Hardwood Floor Refinishing: To Stain or Not to Stain?
Everyday we work in the hardwood flooring people are asked many questions about refinishing floors. Some of those questions are should I stain my hardwood floors or should I keep the natural color? There is so much that goes into the answer. Knowing the species of wood that they are planning on installing or refinishing is important, also knowing if it is solid or engineered hardwood flooring will impact the answer of this question.
What Type of Wood?
There are some that will say go ahead and stain your hardwood and don’t worry about what kind of wood it is. Please don’t listen to these people. They don’t know what they are talking about. Depending on the species of wood your stain might not be absorbed like you planned. Your harder woods like oak will take the stain differently based on the spring growth and winter growth. These grains absorb differently. If your wood floor is a maple, birch, and coniferous woods like pine and fir your stain will vary drastically because the fibers of the wood have different densities, and will not take the stain evenly. Your pine and fir woods also contain resin and sap and this is resistant to stain. This will cause blotchy spots on your hardwood floors.
How Well was Your Floor Installed?
Depending on the skill of your hardwood flooring installers you might not see the poor quality of sanding or resurfacing of your floor. When a floor has small and/or large sander grooves and gouges you might not see them. If you stain them they will show up and it is almost impossible to ignore them. If the company that you hire to resurface your floor does a great job sanding and refinishing they still might have these sander gouges and tiny grooves that the stain will find and this will cause dark lines that are now noticeably visible and impossible to hide.
How Much Time do you Have?
The wait time after staining is significantly increased because of the “offgassing” that occurs from the stain. Stains dry by solvent evaporation, and if you do not allow the windows to be open and the heat is set too low, this might increase the wait time to get back into the home. The wait time can also increase if you do not thoroughly wipe off the stain from the floor. This can increase the time to almost 4 days before you can topcoat the floor and you will have to wait a day between each coat of finish you apply.
Ask a Boston Hardwood Refinishing Expert
Why ask a local expert in Boston? Because they'll need to see the floor to help give you the best answer possible. The final decision is up to you and you'll want to gather as many facts as possible. If you want to stain your floor you will want to take these things into consideration and ask yourself this, do I have at least a week to wait maybe longer to get back into my home or is the color of my floors good enough for me? A Boston hardwood floor contractor can help answer all of these questions...and more!