FIND PROFESSIONALS
SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
bubbles0208

Cherry Floors -- Keep, Stain, or Replace?

bubbles0208
7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago
Hi everyone, we recently bought our 1st home, and are having a flooring dilemma! We have these brazilian cherry floors (house is 15 years old) on the main floor which includes the Kitchen, formal living room, and family room. The attached pictures are the current owner's furniture - we will be purchasing all new furniture, so please disregard.

We are looking to install hardwood floors on the top floor (bedrooms) as well, so hardwood floors on the main floor (attached pics) and the upstairs.

While the cherry floors are in good shape, we're not sure about keeping them only because I think red floors are a challenge to decorate/work with over wood colored floors. So, we're wondering the following:

- Stain - we've had a couple of flooring guys come to check our options for staining, and if we stain, it would be darker. However, with darker floors, it seems like scratches and dust is a lot more visible. Would you guys agree? Are they harder to maintain? Also, once we stain, and since cherry floors change color with exposure to light, would that mean we'd have to re-stain a few years later?
- Replace - If staining the wood costs just as much as replacing, we think we may go that route. Seems better to just replace them for oak or walnut floors, instead of staining and having to re-stain later?
- Keep - this would be the most cost-effective, however, red floors are a challenge to work with in terms of decoration (I think) if we have it all over the house? As you can see, our kitchen has a LOT of brown/red and I just don't like that. Also, we will likely have an area rug in the family room, so would that affect the colors of the floors over time (i.e. for those parts that are exposed to the sunlight vs. those that are under the rug)?

We're torn on what to do, so I would love if anyone who has personal experience with Brazilian cherry to give your input. Other feedback is also appreciated! Thank you!!

Comments (237)

  • Lori
    2 years ago

    nmamax3, thank you for that advice. I would've never thought of that. The refinisher uses a lacquer finish and i can ask for the Traffic HD but curious if anyone has insight in using lacquer.

  • Lori
    2 years ago

    mnmamax3, thank you for that advice. I would've never thought of that. The contractor I've selected uses a lacquer finish and i can ask for the Traffic HD but curious if anyone has insight in using lacquer.

  • Related Discussions

    Floor Refinish or Replace? Anyone have experience with Brazilian Cherry?

    Q

    Comments (9)
    I agree about repainting (oh, it will be "fun" to paint over red, even with the new types of paint that "make it easier") and suggest that you live with the floor a bit longer to get used to it. One advantage to the various tones in the floor, is that it won't show dust and stuff as quickly. We have oak floors that were stained "black cherry" by the previous owners. They look gorgeous when clean and polished...for about three days. You need to sweep and dust EVERYTHING pretty nearly every day to keep it looking good.
    ...See More

    Keep the Floor or Replace?

    Q

    Comments (55)
    It's hard to part with such a unique piece of history but sanity has to win out here. I say pull up some of the tiles and arrange into a wall art piece, then lay down new flooring that you can live with. [https://www.houzz.com/products/12x12-art3d-ancient-boat-wood-historic-and-weathered-wall-art-single-tile-prvw-vr~49010931[(https://www.houzz.com/products/12x12-art3d-ancient-boat-wood-historic-and-weathered-wall-art-single-tile-prvw-vr~49010931) *** I don't know how I ended up here, but I got pulled into this saga and now it's three years later and I must know... what did you do?
    ...See More

    Staining honey oak cabinets cherry with gel stain

    Q

    Comments (11)
    Yes you can stain the cabinets a darker stain, but not over the top of the existing finish. The cabinets would have to be stripped and stained and frankly it won't be worth it financially. If you want mahogany or cherry cabinets, may I suggest contacting a vendor about refacing your cabinets which would give you a much better professional look. This can be accomplished with maple faces that are stained cherry and it will look right. Oak is an open grained wood and it will never look right stained cherry or mahogany. Cherry and mahogany are closed or tight grained woods similar to maple which is why that wood will take the stain and look like cherry. Good luck.
    ...See More

    Keep the Parque Flooring or replace with planks?

