Staining Your Hardwood Floor

Do you want a truly custom hardwood floor?  Something that is unique to your home that no one else will have?  Sometimes that means that you will want to have your floors custom stained.  This is definitely something you should not try to do yourself.  Let an expert from Yankee Classic Floors help you customize and custom stain your hardwood floor.  We take great pride in offering custom staining.

Staining your hardwood floor can be a tricky process.  First, let’s define what staining is and what it isn’t.  Staining isn’t varnishing your floor.  It’s not putting a coating on your floor to protect it from wear and tear.  Staining is done to change the natural color of the wood.  There are some hardwood floors that should not be stained.

Maple, birch, and coniferous woods such as pine will take stains unevenly. In maple and birch the wood is very tight grained with very small pores, and the density of the pore wall fibers vary drastically. The particles of stain pigment have fewer places where they can wedge themselves and those places are not regularly spread through the wood.  With pine and fir, there is the added element that these woods contain resins that actively resist the stain.   If you do not mind the “busy” appearance of what the stain will produce, this look might be for youFloor Stain Samples

The first thing that Yankee Classic floors will do is sand your existing floor.  We put our 20 plus years of sanding craftsmanship to work to ensure that your floor is smooth, with no scratches.  Once the floor is sanded, we completely clean the floor.  We begin by sweeping with a push broom, and end by using a professional vacuuming system that has a dust containment system.

Yankee Classic will work with you to determine the look and feel that you want your floors to have.  You have many options when it comes to color, from light to dark.  You may prefer to use a stain that adds a red tone, or one that is more honeyed.  We can help you find the perfect color for your application.

Testing Floor StainsIt can be confusing trying to figure out that perfect color.  Our refinishers will apply samples directly to the floor, so we get exactly the right color you want.

The next step might involve a process that is called “water popping”.  When a floor is sanded, it closes the natural grain of the wood.  This leaves the wood non-porous, and unable to accept stain well.  In order to open that grain back up again, we wipe wet (not soaking) rags over the floor, making sure not to miss any spots. This allows the stain to be more evenly applied across the floor, it will absorb better, and the color will be richer.

Applying floor stainsThe next step is to apply the stain.  At Yankee Classic Floors, we prefer to use a lambs wool applicator. This allows for a smooth application.  Once the stain is applied, the excess is wiped off with a rag.  Allowing the excess stain to sit on the floor boards does not deepen the color, hardwoods can only accept a percentage of the stain that is applied.

Once all the stain is applied, and the excess is wiped off, the floor is left to dry.  The final step is then to apply the protective top coats in the selected finish.

Always use an experienced team of refinishers if you are going to stain your floor.  Inexperienced workmen don’t necessarily know all the steps that are required to ensure that YOUR floor is stained correctly.  One common condition that can occur if the floor is not allowed to dry properly is called “Bleedback”.  This occurs after the finish coat has been applied to a layer of stain that has uncured in the gaps between the boards.  It causes a cloudy streak in the floor, and experienced refinishers know to look for those uncured areas before applying the finish coat.

While staining your hardwood floor adds an additional day to the project, it can be well worth the extra time.

Staining before and after

Remember, we at Yankee Classic Floors want you to have beautiful floors that will last.  We are always happy to give you a free consultation and estimate of what it will take to make your floors a beautiful foundation for your home.  Just give us a call!

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