bubbles0208

Cherry Floors -- Keep, Stain, or Replace?

bubbles0208
6 years ago
last modified: 6 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 (202)

  • grewa002
    6 years ago
    Cherry floors are beautiful. What about painting the cabinets instead?
    bubbles0208 thanked grewa002
    Best Answer
  • Chelle Subber
    8 days ago

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

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  • etwitchell
    4 months ago

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

  • mnmamax3
    7 months ago

    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.

  • HU-628076419
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

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

  • jingletim
    7 months ago

    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
    7 months ago

    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?

  • popwife
    8 months ago

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

  • Sonja Suitor
    8 months 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!

  • K Home
    8 months ago

    What did you end up doing? In the same boat

  • popwife
    8 months ago

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

  • Emerald Living
    11 months 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.
  • Pete Global
    11 months 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 .

  • Pete Global
    11 months 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 !!!

  • Lori
    11 months 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.

  • Lori
    last year

    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.

  • mnmamax3
    last year

    Lori, I have spoken with someone who did the Matte finish (Traffic HD has one) and hated it! Every little drop of water or speck of dust stood out horribly. I would ask for an example you can go see in a public space or unfinished home before committing... HD Satin is my strong recommendation. Good luck!!

  • Carolyn Scher
    last year

    After and before. Brazillian Cherrywood stained Jacobean with Satin finish..... couldn't be happier!!!

  • Lori
    last year

    I have exotic hardwoods - Rosewood to be exact. I want to darken to cut the red and the tips here are very helpful. Two things I am unsure of for those that have had success refinishing and staining exotics. First, did you use oil or water based stain. Second, I see the comments on the Bona Traffic finish. I think i want a matte finish and don't see that as an option with this product. But I can't find much online about the correct finish to use on exotics. I know that urethane finishes are not ideal. The refinisher I have consulted with is recommending lacquer. Thoughts?

  • mnmamax3
    last year

    Thanks! I can't wait to see how yours turn out.

  • Emerald Living
    last year
    Mnmamax3, thanks for the reply! Your floors look great! Thanks for the run down on the products/technique! I plan on either painting the doors to match the white trim or staining them to match the floor.
  • mnmamax3
    last year

    ltuck1 - What do you plan on doing with the doors you have the "match" the cherry? We ended up painting ours. Have a refinisher come out and give you some estimates. I see a lot of striation in your floor that makes me think it might be something other than cherry, but it might be the picture. We have white tiger wood downstairs that looks similar.

    Waterpoppping is literally water wiped across the newly sanded floor to bring out the grain. It keeps the stain particles from sinking into the wood and giving you uneven staining. We did the Duraseal ebony stain with Bona Traffic HD Satin and loved the result. Some of the other posters had luck with dark brown stains. Traffic is a commercial grade finish that dries quickly with very little odor (though the smell from the stain is horrible - plan to be out of the house for a few days) and has a beautiful satin finish, not glossy. There will still be an undertone of red, but overall the effect is a rich dark brown. We also added 3M window film to help with fading and so far it seems to be working.

    Maybe do the main level first and then decide if you want to carpet the stairs all the way to the bedrooms. Properly done wood floors are beautiful! I really like the railings you have too.




  • Emerald Living
    last year

    I just purchased a home with cherry floors. Pictures from the listing are attached. They are more red in person. Closer to the stair picture. Significant worn spots on stairs and lighter in the sun. Advertised as Brazilian cherry, but who knows. I knew I would have to go darker. I really wanted a timeless color like french oak wine barrels. I don’t think that is possible. The floors are across two stories of the home. I dislike the red (understatement). I want something timeless. I am worried about getting an inexperienced floor refinisher or someone who doesn’t know the nuances. It’s making me really anxious because of the investment and how irritated I would be every day looking at a bad outcome. It sounds like people used the dura ebony. I didn’t catch the sealing recommendations because they were pretty diverse. Also, what is “water popping”? I am considering putting carpet over the floors in the bedrooms, except the master suite and common areas. I heard it may be more cost efficient than sanding and staining.




  • felizlady
    last year
    Don’t paint your beautiful cabinets! Staining your floor should be less expensive than installing new flooring throughout the downstairs. The issue is the multiple shades of your cherry floor. The new stain may not make every board match because they don’t match now, but multiple browns will coordinate better with your cabinetry than multiple reds. A professional floor stain person with more than five years of experience should be able to handle the job. A light sanding to remove the existing top finish, a coat of brown stain, and a new coat of top finish.
  • Carolyn Scher
    last year

    My son is purchasing this apartment. We don't care for the coloring of thr wood floor, although they look like beautiful floors it's just to orange. not sure I'd these are Brazilian solid cherrywood or something else. Are they engineered? I love the pictures with the ones that were redone with the darker stains. The Ebony looks nice. Sadly these cabinets seem to match but I'm thinking he can just do the floors before he moves in and leave the cabinets for a bit and then maybe paint them eventually. Any info or thoughts would be appreciated.

