Staining and Color Pre-Treatments
Applying stain or a pre-treatment to your hardwood floor allows you to transform them into something really special and unique. Many homes here on the South Shore have oak floors in them. If you’re not a fan of natural oak floors, then staining is the answer to completely changing up their appearance.
You can have a completely new look that will transform your home without having to spend huge amounts of money replace the flooring.
Example of dark stained floor we did recently
Samples of different stain colors to choose from
Stain being carefully applied around edges
Buffing stain on
Special sander we use to ensure there are no marks left on the floor.
Some of the many colors available you can stain your floor with
Another finished floor… stained and coated
What Exactly Is Staining?
In simple terms, it’s changing the color of your floors. After the floors are sanded down to bare wood, it’s an extra step that can be included before coating them with finish.
Recently many types of pre-treatments have become available from different finishing manufacturers too and these are applied before the stain goes down, or even without stain. With the mix of these two products you have unlimited creative color options.
Why Consider Staining?
There are some great benefits to be had from staining. The main one being you can completely change the look of your hardwood floors. Don’t like the classic oak look? You can stain them to transform the room from traditional to modern to country or to any other look or decorating style you prefer.
It’s also a great option if you find pet urine or water damage and you don’t want to go to the expense of replacing the flooring. As long as the wood is stable, by staining them a dark ebony shade you’ll be able to hide most of the damage.
Staining a Floor Is the Most Difficult Part of a Sand and Refinish Project
To obtain consistent superior staining results, your floor needs very precise preparation. This involves a lot of extra time, care, effort, additional steps and specialized equipment compared to normal sanding and refinishing where the floor is kept natural.
There are numerous failure points when staining a floor. If something goes wrong, the floor will need a full re-sand. Your project will be delayed and unnecessary wood will be removed from your floors. That’s why it’s important to find a business with lots of staining experience.
Why Are So Many Extra Steps Needed?
When sanding and refinishing a natural (unstained) floor, the sanding sequence is much less technical. The belt sander and edger leaves very different sanding patterns. The belt sander is a straight cut, while the edger is circular. Both these patterns, which meet around the perimeter of the room, are blended together with a buffing machine. When the finish is applied, only in well-lit rooms when you are down on your knees can you see any slight sanding marks. It’s a great system for natural floors.
But… if you put a stain down on the exact same floor, the stain pigments would show very noticeable marks around the edges.
In order to eliminate those sanding marks, there are six extra steps that need to be done:
STEP 1: A special planetary sander is used to fine sand the entire floor, up to the perimeter. There may be multiple passes depending on the floor. This ensures a consistent, very fine sanding pattern across the entire floor.
STEP 2: Then palm sanders are used around the edge of the perimeter where the planetary sander can’t reach.
STEP 3: After the extra sanding passes we hand sand all corners and areas that can’t be reached by the machines.
STEP 4: With the sanding completed, areas that won’t be stained, like transitions and carpet edges, are taped off to protect them.
STEP 5: Then we water-pop the floors. This process raises the wood grain and removes any last trace of sanding marks. It ensures the stain goes down even. It also gives the floor a richer, deeper stain color. Water-popped floors are extremely delicate. As the wood grain is raised, any compression of the fibres from walking on it wrong, or dragging shoes or equipment across it, will leave invisible compression marks on the floor. They will only show up once the stain goes down. By then it is too late to do anything… the whole floor will need to be re-sanded again.
STEP 6: Now the stain goes on. It’s critical that it gets applied fast and evenly. We can’t have any lap marks. The whole teams need to be very efficient at working together and not causing any compression marks on the water-popped floor. This part of the staining process is the most stressful.
With those steps completed we wait for the stain to dry. It will take somewhere from 6 to 24 hours. This depends on the humidity in the room, what airflow you have and if it is an oil based stain or a water based one. Once it’s fully dry the finish can be applied.
It’s pretty obvious now why a professionally stained floor costs more. It’s close to twice the amount of work. But I’m sure you’ll agree the final outcome is definitely worth it.
Are You Interested in Having Your Floors Stained?
When we come out to provide an estimate, let us know you’re considering this option and we’ll fill you in on some more details. We have a large collection of stain samples for you to look through. You can choose your favorite colors and keep them for a few days to help you decide the perfect shade for your home.
This is one of the biggest questions we get asked by our customers. This will answer this question in detail…pdfDownload PDF Article