How to Stain a Wooden Floor

A stained wooden floor

Is your wooden floor looking tired, scuffed and scratched? Then it’s probably time to invest in a new look.

Wood floors are made of hardwood or softwood and give a warm, stylish feel to any room. And with proper care and maintenance, a wooden floor will last for years.

What Type of Wood is Your Floor?

Parquet Flooring

Before you do anything, the first thing you must do is find out what type of wood your floor is made of:

  • Is it new flooring or is it old, reclaimed timber? Old flooring will need to be sanded first.
  • Is it a softwood or is it a hardwood? If it is a softwood, it will need a more thorough level of preparation if you are planning to stain the floor.

Should I Paint or Stain my Floor?

If you do want to change the colour of your wooden floor and do not want to invest in a totally new floor, then you may want to consider painting or staining the floor.

Painting a wooden floor will create a solid colour finish and the wood will no longer be visible. Whilst it is easier to change the colour of a painted floor if you are not happy with the final result, a painted floor is more susceptible to chips and cracks. Any damage will be much more noticeable than on a stained floor.

Staining a floor with a Wood Floor Stain will change the colour, but you can still see the beauty of the wood grain (including the knots). The other benefits of staining are that the floor colour will be better preserved, the floor will be more resistant to damage and the colour will last longer.

Our Wood Floor Stain works on both new and old timber flooring. It is water-based so dries more quickly and is a more environmentally friendly option.  It can be used on all types of wood:  new or reclaimed timber, softwood or hardwood as well as on engineered boards.

To find out more, watch this short Wood Floor Stain Video.

What Colour should I Stain my Floor?

The answer to this question is key as you will have to live with your decision for a long time. There are many different colour options available.

Furniture Clinic’s Wood Floor Stain comes in a range of 12 different colours including traditional colours such as Antique Pine and Natural Oak.

Wood Floor Stain Colour Chart

How do I Prepare a Wooden Floor for Staining?

It is important that you prepare your wooden floor properly before staining if you want to get the perfect finish.

Old flooring is likely to be finished with a wax, an oil or a lacquer; and each of these will prevent a wood floor stain from working properly. The best way to remove these finishes, and to also remove any scratches and marks in the floor, is to sand the floor thoroughly. This can be done with an electric sander, or you can hire larger sanders designed specifically for flooring. Depending on your floor, sanding it can be time consuming and fiddly, so you may want to consider hiring a professional flooring company to do it for you.

If you have pine, or other softwood flooring - common in Victorian properties - you will need to do more preparation as the floor will absorb the stain at different rates. There are two ways to prepare a softwood floor for staining:

  • The simplest way is to use a Pre-Stain Conditioner which ensures that the floor will dry to a more even colour when you apply the stain
  • Another way is to wipe the floor with a damp cloth (or mop) to raise the grain, then sand the floor. This will allow the stain to better soak into the wood.

How Do I Apply the Wood Floor Stain?

A Wood Floor Stain should be applied between sanding and applying a finish to the floor.

Removing Dirt and Sawdust

Once sanded, clean the wood to remove any sawdust and dirt. Make sure you check the colour by testing on an unseen area first.

Apply our Wood Floor Stain liberally with a cloth, brush or applicator pad, going in the direction of the grain. We recommend using our Decking Applicator Pad Kit to apply the Wood Floor Stain as it makes the job very easy. You can use a paint roller, but the Decking Applicator has the added benefit in that it won’t oversaturate the floor and gives a more even coverage. It also means that the stain will go further.

Using a Decking Applicator to Stain a Wood Floor

Once you have applied the Wood Floor Stain, leave it to soak in for a minute then wipe any excess off using a clean cloth. Wait ten minutes for the stain to dry. Once dry, a second coat can be applied if desired; apply in the same way as the first. As our Wood Floor Stain is water-based, cleaning up is quick and easy using just warm water.

After staining the floor, it should then be finished with a lacquer, oil, or wax.

Maintaining a Wooden Floor

With a regular maintenance routine, the colour and finish on your wooden floor should last 7-10 years depending on usage and exposure to sunlight.

Any wood floor should be regularly cleaned and polished. We recommend using our Wood Floor Cleaner and Wood Floor Maintenance Oil to maintain your wooden floor.

To Find Out More

Visit our Wood Floor Stain product page.