Dark Stain with Paintbrush on New Oak Hardwood Floor

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project involving new floors, you might be wondering whether you should add some color to your floors, or what kind of finish to use. Here are some suggestions based on what’s currently popular.

Whitewashed ash wood floor

Whitewashed floors – Whitewashed hardwood floors create a muted look that is perfect for a beach house. A good idea if you’d like an extra beachy look is to apply this with a wire brush method, which opens the grain of the wood and provides an authentically weathered appearance.

Gray-aged white oak floor

Graywashed floors – Gray has gained popularity in the interior design industry recently as the industry’s preferred neutral tone for carpeting, tile, and décor items. So it makes sense that hardwood floors would begin to follow that trend as well. Adding a graywashed stain to a hardwood floor can help accentuate that floor’s natural beauty while perfectly complementing nearly any style. Choose from light gray, dark gray, and virtually everything in between in order to amplify the modern appeal of your floors, making them look weathered and interesting. Click here for a video guide to making DIY gray-aged stain for a white oak floor.

Living room with dark hardwood floor

Dark and ebony stains – Dark flooring stains like brown or ebony have gained popularity in recent years. An ebony stain added to a white oak floor can add an air of elegance and modern appeal to almost any space. If you’re going for a more traditional look, you can choose a more muted dark stain like brown walnut, chestnut, espresso, or Jacobean. A dark floor pairs well with interior design elements that feature light colors.

Eastern white pine Spiced Rum hardwood floor

Spiced rum stain – This is a common stain option in prefinished hardwood flooring collections. This stain adds rich brown hues and variation to the wood, giving it warmth and rustic charm. Many prefinished hardwood floors with this stain are also distressed, adding to the old-world charm of the floor.

Natural/blonde finish for hardwood floor

Natural or “blonde” finish – For certain species with knots and natural color variation like hickory or southern yellow pine, it’s sometimes best to let the natural beauty of the wood speak for itself. In these cases, you’d want to coat the floor in a clear, natural finish that preserves the integrity of the wood while refraining from adding any color to it. Water-based finish is a popular option for those hoping to achieve a natural look in their floors because water-based finish goes on clear, as opposed to the slight yellowing that is common with most oil-based polyurethane finishes.

Matte hardwood floor finish

Matte finishe –  Whereas gloss and semi-gloss finishes were once the norm, matte is the new way to go. This variety of finish doesn’t add any gloss to the floor. Matte finishes are gaining popularity in certain parts of the country, especially urban areas. One great thing about this is that a floor with a matte finish is less likely to show damage, dust, and dirt than one that is covered in a glossy finish.


These are just a few ideas for stains and finishes you can apply to your new hardwood floor. There are a ton of options out there, so do your research and choose wisely!

Posted In: Blog, Interior Design

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