A few posts ago, we talked about hardwood floor stain colors. As we mentioned, we narrowed down our options to three: Dark Walnut, Ebony and Jacobean. The next day, our super-nice “floor guy”, Frank, applied them to the floor to let us see the stains on our red oak floors.

We looked at the above samples in every lighting possible: sunlight, lights on, lights off, in the dark and even three different kinds of light bulbs. Call us crazy, but the stain will be going throughout the house (see floor plan here), so we want to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. In addition to our lighting experiments, we went through an extensive process of elimination to make sure we were making the right decision. Here’s how it went…

Let’s start with Jacobean. When we looked at the swatches in the booklet, we really liked this stain. However, when we saw a bigger sample on our floors, we weren’t so sure anymore. We liked the extra-dark grain, but didn’t feel like the other browns were rich enough. If there’s anything we don’t want, it’s for the floors to be too light. We crossed this one off the list.

When given the sample deck, my favorite was theΒ Ebony stain. Within seconds of being handed the sample deck, I said, “Yep, this is it!” We had our reservations about it being too dark, but we wanted to see it on the floor just in case. On our floors, though, it wasn’t dark enough in certain lighting, and it had a lot of unexpected lighter gray tones. We ruled this one out without reservation. Gray undertones were not what we were looking for.

Then came Dark Walnut. This choice was Greg’s favorite. I wasn’t too crazy about it at first because I didn’t think it was dark enough.Β However, I became a big fan when we saw the sample on our floors. We love how the stain really brings out the wood grain. We also love the mixture of Β rich, dark browns. We really have nothing bad to say about this stain, other than it could stand to be somewhat darker on the non-grain portions. Nevertheless, it looks like we have a winner! We told Frank, our “floor guy”, we wanted it somewhat darker than the sample if at all possible. We are very anxious to see the final result!

Frank and his crew are coming in next week to begin the staining process! We are ultra-excited that it’s finally time for this point in the renovation. We feel like we should have a floor staining party or something! Maybe a celebratory Ukrop’s cupcake will have to do until we move in, though : )

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  • Reply
    Cait @ Hernando House
    October 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Hooray for floor stain! It’s funny, when looking at the picture that was the color I was hoping you chose!

    Our floors are … a maple color, I guess? The floors were refinished by a previous home owner, so I don’t know exactly what color to call it, haha.

    Oh also, I came across your from The Lil House That Could.

    • Reply
      October 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      We are glad you found us! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kathleen Cooley
    October 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I love your choice( I am partial to that shade of wood) and from what you described early on as to what you were looking for I was pretty sure that this was the one you would settle on. Putting something on paper usually does change the color tone and it can’t really be judged until you see the real thing, especially since wood will soak some of it up.
    I think you did a good job of investigating, with all the different lighting, what you wanted.
    5 thumbs up for you in my book

  • Reply
    Hannah B
    October 26, 2010 at 9:26 am

    i knew you’d love that color! we love it too. we saw it in an office and i knew i HAD to have it. never regretted the choice!! we have it on our stairs and railings which is gorgeous too.

    • Reply
      October 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

      That’s so good to hear! We can’t wait to see it… the anticipation is practically killing us! haha

  • Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    hey great job, looks awesome… i was wondering what type of oak flooring that is ? white or red ?? if you happen to know ?

    • Reply
      September 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      It’s red oak : )

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Looks great! My wife and I have decided on Dark Walnut as well. Any idea how many coats of stain/poly you used? We’re getting mixed messages from people…

    • Reply
      September 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Yeah, it all depends on who you ask. But we did 3 coats. Hope that helps!!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Ashley, thank you for sharing your experience. I will be making a stain choice this week. When you answered 3 coats, does that mean 1 coat stain and 2 poly? Or 3 coats stain? Also, did you have the floors “popped” with a water soak to better take the stain (I have read this tip elsewhere). Thanks!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2013 at 11:07 am

      Actually, we did 3 coats of polly. And yes on the water popping! That proved to be really helpful in getting the look we were going for. Good luck with your new floors! : )

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