Saturday, March 15, 2014


We knew it was time to pick out a stain for the floors so
Mrs. OSH set up a staining test location in the garage. On my side.

She picked up a piece of oak panel from the local big box and used that
to compare stains and shades.

She tried Cherry and even mixing Cherry with other stains

She tried Weathered Oak and Early American
(and what's up with Google? It keeps flipping my pics.)

And Early American and Cherry
(I'm beginning to think Google has an issue)

We were concerned that we weren't getting the test staining right because
of  the type of wood that we were using. So I ran over to Lumber Liquidators
where they gave me a few unstained pieces of white oak to use. Free.

This color test came out much better because we were using actual flooring.
We decided to go with the English Chestnut (right side).

It was exciting to go over and find that the flooring had been delivered.

It was from a company in Virginia named Ten Oaks

You can see Stuart Virginia stamped on to the backside of the wood.

Stacks and Stacks

Spread around to the different rooms

And once acclimated to the house conditions it will be ready to be installed

It was exciting to stop by the house and find that the hardwood flooring had arrived. It wasn’t just the fact that the wood had arrived, but it was knowing that this is the last phase of major construction. Once this is done the only work remaining will be the installation of all the parts that make the house go (outlets, lights, switches, faucets, etc.).

Like any decision with house building, selecting a floor and the color stain is not something that you want to do in haste. We were originally going to go with Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors in the main living areas and carpet the bedrooms. But after looking at stains and worrying about the dark wood showing every scratch and not to mention the impact on our budget, we decided to go with white oak. White oak is the old standby but it’s found in many houses with hard wood floors. Sure, there are many beautiful exotics available; they were just beyond our budget. The upside to using white oak was that we could now afford to do the bedrooms too.

We also decided to go with the unfinished boards and have them finished on site. I wouldn’t hesitate to go with the prefinished pieces if doing an individual room, but see we were doing the entire house, we felt it was a better route to have the floors finished as part of the install.

Mrs. OSH experimented with the actual stains on a piece of oak paneling. Colors on a company supplied card just don’t cut it. You really need to stain wood and bring it on site to get a better feel. We weren’t sure the colors were accurate so I ran over to Lumber Liquidators where they gave me some sample pieces. Free. It may sound simple, but I was impressed that they gave me the pieces. They now have a future customer.

After testing many samples we decided to go with the Minwax English Chestnut. We think it will give us the right shade of dark, but not too dark. It will also show the grain of the wood nicely. The only thing we didn’t do that might not have been a bad idea was to cover the stains with a few coats of poly because this can darken the wood further. We were OK with a slightly darker color though and didn’t bother.  

We can’t wait to see it start to be installed.

Enjoy your weekend.


  1. Perfect choice; that's what I used. It's not too trendy but dark enough to look high end. It's a classic choice that will look beautiful with your paint colors. I keep a little can of stain so if you get a little scratch you can rub some stain into the scratch and it hides it really well.

    1. It will be interesting to see what the floor looks like when finished. However, seeing the pics of your new floor in your new kitchen gave us an advanced peek. Excellent idea on keeping some stain available for scratches.