Choosing a stain

When we purchased our new project house, one of the big draws for us is that we knew that underneath all the dusty faded carpet throughout the first floor of the house were wood floors that from what we could tell we’re in great shape.  Soon after closed on the place we started ripping up the carpet–and for the most part we weren’t disappointed.  The floors had been covered by carpeting for at least 40 years and they were in pretty good shape.  Although the stain was a bit lighter than we probably would have chosen, we figured that since they weird in good shape we’d just keep them as they were rather than have them re-finished.

However, we found that not all the floors were in great shape.  In the master bedroom under some blue carpet, we found this:

hardwood floor ickiness

Further, as part of the major kitchen renovation we’ve been doing (read more about that here and here), some of the floors had to be patched and other areas needed to be completely replaced:

CIMG4046Once the put in the new oak flooring we were then left with this weirdness:

CIMG4103We figured since they’d need to do some sanding and staining anyway, that as long we weren’t living at the house (and thus wouldn’t have to move too much of our stuff), we may as well go ahead and have the floors re-finished on the entire first floor in one fell swoop.  This meant we now had options for the stain of the floors–and we could now do a richer, darker tone we had been craving.  We wanted something that wouldn’t be overly trendy, but that would still look fresh and modern (our goal with all these renovations, really).  The construction site manager put down our top four Minwax options (we chose these four from Minwax’s website) in the middle of the dining room so that we could choose:

stain optionsThey even jotted down the names of the stain colors next to them, which I though was actually kind of cute!  It is a little hard to tell the colors from the photos, but we had a really difficult time deciding!  Any idea what we chose??  If you said “Dark Walnut” then go grab yourself a beer/cocktail/glass of milk/cookie or whatever your vice is!  We liked that it was a darker tone but not nearly as dark as the “Ebony” color on the far left.  And we thought it felt warm without being too red-ish.  

It was so strange seeing the floors all sanded down, but it sure did make them look new again:


We’re really excited to see the finished product and I hope we made the right choice!  Any especially savvy readers my have noticed that I already updated my kitchen inspiration mood board to have darker floors when I was deciding on the new counter top!

New Quay




7 thoughts on “Choosing a stain

  1. Hi there! I randomly found your blog while researching what wood color we want to go with. It’s a tough decision! Your post was very helpful! I was wondering what kind of wood is this? We have white oak. Also what kind of finish did you end up using? I would LOVE to see a picture of the finished product if you have it. We are really leaning towards the dark walnut too. 🙂


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