tilleylove

Need to choose a stain by tomorrow for red oak floors!!

tilleylove
October 16, 2014
We had someone put in solid red oak flooring, and I'm having a hard time deciding on a stain. I am liking the bottom two better, the second from the bottom is Minwax Provincial and the last one is Duraseal Medium brown. Is there a difference in the durability or anything else with Minwax vs Duraseal? Thanks!!

Comments (90)

  • PRO
    Jarret Interior Design
    I like when flooring matches cabinetry so I would use that as my benchmark
  • tilleylove
    Also, I told the guys yesterday after getting there that they looked A LOT darker in the pictures. He said that the stain samples were put down after they sanded, before they buffed, so that made a big difference too! (Writing this in case others read this post and are tempted, like myself to choose a floor color based on Houzz kitchens or pictures only). Definitely see the stain in person! It was definitely worth driving a few hours for us, so hopefully someone else can benefit from this post again, too!
  • Karen
    Have they stained yet tilleylove? Post a picture! They're going to stain mine tomorrow and I can't wait. We're going with a medium walnut that's being cut down to about 15%. It's such a hard choice!
  • Lara Allison
    Do you have a photo of the final look of the floors in your house? Would love to see the 50/50 mix!
  • PRO
    Darlene Goren Interiors

    You can always have them ship actual stained samples to you to look at. This works really well if you can't be there and way better than pictures.


  • smithbor

    Are we going to get to see a picture of the 50/50 mix of Dark Walnut and Provincial?? How'd it turn out tillylove?


  • tilleylove
    I'm so glad I saw your comment, completely didn't even see the other ones, so I'm sorry about not posting sooner! The color turned out great! It's dark and has a nice richness to it, but not as dark as the full Minwax dark walnut would have been. I tend to like pretty dark floors though, but my husband did not, so we compromised with 50-50. The color is not so dark, so you can still see the grain of the oak. I've had a lot of people comment on how well they like our floors, so it turned out to be a perfect color for us..50/50 Minwax Provincial and Minwax Dark Walnut on red oak floors. Thanks for everyone's suggestions again with our project!
  • tilleylove
    Hopefully this helps some others trying to decide on a stain! Here are a few more pics with different light. Red oak 50/50 Provincial and Dark Walnut.
  • smithbor

    Thank you so much! It is absolutely beautiful!!! Just what I'm looking for. We are driving out there 3 hours to make the final decision. Just like you it must be decided in the next day or two. The difference is we have white oak. I would be so happy if the combo looked this good even though it's white oak. Fingers crossed for me please!

    It will be interesting to see the difference on white oak if we use the same combination. I will post pic's of our final floors along with the color choice.

    Best of luck to all going through this difficult decision :)

    P.S. Your thread really helped me... lots of food for thought.

  • Kirk

    Hello love,

    I have not read all of the above comments. However, I do suggest you insist upon samples that are finished. By this I mean stain on top of wood that you choose to to use (red oak), with the final finish coat applied also. Do not make a color selection based on stain sample without finish coat, since the color can be drastically altered. I hope this helps prevent a problem,

    Kirk, MVH

  • abbytea

    smithbor

    Did you ever refinish your white oak floors with the 50/50 of provincial and dark walnut that "tilleylove" used? I have to decide tomorrow also!

  • abbytea

    "tilleylove"

    Are you floors hard to keep clean? They are absolutely gorgeous and I am thinking of doing the same but I have to decide by tomorrow!! Yikes!! Any information would be helpful. I actually have had them put "special walnut" on white oak floors but it is looking too "red" for me.

  • tilleylove
    Hi abbytea! Mine do show, but I love dark wood floors! Some dirt/dust does show, but we also have two toddlers, so any type of floor would show a lot of what they throw! I am a clean freak though, and we have a robotic vacuum that runs around, so I find it pretty easy! We also keep our shoes in the garage/front door, and that has helped a lot! I love this color, but if we do it again, I'm thinking of going even darker, maybe Dark Walnut by itself! The sp walnut was too red for me too, so I'd advise against that if you don't like reds either. Good luck on your decision! Oh, and besides definitely going to see the stains in person on your actual floors, I would also have them put a coat of the topcoat on too. I realized it looked completely different again once they did that. Post some pics of your project here when it's done!
  • Kuzi
    I love second from bottom
  • Julie Parizek

    Greetings all, and thank you for your comments. My floor guy has just finished a coat of special walnut, and it is indeed too red. Mefor, when you say "a wash of grey" can you be more specific? It is logical to assume this will counter- balance the red. Can anyone add recommendations on how to proceed? Can you add another coat of color over an existing one, or do you need to sand and start over? Help!!

