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How do I match an existing Hardwood Floor?

13 years ago

As I've mentioned elsewhere, we are knocking down walls for our renovation. Currently, there is hardwood in one of the areas, carpet in a second and tile in the third. The rest of the house has the hardwood throughout. The house is about 40 years old. I love the wood and want to bring it into the space that now has tile.

I was wondering if any of you have needed to match existing wood flooring and how you did it. Do I need to find salvaged wood, or will new wood work? Is this something a DIY project could attempt, or should we go straight to the experts (DH is really handy). How did you match your stain? Did you refinish everything (in my case that would be the whole house)? Thanks.

Comments (9)

  • athensmomof3
    13 years ago

    I bought a house which was about 60 years old years ago. When I pulled up the carpet after I bought the house, I had some boards that had to be replaced due to pet stains, etc. They replaced individual boards without a problem, and you could not tell.

    As far as matching the stain, my parents have waxed hardwoods thoughout and poly in their kitchen. The last time their kitchen floor was refinished, the guy did a fabulous job matching the existing waxed finish. It is perfect. I think it can be matched if your floor guy is good :)

  • inter_alia
    13 years ago

    A local company that specializes in wood floor refinishing should be able to patch a section of the floor, then stain and finish that section to match. Each board varies in color so that helps. They will refinish a section to the next board.

    You might consider having them screen the entire floor and put down a new coat of poly to make you floors look like new.

  • pirula
    13 years ago

    What we did, in our 40 year old house with original white oak floors, was buy new white oak planks in the same width, install them, and have all the floors sanded and refinished with Waterlox. There was a slight difference in the floor colors at first (we didn't use stain) because of the ages of the woods. Those original floors had lots of years to get that wonderful mellow color. The floor guy told us it would be unnoticable in about six months. Which it was to everyone.

  • ejbrymom
    13 years ago

    We just had a half wall knocked down between our family room and kitchen. We extended the wood by a foot or so. our floor guy was really good about matching the wood for the contractor doing the work. Floor guy came over and knew exactly which wood and color it was immediately. Can hardly tell it is a different wood from the original. Floor matched was oak - in butterscotch.

  • Stacey Collins
    13 years ago

    It depends on what type of wood you have and how old it is. In our last house we had 75 year-old birch, and the new planks we added during a kitchen reno always looked a little different (although not enough to really matter...the planks had differentiations even amongst the original wood.) Of course we did refinish the entire floor at the same time...

    Oak might be easier! In our current house, there are 60 year old red oak floors. They'd been recently refinished (~3 years ago.) We needed to patch in a large section during our kitchen reno, as we removed walls and relocated the kitchen. We simply bought new unfinished red oak (at Home Depot) and a satin poly my DH hoped would match the existing. He expected to have to try a few different finishes and/or stain, but it actually looks identical just as-is.

    I can tell you----- staining is not the best answer for the long term!! In another part of this house, a previous renovator used WHITE oak, and then stained it to look more like the red oak everywhere else. When we tried to do a screen-and-recoat recently, when adding some new flooring to an adjacent room, we found we were sanding off the stain. So we had to proceed VERY carefully so as not to remove the stain.... otherwise it would have meant a major sanding of ALL the stain, and then re-staining. It was a bummer because there were some scratches and fading that I'd really wanted to fix, but doing so just would have been too big a project. If you want to be able to do easy screen-and-recoats, selectively sanding more where you need to for repairs, DON'T use stain.

  • jejvtr
    13 years ago

    We had 75 yo oak flooring throughout & wanted to place new white oak in kitchen reno - floor guy did a great job

  • live_wire_oak
    13 years ago

    This isn't a job for a DIYer unless you have a LOT of experience with custom creating stains and installing wood floors. THis is a job that you hire the pro to do. Just be prepared to pay a good rate for someone who knows what they're doing and tell them the results you expect and let them do their job.

  • missmuffet
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thanks everyone. Our floors look very similar to Jejvtr's (love them). I guess I've got a few follow-up questions now:

    Any idea what a "good rate" would be? Both for having installation and for finishing? Also, how do you know if the person you are speaking to is experienced? What kind of qualifications should I look for?

    Any suggestions on where to look for salvaged wood? You can't beat Amberley's price!