Different Floor Stains throughout House

dljmthApril 9, 2013

We are remodeling and adding space to our basic ranch home. The part being remodeled includes an open floor plan living/dining room kitchen and family room. The bedroom wing is separated by a glass pocket door from the main living space. The new space has an updated more contemporary feel but still carries the straight lines of the ranch. We kept the same style oak floors throughout the house but I don't like the old stain because it is quite yellow and maybe too dark for the new fresh space. There floors are all continuous meaning there are no reducers. The only separation from new to old is the pocket door. How odd would it be to have a different floor stain? For that matter, the base and casings are different from old to new as well but for some reason that doesn't bother me because the space feels different with a different purpose. I suppose that is easy enough to change at some point but doesn't feel critical. The floors - well, I'm not sure if they should all match. Thoughts?

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How difficult would it be for you to refinish the old floors and match them all?

My feeling is that in this case they should match, but I would not want to match the new to a floor I didn't like.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:59AM
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There are several people here who have nonmatching wood floors.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 11:22AM
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It would be a big job to match everything. The entire house is hardwood. This is the tricky thing with remodels. Match new to old (doesn't seem to make sense) or match old to new (costly).

I suppose the right approach is to update the old -,maybe at some point in the future. It would be a big job as the entire house is wood. So that would mean moving out of the bedrooms (3 kids bedrooms and master bed about 1000sqft total with hallways). I guess at that point we would update all the casings and finishes to match the new. Then there are furnishings. This little addition is turning into a never ending remodel. Exactly what I was hoping to avoid :(

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:59PM
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How difficult would it be to refinish the hallway and leave the bedrooms, which are private space, for a later date or in their current form?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I would absolutely do them non-matching. If resale is a concern, the new owners can have them refinished when the house is empty before they move in.

If it bothers you, you could ask some refinishers for an estimate of Pal's suggestion of just doing the hallway.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Thanks everyone. Funny, the flooring contractor suggested the same thing - continue through the hallway. I will get an estimate for the hallway - although as you can see in the floor plan, there are two hallways and given the way the second hallway leads to the master bed (it's almost a part of the master bed) I would likely just have them refinish straight down the main hall only. It is the only part you would see anyway if you are standing in the new part of the house and the pocket door is open. I think the problem with refinishing the short hall to the master bed is that if the master bed is open then you will really notice the difference because it is one large open space that feels very connected to the hallway. (I highlighted in blue the extra sanding). Everything to the right of the pocket door is new. The bedrooms are older style - different base, casings, etc. What do you think? Hmm... now I'm thinking that if we sand and stain the floors to match, then we should change the baseboard to match too. Given that, I guess I have to refinish and replace the base boards in the short master hallway as it would look really odd not to do that. OK, now I'm thinking leave it alone and wait until major project is completed (everything to the right of the pocket door) and then sand, refinish and change base and trim in the old part of the house at a later date. At least we have the pocket door to close it off for now....Ugh.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:43PM
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I would refinish the existing floors to match the new floors. Yes, it will add to the cost, but it makes so much sense to do it now while your house is a construction zone. Get all the dusty and dirty projects done and finished. You will not regret this at all and you will love having all your floors stained in a color you like.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:09AM
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Well, I think I am going to go for the new stain and wait to do the rest of the house later. All the floors are red oak. The old part just has a clear coat finish but it is an oil base and I suspect it has darkened a bit with time. We just want a clear coat finish on the new part as well, but prefer a water based finish because it isn't quite as yellow. I had the flooring contractor do a sample of both water and oil clear coat right up against the old oil based part and it's not too drastic of a difference. I think it will all depend on the individual slats of wood - as some are naturally darker than others. Keeping my fingers crossed that the water base clear coat will look fine and that we won't have to redo the rest of the house. Of course, if it is drastically different then we'll have to consider when to update the rest.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:06PM
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The flooring sub came last week and in the course of about 1 hour with him standing there I flipped directions at least 5 times. Was adamant about going with the stain I liked (water) because it goes with the new part of the house better, but was convinced to use oil to match the rest of the house. Well, they did half of the new kitchen and I had them stop. It just did not look right and interestingly, it wouldn't really have matched the old part of the house anyway because looking at it now, there must have been a slight tint added to the old part of the house - maybe a "natural" stain as it has a slight bit of brown to it (that or the floor color has just changed over time). I had them resand the small part they did and apply the water based stain and it looks great. And surprisingly, it actually looks fine with the old part of the house. It's not nearly as drastic a difference as I was anticipating. The water based finish is more costly, but it was definitely the right way to go. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 12:25PM
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