  • PRO
    Darlene Goren Interiors
    we had to cover red Jatoba floors and we tried a few stains and only black cut the red.
  • Julie Parizek

    Thank you. They used the Jacobean (?) over the Special Walnut, and It helped cut the red. Thank you!

  • kellyr

    Tilleylove - what finish are your floors? Satin, Semigloss? We are doing a very similar floor in our kitchen to match the rest of the house and having all the floors redone this week. I have two toddlers as well :)

  • abbytea

    I used a mix of special walnut and dark walnut and LOVE the way they turned out. Not too dark but not red!

    tilleylove thanked abbytea
  • Mary Jackson

    Thank you for sharing your flooring adventure with us. I have to sand and redo my floors myself and I am using a 50/50 blend, like you did, with another brand. Unfortunately, my sanding job is not the best in the world so I hope it turns out okay. If it does I will post some pictures. I think your floors are beautiful!

    tilleylove thanked Mary Jackson
  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler

    A floor job is only as good as the prep. If it's not sanded well, then hire a pro to do that job. It won't come out well when you base a job on poor prep.

  • 1998lee2015

    I too need to make a decision on stain color. The flooring company I am using as applied eight samples, four just straight out of the can, and four that are mixtures. I am not loving any of them. I have cherry cabinetry and I am trying to find a color that will compliment the cabinets, not make them look too red or orange. Nor do I want orange, purple, red floors. Although I love the dark floors, I feel that it is best for my house if I stay with a mid-tone stain. Any and all recommendations would be appreciated. Julie Parizek can you post picture of your floors?

  • tilleylove

    Kellyr, so to now just respond again! We did a satin sheen, but our house cleaner uses a cleaner that makes them a lot shinier than they really are. I thought about doing Matte, but our floor guys said that they don't wear as well? Not sure if that's true or not. Abbytea- could you post some pictures of your finished floors? Would love to see how tours turned out too! 1998lee-I would suggest you to look on Houzz for kitchens with cherry wood cabinets, and see what colors others used for their floors that might compliment them. I agree, going too dark would not look right with Cherry cabinets, imp. Good luck! It's a tough decision deciding floor stains!

  • tilleylove

    1998lee...these are definitely not dark, but look great with cherry cabs. https://www.houzz.com/photos/kitchen-expansion-traditional-kitchen-seattle-phvw-vp~2830259

  • Kristin Herndon

    Hello! Do you remember the name of the color that is the 2nd from the top? Thank you!

  • tilleylove

    I'm honestly not sure. I'M thinking that was the special walnut. Good luck!

  • jmfrannks46

    I have red oak and am hoping to have new unfinished red oak put in my family room to go with existing floors in the rest of our house ! They are rather orange now so will be shooting for a grayish brown shade. Hope it is possible ! All floors will be sanded and stained alike. I hope they will all match " the old and the new " !??

  • tilleylove

    Yes, we did the same in our house. We added new red oak, and had our existing golden oak (orange color) sanded and then all stained with the same color. Once they sand down your existing floors, you would never know that they weren't all laid and stained at the same time. Good luck!!

  • Kristin Herndon

    Our existing red oak floors were also an orange color. We added new unstained red oak to our kitchen area and sanded the existing wood floors throughout the rest of the house, then stained it all. The existing turned out just as beautifully as the new. Try out a combination of DuraSeal, one part grey, one part provincial and two parts Jacobean, water popped. It turned out the most beautiful medium shade of brown with the slightest grey hue that softens the coloring.

