Should floor stain and cabinet colors contrast? Or not?

AngelaZJuly 29, 2014

I've posted this on the decorating forum but wanted to get y'all's input too!

We are about 3 weeks away from completion of our home construction. The interior finishes are coming together (exciting!!) but I'm having mixed emotions about our floor color.

We have white oak throughout most of the house (except bathrooms & laundry). Our cabinets are made of hickory but stained to have more of a walnut appearance.

I'm so torn on what color to stain my floors- or if I even want to stain them at all! We had stained floors in our last home, and loved them, but that doesn't necessarily mean that will look best here.

A designer I spoke with recommended Provincial stain.

Here are a couple of pics of the kitchen and adjoining living room. Although you can't see it in these iphone photos, there are lots of windows on both sides of each room, so lots of natural light.

So what do you guys think??

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Has your hardwood guy done a bunch of stain samples right on the floor? I would do samples right next to the kitchen cabinets. My floor guy put down about 6 samples right on the floors and we then tweaked the best one.

You could go light or dark, but I think some samples will get you going in the right direction.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:42AM
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Samples are a good idea. Personally I think the white oak is too gorgeous to hide under a dark stain! Don't try to match the cabinets to floors either way. You chose two beautiful different species of wood, so why try to homogenize them when you can celebrate them?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Very valid point Kiwigem! I do want contrast between the two, but not sure if there is too much contrast if there floors were left without stain?

I will definitely work on some samples this weekend, and am certainly open to suggested colors!

Thanks for the input so far!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:05PM
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I have rift sawn white oak cabinets and I told the finisher that I wanted the cabinets to look like the raw wood when they were stained - this involved putting a little white in the stain to counter act the oak's tendency to look more yellow even when just a clear coat was applied. The fancy word is "cerusing". I've seen it with walnut cabinets/rift oak floors, and it's really a beautiful combination.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:35AM
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