Does polyurethane darken the hardwood floor stain?

liz1315July 14, 2006

The floor was just installed and stained tonight. The trim in my house and other floors appears to be a warm dark walnut but we are planning to have the floors redone not because we want the color changed, but because they are spotted and worn in areas. I think the stain, special walnut with a little dark walnut added,is too light. The floor guy said he'd restain it tomorrow, but do i have him use dark walnut or more special walnut?

Will the three coats of satin poly darken the floor?

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Stain to darken has to be darker----he will need to use the special with more dark.

Water based poly is clear and adds no color/tone.

Oil based poly adds an amber tone---what most folks consider that 'warm' glow.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 9:37AM
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Thank you handymac. Floor guy is coming back today to restain and I don't know whether to tell him to use a second coat of same or to go with English Chestnut possibly mixed. We do like the warm glow and they will be using water based poly.

Any advice on how to get that dark rich coloration used in the Tudor's in the 1970's?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 10:02AM
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That warm color has to be done with the stain if using water based poly. That usually requires a recipe of three or four stains and can take a long time to achieve. The best that can be done with one stain nis to use a darker one and get as close as possible.

The poly is going to make the floor look like it is covered with plastic.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 2:04PM
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Well handymac is half right about polyurethane. It is essentially a plastic of sorts, but if you choose a semigloss or satin gloss level the 'plastic look' can be diminished some.

Look at most satin prefinished they look like they're covered with plastic? Some do...but most look like they've been stained and waxed. The same look can be achieved with polyurethane.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 2:15PM
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Thank you for your responses. The floor guy will be applying three coats of satin finish water based poly.

Floors are white oak, if we use Dark Walnut with some small amount of English Chestnut might that give the warmth? Dura Seal makes a coffee brown that looks like it has character? mini wax Jacobean? any thoughts on these stains or other suggestions.

I've picked cabinets, fixtures, etc. based on leaving the dark woodwork and when new floor and existing floors are done having something similar to what we have now.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 3:35PM
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Can't comment of stain color, as how the wood will take stain depends on how the wood was prepared. Also, stain formulations vary among the different manufacturers, so can't comment for that reason as well.

If your floor person is good at staining, then the results will be good.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 7:50PM
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