Boxerpups: About your floors.....

gaylJanuary 1, 2011

Hi Boxerpups, I have always loved your floors and assumed they were walnut. Just read on some thread that they are oak. Can you share what kind of stain and finish you used and how they have held up? Width? I love walnut, but am a little worried about the softness of it...thanks for your input!

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Hi Gharborwa,

You will love oak floors. They are strong and beautiful.
The problem with Oak is the grain. You need to embrace the
dark grains. The darker your stain the darker the grains
will appear. At first I was not sure I was going to like
this but after it was done I realize I love it.

Some people on GW have tried popping the wood. My floor
guys refused to do this. Popping the wood means wetting the
floors before stain so that the stain is evenly
distributed. This can work and be successful but my floor
guys do not like mixing water and stains.

I had a bit of a struggle trying to get the right color.
My floor guys were wood purists. And kept urging me to go
with natural and clear gloss which means a yellow/creamy hue
and I wanted dark chocolate. Once we worked out what
I wanted and that I was paying, they came around. Good floor
guys just not stylish.

The stain mix recipe...

We first used 3/4 Mahogany and 1/4 Ebony. It came out
dreadful. For some reason very orange. I cried. (Kelleg,
Postiano, Pbrisjar, Bellaflora, Writersblock, Dinajp.
Morton5, Frank59,...might remember my sadness.)

We ended up with 3/4 English Chestnut 1/4 Ebony.
There was no real specific science in fact on some areas
they added a little extra ebony.

I chose a flat matte finish not the shiny gymnasium look.

They have held up fantastically. Seriously !
I had a full house last night with a NYE party and friends
who had been here last year thought I had them re-finished
for the party. I laughed No, I have done nothing. I wash
them weekly but nothing out of the ordinary.

I owe the look to the equipment my floor guys used. Some
scary looking heavy duty sanders. My floor guys rarely do
residential they work doing large urban renovations for
contractors out of Boston. My floors were so smooth the
looked like one sheet of wood, they are 3 inches wide.

Below are some links of floor stain from GW.

Ugh! oak floor stain is not what I had hoped!

What stain for your Oak floors?

How dark can I go with wood floors?

Here is a link that might be useful: I am crying about the floors

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 11:01AM
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Thanks so much for your response and links...I currently have white oak with a poly finish...and I hate the golden tones of it. I was thinking of walnut with waterlox this time since it will cover the whole downstairs, but am concerned about the hardness of walnut. I guess I'll have to get some oak and play around with it.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 3:13PM
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If your floors are in good enough condition, keep them and
stain them a dark walnut color. I used to like the light
golden oak color but I have grown out of it. Sounds like
you have done the same too.

If you have a closet see if your floor guys can sand
this so you can use your closet to play around with the
exact colors. Use lighting in there to get a feel for
what you want in the dark colors. Chocolate, Mahogany,
Ebony, English Chestnut, ........

And here are some oak floors stained dark.




    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Boxerpups, it amazes me to see all of the wonderful pictures that you post....keep them coming :-)

Do you find that the darker floors are harder to keep clean? I have been told that they will "show everything"..and I am not willing to be a slave to them but I do love the darker colors.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 3:47PM
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Thank you.

I know everyone says dark is harder to keep clean. And I
bet they are but I am a bit of floor clean psycho. I
vacuum every other day. My family takes shoes off at the
door. We are barefoot or slippers kind of people. I have
dogs, kids, messy people around but overall my floors look

I am sure it would look cleaner longer if they were the
golden oak or light natural stain. You see my floors were
so UGLY before reno that I only remember the horror show
before. I am blinded by the beauty that is now.

Are they are hard to clean? I guess I am so happy with how
much nicer they look, that it is a pleasure to clean them.
A few years from now I might not be so happy. ; )


    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 4:57PM
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Boxerpup, your floors are beautiful. You said you wash them once a week; what do you use?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Thanks, Boxerpups. Actually we are building new, so I can choose what I want...and I love your floors, but I really love the walnut you showed!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 6:13PM
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We just went through the process of choosing stain for our 100 year old white oak living room/dining room floors. We chose English Chestnut and just love it! Here are some photos.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 6:59PM
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marita40 your floors are beautiful too. Is it the same kind of Oak as Bozerpups? The grain looks so different between the 2.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 7:37PM
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I love the yellow gold warm paint above the built ins. It
makes the warmth of your floors ROCK.

