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tina_kashyap

staining red oak floors

tina kashyap
8 days ago
last modified: 8 days ago

Hello,

We are in the process of home building where it's time to choose the interior paints and Hardwood stains. We were hoping to go with lighter hardwood floors for easy care and maintenance because (1) darker floors show every spec of dust and (2) we have seen scratches on darker floors in our friends homes with pets. Though we do not have pets of our own, we love our friends' pups and always welcome them into our home.

We have open floor plan and our cabinets are already ordered - Lafata (simple shaker style) white for perimeter and Lafata Rye on island with Calacatta Laza quartz countertops. We love clean lines, minimal and elegant design.

The builder asked us to choose from Minwax stains. The flooring is red oak. We did try weather oak and classic gray on our floor and while I liked both, I am worried it might bring up the orange tones when applied to larger area.

I have been researching on this and the more I read, the more confused I am. Would lighter tones always bring the yellow / orange / red undertone? How best can we achieve the lighter look that goes well with our cabinets and counter tops and tie everything together and look elegant? We will have to select the stain and also SW wall colors and time is running out. I initially had SW Alabaster / Snowbound in my mind, but I am not sure how well all this will tie up. Any suggestions / help from your experiences is very much appreciated.

Thank you!

Comments (31)

  • millworkman
    7 days ago

    "The builder asked us to choose from Minwax stains"


    Is the builder staining the floors or is a floor finisher?

  • dan1888
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    General Finishes and Bona are two quality product lines. You're going to live here, for years. Contact a local floor person who uses one of these for your options.

    I wouldn't use a Minwax product, period.

  • Lorraine Leroux
    7 days ago

    If you can change to white oak you will have a better colour range than red oak flooring.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Thank you for all responses. It is a floor contractor but we don't have any direct interaction with him since everything goes through the builder.

    Today's update: The actual product used will be Duraseal. He told us min wax if we want to check the stain on the floor. He also mentioned there will be sanding, water pop, then stain and water poly. And, no mixing of stains - so, it's down to what stain we choose.

    Because of the undertones, weather oak is ruled out. The other lighter option is Classic Gray. A slight darker will be Aged Barrel. He shared a picture of Aged Barrel (picture attached here) he did in another house and it looked a tad darker than what we would like to have. But if Classis Gray shows more pinks/reds/oranges, will it clash with our white kitchen? Or, the dark island and the quartz pull the gray from the floor? So hard to decide!!!


  • kandrewspa
    7 days ago

    Have you seen a sample of the Classic Gray? If it really is gray, don't do it as gray floors have passed from fashion. We just stained a red oak railing Minwax Chestnut, which is a little lighter and warmer than your last picture above. Aged Barrel looks too dark to me, too. Look at the Jacobean that @kempek01 suggested. That's a medium brown. I don't know what those cabinet colors are, so you will have to check door samples against floor stain samples.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Oh, our cabinets are white with calacatta laza countertops. the island is Rye that is dark gray. We tried samples of weather oak, classic gray and jaco bean on the floor. Jaco bean seemed a lot brown. we would have liked to mix stains to get lighter tones, but that was a no-no with our builder.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    @dan1888 and @Lorraine Leroux, this aint a custom built, but we have some choices. Problem is there is no design center with this builder, the company uses different contractors and we have no direct access to the contractors. It had been a stressful journey; with the remaining items (stain, paint color), hopefully it comes to an end.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    We are going to try provincial and special walnut. The pressure to choose quickly is at its peak - hope we get to a choice that we don't regret later.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Also, a question about red oak - when it ages, does it get darker / lighter with time?

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    any thoughts on dura seal warm gray?

    Our builder shared another home done and says it was dura seal warm gray


    Comments, please?

  • Verbo
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Gray is a dead trend. No gray anythng. Skip doing any stain at all. Just do a clearcoat.

