Choosing the Best Hardwood Stain Colors
Mar 24, 2021
Refinishing hardwood floors is a big undertaking. Whether you’re looking to put your house on the market and get the best resale value, or staying put but would love a new look for your floors, planning ahead is key. Let’s walk through some ideas.
The Classic Resell
If you’re staining your floors to make your home show better during open houses, we recommend sticking to more classic stain tones like brown or a warm mid-tone, as these are the most flexible hardwood floor stain colors, and most likely to fit in with the various tastes and décor styles of your potential buyers. Interior decorating preferences can vary greatly, so it’s best to avoid trending colors when your ultimate goal is to sell.
Classic colors in the espresso and dark walnut color family are great bets and give an instant elegant feel to your floors while still feeling fresh and modern. Light hardwood floors are also growing in popularity. A stain color to avoid? Anything overtly red, like red oak floors. It can feel quite dated these days.
What’s Your Type of Hardwood Floor Stain?
Another important step to take when choosing a wood-floor stain? Your best bet is considering the type of wood you’re staining. Is it a pine? Oak? Walnut? Maple? Birch? These are the colors you’re essentially starting with and building from. And other woods take stains differently, so you’ll want to test a piece to make sure the outcome is what you want. Wood-floor stain-color charts are helpful, too. Multicolor stains are also quite popular these days, such as the custom blending Minwax® stains.
A 50/50 ebony and Jacobean stain—which can give a very subtle (not overtly!) cherry red tint—is a favorite among homeowners, as is a 50/50 of ebony and dark walnut. Another thing to consider, especially if you’re looking for new hardwood floors? Not all wood floors actually require a stain—many wood floors look great in their natural color.
Get Creative with Your Hardwood Floors
While we recommend that you stick to classic stain colors if you plan on selling your home in the near future, feel free to choose a trending hardwood stain color if you’ll be the one enjoying the floors for years to come. When it comes to choosing the best stain color for your space, think about the atmosphere you're trying to create. If you're going for a cozy atmosphere or an inviting atmosphere, opt for a warm-tone stain. Darker stains with cool tones are still at the top of the list, but there’s an uptick in the trend toward brighter stains, such as gray and whitewashed.
If you do want a lighter stain, we recommend blonde, as this color has the potential to stick around and turn into a classic floor color. But if you’re not selling soon? Get as creative as you want and don't be afraid to opt for a dark stain color. You could even stain your wood floors a bolder tint with blue or green, or give an eclectic feel by painting them in various designs and different styles that coordinate well with existing furniture and existing decor.
The Hardwood Flooring Experts
If you still have questions regarding your hardwood floors to ensure you're making the right choice, the folks at your local Flooring America are here to help. They’re experts in all things hardwood and will help you decide on the best flooring styles, hues, and wood species for your family. Give them a call, or stop by your local Flooring America store today.
Visualize Your Flooring Dreams
Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.