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The beauty of hardwood flooring lies not only in its durability and natural charm but also in its versatility. If you choose to stain your floors, for example, the type of stain you choose can dramatically transform the look of the space. You can then choose furniture and other decor that either complements the floor to add warmth or contrasts with it to create drama. From airy and beachy to elegant to cozy, the possibilities are nearly endless. Let’s talk about how different stains can affect the look and feel of your home so you can make informed choices.


Different Stain Colors for Hardwood Floors


Stains can dramatically change the appearance of your hardwood floors. Here are some popular choices:


  • Light/Natural Stains: These preserve the original hue of the wood, often enhancing the grain patterns. They’re perfect for a minimalist or Scandinavian design aesthetic.
  • Medium Stains: Ranging from amber to rich brown, medium stains offer a balance between showcasing the wood’s natural beauty and adding depth to the color. These work well with traditional or rustic interiors.
  • Dark Stains: These stains, such as espresso or mahogany, lend a luxurious and sophisticated feel to a room. They’re ideal for modern, contemporary, or industrial-style spaces.


Stain Reactions to Different Wood Floor Types


The type of wood you choose can also affect how a stain is absorbed and, consequently, the final look. To illustrate, let’s look at some of the most common hardwood flooring options:


  • Oak: Known for its strong grain patterns, oak is by far the most popular choice for hardwood floors. Oak absorbs stains evenly, making it suitable for both light and dark stains.
  • Maple: This wood has a smooth, subtle grain and can appear blotchy with dark stains. Light to medium stains work best on maple.
  • Cherry: Cherry wood naturally darkens over time and takes well to light stains, which highlight its rich red undertones.


The Stain Selection Process


Choosing a stain involves considering color choices, finishes, and sheens. Test multiple stain samples on a spare piece of your hardwood before making a decision. Finishes range from matte to glossy, while sheens—the amount of light reflected from the surface—can be low, medium, or high.



Designing with Stain Shades


The real magic of hardwood staining happens when you match the stain shade to the style and decor of your room. Light stains can make small rooms appear larger, while dark stains can add warmth and coziness. If you’re thinking to install new wood floors or restain your existing ones, here are a few design ideas to give you inspiration:


  • Light/Natural Stains with Bold Colored Furniture: If you have furniture and decor in bold, vibrant colors, a light or natural stain can offer a neutral backdrop that allows these pieces to pop. This contrast creates a dynamic, lively space.
  • Dark Stains with Light-Colored Upholstery: Dark, richly stained floors can create a dramatic contrast with light-colored upholstery or soft furnishings. This look exudes sophistication and elegance, perfect for a contemporary or modern home.
  • Medium Stain with Vintage or Rustic Furnishings: A medium stain complements vintage or rustic furnishings beautifully. The rich brown tones of the wood can echo the patina of antique wooden furniture, creating a cohesive, warm, and inviting space.
  • Grey Stained Floors with Monochrome Decor: Grey-stained floors are a modern trend that pairs excellently with a monochrome color scheme. The cool tones of the grey stain provide a sleek, contemporary backdrop for black and white furniture and decor.
  • Dark Stains with Metallic Accents: Dark-stained floors can also create a stunning contrast with metallic accents in your decor. The reflective surfaces of gold, silver, or brass elements can add a touch of luxury against the deep hues of the floor.


Remember, the above are just guidelines. The beauty of design lies in personal expression, so don’t be afraid to explore your options until you find a combination that feels right for you.


Quality Hardwood Flooring Installation in Tulsa and OKC 



Regardless of which stain you choose, the key to long-lasting beauty is to have your floors installed and stained by master craftsmen. At Renaissance, we’ve got four decades of experience installing and refinishing hardwood floors throughout the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas. We’re widely known for our uncompromising commitment to quality materials and workmanship. Contact us for a complimentary quote.