You may have gotten a bid for your hardwood flooring and are wondering why stain costs more. Or you may just be wondering the steps it takes to stain a hardwood floor. No matter the case, you can find the information you want about how staining is done here from start to finish. Before we dive into the material a good read about the best hardwoods to stain is this article “What Hardwoods Are The Best to Stain?”. The process below is the way A-Max Hardwood does our stains, other companies might be different in a few ways but we have found this to work for us 100% of the time, so, we stick to this formula. If you have any questions after reading it or want to inquire about more information feel free to give us a call or email us from out contact page.
Stain Process Start to Finish
- On the initial bid A-Max Hardwood will tell you if we recommend stain for your floor. The main deciding factor is if the floor is a hardwood with open grain or closed grain.
- Belt sand 40/60 grit at a 15 degree angle to flatten the floor
- Edge at 60 grit
- Fill the floor with wood floor cement to match existing floor
- Belt sand straight at 60 girt
- Trio the floor at 60 grit to flatten the floor as much as possible
- Edge the floor at 100 grit
- Trio the floor at 100 grit
- Edge the floor at 120 grit
- Trio the floor at 120 grit
- Waterpop the floor and wait 2 hours
- Apply stain
** All sanding steps involve vacuuming to ensure the grit during that process does not scratch the next step.
As you can see there are more steps then the normal sanding process since we have to bring the floor up to a very fine grit. Why does A-Max Hardwood have to go to 120 grit? The reason for this is because if we only go to say 100 grit you will see sanding scratches once the stain hits the floor. In some cases 120 can be avoided but in our 15 years experience it is better just to go to 120 grit to avoid any possible problems and ensure a quality job every time.
What to Expect
The first thing each homeowner needs to know is that wood is imperfect. What do you mean by that… Well, no matter how much we sand or attempt to get every part of your floor perfect you will most likely have at least 1 little spot on your floor that accepts stain a little differently. What exactly does this mean? It means that hardwood is an uncontrollable material and it will do what it wants to do. Sometimes an area of the flooring won’t accept the stain well or will accept the stain differently than the rest of the floor. This is why A-Max Hardwood pops the grain or waterpops the grain. Waterpopping allows the grains to accept more stain and ensures a much better stain quality.
Basically, you should expect 2-3 boards on a 500 sq. ft. room to have different traits then the other boards. The reason this might happen is due to the grain being slightly less open then the other part of the grain. You can see below some examples of what this means.
What the outcome will look like overall
“Issues” I was talking About
This is generally not an issue, but you should be aware of what I was talking about where stain can change hue’s and color on a board very easily due to the grain’s willingness to accept the stain. It is not possible for us to always create an uniform, flawless finished product. This is not a sanding issue, it is a natural occurring thing in hardwood. However, you will notice above that the stain comes out wonderfully overall, anyone who isn’t a hardwood professional probably wont even see it and you might even be wondering yourself even after seeing my arrows what is actually wrong. Nothing is actually wrong it just looks different due to hardwood being a “living” canvas.
Overall, if you keep with Hickory & Oaks the stain will come out much more uniform and looks beautiful, these woods are open grain and great candidates for staining. If you have something like maple or birch while they can be stained, the outcome is much less uniform. Oak and Hickory look wonderful stained, if interested in staining your floor give us a call and you can ask us more questions about the staining process.