Red Oak Stains And Finishes

Red oak is one of the most common types of hardwood flooring, and one of the primary reasons for its appeal is that it is (relatively) affordable and durable.

We had white oak floors when we built our previous home from the ground up. We are now remodeling a home with white oak floors; therefore, we are attempting to make them appear identical to how they did previously.

I am regularly asked about red oak floor stain colors and my thoughts on bringing its appearance into the twenty-first century.

What Is The Best Stain For Red Oak Floors?

Red oak floors can generate a stunning light and beige hue that is currently popular. White oak is currently the most popular wood on the market.

But not without first enduring a small amount of discomfort! In contrast to red oak, white oak does not respond unfavorably to lighter tones.

The predominant pink or yellow undertones will become more visible if the surface is whitewashed or given a light white stain.

Redwood is utilized for the herringbone floors, surrounded by blue tape. Straight and thin floorboards in the back are crafted from white oak. The image above has applied the sealer twice to the redwood.

Also Read: Oak Floor Stain Colors In 2022

I would have chosen Bona Natural Seal since I believed its packaging to be the most professional-looking. The original color had less pink and was warmer.

The Nordic seal had a salmon-pink color and a slight Nordic feel, but it’s worth considering because it’s attractive! The classic appeared beautiful but with a reddish hue.

Staining Tips And Ideas

red oak stains and finishes

If you wish to keep the wood’s natural color, you can avoid stain colors on red oak and use a clear sealer instead, as we did. However, you should be warned that this will not conceal the wood’s natural pink hues.

Adding a clear topcoat to red oak will make it appear lighter while intensifying the wood’s inherent undertones. My preference is water-based varnish.

If you desire the “natural” look of wood that is currently fashionable in new construction and are seeking a stain, I suggest combining many stains.

Here is a list of several stains that I recommend examining. These are light and should be able to conceal the pink while highlighting the wood’s warmth sufficiently:

  • In a duraseal stain, a mixture of sixty percent fruitwood and forty percent country white: the fruitwood is warm, and the white should conceal the pink on stained red oak floors.
  • Duraseal Silvered Gray is also light, and its green undertones diminish the visibility of the pink and yellow hues.
  • It is not recommended to use pickled oak stains alone since they will not disguise the red and yellow hues of the wood. However, pickled oak may be visually appealing when mixed with another stain.
  • It is more difficult to bleach and then dye red oak after it has been breached. However, the bleaching procedure will remove a portion of the red, and coloring it after bleaching will restore the lost warmth.

If you choose red oak stains with a medium to dark tone, there is no reason for anxiety. These heavier stains are quickly absorbed and mask the salmon tint, so the finished product appears identical to dark white oak.

Red Oak Flooring VS White Oak

White oak flooring is equivalent to red oak flooring in terms of price, durability, and the appearance of the wood’s graining. Depending on the stain on red oak used, it is frequently impossible for the uninitiated to distinguish between them.

White And Red Oak Flooring Cost

It is common for pricing to fluctuate, but broadly speaking, red oak flooring is comparable in price to white oak flooring. In my region of North Carolina, red oak is available at a slightly more affordable cost.

Tip To Choosing A Stain For Our Oak Floors

red oak stains and finishes

1) Determine the species of your wood floors

Different stains will look better on different types of wood. Thus it is essential to identify the sort of wood flooring you have.

Exotic hardwood flooring, such as walnut, maple, and cherry, is naturally gorgeous but does not absorb the color. It may be advisable to preserve the purity of the wood tone and use a more natural finish on these.

Oak flooring is more prevalent and reveals wood stains nicely. Oak floors can be natural, warm or cool, light or dark, but it is vital to keep in mind that their tone will warm over time. If this is not the aesthetic you’re going for, you may select a water-based, cooler finish.

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2) Utilize a design board to spur your imagination

It is essential to have a clear picture of how you want your flooring to look. This will be useful to show your hardwood floor refinisher, as they can offer stains that will produce the desired hue.

Collect images of floors you admire from blogs, Pinterest, and design publications. Because the same stain might seem different depending on the wood material of a wood floor, your local hardwood restoration pros can advise you on which stain to select to achieve the same look as the photographs.

3) Specify the precise style you wish to achieve

This vision board can help you choose your preferred style by revealing patterns. Knowing your style and sticking to it — for instance, whether you’re trying for a traditional or modern design — will help guide your hardwood restoration decisions.

Light coatings make smaller rooms feel larger and reveal more of the wood’s natural character. Additionally, they are superior at hiding pet hair and crumbs.

They are fairly adaptable and are frequently seen in a range of styles. Consequently, the size of your area and the functionality of your home may influence your decision about light floor stains.

Medium stains offer depth to flooring and complement numerous styles of wood furniture. Warmer tones are more prevalent in traditional design, whereas cooler tones are more prevalent in modern design.

4) Always sample your preferred stain colors beforehand

Before applying a hardwood stain to the entire floor, test your top choices on fragments of matching wood. Then, move the samples from room to room to observe how the stain appears under various lighting conditions.

Is Red Oak Out Of Style?

That is until it began to lose the favor of “newer” design options, such as the growth of maple, cherry, and engineered wood. However, oak’s narrative continues. Oak, namely red oak, is making a resurgence thanks to innovative finishing processes and fashion-forward design trends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) What stain is best for red oak?

60% fruitwood and 40% Country white Duraseal stain mixture – the fruitwood is hot, and the rural white should hide the pink.

Q2) What stain takes the red out of red oak?

Observe how opposite green is to red on the color wheel. This indicates that applying green to a stain will neutralize or conceal the red in red oak. In addition, brown is produced whenever a primary color is combined with its opposite on the color wheel.

Q3) What do stains look like on red oak?

Some stains can draw out and darken the red oak’s pink and yellow overtones more than others. Whitewood naturally has more yellow and brown undertones, but red oak does not accept beige stains as, well.

Q4) Should you stain red oak?

Woodworkers favor red oak due to its natural beauty. Thankfully, it is very simple to stain.

Read More: Choosing The Best Stain Color For Wood Floors

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