  • lena2019
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Not sure if you'll see this, @Keith, but I'm wondering what coloured walls you have? I like the look of that grey with the cherry wood. Thank you in advance!

    Our new place also has Brazilian cherry wood, and I'm trying to find a grey that will go nicely with those floors without making them look too red.

  • mnmamax3
    last year

    We're on two years and counting. We added 3M window treatments to all our windows to help with fading/color change. There is (and always will be) some reddish/golden undertones, but overall my floor appears dark brown.

  • bubbles0208
    last year
    Hi everyone, I’m so glad to see that this thread has offered so much help to people! Love seeing the before and after pictures! It’s been 4 years since we’ve done our floors and they still look great. The color is still the same as when we got it done, and I haven’t noticed it get darker or lighter with time. Our family room gets a lot of sunlight during the day and the color hasn’t faded / gotten darker. We still love our floors!
  • Connie Greene
    last year

    We want to go forward on staining our brazilian cherry floors (13 years old) but have been told that the bleaching process - peels. So now we want to go darker and we are told "it all goes back to the reddish color anyway". Does anyone have any ebony colored brazilian cherry that lasted? And does anyone know a vendor in Chicago? Thank you!

  • moneymm
    last year

    bubbles0208 , can you post some updated pics/feedback. would love to see how the stain held up as many have said the red comes back or they lighten or darken with time. thanks!

  • mnmamax3
    last year

    Michael, sorry this is late. Not sure what you did. indeed brazilian cherry will darken with exposure to light but it will also became lighter (fade) with excessive light exposure. Our interior kitchen area darkened but our bump out dining room with two walls of windows faded (and I actually liked the faded color). When we decided to refinish our floors darker, we also added 3m window film on all the windows to try and alleviate some of the inconsistency. A full sanding of the whole area (including the newly added floor left it all consistent and perfect.


    Cm2529. Would love to see how that comes out. I would ask for References and pictures. When I researched this (and some of it maybe on this thread) a lot of people wishing to go lighter also utilizard a green toned stain to off set the reds. Good luck and make sure to post pictures!!

  • cm2529
    last year
    Hello. Great thread! I’ve got a home with 3000sf of Brazilian cherry. It’s in great shape. We’ve had it 15 years. But we are tired of dark and want to go light and more modern. We’ve been talking to contractors for a while and I wanted to get your opinions before taking the big dive. The contractor are leaning towards is recommending we bleach, 2-3 layers. Then seal (considering bona Nordic) 2-3 coats. Then 2-3 coats of bona HD. We are going for a Modern beach Scandinavian look. He has great reviews and they’ve been in business over 40 years. I just want to make sure our floor doesn’t turn pink, red, yellow, etc since it’s Brazilian cherry. You think we can achieve this? Pls help! I’m trying to do as much research as possible so we get it right. I’ve seen so many horror stories online. Thx!
  • Michael D
    last year

    I have been following the comments and suggestions made to different inquires regarding fading of Brazilian Cherry. In 2006 we laid 750 sq ft of pre-finished Indusparquet BR111 Jatoba PFBC3 Brazilian Cherry. We noticed that areas in the foyer near slider doors have SIGNIFICANTLY lightened even though most comments indicate the flooring should darken. I have included photos of a spare box of flooring as well as areas between floor rugs directly in front of the sliders and then further in the interior of the house showing less color change. We have had some contractors assess the situation and have been told to consider either refinishing or replacing the entire 1st floor vs attempting to refinish or replace just the foyer area that is affected. Since the house is being sold, if in fact the color will re-appear, we want to provide that option to the potential buyers, or just consider leaving the rugs in place. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.






  • Michael D
    last year

    I've been reviewing many of these comments and have seen some conflicting comments regarding the transition of color of Brazilian Cherry. We have Indusparquet BR111 Jatoba Brazilian Cherry Pre-finished floors (see photos of spare box) that were laid in 2006 throughout the 1st floor (750sqft). In the foyer (250sqft) leading out to the backyard, the sun shines thru the sliders and around the flooring where some area rugs were laid the flooring has SIGNIFICANTLY lightened. My understanding was exposure to light would darker the floors. We did have some flooring people assess the situation and short of being told a total replacement or refinishing of all flooring for consistency, we are trying to determine best course of action (or non-action) as the house is being sold and we want to assure new buyers that if rugs are removed, the color is supposed to re-balance. We had removed the rugs earlier this year for about 4 months and saw no difference.





