Wood Stain Colors for Floors

LAST UPDATED: Feb 14, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Aug 18, 2015 | By:

Wood stain colors for white oak hardwood floors

It’s official, the stress has gotten to me! Whatever you think your stress level will be during a home renovation, multiply it by two three. I thought I had it all figured out. I knew I wanted a warm, medium stain for our new hardwood floors, but I completely underestimated how difficult that would be. Sure, I could spend all day pinning and dreaming of what the color will look like, but colors vary from brand to brand, different species of wood and even one board to the next. Ugh!

For the last year, I’ve been pinning hardwood floors I love, recognizing that some are pre-finished. I want a classic, timeless and traditional look. Unfortunately, so many colors have red and yellow undertones that it was more difficult than I had imagined. These are the wood stain colors we tested for our floors:

Choosing wood floor stain color on white oak | golden brown and special walnut

We didn’t test Provincial, one I have always loved. I really loved the special walnut {top left} because it was truest to color without undertones and doesn’t highlight the grain as much, but also liked golden brown {bottom left}. The golden brown definitely emphasizes the grain, giving it a slightly more rustic look. What to do? Blend them.

Choosing wood floor stain color on white oak | golden brown and special walnut

Well, we tried. I found that blended they can be a little unpredictable looking far more yellow on the left and picture perfect to the right. {From left to right – blended, golden brown, blended, special walnut}. You can see how when the color is blended exactly the same, it differs from board to board.

Choosing wood floor stain color on white oak | golden brown and special walnut

We’re leaning toward to the golden brown {left}because it’s slightly darker than the special walnut. Unfortunately, it’s rare to see these colors used in larger spaces, especially on the same species of wood. We have white oak, which tends to be grainier, but truer to color.

At the end of the day, I want to be extremely thoughtful about my decisions because they can be very costly and I want to love them 10 years from now. One thing I love about the “Father of the Bride” home is that the finishes are timeless. Heavy white molding, beautiful treads and risers, butcher block counters, I could go on, and on. I’d like to do the same in ours. I have to apologize for these iPhone photos, but I just felt compelled to share!

I might need a few prayers over the next couple weeks, but I can see that our house is coming to fruition and soon, it won’t look or feel the same. It will feel like our home and we can relax and relish in it! Care to weigh in? I always love your thoughts and comments!