    Q

    Comments (14)
    I'm going to buck the trend and tell you to KEEP the parquet. It is the MOST expensive out of your two floors. It has a unique appearance that is RARELY seen in today's world of generic planked hardwoods. That parquet is worth 5 of your other planked floors. If you remove it you could be down grading your flooring. By all appearances of your stately home, this may not be a good idea. These parquet floors are magnificent in a darker stain! Truly stunning. If they can be refinished and properly stained (yes...you will pay more for the staining and refinishing of that section compared to everything else) I would keep that floor. It is a show piece/show stopper floor. You can have a custom stain used over it that offers a tone-on-tone compliment to the other floors. A snick lighter than the rest of the hardwood/stairs would be intensely beautiful.
    ...See More
  • Pete Global
    2 years ago

    This is by beautiful , very , very strong flooring that I would not replace ...you can lighten the color a bit with a polyurethane ...but , I would rather change the color of the cabinets to white and be happy to have such a great floor . Brazilians and South Americans have lots of white or light color furniture ...it goes well with that besides being one of the sturdiest woods in the world ...! Lucky you !!!

  • Pete Global
    2 years ago

    Ps looking at your living room ..I would redecorate with a lighter rug ..to put distance between your furniture and the floor ...then think white decorating touches ...white flowers is a good start . Maybe a modern lamp ..? I would change the furniture before I change the floor .

  • Emerald Living
    2 years ago
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><md>So we stained the floors... now onto paint. Turns out there were three species is wood and they don’t think they were Brazilian cherry.

    We used:
    -Ebony on the reddest wood in the hall and living room. I died inside when they said they didn’t know the species but were calling it “prune wood” because it seems purple with ebony on it. You can see it in the bottom of the pic that captures multiple rooms.
    -Three parts Sedona red to one part ebony for the Tigerwood bedrooms.
    -The stairs are two parts Sedona to one part ebony.
    *the reddest pet pictures is raw, hasn’t been stained yet.
    *said this is the best we can do because we are color matching so many species.
  • popwife
    2 years ago

    Can you re-post the pictures they are not showing up

  • K Home
    2 years ago

    What did you end up doing? In the same boat

  • Sonja Suitor
    2 years ago

    A couple of things to keep in mind. In some of these pictures the walls or rugs are green. Green is the compliment (across the color wheel) of red. So green will make red much more pronounced. Changing the rugs or wall color to something more neutral would calm the color of the floors. I bought a house with Brazilian cherry flooring in the main living area. I would not have chosen that flooring. The previous owner painted the walls throughout Alaskan Skies by Benjamin Moore would not have chosen that either but jeez they look great together. Filled the house with my oriental rugs, creamy ivory furniture and brass lights & mirrors. Surprisingly I love it tho the floors & wall colors are different them my normal choices. You can make stuff work & it will turn out beautifully!

  • popwife
    last year

    matyngalea did your floor guy do the water popping to get your results?

  • HU-628076419
    last year

    I hope someone sees this that stained there Brazilian Cherry hardwood dark. I just met w a flooring guy, he is trying to convince me that the dark stain will fade quickly and I will be super disappointed a year after. Does anyone have experience with this?

  • jingletim
    last year

    Sounds odd to me - where would the stain go? As it is sealed after staining it doesn't rub off. Mine looks identical to the day it was stained 1.5 years ago. I have not heard of any stained wood fading quickly, whether floors or any other products...

  • HU-628076419
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I agree! I’m moving forward with the dark stain.

  • mnmamax3
    last year

    A couple things here... Generally, BC will darken and redden over time, but if in a very bright area it can actually fade/sunbleach also. This happened in my home in our dining room bump out with large windows on two sides and there are photos farther upthread of this from other posters as well. When we decided to redo and stain the floors we also added UV window film to protect our floors and furniture from UV damage. I am not seeing a lot of change from when it was first stained, so I'm not sure whether that's due to the window film or the stain. There is no color change under the rug vs. not, but we had no rug for several months post staining too.

  • etwitchell
    last year

    Has anyone tried this technique with American Cherry? Considering finishing options.