    I've included some photos of the area right in front of sliders that have lightened and then about 10ft into the foyer where there is a much less color change. The rugs did have a visible non-slip mat under them. Would appreciate any thoughts or comments based on similar experiences

  • wozkap
    last year
    last modified: last year

    matyngalia

    Your floors turned out beautiful! May I ask exactly what process you did in exact steps with products? Also approximately how much per square foot did you pay? I have both engineered brazillian cherry downstairs and non engineered upstairs. Does anyone know if I would use the same process for both? Thanks all!!

  • emehouse1
    last year



    I found this post helpful when deciding what to do thought with our Engineered Brazilian wood. We wanted to get rid of the red too. We selected the middle stain Bono antique brown. Thought I’d share.

  • Keith
    2 years ago
    Some final post-stain pics of going from natural Brazilian Cherry to stained 50/50 Ebony-Graphite
  • mnmamax3
    2 years ago

    matyngalea - those turned out beautifully! So happy you got the result you were hoping for!

  • matyngalea
    2 years ago
    Hello all!! I just wanted to share my results, I previously posted about my Brazilian Cherry wood floors, here is a before and the after with the Ebony Stain. We are so thrilled with the results!
  • tasslia
    2 years ago

    Ok. Thanks Keith and Jingletim. As always, much appreciated!

  • jingletim
    2 years ago

    Tasslia, you can see the equipment used for sanding my floors in one of the pics I provided above. Only the stairs and edges involved some hand/smaller tools. The orbital sanding is circular, so not with the grain for any wood pattern! They simply used increasingly fine grit sand paper such that in the end the scratches are too fine to see by eye. I can not detect any scratches or scuffs anywhere on the floor. Don't see why it would be any different of a process for herringbone, but admittedly not an expert.

  • Keith
    2 years ago
    @tasslia Herringbone does take more effort to sand bc they cannot just go with the grain, however, 3X seems waaaay above what it should be. Our crew used modern big sander machines plus a couple special items. They definitely did NOT do it with a hand sander. Make sure whomever you go with is NWFA Certified. But all in the per square foot was (maybe) 15%-20% higher. Keep us posted.
  • tasslia
    2 years ago

    @Keith. They look great! Nice job! Much more modern than our lovely orange/red herringbone :-). Happy you are pleased with how it turned out.

    Love the dark rich color! For me - it's a shore beach house, and fearing the likelihood of sand coming in, I will need to sample stain a bit lighter options and maybe even the Coffee stain Jingletim provided a picture of.

    -- I'm assuming they used a standard sanding machine on your floors, but do let me know if otherwise. Did anyone tell you that you needed hand sanding for the herringbone? One floorer advised me that he needed to do hand sanding to go with the grain or it would show scratches. He wanted triple the amount!! Figured it would take him months. lol Hoping that is not the case.

  • Keith
    2 years ago
    @jingletim

    Bona stain samples going from top of pic to bottom:

    1. Aged Pewter
    2. Graphite
    3. Ebony
    4. Ebony/Gray (50/50 blend)
    5. Graphite/Gray (50/50 blend)
    6. Aged Pewter/Jacobean (50/50 blend) (bottom left)
    7. Graphite/Antique Brown (50/50 blend) (bottom right)
  • jingletim
    2 years ago

    Keith that is a nice photo of the sample stains - likely others considering stains would appreciate if you identified the various stain colours. The pic also shows how variable the colour of the natural wood can be, and how much more uniform it is after staining. Its going to look great once the finish is applied.

  • jingletim
    2 years ago

    Here are a couple pics of the product that was applied to my floors - it went on after sanding, before staining. They covered the entire floor with it, let it dry, then sanded. If you want to clean the stain off the baseboards, around the stairs etc, it comes off easily with methyl hydrate (photo below)

  • Keith
    2 years ago
    The sample color is next to my wife’s bottom foot in the pic (4th from top). Slightly lighter than how it turned out
  • Keith
    2 years ago
    Here are some other pics with finish where you can tell the gaps are gone
  • Keith
    2 years ago
    @jingletim they did. That’s why that one pic with no finish isn’t as relevant to how it looks post. No gaps. And yes they did do the samples right on the floors beforehand. Guessing the guy who did the samples poured a little more graphite than ebony so it wasn’t a true 50/50 blend.
  • jingletim
    2 years ago

    Keith, did they do a sample right on your floor or bring in a sample? If brought in, was it the same wood? Certainly more uniform in colour now!

    Are they going to trowel in some filler? I notice in the third pic what look to be some gaps. I think they did ours before the stain. They wiped the entire floor with it (same as when it was first installed). As a result, there is no place you could stick a credit card between the boards.

  • Keith
    2 years ago
    Whoops! Realized first pic is before any finish (stain only).