The very long week of sanding has finally wrapped up. Oh my goodness, the dust. Even with “dustless” sanders the house has been filled with a hazy dustcloud. But the positive side is that the freshly sanded floors are revealed! The time has come for choosing hardwood floor stains!
The white oak floors are so beautiful, light and bright in their raw glory! If you follow me on Instagram then you know I was second guessing myself on whether or not I should even stain them. We had a huge array of stain choices to choose from Dura Seal which is made by Minwax. How in the world do I choose?
I’ve loved rich dark floors like these gorgeous Jacobean stained floors by my friend Kellie, Nest of Posies. Her home is filled with walls of windows and natural light, but I was fearful this shade would look too dark in our home. I love how the Jacobean brings out the rich grain pattern of the oak.
Then my sister shared this jaw dropping, beautiful coastal white kitchen with a cypress plank wall, island, cabinetry and stunning floors by Old Sea Grove Homes. It was love at first sight.
This bathroom with weathered oak floors with dark and light variations, was even more confirmation that I was leaning towards the lighter stain choices, especially for coastal home decor.
The only way to know for sure was to try an assortment of stains on the white oak hardwood floors. Because I was still uncertain, I asked my flooring expert, Stephen Herrit from Nu-Tech Flooring to show me what a clear coat would look like in lieu of stain. He showed me two options, a waterborne clear coat and a polyurethane coat which has a natural amber tone to it. Here is the list of the wood finishes we chose to sample (listed from top to bottom):
- Waterborne Wood Floor Finish – SATIN
- DuraSeal – Nutmeg
- DuraSeal- Provincial
- Minwax –Weathered Oak
Stephen didn’t have DuraSeal in Weathered Oak on hand so I used the Minwax Weathered Oak that I had and had used in my How to Refinish a Table tutorial. Minwax makes DuraSeal so we knew the stain color would be the same.
Note: Stains look very different on different species of wood. My kitchen table is made of rosewood and the weathered oak stain appears very gray like driftwood, but on red and white oak the stain will take on more golden hues. That is just the nature of the wood. Always test the stain on your wood before you commit to a color.
Also, if you notice in the picture above, the stains on the right look a bit darker. In preparation for the floors, the refinishers will sand the floors with an 80 grit sand paper and then apply the stain. I wasn’t aware of this and so Hubs and I decided to play around and we sanded the floors to the right with a 150 grit and our electrical sander. It took the stain so differently! Our flooring expert explained that yes, not only does the wood type change how the stain appears, but also the grit level of sanding beforehand. Who knew?
I can’t wait to show you what we chose and how the final floors look! We still are currently in a hotel waiting for all the top coats to be finished before we can come home.
So tell me…. which stain would you choose?
Catch up on all the progress after our home flood!
Weathered Oak Floor Reveal + More Demo
After the Flood: Preparing and Installing Hardwood Floors
Waking Up to a Flooded Kitchen & Familyroom
All of the finishes are beautiful…I choose weathered oak. I love your home.
Our floors are stained provincial, but they are red oak, so darker with more red undertones. We have loved the color. It goes well with both light and dark woods and many painted surfaces.
Teri B. says
I also used Provincial because we had red oak. I get lots of compliments on it, but it is not me. I would have much rather had a lighter color, but there was no way to get the red out. I think you are lucky to have white oak. I would go naked with water-based finish.
Jaime Costiglio says
I love Provincial but I’m guessing you choose the weathered oak. Can’t wait to see the reveal in all its glory! And no scratching kids.
Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says
So exciting! I went through the stain choosing process a few months ago for our kitchen and whole first floor. We have red oak and we chose the Provincial. Love it! Just looking at your choices, I don’t think you could go wrong. Can’t wait to see what you choose!
Just came in ia Pinterest, because I’m looking for stain for my reclaimed pine kitchen floor.
Interestingly enough, I, too, used Provencal on maple cabinetry I built in my MBR.
I also used Varathane’s ‘Sunbleached’ (less blue than Minwax’ Weathered Oak) and on top of that, Provencal, and a quick coat of Jacobean on reclaimed oak cabinets I stripped for my kitchen.
Sounds like we all enjoy similar looks.
Now, if I can just find something that’ll tone down the yellow in this old pine! 🙂
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
That sounds just beautiful Christine! It is amazing how different wood can look when combining layers of stains. Thanks so much for stopping over! I’m glad you found me on Pinterest. Have a great week! ~ KIM
I also came across your site via Pinterest! We are buying a new home and will be redoing the floors prior to moving in. After a LOT of stain testing, we’ve landed on Weathered Oak for our 1950s red oak floors because it’s light and we like how the grey offsets the red tones. However, I’m still not sure how long to tell the contractors to let it stain/sit for. I love the level of darkness in your floors, do you happen to recall how long it sat for? And was it one or two coats? Thanks!
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
Hi Laura! I was not in the house when it was being stained so I can’t really answer that question. If you are using a reputable flooring refinishing company then they will totally know how long to let it sit. The standard application of stain is 2 coats, which we had. The weathered oak is so nice because it really brings out the the dark grain and highlights the lightness of each plank. I love the variation. Hope that helps! Good luck and congrats on your new floors! ~ KIM
So, which one you chose? Couldn’t find the follow up post
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
Hi Erez! We chose the Weathered Oak floor stain and love it! Here its the link to the post: https://www.sandandsisal.com/2016/01/weathered-oak-floors.html
I love light floors! We are getting bids right now for putting in white oak floors but contractors don’t seem to understand how to make them light or find the wood that light. Do you know where your contractor bought the wood? And how wide are the planks? Thank you!
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
The light oak is white oak and the floors in the photos were completely raw wood (just sanded). I used a reputable local hardwood flooring installer. To be honest, I’m not sure where he gets his wood. The planks are a standard 2 1/4″ throughout the house. We ended up staining ours with Weathered Oak but a year later I wish I had just left them raw. We did have them sealed with 3 coats of Bona Waterborne which is clear, stronger, and is not supposed to yellow over time like polyurethane.
Hope that helps! Best of luck!