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Refinishing character grade white oak to bare look?

2 years ago

Our remodel includes updating 20 year-old medium brown character-grade white oak mixed-width hardwood flooring, which has ambered over time. We are adding new matching wood in 2 rooms on the same level (first floor) and then will refinish all in a new stain. The dilemma for me is that we are also replacing upstairs bedroom carpeting with wood and feel that it should have a similar look. I currently favor the Studio McGee light, wide plank oak look, but do not want to tear up 1500 square feet of hardwood to get this vibe throughout the house. I have contemplated installing engineered wood upstairs to avoid the displacement of the finish process upstairs and then, trying to refinish my existing floor in a similar look downstairs. I have read many threads about achieving the bare/whiter/lighter wood look on white oak, but I do not know how this will look on character-grade. I fear that my current stain is obscuring a lot of board to board color variation that once removed may not lend itself to the look I desire and then I will want to refinish in a darker cooler brown tone. know my best approach would be to start there, but due to some other issues the process is going to have to happen in reverse with me making the upstairs new flooring choices first. I have my heart set on the light floors in the upstairs girls' bedrooms, but am afraid to lock in to prefinished and then be unable to achieve the look downstairs. Is my best strategy to install unfinished plank upstairs and live through the sanding and refinishing process because that gives me more options or is it unnecessary worry to think that I won't be able to refinish the current floor for a similar look?

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