  • Chelle Subber
    last year

    I'd also love to know if anyone has done this with American Cherry!

  • HU-412095492
    last year

    I would like like to know if anyone has done American cherry i want to redo

  • Emerald Living
    last year

    Here is what my floors turned out like last summer. Redoing the kitchen and put in new Brazilian cherry to match this week. Used the same duraseal ebony stain and they look drastically different. Was told the new wood would turn more red and age to look like the old stuff. I really nervous it won’t. Has anyone had this experience?

  • Dangereuse
    last year

    It's always a beautiful light color right after being refinished. It will darken within a couple months, don't worry!

  • Emerald Living
    last year

    Thank you for the reassurance! 😊

  • territheresa
    last year

    Since the house is 15 years old the cherry floors have probably changed as much as they are going to. They look to be in brand new condition so I wouldn't change them. They are beautiful and very expensive looking.

  • territheresa
    last year

    I would go really dark with your cabinets, light with your counters and keep the floor as is.

  • mnmamax3
    last year

    Hmmm. Does that have the poly coat on top yet? Did they waterpop the first time and not the second? We had natural cherry floors and added new flooring then sanded all And stained at the same time. Old and new looked the same but they were sanded so maybe that’s why. In any case I would be sure to get written guranteee that color will even back out over time.

  • C M
    11 months ago

    Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) floor refinished with Espresso.

    So after reviewing many many Jatoba floors refinished in Ebony and Jacobean we chose DuraSeal Espresso for its brown and dark tones that still allow the beautiful red tones to peak though. Ebony was too black and did not let the warm tones of Jatoba to shine through. And Jacobean clashed with the red tones because of its forest green tones.


    Now, my floors are dreamy and lusciously darker with espresso brown colors yet still lucent with the beautiful Jatoba red peeking through

    Please note the before and after pictures. And I must say the pictures do not do it justice. The floor is much darker in person.


    The floor specialist sanded; popped the floor with water; applied DuraSeal Espresso stain which I asked him to keep on a bit longer than usual to get a richer color especially in the foyer; and did 2 coast of water based satin Polyurethane; and finished with Bona floor sealer.


    A note on test samples. The first samples we reviewed on our floor were stained after the floor was finely sanded. This closed the wood pores and did not let the stain penetrate and looked like a smear on top of the floor. However, the next day he popped the floor with water by using a wet rag and letting the floor dry. Then he applied the stains again and we got a truer representation of the color. See below picture. Right pic shows samples applied after popping with water.



  • Annette Moran
    8 months ago

    Just purchased a home that has BCW floors in the great room, master bedroom and dining room. I would like the floors refinished. I know it's been asked several times thru this thread, I am debating between the Dura brand, what color would be darker and show less red, the Dark Walnut or Ebony? If I mix it what should be the mix ratios? There are several areas where these floors will be right next to a Medium Oak floor (kitchen, which I am not planning to refinish those).

  • Anthony C
    8 months ago

    I highly, highly advise against staining them. I tried twice with two different fnishes and it simply doesn't work. We did Ebony in a matte finish and it looked ok at first, but turns a deep, deep red/black over time, but the worst part is that you literally can't walk on it with barefeet, dogs, etc. because it immediately gets cloudy, leaves tracks, etc. We finally ripped them out and put in white oak floors. I've never had more joy than when I saw those floors getting ripped out. I know it is a pain, but you will never regret getting rid of them and putting in the oak. Plus you'll get your money back down the road by having no cherry and having your floors uniform throughout.

  • jingletim
    8 months ago

    3 year update: my BCW floors look the same as the day they were stained (Duraseal ebony with water popping and Bona HD Traffic Satin finish) - have held up fantastic - house with kids and a dog. No cloudy marks or visible tracks etc (@Anthony C, sounds like a product malfunction / application issue to me). See my posts 3 years ago on this thread for photos and details of the process. Would not hesitate to do it again. The benefit of a harder wood than oak and a beautiful deep chestnut / brown color. Cost of this was a small fraction of new floors.

