Staining and Specialty Pre-Treatments
A lot of homes here in Delaware have either red or white oak flooring. Depending on your taste, you may not be in love with the look of oak floors in their natural state. Natural oak floors with oil based finishes tend to yellow over time and have that old-fashioned look to them.
If this is not your style, then you may want to consider staining them to totally change up the look and style of your home.
Choices, choices, choices – laying out color samples for a client
Special sander called a TRIO we use for stained floors
Water popping the sanded floor
Laying down some stain
Coating finish over a dark stained floor
One of the special pre-treatments available – this one is a product from Rubio Monocoat called Fumed
Some of the many stain, hardwax oil and pre-treatment shades available – ask us for samples when we come out to look at your project
What Is Staining?
Staining is basically the process of turning floors a different color. It’s an optional step done between the final sand and the first coat of finish. There are also exciting pre-treatments available now too that are applied before the staining process to give it an extra layer of color and depth.
Changing the color of your floor has many benefits and produces dramatic results. It can open up your room by making your floors lighter. You can change your style from country or traditional to modern and sleek. If you like the look of darker exotic hardwood floors but have oak flooring, staining will allow you to have that dark, exotic look without needing to remove and replace your flooring.
If you have water or pet damage all over your floors and repairing them is too big and expensive a project to do, you can stain your floors a darker shade to hide these areas.
Staining Is the Most Challenging Part of a Floor Restoration
For a floor to be successfully stained, it needs to be prepared in a very precise manner. Lots of extra time, additional steps, attention to detail and specialized tools and techniques are needed compared to keeping the floor in its natural state.
If you hire a business that doesn’t have the proper skills, things can go wrong very quickly. If a mistake is made – and there’s many failure points in the staining process – then your floor will most likely need to be re-sanded. That means time wasted and more wood taken from the surface of your floors.
For this reason, we encourage you to research a business’s staining skills before hiring them. Ask for references of previously stained floors too.
Why Is It So Much Extra Work?
When a floor is kept in its natural state without stain, we only need to use a buffer to blend the difference between the belt sander’s straight sanding marks and the edger’s circular marks. Done properly, the sanding marks are barely visible after the finish is applied.
However, if you applied stain over this same floor you would see obvious sanding marks all over the place, especially around the edges.
To remove those marks and prepare it for staining, we need to complete these extra 6 steps:
STEP 1: Sand the whole floor again with finer sandpaper using a multi-head sanding machine.
STEP2: Use smaller hand held sanders to sand around all the edges.
STEP 3: After we have finished with the extra machines, we carefully hand sand the corners with the same sandpaper.
STEP 4: Once the sanding is done we mask off any areas like carpet edges and transitions that won’t be stained.
STEP 5: We go through a process called water popping to raise the grain of the wood to remove any small remaining sanding marks. This process also allows the stain to be applied more evenly and give a richer color. Once a floor is water popped it is very delicate and great care must be taken when walking on it. If the raised fibres are compressed by dragging a shoe across it, it will show through as a lighter area on the finished floor. If this happens, steps 1 to 5 need to be repeated.
STEP 6: This is where we start applying the stain. We need to work very fast to apply the stain evenly as a team to make sure there are no lap marks… all the while making sure we don’t damage the raised fibres of the floor. This is the most stressful part of the process.
Once these steps are done, we wait for the stain to dry (anywhere from 6 to 24 hours depending on product used, airflow, temperature, humidity etc.) before applying the first coat of finish.
Now you can see why a proper, professional stained floor costs extra. It’s almost twice the amount of work. But the end results are well worth it.
Like the Idea of Staining Your Floors?
Staining and pre-treatments can be requested for most hardwood floors for an additional cost. Before deciding on a final color, we will take you through some samples so you can see what each of your favorite color choices will look like on your floors.
Ask us about your different color options when we come out to provide a quote for your floors.
This is one of the biggest questions we get asked by our customers. This will answer this question in detail…pdfDownload PDF Article
in North Wilmington
Delaware Valley did an amazing job. They were professional, efficient and very patient when we were trying to pick out the perfect stain.Lauren W - Bear, DE | Review on Angies List