Staining Maple Floors

Picture of Joshua Crossman

Joshua Crossman

Owner of PTL Flooring LLC

Yes you can have your maple floors stained a different color.

Most hardwood floor companies won’t stain maple, the usual reasons being that it will be blotchy and uneven.  Translated this means that either they don’t know how to do it, it takes extra work to do or they think that it is supposed to look like a stained oak floor and since it doesn’t it must be wrong.

Truth is staining a maple floor gives it a cool depth and unique color variations, something that is impossible to duplicate the same in another floor.  It is not supposed to look like oak, that’s the beauty of it.

One of my favorite colors to stain is a color called Sable Black made by Glitsa.  This is a very dark, true black stain, not advisable if you aren’t a clean freak because it will show a speck of dust from across the room.  But boy is it beautiful looking.  Another color I like is called Kona made by Nano Shield, it is a dark rich brown.

Maple floor stained Kona


I don’t like to waste a perfectly good floor so staining maple is a very viable option as opposed to tearing it out and installing a whole new floor.  Also the cost to sand, stain and finish a floor is less than to install a new floor.
Maple stained Taupe

To do the job successfully it usually takes an extra two days or more, depending on color, to complete the process as opposed to just a natural color.  You can’t cut any corners in the sanding process and you have to maintain a clean floor.  Then the floor needs to be water popped which is a technique where the floor is wetted down with water which opens the grain up allowing the stain to penetrate the wood cells.  I have my own technique to water popping which has given me good results.  This is allowed to dry overnight and then the stain can be applied.  Now certain brands of stains work better than others and give a better more consistent color application.

I always recommend getting a finished sample done before having the whole floor stained so that you can see how the color looks and how it defines the grain pattern in maple.

One downside to having your maple hardwood floors stained is that during the seasonal movement of the floor when it shrinks, usually in the winter, you may get cracks between the boards which will still be white because the sides of the boards aren’t stained.  To remedy this you can then fill the cracks with a soft color matching putty or wait for the humidity to rise in the spring and the cracks will disappear.
A stained maple floor makes your floor unique as there isn’t a lot of them done so you can have something different that is very elegant looking.
If you are tired of the way your maple floors look let your hardwood floor company know that you would like to have it stained.  And if they try to tell you no give me a call at 253-732-4298 and I can help you out.


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