Five Changes To Create A New Look For Your Existing Hardwood Floor

August 26, 2016 - 5:29pm
Living Room, White Sofa and Hardwood Floor

Five Changes To Create A New look For Your Existing Hardwood Floor

You are looking to renovate your home and you figure the best place to start is under foot.  Before you go tearing up those floors take a closer look. Wood is a beautiful, natural, hypo-allergenic product that as it ages gains more charm and allure, along with the marked history of your life. But the question at hand is, how much history do you need to see in those floors before it is time to rewrite history and start with a clean slate?

Depending on the state of your floors, they might just need to be sanded down and refinished to give you the new look you want. Damaged floor sections can be patched, holes can be plugged, and squeaky floors can be tightened.  Of course, some old floors are beyond repair. If there is too much movement between boards or substantial structural problems underneath, then they are not good candidates, but for the most part, 90% of flooring can be saved. Even the most overused hardwood floors can look new after a cleanup.  Hardwood flooring is remarkably able to take a lot of abuse and continue to look beautiful. It is not hard to take 60-year old floors and make them look brand new again.

Below are five ideas to change the look of you current hardwood floors:

Go Darker

Dark floors have been a trend for the last few years.  Whether a farmhouse style chestnut stained oak floor or an ebony stained hickory in a downtown condo, dark woods are a favorite.  The dark stains work great with a variety of colors and fabrics in your home or office.  Many people think dark wood flooring is going to look formal, but that is not always the case.   Many floor designs include a dark stain to make the floor look more aged and antique.  Dark wood floors can look good in a modern eclectic room or a classic traditional room.

There are many color variations to create the dark floor of your dreams.  While the species of wood that you have will determine the outcome, there are still ways to achieve the color you want.   We use Dura Seal products and can create many different shades.  We have often used a 50/50 mix to create the perfect color for our customer.

Go Lighter

Light wood floors can give many design solutions for your interior.  They create a light pallet that can that give an illusion of space.  Light or natural stains allow you to showcase your home with a variety of looks.  Another advantage of light wood floors is they show less dirt than darker floors.

Keep in mind, you can't lighten flooring that's already naturally dark without resorting to extreme measures, such as bleaching. Deep, rich hardwoods -- such as walnut, mahogany or Brazilian cherry -- look attractive with no stain, but if you need to hide defects, the stain needs to be darker than the wood. Lighter woods, however, such as oak, can look attractive with either a light stain or a dark one. You can use the stain to darken the floor or to alter the hue. You can also use a whitewash stain to make the wood even lighter.

Add High Gloss/Semi-Gloss

Gloss finishes are your hardwood floors are really a matter of preference. Gloss finishes offer the most shine, and will reflect the most light. Semi-gloss finishes offer some shine, and will reflect some light. Generally speaking, the less sheen, the less you will notice small scratches and other wear that is normal with wood floors. If you choose to install a factory-finished floor, you will be limited to the sheen available for the material you select. All sheens will offer the same protection for your floor, so it truly is a matter of which look you like best.

Mellow Out With Matte Finish

Most people today are now choosing matte type (20% sheen level) floor finishes primarily because of the ease of maintenance. A low luster finish is best at offering an authentic representation of a wood floor look without a finish while masking dust buildup and footprints. They also become less noticeable to minor scratching opposed to finishes with a higher gloss level. No matter what kind of sheen level is considered, most are equal in terms of durability. Drying and curing times fall into the same category. What Is A Sheen Level? The sheen level is derived by the amount of reflection from the finish. Not all hardwoods will produce the same sheen level.   As a reference, applying to an exotic Brazilian Cherry may show differences in their levels compared to softer species because of the inherent makeup of the wood.

Hand Scrape or Distress


Hand-scraped and Distressed hardwood floors are becoming a popular choice in today’s upscale homes and commercial buildings. While this is a newer trend, it is rooted in history. Before today’s modern sanding methods, floors were hand scraped on site to make the floors flat. Today’s hand scraping is done to add texture, richness, and uniqueness.

Distressed hardwood flooring is done by machine or by hand. The look is created with a wire brush and is generally a lighter texture and more uniform than hand scraped.  Wire brushing opens the grain by removing the soft spring wood, leaving the harder summerwood with some slightly sunken knots. Before sanding, wire brushing gives the flooring rich texture that accentuates the grain and gives the floor a distinct look. After hand sanding, planks are left relatively smooth but with intriguing textures.

True hand scraped is exactly that – hardwood scraped by hand. When properly done this method creates a truly unique floor. These floors differ greatly in the amount of the texture added to the floor and the skill of the person scraping the floor. Since no two hand-scraped floors are alike, you will have an individualized custom look.


In summary, there are many options for your existing floor.  You do not always have to rip up your hardwood floor and invest in a new flooring.  Hardwood floors are meant to be durable and many can be sanded and refinished to look like a new floor.  It is your choice to go lighter or darker, change the sheen, or even change the texture. Have Questions? Contact Us Online or Call Today.