardwood floor refinishing.
When at a home decorating conference last summer, I found out something I didn’t know. You know Bona, the company that makes wood floor mops and floor cleaning products? Well the company does a whole lot more.
Bona also has wood floor refinishing services where they hand-pick and fully train floor refinishing contractors to learn The Bona System.
These contractors become Bona Certified Craftsmen and know how to protect your hardwood floors and bring out their natural beauty. They use a Dustless Sanding System and water-based, low VOC products that have little to no smell and dry fast.
The Bona System offers three services that will bring out the beauty in a hardwood floor, REVIVE, RESTORE or REFINISH.
The REVIVE treatment is called a spa day for your wood floors. The RESTORE treatment brings out the beauty in a lackluster floor. My floor needed the REFINISH-ING treatment which is a total makeover.
To get the wood floor refinishing project underway, I found a local Bona Certified Craftsman in my area on the Bona website.
Greg Martin of Martin’s Floor Refinishing is who is refinishing my floor. To start the process he came to check out the floor in my living room and kitchen. While visiting, he helped me to choose the best color and finish for the floor and my decorating color scheme.
How to Choose Wood Floor Stain Color and Finish
There are many different hardwood floor stain colors for so it’s important to think about the overall look and feel you want to have in your home. For example, dark stained floors can add drama and sophistication, while lighter stains can help make a room feel larger and more airy.
When it came down to choosing the color stain and finish for my wood floor, I knew I didn’t want a stain with red or amber orange tones. I also didn’t want too dark of a color.
I wanted something lighter, but that would still make a nice color transition between the various rooms on the first floor of my home that each have a different type of flooring.
What are the Bona Hardwood Stain Colors
Above is the Bona DriFast Stain Color Chart that I looked at to choose a few colors to sample on my floor.
The different stain colors range from dark ebony to golden browns.
What Is the Most Popular Hardwood Floor Color?
Just like everything in home decor, flooring colors follow color trends. One year grey might be the most popular color. The next may be light and natural. If you can’t decide which way to go and don’t want to get caught up on whats popular. Go with a classic medium brown color. It will always be in style.
Sampling Different Colors of Stain on My Actual Floor
Bona DriFast Stain colors from left to right: Grey, White, Provincial, 1/2 Grey + 1/2 Provincial, Sand Dune, 1/2 Grey + 1/2 Antique Brown, Natural, Antique Brown
Greg, the Bona Certified Craftsman who is refinishing my floors did a sampling of colors I told him I was interested in to help me make my wood stain color decision.
- Every piece of wood will accept color differently – humidity levels, species of wood, type of stain, and what grade of sanding you did during preparations will all affect the finish. So always do lots of testing to make sure you like how the color looks on your wood floor.
He sanded an area of the floor and taped off boxes with painter’s tape. In each box he applied different colors of Bona stains I asked to see.
Wood Floor Color Stain TIP: When choosing a wood floor stain color, you can mix stains to come up with a custom color to fit your decor perfectly. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Greg did this for me. He mixed a combo of Grey with Antique Brown and also Grey with Provincial.
Seeing all the colors on the actual wood made it easier for me to choose which color I liked best.
What Color Wood Stain Did I Choose for My Floor?
I went with a classic grey stain that made the natural state of my hardwood floor look like driftwood.
After choosing the stain color, I still had another decision to make. I needed to pick a finish.
How To Choose a Hardwood Floor Finish
When choosing a wood floor finish there are a few protective finishes to choose from. Durability is the number one feature you want when the floor will get lots of foot traffic, especially from kids and pets. But design-wise how shiny do you want the protective finish to be?
I had to decide if I wanted a shiny, satin, or a matte finish on my grey stained floor?
The type of polyurethane used (oil vs water-based polyurethane) can have a big impact on the color, especially for a very light floor.
- Oil-based poly will be a bit darker and more amber.
- Since I am trying to move away from this yellow/orange tone and opting for a lighter and more natural look, I am going with Bona’s water-based finish called Bona Traffic HD in a matte finish.
Kitchen floor BEFORE getting the Bona REFINISH Treatment
I chose a matte finish for the reason that I didn’t want the sheen to hide the grain of the wood. A matte finish will also bring out the beauty of the herringbone pattern.
So goodbye amber-orange toned floor.
I can’t wait to see how nicely the new grey stain with the water-based matte finish will look with the brick floor in my foyer and the luxury vinyl plank in the” hallway of darkness” and my Studioffice.
If other Bona Certified Craftsmen are as knowledgeable and professional as Greg – you will get the best of the best when it is time to REVIVE, RESTORE or REFINISH the hardwood flooring in your home.
Inspired to do amazing things with your hardwood floors?
Locate a Bona Certified Craftsman near you and rest easy knowing that your family and your floors will be in good hands.
Continue Reading to See How My Newly Stained and Finished Hardwood Floors Turned Out
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