How can I change the color of my hardwood floor?

Today, Kathy writes:

Hi, we put a hardwood floor in our kitchen. I am not happy with the color. We had a light laminate floor before, so we wanted to go with a little darker color. We went with a chestnut color. It is darker than I would like and it has a very red tint to it, which I didn’t want. I wanted to know if it can be refinished with a different color; and if so, is it costly. I would appreciate any suggestions you could give me. In short, how can I change the color of my hardwood floor?

Kathy, yes if you have a solid hardwood floor or engineered wood floor with a thick enough top layer (or veneer) you can refinish your wood flooring. But understand that it can be costly and you will need to leave your home for a few days during the process. If you hire someone to do the work for you it will probably cost between $3.00 – 5.00 sf. It depends on the company and the layers of stain and polyurethane. If you do it yourself it will be considerably less, but very time consuming.

Before I continue though, a word of warning: putting a coating on a wood floor is hard work, so be sure to do your homework before starting a project of this caliber. Also understand that there is more to this type of project than just applying a stain and then urethane or polyurethane finish. After stripping the existing color off your floor, you will want to sand it and fill any spots that may have gotten scratched or dented in normal wear and tear. You’ll then need to clean up all dust you have created, then begin staining your floor. Then wait 12 hours, and repeat. Then you’ll need to clean up all the dust you have created, then begin coating your floor. Most finishes recommend doing that step 3 times. So you see it’s not for a novice or the faint of heart.

Just an idea if you don’t have the time or the money to re-coat your wood flooring, you might consider looking for accent pieces that help lighten up the room or help tie in the red tint. A family member in a similar situation spent $75 on an interior decorator who told her what accent color to use, and where to paint it. And she ended up loving the end result.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Flooring Diva Blog!