Why Some Wood Should Not be Stained

Uneven floor stain
Uneven and blotchy floor stain
uneven stain
Uneven stain
blotchy stained floor
Dark stains are very difficult to get right.

I’ve done some interesting jobs in my time. Just look at my blog for the multi-colored footprints on stairs. That was a fun job!

Many people will ask me to do custom work for them while I am doing their floors, and I will usually agree to it if it fits my schedule. As part of my regular flooring services, I do, inlays, stairs, nosings, trim, borders, floating floors for going over concrete, sometimes cabinets and custom furniture, and custom stains.

Recently a question came up with a customer who wanted to put a stain on a hickory floor. For one thing, hickory is so colorful staining it is not practical, and because of the flat grains of woods like hickory, birch, cherry, maple or beach, it is not recommended that they be stained because the stain will be blotchy due to the grain characteristics of these woods.

The best wood for staining is white oak since it changes the color of the stain the least and takes stain fairly well. Red oak can also be stained, just keep in mind that the natural red color of the oak will add a red tint to your stain. If you are going with a light stain, the red will be more noticeable than with a dark stain.

The blotchy stained floors in these photos however are just because of poor staining techniques.

There is a trick to getting dark stains especially to look good. Of course, we aren’t going to reveal it here, but a professional flooring company should not have this problem. All of these floors were done by do-it-yourselfers.

If your hardwood flooring company stains floors anything like this, you need a new hardwood flooring company, because these photos are definitely unacceptable.

See our page on Custom Stains. We are masters at it.