  • dan1888
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Sorry for your loss. Of ability to communicate. Minwax has Color Wash Semi-Transparent Layering Finish. You can clear over it. White would lighten the dark open grain oak has when stained. And let you end with light floors. That's the only 'stain'. Your clear finish goes over. Buy a gallon and give it to your builder. Ask him to get a light sample from his flooring guy.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Any stain suggestions that can look nice with white cabinets with quartz tops? Looks like gray is a dead end. Something classic that goes well with white cabinets and dark gray island? We are less inclined towards dark for easy maintenance, but might consider it and prepare ourselves for elbow grease, if nothing else works.

  • Dani
    7 days ago

    Tina, we did Duraseal Silvered Grey on newly installed red oak. I also wanted the lighter look and to avoid trendy grey. While we do see some pinkish come through in some planks, we absolutely love the finish and have no regrets. We went with a matte water poly topcoat. We did swatch a natural/no tone stain and felt like it was too amber. Here is a pic against Chantilly Lace white paint. I will say that the floor color looks much lighter in person; the phone camera really saturates the tones.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    @Dani, the floor looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing. So, the search continues, I want to try this in our space and see how it looks. Would this be similar to silvered gray from minwax?

  • Dani
    6 days ago

    @tina, I am not sure regarding Minwax but I do know our flooring contractors don’t use it and based on my research and as noted above, a lot of professionals don’t use it either.

  • Josie23: Zone 5: WI
    6 days ago

    Why not just a clear and keep the natural beauty of the wood?

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    @Josie23: Zone 5: WI, I did consider that - but the pink / red undertone is evident at many places. And I heard with the sealing, the undertones darken and we are afraid it might be too pink. Maybe it depends on the products used? See, we do not have direct discussion with the flooring guy so considering only the safe options. Can someone suggest which clear will work for what we want?

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    any comments on provincial?

  • PRO
    G & S Floor Service
    5 days ago

    Provincial over red oak will give you a cinnamon color - reddish brown. You would need to use Pink blocker to cut down on the red and pink undertones.


    GC will not allow a in-person meeting with flooring contractor? Has GC allow you to meet any other subs like electrician and plumber to pick out fixtures?

  • dan1888
    5 days ago

    Go to a flooring store and talk to them about their finishing options for red oak. If you find one you like, pay them a consult fee to provide you with the products and method to achieve it. Also get a quote on having them do the work. You'll be in a reasonably strong position to get what you want for the long-term. That's what's important. Present all the info to your builder. He can run the info by his flooring guy. Maybe it'll work out. You have a chance of success if you're proactive.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    @dan1888 thank you! that's such a great suggestion. On it.


  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    @G & S Floor Service, nope, for additional electrical outlets, he asked us to provide a list. He usually gives a default list and anything on top, we will have to provide him a list and get an agreement. Other things seem straightforward, this flooring seems to take an entire different route.

  • ILoveRed
    5 days ago

    Special walnut on red oak is very nice. we had this in our last house. nice medium brown. provincial is more of an old fashioned reddish/orange look imo.


    please dont use a trendy gray color on your floors.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    @ILoveRed, do you have any pictures? I am inclining more towards walnut / jacobean. Special Walnut and Provincial both looked a bit orangish when we tried samples, but then we only checked the stain directly, no sanding and sealing.

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    Also, is dark walnut too dark? we don't want the maintenance of dark floors.

  • Verbo
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Stop with the angst and just do not stain them if you want a light floor. Less risk of them mucking it up too.

  • ILoveRed
    4 days ago

    I cant find pics of the special walnut from my last house.


    daughters last house…she used dark walnut on red oak. too dark for my taste but she loved it. not too high maintenance.



  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    @ILoveRed, thank you for sharing. It looks warm and nice and a nice contrast to the white cabinets too. And, that's a joyful kid there :)

  • tina kashyap
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    This is the Agedbarrel used in the neighboring house. This house was done only for stairs and GC let us check that for an understanding of how it has come. We have one more house in the subdivision that chose dark walnut and will be checking that home tomorrow. Paint used here is SW Extra white.