Oak wood is one of the most well-known woods used in the hardwood flooring industry. But did you know that your floors may actually be a mix of both red and white oak planks? Whether it is white or red oak, it is a type of flooring that seduces you from first sight. If you want durability and beauty, oak hardwood floor brings you both.

This lovely couple hired us to sand and refinish prefinished oak hardwood floors (Image 1). Their condominium was an absolute gem with a quiet neighborhood and a beautiful golf course in the backyard. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors and adding new stain colors was a way to spruce up their home for the next stage of their lives!

1)(Before)Prefinished hardwood floor ready to start the sanding and refinishing process.

What challenges can you encounter when refinishing pre-finished hardwood floors?

Prefinished floorboards have micro-bevels on all edges; when it comes to sanding and refinishing this type of parquet, most homeowners will prefer the seamless, uniform appearance of site-sanded floors, as they feature no such grooves. Removing these deep grooves requires additional sanding, not only to remove the finish in the grooves between boards but also to obtain that sanded flat floor that a site-finished floor has. Another characteristic of prefinished hardwood floors is the thick nature of the factory-finished topcoat that requires extensive sanding to reach the raw wood again to continue finishing the on-site process.

2) Sanding and refinishing process reveals a mix of white and red oak.

Can you apply a stain color on a mix of white and expect no differences?

Suppose you thought that the challengers stopped here, not so fast, just a little bit of patience. Once I sanded down the prefinished topcoat, the hardwood floor’s natural warmth and beauty showed themselves to the eyes in all their splendor. After looking more closely, I realized the wood was a mixture of red and white oak (Image 2); this detail was visible only after removing the factory-finished top coat through the sanding process. I was unaware of the possibility of having this randomness of wood species covered under a prefinished topcoat. Still, it is something to remember when looking for prefinished hardwood floors. How can you apply a stain on a mix of white and red oak and expect not to see any differences? It used to be an issue, but not anymore.

Yes, you can apply a stain color on mix of red and white oak planks.

With my technique, I minimized the shades of red and pink characteristic of red oak flooring, lightened up the look to match the white oak, and achieved a more natural and uniform appearance for the hardwood floors (Image 3). I can use this process on any other wood species, even Brazilian cherry, to neutralize red hues and give a more modern look.

3) Results after applying my technique to minimize pink and red hues characteristic of red oak.

Next Step: Choosing a Stain

Choosing the stain color was also a bit of work too. I always give my clients the opportunity to see up to three samples of stain color applied directly to their floor. There might be instances where a customer wants to see more than three options. While I always respect my client’s desire to see more than three samples of color before selecting the perfect color, from my experience, more is not always better, on the contrary, it will make choosing the right color more difficult.

What I like about this client is that she picked up a classic stain color. It was a custom stain, but it is not too light or dark; it will be in style forever(Image 4).

4) Custom stain on mix of white and red oak

Sanding and refinishing prefinished hardwood floor to look as flat as site-finished floor  

This prefinished hardwood needed a deep sanding into the heart of the wood. To achieve this seamless floor some important steps were followed.  After I managed to even out the color of the wood and give a more natural and uniform appearance, I applied the client’s chosen stain, as well as the durable water base finishes. With proper care and maintenance, this floor will withstand the lengths of time(Image 5).

You want to make your house a home; it is the place you set up to encompass the soul beyond style. You want durability and nobility at home, and an oak wood floor brings you both.

Trust Michigan Hardwood Floor Services and our timeless craftsmanship to get the job done.

5) (After) Final result with a custom stain following sanding and refinishing of mixed red and white oak hardwood planks.