Stains are one of the most popular ways to impart colour to hardwood floors. They offer a range of possibilities in achieving a particular aesthetic, from light to dark or varying shades such as amber to coffee among the popular hardwood floor colours. However, matching hardwood floor stains can pose a tricky problem, especially if you’re trying to extend or patch your existing floor. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into methods, tips, and stain matching techniques to help you choose the perfect stain for a uniform floor.
Understanding the Basics: Hardwood Floor Types and Wood Stain Colours
Before you delve into the process of matching stains, it’s crucial to understand the type of hardwood you’re working with. Different wood species and stains have varying effects on the end result. For example, oak wood staining will differ considerably from staining pine or cherry wood. Knowing your wood type can help you make a more informed choice in stain shades, ensuring colour consistency across the floor.
Methods To Match Hardwood Floor Stain Colour
Matching stains involves a combination of techniques and practices that range from straightforward to complex. Here are some popular methods to help you match your own hardwood stains.
- Ask A Professional
If you have a sample of your old stained hardwood, bring it to a hardwood store, paint shop, or other places where stains and finishes are sold. Most likely, a knowledgeable staff member can identify the stain or recommend a close match, saving you a lot of guesswork.
- Use A Stain Swatch
If you can’t find a sample piece and don’t want to remove one from your existing floor, stain swatches are your next best option. These plastic pieces are dyed to mimic various stain brands and types, like water-based stains or oil-based stains. You can usually get these for free at your local paint shop or hardware store, and they can guide you in your colour testing.
- Use Test Pieces
In line with DIY floor staining, using a test piece of wood is strongly advised. Apply your selected stain to it, which helps ensure that you’ve chosen the correct stain colour and durability. It’s also a good way to test stain application techniques for the best results.
- Use Multiple Coats for Fade Resistance
When testing or applying your stain, consider multiple coats. This not only offers better fade resistance but also helps you achieve a match as close as possible to your existing flooring.
Sanding for Success: Floor Refinishing and Preparation
Sanding is a vital part of the floor refinishing process. Your choice of sandpaper grit will affect how the stain appears on the wood. Using a final grain between 120-150 often provides the best results. Different sanding techniques can also influence the staining process, making test pieces invaluable for this step as well.
Considering the Finish: Sealants and Finishes
The type of finish you use can also affect the appearance of the stained wood. Oil-based finishes tend to make wood appear warmer, while water-based finishes offer a more neutral or even colder look. Make sure you’re using the same type of finish on both the old and new wood to ensure uniformity and stain durability.
Floor Patterns for Visual Interest
Another trick to disguise the meeting point between your old and new hardwood floors involves the use of floor patterns. Breaking up the transition area with an irregular pattern can effectively hide seams and contribute to a harmonious look.
Eco-Friendly Choices: Environmentally Friendly Stains
In today’s world, more people are leaning towards environmentally friendly stains. If this is important for you, make sure both your old and new stains meet the green standards to maintain a cohesive look while also being eco-conscious.
Summary: Hardwood Maintenance and Aesthetics
While matching hardwood floor stains can be a daunting task, it’s not an impossible feat. By putting in a little effort and using some of the above methods and hardwood floor care tips, you can greatly improve the aesthetics of your expanded or patched floor. Armed with this knowledge, you’re well on your way to achieving a beautiful, uniform hardwood floor.