Walnut is already on your mind. Your feet will be so happy
walking on new walnut floors. It is going to be fantastic in
your space. Go for it. The below walnut floor link can help
you see you are on the right path.

I use pinesol with water.


Here is a link that might be useful: Walnut flooring

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Boxer Pinesol and water?! I'm surprised. I thought water on wood floors was a no no.
I don't have them, but want them in my remodel and have wondered about care.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Thanks, are a wealth of information and I so appreciate your willingness to help everyone out here. I don't know how you have so many photos, but you are so inspiring....

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 10:05PM
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Maybe I should have said damp not dripping soaking or
pouring water on the floors. I also dry the floors
with large old beach towels after.
I have to get the grime off the floors. For me it is the
only option.


happy to help with images anytime.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 8:40AM
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Mine is white oak. But grains can vary a lot even in the same species, and mine are 100 years old--from old growth oak.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 12:05PM
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Thanks Boxer. When I hear people say water never touches their hardwood floors unless there is a spill to clean up I think that will never work for me, especially in the kitchen and I want hardwood there too. Glad to know damp and dry is OK.
Are the walnut floors in the hallway pic also yours? Love the color and grain. I know walnut is softer than oak, but was wondering if it's noticably so or just as easy to care for. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 2:50PM
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My sister has beautiful walnut floors in her new home. They moved in this past summer, and already the floors are terribly scratched. They have a rather large dog, and have since put those rubber tips on his nails, but the damage has been done. Especially the stair treads. I don't know if walnut is softer, or if the scratches are just in the finish, not the wood. We have red oak floors (stained with Provincial Minwax) which is kind of dark and we have a border collie - VERY little scratches on our floor.

I love the look of her walnut floors, but not practical in a house with kids/dogs IMHO.

Here is my red oak with "Provincial" stain (Minwax brand)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 4:09PM
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I do not have walnut floors. Mine are all oak. I love the
look of Walnut but have to agree with Mountaineergirl that
have heard walnut can be softer.

Sometimes you get what you love. Find out all you can
about walnut and if you can live with it being softer,
the look a little more lived in and the scratches go
for it.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 4:23PM
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The oak floors in our house are 17 years old and I still love them. It reads more orangey in this photo than it actually is. Ours are 3 1/4 wide throughout the entire house. I will put them in the next house as well..........

We raised two rambumctious boys and several dogs in this house, the floors got a little dinged up and worn of course, we refinished 4 years ago and came right back to their former beauty!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 9:38PM
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I've got oak floors with a walnut stain and LOVE THEM. The character they add to the house is unmatched, and the complements I've gotten for the floors have far exceeded any other aspect of the home.

DH recently matched the color in a new section and it came out great. First, there are several grades of oak and each has a different amount of grain showing. Take a look at the local lumber yard to see what I mean. The better the grade, the less the grain. Next he stained them, then he put polyurethane on top. He put two coats of the glossy polyurethane and then finished with a satin coat. It seems that the glossy does a great job protecting the floors, but it looks a bit off. So, the satin tones it down.

As for seeing the dirt - well dark floors do show light dust and lint, but they don't show everything. Dark dirt and leaves seem to blend far better than I like. Either way, dirt is dirt and you'll want to clean it up. It isn't like a white floor though. I had that in my old kitchen and that was a nightmare. I've mentioned it elsewhere, but it bears repeating that Oreos do not mix with a white kitchen!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 10:41PM
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Here's a picture that should give you an idea of what my floors look like . . .

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:27PM
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Are the floors Red Oak or White Oak?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Niiiiice Missmuffet!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 12:23AM
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My floor guys tell me they are a mix of both.
To be clear and I hope I did not confuse you,
my floor pictures are only in the link above, not
any of the images above.

Hope that helps.

Miss Muffett, that is the color I really wanted, I am happy
with my results but I wanted that deerper rich penetrating
color yours evoke. I can see why you get compliments.
Love them!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 7:06AM
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