  • A F
    6 months ago

    Love all these updates! Did anyone who stained their floor darker have the fading/light changing issues that regular Jatoba has? I just stained mine and am wondering if I put rugs down right away if I’ll have a line.

  • sproic
    5 months ago

    Literally in the process of doing this right now with duraseal stains. Checking out Coffee and 50/50 coffee/antique brown mix. I've also looked at antique brown, medium brown, and Jacobean. Jacobean is my stand out favorite so far for killing some of the red while also bringing that brown/warmer color in. Medium brown was too light and let too much red in. Spice brown on its own was definitely too dark during the evening (closer to ebony). Based on a previous comment and pic, now I'm interested in Espresso :)

  • mnmamax3
    5 months ago

    A F - I did not put down rugs for a long while (more because I hadn't selected them than anything). We did add UV film on the windows and after two years with rugs we have a very faint difference between the under-rug and not areas. This space has floor to ceiling windows on two of the three sides and had faded terribly back when it was unstained. I think the color change is unnoticeable in the more interior spaces.


    We used Ebony with Bona HD satin. Love the look still 5 years later!!

  • A F
    3 months ago

    (Posted this in its own thread but wanted to make sure I shared it in this thread since this was so helpful for us)

    We stained our Brazilian cherry floors back in March and wanted to share these photos. I used Houzz for advice and it was so helpful. We love the results and would recommend it to everyone!

    Details:
    The flooring guys sanded, water popped, stained with Duraseal Ebony, and finished with BonaTraffic HD in satin finish.

    Pic 1: Before (floors were very orange with lots of variation in color)

    Pic 2: Duraseal stain samples (Clockwise from top left - Dark Walnut, Jacobean, Red Oak, and Ebony)

    Pic 3: After (floors photographed a bit brighter than it is in person/looks like this in bright light)

    Pic 4: After (more realistic of what it looks like at an angle)

    Overall:
    Color - We looove the color! I was worried it would be too dark, but it shows some of the grain and color through it still so I think it looks great - nice and modern. So glad we went with Ebony as it looks so good on Brazilian Cherry!

    Finish - We we’re worried about the floors showing footprints and dust (heard this might be an issue with dark floors), but the satin finish is great. I also hate the look of glossy floors so satin was a perfect medium.

  • mnmamax3
    3 months ago

    Yay! They turned out great!

  • wozkap
    3 months ago

    Floors look Amazing!! Would you mind sharing the square footage and how much they charged for this work?

  • Mar C
    3 months ago

    Hi A F. Your floor looks amazing. Is it possible for you to post another picture from another angle. The picture 3 and 4 looks like they are totally different floors though they both look very nice. Would you stay, you still see some red in your floor? Thanks.

  • cej22
    last month

    We had success with our Brazilian Cherry floors in a house we recently bought. There were several hundred sq ft that we had sanded and refinished with DuraSeal Coffee Brown and Bona Traffic HD in Satin. We installed new Brazilian Cherry where there was previously carpet and slate tile (stairs, office, hallway, entry). My understanding is that Coffee Brown has a lot of green in it that counteracts the natural red. Regardless, we are happy with the results.


    Before


    After





  • Margaret McCue
    last month

    Perfect! Love the darker stain

  • Tara Wilson
    22 days ago

    Hello everyone, I'm so glad I found this site and this thread. Has anyone tried to change their Brazilian Cherry to a brown/grey colour? I would love to do that. Any suggestions or pics for me?

  • mdefree
    22 days ago

    Tara Wilson try this stain color on your floor to see if you like it. 50/50 Jacobean stain/classic gray water popped Duraseal.

  • mdefree
    22 days ago

    To cancel out the red in Brazilian Cherry and make it easier to decorate you need to go to a darker color with more green undertones. Your floors won’t be green but will dilute the red in the floors.

    My favorite combos that I have seen are:
    Jacobean/coffee water popped duraseal
    Jacobean water popped Duraseal
    Jacobean/classic gray 50/50 water popped Duraseal. This is what I have in my house.
    Ebony/classic gray 50/50 Duraseal

    Another secret always keep your ratios 50/50. It is easier for the flooring guys to mix the formula and for you to remember.

