5 Tips for Choosing the Right Stain for Your Hardwood Floor

Hardwood is a beautiful and timeless flooring option that is durable, versatile, desirable and gives a home natural warmth. One of the most exciting things about hardwood floors is that they come in a wide variety of stain options; each of which gives your living space a unique look. But with so many choices, making a decision can become overwhelming.

Your choice of hardwood stain plays a vital role in determining the overall appearance of your home decor. Getting it wrong can lead to many problems because of the time and expense it demands. That’s why it’s important to pick a suitable stain for your hardwood floors. If you need help with the selection, this guide will help.

Types of Hardwood Stains to Choose from

Before we begin suggesting tips for choosing the right hardwood stain, you need to know your options. This list will especially come in handy for those who are new to flooring.

  1. Oil-Based Wood Stain: This is one of the most popular and commonly used stain types. As the name suggests, it contains linseed oil and varnish, and mineral spirit is used for thinning. It is known for its even finish, deep penetration and durability. However, it dries slowly.
  2. Oil-Based Wood Stain

  3. Water-Based Stain: With a water-based finish as the binder, this stain is easy to clean and fast drying. The best thing is that it is resistant to mould and mildew. It is ideal for environmentally-conscious homeowners.
  4. Gel-Based Stain: This perfect combination of stain and pain is the best choice if you want your hardwood floor’s unique markings and texture to shine. It requires less penetration but can be difficult to apply because it’s thicker than other stains.
  5. Lacquer Stain: If you’re looking for a speedy, durable finish that gives your floors a lot of shine, choose lacquer. It is typically sprayed on.

5 Tips to Choosing the Right Hardwood Floor Stain

Choosing the right colour of hardwood floor stain is crucial because fixing it is costly and time-consuming. Your best bet is to trust our flooring experts’ tips.

1) Consider Your Type of Hardwood Floor

Not all hardwood species stain the same way, which is why it’s important to consider the kind of hardwood floor you have before choosing a stain colour. For example, oak is one of the easiest to stain, but mahogany, maple, birch and other exotic woods are difficult to stain evenly because of tight grains and tiny pores. If you have an exotic hardwood floor, don’t stain it as it looks beautiful in its natural state.

2) Choose the Stain Colour to Match Your Home Decor

Narrow down your search by considering your home decor. For instance, if you have rustic farmhouse style interiors, choose mid-toned brown shades instead of dark ebony or grey ones that would clash. Similarly, a contemporary-style home pairs well with stains in grey shades. Remember, since your floors make up a large area of your home, they will have a significant impact on the overall design.

Choose the Stain Colour to Match Your Home Decor

3) Try Some Samples If You Can’t Decide

If you’ve narrowed down your choices to two colours, ask your flooring professional to either make you some large portable sample panels or put the stain samples directly on your floor. (Only do so after sanding a section so you can understand how the final stain will look.) The sample panels come in handy when you want to look at how the stain colour will look in various areas of your home. You can easily move them around and put them next to your furniture, against kitchen cabinets, etcetera, to see what they look like.

4) Consider Any Floor Damage

Do you have pets or houseplants? If so, pet hair and water damage should be considered. If your pet has light-coloured hair, choosing a light shade of hardwood stain will help hide it, whereas water damage to the floor can be muted with darker staining.

Consider Any Floor Damage

5) Evaluate How Much Time You Have

Not all stains dry at the same speed. As mentioned, water-based and lacquer stains dry faster than oil- and gel-based ones. So, if you don’t have much time, choose stains that dry quickly. You can consult your flooring professional to create a custom stain by mixing accurate amounts of different kinds.

You will be surprised how choosing the right type of stain and stain colour for your hardwood floor can update the look of your home. We hope this post will help you make an informed decision. If you need help, our flooring professionals can help. Apart from offering high-quality flooring materials, we specialize in installation services and expert guidance to ensure your home or business has flawless floors. Contact us at 416-201-9611.

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AA Floors & More Ltd.

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TELEPHONE : (416) 201-9611

FAX : (416) 201-9117

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AA Floors & More Ltd.

1266 SOUTH SERVICE Rd. , STONEY CREEK, ON L8E 5R9

TELEPHONE : (289) 656-1016

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Opening hours


Weekdays – 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM
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