Gray hardwood flooring is in style and a great look! Many homeowners are requesting for new flooring in gray or for their established hardwood flooring to be refinished in a gray color.
Pre-finished gray hardwoods are easy to come by, since maple and birch floors are closed pored and often absorb darker brown stains differently, causing them to look gray on these types of wood. This same stain will look dark brown on an oak floor, but by using a different wood, the gray color can be achieved.
It is more difficult to stain an established oak floor a gray color. Oak hardwood stained gray may be more expensive than regular refinishing since it requires more than the standard refinishing process. The staining process involves a stain which is a combination of white wash and ebony. This stain is patch tested in different levels of color saturation until the right shade of gray is achieved.
Keep in mind the type of oak flooring you have. White oak flooring works best with gray stain, since red oak flooring has underlying red tones and will need a darker gray stain to achieve the desired look. Maple floors that are not pre-finished can turn blotchy since this is a close-pored species. Pine flooring has yellow undertones. Gray does not turn out as well on pine flooring, but if you do go this route, you will need to use a deep gray to wash out the yellows. A pine floor refinished in gray will most likely yellow over time as well when the pine ages.
Refinishing hardwood floors in a gray color is challenging and should be handled by an expert. An expert should sand the floors to perfection and then follow with precise stain application. The stain must be applied to consistently and applies in strips to avoid any cross-grain color-variant lines. The stain should have at least 24 hours to dry.
After the stain is applied, it is essential that a water-based polyurethane seal is used rather than an oil-based seal. Oil-based finish will turn the floor a yellowish color and does not work well with gray stains. Your flooring may need an extra coat of water based poly too for a more durable finish.
Contact us to speak with a flooring specialist who can help you decide on the right finish for your flooring!