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Service #4:

STAINING...change your floor color

A lot of homes here in New Jersey have either red or white oak flooring. Depending on your taste, you may not be in love with the look of oak floors in their natural state. Natural oak floors with oil based finishes tend to yellow over time and have that old-fashioned look to them.

Stain Samples on Hardwood
Applying Stain with Buffer

If this is not your style, then you may want to consider staining them to totally change up the look and style of your home.

What Is Staining?

Staining is basically the process of turning floors a different color. It’s an optional step done between the final sand and the first coat of finish. There are also exciting pre-treatments available now too that are applied before the staining process to give it an extra layer of color and depth.

Why Stain?

Changing the color of your floor has many benefits and produces dramatic results. It can open up your room by making your floors lighter. You can change your style from country or traditional to modern and sleek. If you like the look of darker exotic hardwood floors but have oak flooring, staining will allow you to have that dark, exotic look without needing to remove and replace your flooring.

If you have water or pet damage all over your floors and repairing them is too big and expensive a project to do, you can stain your floors a darker shade to hide these areas.

Why Is It So Much Extra Work?

For a floor to be successfully stained, it needs to be prepared in a very precise manner. Lots of extra time, additional steps, attention to detail and specialized tools and techniques are needed compared to keeping the floor in its natural state.

When a floor is kept in its natural state without stain, we only need to use a buffer to blend the difference between the belt sander’s straight sanding marks and the edger’s circular marks. Done properly, the sanding marks are barely visible after the finish is applied.

However, if you applied stain over this same floor you would see obvious sanding marks all over the place, especially around the edges.

To remove those marks and prepare it for staining, we need to complete these extra 6 steps:

EXTRA STEP 1Multi-Head sander
with extra fine

After we get the floor to the state ready for finishing, if kept natural, we then sand the whole floor again. This time with finer sandpaper using a multi-head sanding machine. This procedure makes your floor as smooth as possible. It also removes the micro-sanding marks that would otherwise show up when the pigment in the stain hits it.

planetary sander for wood floors

orbital sander
on perimeter

Because the step above with the planetary sander can’t reach all the way to the edges, we use smaller hand held sanders for the perimeter. The exact same sandpaper is used as the multi-head sander to make sure to achieve the same surface preparation. The corners are hand sanded with the same sandpaper.

Random Orbitol Sanding Edges

EXTRA STEP 3Areas need
to be taped off
for protection

Once the sanding is done we mask off any areas like carpet edges and transitions that won’t be stained. We're careful to not get any stain over your carpet, tile or linoleum. Stain can be very difficult to remove from these. We also take great care when staining around your baseboards and other wood work.

Taping Off to Protect from Stain

EXTRA STEP 4Waterpopping
is needed to
raise the grain

We next go through a process called water popping. This raises the grain to remove any small remaining sanding marks. It also makes the stain more even and gives a richer color. Waterpopped floors are extremely delicate. If the raised fibres are compressed by dragging a shoe across it, it will show through as a lighter area on the finished floor.

Water Popping Hardwood Floor

EXTRA STEP 5Lastly the
wood floor
is stained

This is where we start applying the stain. We need to work very fast to apply the stain evenly as a team to make sure there are no lap marks… all the while making sure we don’t damage the raised fibres of the floor. If this happens, steps 1 to 5 need to be repeated. This is the most stressful part of the process.

Applying Stain to Sanded Floor

Once these steps are done, we wait for the stain to dry (anywhere from 6 to 24 hours depending on product used, airflow, temperature, humidity etc.) before applying the first coat of finish.

Now you can see why a proper, professional stained floor costs extra. It’s almost twice the amount of work. But the end results are well worth it.

If you hire a business that doesn’t have the proper skills, things can go wrong very quickly. If a mistake is made – and there’s many failure points in the staining process – then your floor will most likely need to be re-sanded. That means time wasted and more wood taken from the surface of your floors.

For this reason, we encourage you to research a business’s staining skills before hiring them. Ask for references of previously stained floors too.

Considering having your floors stained?

Staining and pre-treatments can be requested for most hardwood floors for an additional cost. Before deciding on a final color, we will take you through some samples so you can see what each of your favorite color choices will look like on your floors.

Ask us about your different color options when we come out to provide a quote for your floors.

Our Collingswood NJ showroom floor samples
Our showroom in Collingswood, NJ has a large selection of sample boards for you to choose from.

You're welcome to pop over to our showroom to see our large range of stain color samples in person. If that's not convenient, then take a look at the groupings of stain colors in the chart below. Choose your favorites and we can arrange to bring them over to your home. This way you can see exactly how they will look on your floor with the surrounding furniture to guarantee you’re happy with your choice.

stain colors

If you would like any help to choose a stain color, we’re here to assist.

Just ask us when we come out to provide you with your quote.

PHOTOS from past projects


So happy that we chose Dustless Hardwood Floors. Our floors look stunning and we couldn't be happier. They restored our old pine floor that had been covered in carpet for years. Wow! Couldn't believe how nice they turned out!! Brian and his crew were just terrific. Sharon Moran - Cherry Hill, New Jersey | 5 Star Review on Google
Google Review
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