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On-Site Custom Mixed Floor Stain

Our flooring is finally finished, I realized that it’s really hard to get a good pictures of flooring color. We didn’t like colors right out of the can, so we decided to work with our flooring contractor to come up with an on-site custom mixed floor stain. I have to say he was amazing and so patient!
Dark custom stained hardwood floor in a dark brown

I loveds this flooring color and knew it was what we wanted to achieve in our on-site custom mixed floor stain. And I went against the grain (ha ha) and went with  a dark stain. It was actually a custom mix because the poor floor guy kept doing swatches and I kept going, Nope, not right, Nope. Nope. You can see what our floors look like finished with the dark , custom mix wood stain here.
Mixing custom stain colors for a wood floor for on-site custom mixed floor stain
Finally we ended up with a blend of the darkest antique brown and red mahogany, so it ended up rich and dark with a warm undertone instead of ash undertones. Our floor guy was wonderfully patient and didn’t eye roll too much. Don’t be afraid if a floor swatch isn’t exactly the right color to ask. If you think it’s needs more brown, have them add more brown. Make sure it’s a color you absolutely love, you are going to be stuck with it for  a long time.
Rustic red oak flooring on-site custom mixed floor stain
  We also went with what’s called rustic red oak “grade 2” (i.e. cheaper and more rustic. ). The funny thing is it just worked out that way, because when I picked it out in the flooring store, it was what my eye was immediately drawn to. I was elated when I found out it was a less expensive wood. The flooring guy said “wow, we don’t see too much of this.”… but I LOVE it. It has knots and worm holes and tree imperfections. It has so much character. It was only $2.69 a square foot. It looks old, it feels warm and alive. When we completed our floors, we had extra wood left over. You can see how we used it in this bathroom makeover.
Dark stained wood flooring
 We also went with finished on-site as opposed to pre-finished flooring. The way it was explained to me was that since pre-finished is basically a click and lock kind of  a thing, if someone spills then it could leak through the cracks. Finished on-site it more like a sheet of flooring where the poly can fill on some id not most  of those cracks. Since people  around here(i.e. my children) tend to spill orange juice and not tell me for 3 hours and we were also going to be putting it in the kitchen  I thought it was a much better idea. It did add about 4 days onto our job time and we had to be out of the house for a  few days, but so worth it. Also, we went with a low VOC product, but it still stunk. We had it finished in a satin finish so it wasn’t too glossy.
Stained hardwood flooring
I will also tell you about doing this whole thing (because I know a few of you are going to be remodeling soon). You have to look at the promise of the end result and not get bogged down in the daily chaos of living in complete destruction.  It is so worth it in the end. I love how our on-site custom mixed floor stain looks and can’t wait to move our furniture back in!

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  1. the floor is gorgeous jen!! so warm and cozy. and i love that they look like they have been there for years. we went with prefab floors like that in the cabin and i love them. want to do them here in the house too.

  2. Jen:

    Your new floors are absolutely GORGEOUS!

    You must be so excited to have them in. Don’t you just want to take a seat and admire them for a few hours? : )

    Enjoy it all.

    Starview Sonnet

  3. Jennifer, I love the floors you used! The rustic style is fabulous and will look great with the white cabinets. I know you are so excited to see your new kitchen progressing. It sounds like it will be gorgeous.
    xo, Sherry

  4. Beautiful. You were right to go with on-sight finishing. We had the pre-finished in our last home and dirt got into the cracks along with juice, milk, food crumbs etc. I don’t think it was terribly noticeable but it bugged me. Looking forward to seeing the cabinets.

  5. Oh Jen, you done good. I too love the look of a floor that has some imperfections. It has more character and love that per sq. ft. cost also.

    Yes, renovation is horrible and worse when you have young children. It’s simply chaos. What you’re also finding out is that what you first had in mind might not really work. Stick with your gut instincts. I agree that painting the lower cabinets might look busy. If your looking for the contrast, stay with the white.

    I’m loving the chance to follow along in your renovation journey because I need to do the same thing!!!

  6. I LOVE the floor choice you made. The rich color is just my style. I also love the knots in the wood, for depth and character, and I think your white cabinets will look great against the contrast of the dark floor. Thanks for posting photos. I love your ideas!

  7. I am so loving your floors, I loved our light maple floors when we moved into this house 5 years ago, but I am over it and have been wanting to go dark for at least a year! I have white cabinets too and think they are classic. Even though I like the two-toned look, I think you are wise in your decision. So I have Rummage for a week, than a bunch of estate sales will keep me busy for a while past that, but let me know if you have a free day coming up and I will set aside the time to get together.

  8. Tired of Jimmy John’s? Oh man, that IS tough. Because JJ is plain delicious. And all those “free smells”…

    I love your new floor. It is beautiful and rustic and looks like it could have been there forever. Just perfect.

  9. I am one of the “soon to be remodelers”. Excitement and fear constantly are running thru my veins! We have already chosen and purchased our floors (a darker rustic wood) and I am torn with what to do with our cabinets as well. Im leaning towards white (with the contrast of the dark floors), but my hubby wants color. We might do a color on upper cabinets too, and match our island with the same color. So stressful! 😀
    Im gonna be glued to your blog to see the results!! 🙂 Cant wait….XOX

  10. love the floor color! there is light at the end of the tunnel, i know i had cooking stuff on the floor of my living room, i felt like i was camping! i say go with the white you could always do something else five years from now if you feel like it! can’t wait to see it done. susan

  11. When my kids were little, we did the same thing. Lived in the house while we did a kitchen, living room re-do. What a nightmare! And it was winter……in Canada.

    You have my deepest sympathy but it will be well worth the effort in the end!

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