What color wood floor is easy enough to keep clean?

kelleg69January 15, 2009

I was just reading another post where everyone was saying how hard dark floors are to keep clean. I had a friend with almost ebony floors that said the same thing--she called herself the "Swiffer Queen." I do want "dark" chocolate brown hardwoods, but don't want this issue. My floors will be white oak--so some grain. Does anyone have a rich chocolate brown that they like and don't think is impossible to maintain. I am not a meticulous cleaner! I don't like to clean and do not want to have to worry about my floors on a daily basis.

Currently, I have honey/golden oak floors. I have never had an issue with them. I just want to go a bit darker (richer) in my new house.

Stain colors and pictures would be awesome as well as advice :)

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I totally understand your want for darker richer floors. I lost that battle with my husband for the new house. We ended up with Indian Mulberry a light color wood with grey lines running through it. Kinda nice but not the color I had my heart set on. I guess I would listen to the crowd about the dark being high maint. My BF just built and put new mahagomy cherry floors in - very pretty but she stated her floors are a lot of work to keep up and she has only lived there 1 month. We currently have a light pine color and it hides dirt pretty well except in direct sunlight.

Get some samples and test each one to see how it holds up in the light. I also always do the scratch test on each one.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 5:09PM
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Dark floors will be hard to keep clean, or least looking clean. I think a lower gloss is better, but still the color will make it difficult.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 5:29PM
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How about a dark, but transparent, stain, so that the grain is darkened, but with some lighter showing through? Not too lightly applied, but thin enough to leave the floor variegated instead of solid. The overall look would be darker than your honey without the problems of a solidly dark floor. The grain pattern will help hide things, too. Not only is dust and pet hair a problem with dark floors, but scratches in the finish look white.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 5:46PM
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I have dark wood floors in my kitchen now and they are a pain to keep clean. It doesn't help that you walk through the kitchen from the mudroom to get anywhere else in the house. I am going with cumaru for my new floor. I love the variation.
I had natural oak (just finished no stain) in my previous home and I loved those floors. We came straight into the back hall with unattached garage in a northern climate and they held up well.
Attaching a thread from flooring if you are interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cumaru thread

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 5:48PM
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Well it may not be the look you're going for but we have hickory floors and they camouflage just about everything! ;) We got the "natural" stain but they did have darker options which if I recall made it less wild.

Now a lot of it is covered with cabinets and the dining room table but here's a pic during the reno.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 7:06PM
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olga_d - Thank you for sharing your photo : ) We're considering hickory natural or red oak natural (Lauzon's engineered wood). What's the width of your planks & what brand of flooring?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 1:29AM
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I went through the same issue when we were refinishing existing flooring & adding new white oak to kitchen. Lots of traffic & kiddies -
I actually "found" my color in my own home, opened a closet & said to floor guy that's the color - 75yo patina'd oak - I believe it was Provincial minwaz stain

I just posted this pic so it's handy - this is new/old flooring meeting

I love the rich color (prev was honey oak) but not too dark that every crumb/dust bunny shows up

good luck

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:12AM
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Something like Jejvtr's floor is what I meant...Only you could choose a stain that has a cooler tone to it to get more of a chocolate shade.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 11:51AM
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My dark wood floors have been great. I think shelly was correct that the difference is having a low gloss. I have a very low gloss, matte finish on mine, and 3 kids and it hides everything great! I used to have a beige colored linoleum which I hated as it showed everything.

Now, I do have to sweep with a broom every day - my kids are very young and the amount of food dropped on the floor is a lot. But we're talking sweeping obvious large crumbs and dropped rigatoni etc (I have a 2 year old). But I love that it looks great without a proper mop.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 12:06PM
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Hello again, - had to chime in one more time. Just received some flooring samples in the mail today that I ordered. One is a mahagomy high glass piano finish 12mm (super thick) laminate floor. I am very picky about flooring (40th sample I have ordered so far) and this flooring is very very good for the money. Only $1.99 per sq foot plus a couple hundred for shipping. This is excellent quality flooring. This mahagomy color is darker and I did the scratch test with the keys - nothing and I even put my freshly lotioned hands on the sample and it's not bad at all - in fact I am highly impressed that such a beautiful gloss can hold dirt this well. Go to builddirect.com and type in vanier piano mahogany. Call them directly to order a "free" sample - refuse to pay shipping and they will send it to you for free. Excellent company. Good luck !!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 3:27PM
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Laurie I just went and measured and the planks are 3.25". It's Bruce, solid hardwood. I love how it looks and that it can go either contemporary or country. The only issue I had with the product is that it seemed many of the pieces were bowed so our installer had some problems with it. It resulted in some gaps between the boards in places that are bigger than I'd like.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 10:49PM
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Thanks everyone. Jejvtr, your floor is what i am thinking I will end up doing. I thought I would go darker, but your color seems like a good compromise--not too much upkeep.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 11:02PM
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This is what we'll be doing:

From [New Floor Colors](http://picasaweb.google.com/pdianne/NewFloorColors?feat=embedwebsite)

The color is Cordovan by TransTint (a tint/dye not a stain). The difference is that the tint actually goes into the wood rather than sitting on top. It's also a bit more translucent. (The background is our cabinet color - Minwax cherry.) The floor wood is white oak.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 1:42AM
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My floors were finished in place, and the refinishers put down 4 sample stains in patches of about 18" square to help me make my stain choice. Then they sanded out the samples. Seeing the stains on my own floor was very helpful. Also, keep in mind that if you go with an oil-based finish that will deepen/amber the stain a bit.

I ended up going with Minwax golden oak and oil-based poly. The floors are darker than natural, with more grain. I just posted this photo on another thread, but here it is again:

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 11:48AM
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I had Miniwax English Chestnut on Red Oak in my previous home. It was beautiful, but showed all the dirt always. Just as I would finish cleaning it and it looked so good, the kids would come in from outside (and we're not take off your shoes people every time you come in) and there went the floor. The grain in the wood was gorgeous with that stain, but I spent too much time cleaning it and being frustrated that it always looked dirty.

When we refinished the floors in our current home, we went with Miniwax 1/2 Golden Oak + 1/2 Early American on White Oak. It looks great and doesn't show the dirt. I have to make sure I'm cleaning the floors regularly, because I don't see the dirt as readily. Maybe when I'm older and its just me and DH, I'll have dark floors again, but of course, than there will eventually be the grandchildren.....

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 12:12PM
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