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Pros and Cons of Staining Hardwood Floors

Pros and cons of staining hardwood floorsWood floors are a great addition to every home. They bring elegance, style, cosiness, warmth, beauty, durability and functionality to every house. No matter if you have a wood floor installation project in mind, or you move into a new home with already installed wooden flooring – this is just the tip of the iceberg. Wood floors come in a really impressive variety of styles, designs, types, colours, textures, and more. In addition, wood flooring specialists can treat the floor in a way that completely can transform its initial look. Many people opt for wood floor customisation in order to enjoy a unique floor that perfectly matches the interior design of their home. One of the most popular methods for transforming the look of a wooden floor is wood floor staining.

Every choice you make, when it comes to picking a specific wood floor treatment for the floor will, of course, affect the final result permanently in almost all cases. Therefore, whenever you are picking a specific colour or design for your floor, keep in mind you will stick with your choice for a long time, this is why you want to be absolutely sure this is something you desire and not just a current trend that will come and go within a year.

Wood floor staining is the process of changing the colour of the wooden floor or enhancing its natural one with the help of wood floor dyes and staining products. In general, this is the easiest way to completely transform the look of the floor. Wood floor staining usually adds warmth and depth to the natural colour of the wood and this is a great choice to make your floor look more vibrant, attractive, unique. However, keep in mind that if wood floor staining is not done properly, this can lead to major unwanted results. Therefore, whenever it comes to wood floor staining, if you are going after flawless results, make sure to have the treatment performed by experienced and knowledgeable professionals and don’t try it as a DIY project.

Before you decide on a wood floor staining project, make sure you have considered all pros and cons of the process and the final result and this will help you make the right decision.

What Is Wood Floor Staining?

The process of wood floor staining is pretty easy and self-explanatory. It involves the application of a couple of layers of wood floor staining product. Wood staining products are dyes or stains. These products are pretty similar – both types of products consist of colour pigments. In the case of dyes, the colour pigments attach to the wood’s fibres. The colour pigments of the stains, penetrate into the wood’s structure deeper.

When it comes to wood floor staining, there are a lot of factors you need to consider beforehand. The type of wood species will affect the final result when it comes to wood floor staining. For example, some wood species are naturally denser and do not absorb the staining product that well. There are also wood species that naturally have more sap and staining them is a bit more challenging and complicated. The natural colour of the wood species is also important. Naturally light wood species allow you to create a wide palette of colours and achieve really intense coverage, colour, and shade. However, naturally dark wood species cannot suddenly be transformed into white or beige floors and you need to stick to the darker palette when choosing stain colours.

Wood Floor Staining – Pros

When the wood floor staining process is handled properly, you will really be able to enjoy the final results. Great final results can help you enhance the beauty of the whole room, they can also turn the floor into the statement piece of the room and become the focal point. Staining the floor in a bright and light colour can create the optical illusion for a larger and more spacious room. On the other hand, choosing colours with warm undertones will create an atmosphere of cosiness and warmth in the room. Floors stained in darker colours add drama and excitement to the interior. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they are definitely stunning in the right setting and interior. Some of the main advantages and benefits of wood floor staining include:

Achieving elegance with dark wood

Dark wood floors definitely add a lot of distinctive styles and timeless elegance and beauty to the space. With a rich, deep and dark stain you can make the floor look extra attractive and eye-catching.

Copying the look of certain wood species

Do you want to own a specific type of flooring, however, you have an existing one in good condition and you just don’t want to do through all the hassle and investment of replacing it with the new one, or the price of the type of wood flooring you desire is too high? Well, worry not because wood floor staining can help you achieve the look of specific wood species. This works particularly well when you start with a light and beige wooden floor that can be easily stained and the desired look of more exotic and darker wood species can be easily achieved.

Enhancing the natural beauty of the floor

Of course, wood floor staining is not designed to completely transform the look of your floor. You can choose wood floor stains or dyes in a colour similar to the natural one of the existing floor. By doing so, you will further enhance the beauty of this natural colour and make the floor look brand-new.

Wood Floor Staining  - Cons

Of course, wood floor staining has many benefits and advantages. However, you need to be aware that wood floor staining does not always work perfectly and it is not the best option for every wooden floor. Make sure to understand all potential negative outcomes from wood floor staining and this will help you avoid potentially costly mistakes along the way.

Highlights sanding marks and other imperfections

You may think that staining your floor will help you cover small imperfections on the surface of the floor, however, this is not the case. Instead, the colour pigments of the wood floor staining products will attach to all imperfections, scratches, and marks on the surface of the floor and will make them even more visible. Therefore, before you stain the floor, the surface should be sanded smoothly and flawlessly and all imperfections on the surface of the floor, even the smallest and finest one, should be removed.

Not all wood species can be stained

As we have already mentioned, not all wood species can be stained perfectly. There are wood species that are naturally very dense or with a big amount of sap, which makes staining them a challenge and the end results are really not that good as you expect them to be. Some popular wood species that are tight-grained are maple, birch, pine. At the same time, pine is also a wood species containing more sap than other species. Therefore, when it comes to such wood species, you better opt for leaving them in their natural colour and avoid staining.


Wood floor stains do not work as paints do and they cannot be darkened by the application of more and more layers. Therefore, whenever you want dark floors, just pick dark stains and do not count on many layers of stain. Wood floors have the capacity of absorbing only a certain amount of stain. What happens with the rest of the applied stain? The result is known as “bleedback” and it means the stain starts rising back up the surface of the floor.

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