  • sookmomof4
    22 days ago

    Below are my Brazilian Cherry (3/4 inch-nail down) floors newly refinished with Bona HD in Satin. no stain at all... not sure why everyone feels the need to stain these beautiful floors. I would hate to clean floors darker than these.. It would be a nightmare.





  • Tara Wilson
    22 days ago

    These look awesome! Mine are pretty red!

  • mnmamax3
    22 days ago

    @sookmomof4 Love your floors with the cream trim and black accents. We all like what we like! We had cherry overload at our house and the darker stain is what spoke to us!

  • sookmomof4
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    @nmmamax3 I totally understand! I hate cleaning after raising 4 sons, so anything that can disguise the dirt is good. I may get the vinyl tile in our next house, simply for the ease of use. Refinishing is very difficult, it was basically moving.

  • bubbles0208
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    OP here - Love that this thread is still going strong! I think it definitely depends on the floors and how red they are. Ours were really bright orange / red, so staining was the way to go for us to achieve what we wanted. The floors ended up being darker with reds coming through in a pretty way. Love how yours turned it without the stain too, sokomomo.

  • Mar C
    21 days ago

    We had ours stained to ebony in satin finish





  • Tina
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I found this thread so helpful over the past few months so wanted to share. We went with Bona Aged Pewter...I was a bit worried that our floors would look grey but it really balanced out the red tones. Super happy with the results. Now we just need to paint!








  • sookmomof4
    5 days ago

    Looks great!


  • jingletim
    5 days ago

    "not sure why everyone feels the need to stain these beautiful floors."

    I can answer that sookmonof4 - I suspect most of our floors looked exactly like your freshly finished wood when it was first intalled! (ditto when freshly refinished). It's simply the light that causes the reddish orange colour to develop. I still have lots of left over boards from the original install, kept in an attic where there is no light, and it's a nice brown colour. Yours will surely end up looking like the very first post, given time. See for example my posts from a few years ago, and you can see the original orange colour, then the nice brown immediately after sanding (no stain), a process that removes the oxidized outer layer of wood- it would be back to the original orange/red within a year had I not stained it. You can also see how the orange/red was removed from others where photos are provided pre-stain (post sanding off the top layer), such as the post by A F just prior to yours. Note, timing depends upon how much light you get, and the intensity of the light. Interestingly with lots of intense direct sunlight, it will bleach too - see my photo where a carpet protected the wood from this at a southern facing glass door. Fortunately this blanching has not happend again after staining. Looking at your photos, seems you have pretty good natural light, so I expect your floors will take on the typical orange/red tones that characterizes this wood in its unstained form.

  • sookmomof4
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Hi Jingletim,

    I doubt it will change. When they sanded it , the wood looked almost the same as after the clear coat went on. The wood is quartersawn 3/4 inch nail down, that I put down 23 years ago. I have coated all my windows long ago. I also have samples in my garage and it has turned down all the way through. I am not sure how many of these floors are engineered wood. Mine never were as red or burgundyish to begin with.

  • jingletim
    5 days ago

    Hi sookmomof4, mine too is 3/4" nail down. Not sure if my Pella windows have a coating that blocks UV light; that could contribute to the difference, but didnt see a photo of your floors prior to refinishing for comparison. My stored wood has only turned reddish on the outer surfaces that got some light (outer pieces in a stack left in garage) - if I cut into those (or sand off the top surface), it's brown on the inside too. In any case, this thread is attracting those of us who have the brazilian cherry that, as the pics demonstrate, goes that orange/red we don't find appealing :)

  • sookmomof4
    5 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago



    Hi Jingletime, Here is a before, with my doodle! 😊 . I also neglected to say that I uv filmed all my windows where high sun hits the floor, unfortunately after the floors started bleaching from the sun many years ago. Now that they are refinished they should stay pretty consistent, as I hate rugs.

Sponsored
MacAnson Construction
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars1 Review
Custom Cabinetry & Flooring Company in Ashburn – Since 2013!

Need help discovering your style?

Take Style Quiz