Video – Can you change the color of your hardwood flooring


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Transcript for video:

Can you change the color of your hardwood floorsHi my name is Debbie Gartner and I’m known as The Flooring Girl, and you can find me at


Today, I’m going to answer the question about whether or not you can change the color of your hardwood floors. The good news is the answer is usually yes! Of course this assumes that you have solid hardwood. If you live in Westchester or the New York area or even the northeast and mid-atlantic, and you live in a house, chances are you have solid hardwood.


If you engineered hardwood floors, that’s a different story. With solid hardwood you usually can refinish them. You may have a different species, but usually they are solid and you can refinish them. We have refinished hardwood in houses from the 1800s and even several from the 1700s.


Can you change the color of hardwood floorsThese pictures show the range of colors that you can get on oak. If you look at that one on the left this is oak natural with no stain just polyurethane. The one in the middle is a red mahogany stain, and the one on the right is with an ebony stain (although typically in real life the ebony stain looks a little bit lighter and shows the graining a little bit more than this photo leads you to believe). This is why it’s really important to test the stain colors as they are different in the pictures than it looks in real light. And, the stain colors do you actually look different on everyone’s floors. That can vary based on the species, is it red oak or white oak, what grade as well as how old the floors how much have they aged as well as the lighting. We always test three or four different stain colors for our customers so they can choose. As you can see in these pictures some of the planks are lighter some are darker the stain will be absorbed differently, and you want to test on a small area to see what works best on your floor.


Please note that the only way to change the color is to actually SAND the floor all the way down. When you see sand them three times finer and finer grits and the raw hardwood but that’s the only way have the stain up properly penetrate into the floor. If you try to do it on top of what you have now it will peel off.


If you have some other species, the colors will look different. In particular if you have brazilian cherry or brazilian walnut or some of the exotic hardwoods those start out darker and many of them have a red natural tone underneath. So those you really can’t make lighter than they are.


If you look at the one on the right, that is Brazilian cherry. There’s no stain on it; just polyurethane. If you see sand and refinish it, it will look a little bit lighter than this just from the sanding, but over time the light and the Natural aging process it will look just as this does right now. The one on the left is Brazilian walnut and obviously that’s a darker brown. You can make those darker, but you really can’t make them lighter. This here is an example one of my customers where she had Santos Mahogany which is is very similar to the Brazilian cherry. She did not like redness in there. (She is not alone in this), and she wanted us to drown it out as much as possible.


So we tested out some darker stains. And, as you can see in the picture on the right (even though it’s not the best picture), this is the end result. We tested a few different stains and found that on her floor, dark walnut came out the darkest. This is kind of ironic because Jacobean and and ebony are darker stains but they are absorbed differently in each wood. In this case, the dark walnut looks darker. This does a good job drowning out the red but there’s still are some underlying red tones, if you look close enough. This looks more like a royal mahogany stain but this is really the best that you can do to try to drown this out.


This next picture shows oak floors with a jacobean stain. Jacobean is the second darkest, ebony is the darkest. We will sometimes to a 50/50 blend of Jacobean and ebony for our customers which gives an espresso color looks very nice and rich.

If you do you live in the Westchester area feel free to give us a call. My name is Debbie and you can find me at or you can reach us at 914–9137-2950.

“We bring the store to your door.”

My estimates are always free of charge and I look forward to meeting you.

Thank you.

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