  • donwar

    I too am considering going with a darker hardwood floor although several people are telling me that it will take more wear and tear and show more dust, but I love the look. I am going today to pick up some samples, my choices at this point are provincial, dark walnut or Jacobean. I'm thinking the provincial may be too light and after reading how dark Jacobean is, I started to look at the dark walnut, I think the dark walnut looks nice but appears to still shows more red, which is what I'm trying to avoid. Really interested to see how a sample of the Jacobean looks.

  • katrinachicago

    donwar, i am on the same boat as you, can you share what stain color did you end up using? I like dark walnut but don't like the red undertone especially on our unfinished red oak. Thank you!

  • PRO
    Jarret Interior Design

    Really liking the Minwax Provincial and third one from the bottom. It seems like any color of furniture would look good next to them.

  • rlaufen
    I like the 3rd from the bottom. Bottom two might be too dark
  • donwar
    Hi @katrinachicago, sorry, just saw this! We went with the Jacobean and we absolutely love it!
  • joan_cronin27

    Did you use Jacobean solely on red oak? Not orange?

  • angiedawn7

    Kristin Kaminski Herndon, would you be willing to post pics of your floor with that color combination. It sounds beautiful.

  • S Ss
    Which color is second from right
  • Kristin Herndon

    They are all the same color. We sanded our existing hardwood, installed new hardwood in the kitchen and then stained it all the same color. DuraSeal, 2 parts Jacobean, 1 part Provençal, 1 part Grey, water popped.

  • Jennifer Miller

    What does water popped mean?

  • Kristin Herndon

    It’s when you wet the wood floor with water before applying the stain. The water opens the grain of the wood. I found the stain color looks much richer water popped. Try a sample area water popped vs not to see which result you prefer.

  • Jennifer Miller

    Thanks we have 80s orange oak cabinets that I want to refinish with a combination of Jacobean/ebony with a touch of classic grey. Our floors in the bath will be lighter with the hexagon tile on the back and larger mat tiles on side of shower

  • John Sheffield

    Kristin Kaminski Herndon, Love the color... Looking at the bottom picture of the transition.. It looks like the wood on the left if different than the wood on the right. Which one is the new red oak and are you positive that the old wood was oak?

  • Kristin Herndon

    The one on the left is the new. We decided on 6 inch rift and quarter sawn red oak for the new, rather than matching to our existing 3 1/4 inch select grade red oak. The select grade has a lot more of the wider, bolder movement to the grain. Our intent was to differentiate the areas, but maintain some continuity by using the same stain color. Yes, I’m positive our old wood is red oak.

  • Linda Andress

    Kristen and Tilly, did you use oil-based or water-based finishes?

  • Kristin Herndon

    We selected DuraSeal stain and swedish finish. I don’t know product was used for the swedish finish.

  • Liana

    Jumping on to try to find some help. I need a floor stain by the end of the week for our red oak floors. We wanted to go medium, but we tend to lean towards liking the darker stains rather than light. We have samples done by our GC and some done by our flooring guys and they look so different. The 4 they did are darker- I liked the jacobean and classic gray 50/50- but still can't make a decision. We have a white kitchen with darker gray island. The lighter colors showed more orange and pinky colors than the darker ones and I really want to avoid that. My real question is why 50/50 jac and CG look so different from one sample to the other....

  • Liana

    50/50 Jacobean and Classic Gray in top picture is the 2nd from the right and bottom is the bottom left. Bottom right is straight jacobean which looked so orange.

  • tilleylove

    We used Minwax, to answer someone's question above. Liana, I had a hard time deciding too, since I didn't want any red to show up in my floors. The floor color we chose did end up looking somewhat red in different lights. Colors can look so much different depending on the lighting in that area, and also if it is finished or not. Our GC put samples on the floor too, which I originally posted the pic of, but once they were finished, it didn't look nearly like the original he had just painted on for me to look at. I would keep searching on Houzz or see if you have a friend nearby with floors that you like, and then ask them exactly what they did to get that look. We have since moved from the house from above, and our new house has the red oak golden floors again, so I will have to pick another floor choice again soon. I chose the 50/50 dark walnut and Provincial, but it was too red for me, so I wouldn't go with that option for anyone looking to stay away from the reddish tones. Good luck in your decision! It's tough!

  • calgal932

    Julie, Could you please post a picture of how your floors turned out after they put the Jacobean on top to cut the red? Thank you-

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