Whether you are purchasing a new house, investing in a new home which is in need of major repairs, or just sprucing things up in your home office, spending more time at home has probably got you wondering how to change things up and select a new stain for your floor. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to keep the wood floors in your house because real wood flooring is going to remain in style and should always be part of your project. A lot of houses, especially the ones built here in Michigan, have hardwood floors covered up with carpet — other local houses may have wood floors that are in need of a new color. There is no need to remove the existing wood though, you can work with what you have, and below I will provide some things to consider when picking out a new color.

To begin, the first place you’ll probably start looking for inspiration is from interior designers, those projects are always armored with forecasts of trends in the upcoming seasons. While that is completely fine, you’ll want to keep in mind that hardwood floors are not sanded every year. Wood floors are resilient, and the stain color you choose for them lasts you a couple good years and will heavily influence the mood of the room.

Walnut or Oak are examples of warm and dark tones, respectively, and they can make the room feel more intimate or comfortable, especially if you’re sitting in a larger area. If there is not enough light in the room however, you’ll want to avoid those dark stains and instead go for lighter, natural colors, perhaps beige. These nuances can be naturally found within Light Oak or Maple Wood.

It’s also important to keep in mind the lighting in your room — are there enough windows, how does the light change throughout the day? The color you see on your floor in the evening will not be the same shade in the morning, especially if you’ve got direct light coming in. To this same effect, if the room has a lot of natural light, darker, black floors will give a beautiful warm interesting nuance to a bright space, while light colors will give a closed room a feeling of light. But again, you’ll want to ensure that if the base of your color is in your floors, let’s say for example a chocolate brown (i.e. Antique Brown Stain), that room should have floor-to-ceiling windows to allow adequate light to open up the room.

The last thing to keep in mind material-wise, is the furniture you’ll be putting in that room. You should not choose the color of the floor picturing only the empty room. What type of furniture will you have in the room? Will the furniture cover the majority of the floor? Natural colors are keys to creating a neutral background and will allow furniture to be the center of attention — reddish tones go well with massive, colonial type furniture, while brown shades bring beauty and life to rustic, traditional interiors.

I hope you choose a stain for your floor which will make you feel welcome, because the furniture and decor will also play an important role in summing the room together. Natural light, as mentioned above, should always be taken into consideration. Though architectural trends may change every so often, the advantages of having hardwood floors is that once installed and sand/refinished, with good maintenance, it will take 10-15 years until major improvements are needed again.

Hardwood flooring is a renewable resource, which in most cases can be repaired instead of replaced. A typical nail-down 3/4 inch tongue-and-groove wood floor typically found in houses constructed in the later half of the 20th century, can be re-sanded several times by good professional contractors.

For more stain recommendations, please visit our next post The Right Stain for your Floor, Part 2.