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!
At Kruper Flooring, we want you to have the best experience possible. We want you to love your floors, and to love them for a very long time. We do understand however, that not everyone wants to have us be their exclusive flooring dealer. In saying that, it’s important to select the right installation company. Cutting corners may be ok in some cases, but when it comes to the floors you and your family walk on on a daily basis, you have to be diligent in your selection process.
- Improper Sanding
Maybe it’s not new floors you want, but refinishing of the floors you already have. If you’ve ever walked into a house and seen floors with waves in them, or dips, maybe even odd scratches or dents, you know what kind of damage a bad refinish can leave behind. An improper sanding will also leave piles of dust everywhere that can not only land in every nook and cranny of your home, it can also get into the finish. Once that flooring has been sealed, those dust particles will be sealed inside as well leaving a very undesirable grittiness and look to your finished floors.
- Toxic Mixing
Established companies such as ourselves know full well what the law is in mixing chemicals for stains. There is a standard protocol which is more than just a design for guidelines (meaning there’s more to it than just following the rules). Volatile Organic Compound Laws ban the mixing of certain chemicals used in stains due to their toxicity levels. Flooring professionals that prefer to cut corners, and not follow the law will use paint thinner or kerosene to thin out stains. Once the floors are finished, you’re still breathing those fumes (and your children and pets) for a long time afterwards. Hiring a company that is a member of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) will avoid this dangerous possibility. So, why thin out stains? Stain comes in a condensed form, and must be thinned out for a uniform finish. Aside from toxic side-effects, you could end up with discoloration on your floor where the stain wasn’t thinned out properly.
- Installing at the Wrong Time
Hardwood floors are wood after all, and are no different than any other non-plastic material you use to install in and outside of your home. Timing is everything. Wood needs to be installed when the moisture levels outside are balanced. Otherwise, you could end up with floors that buckle, cup, or crown. We recognize when it’s just not a good day to install your floors (even if you took the day off). There should be a balance in moisture content and that kind of detail can only come from a reputable flooring company.
Like we said, we want you to love your floors for a very long time. Take some of that time to really do your research and select the flooring company that cares about you as much as you care about your home.