5 Best Wood Floor Stains and Finishes Reviews In 2022

Floors work to tie all elements of a room together. Wooden floors also work well in bringing the natural colors and textures of the world outside indoors. Finding the best stain color for your wood floors is a task that requires patience and the consideration of a number of factors. A shiny finish or dark floor is not always the right fit. Whether you have hardwood flooring, reclaimed wood flooring, red oak floors, dark ebony flooring, white oak flooring, or special walnut floors, the right wood stain makes a huge difference in the longevity of the main floor of the house.

Best Wood Stains for Hardwood Flooring

1. Duraseal Stains

Duraseal is a brand trusted by many professionals in the flooring industry. If you are looking for a foolproof brand to stain your wood floors evenly, this is your go-to choice. It is a fast-drying, convenient type of wood floor stain. It comes in a wide range of the trendiest hardwood stain colors of the season, ensuring you achieve whichever look you are going for. For those looking to stain the wood in one room a bit darker than the rest of the house, you can mix and match cans of Duraseal stains. If you are considering re-sanding your floors to make the color a bit lighter, Duraseal has you covered. Wood stains from Duraseal penetrate deep within the grains of the wood flooring, meaning that the color pigmentation will still be visible after re-sanding.


  • Quick-drying
  • Stains evenly
  • Large selection of colors


  • More costly compared to other brands

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2. Minwax Stains

Minwax, like Duraseal, is a highly durable hardwood floor stain. The brand offers a wide selection of the best hardwood stain colors and what’s more, it is easy to apply and maintain. Achieving the same stain with Minwax floor stain may be a tad more difficult as the stain does not penetrate as fast as its counterparts. It is also highly pigmented, so it’s easier to make a mess. If you’re OK with the longer waiting time, it is a more affordable but still high quality alternative.


  • Affordable
  • Durable floor stain
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors
  • Easy to apply


  • Long drying time
  • Takes a long time to penetrate

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3. Varathane Stains

If you want to stain your hardwood floor while maintaining some of the natural color and feel of the wood, then Varathane is the best choice. It is also great if you are sensitive to strong smells. This oil-based wood stain has minimal odor and works well for those looking to stain their floors without the inconvenience of vacating their homes.


  • Minimal odor
  • Stains evenly
  • Fast-drying


  • May require multiple coats

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4. EvenGrain Stains

An EvenGrain Stain is probably the best stain for family projects, in your grandparents’ house, or for a household with small children. Not only is the stain eco-friendly, it is formulated to protect the health of those using the product. The stain is listed as safe for the whole family. Regardless of the type of wood, EvenGrain stains accentuate beautifully the natural color and texture of wood floors.


  • Eco-friendly
  • Minimal odor
  • Works for all floor types


  • Costly

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5. SamaN Water-Based Stain

Those unwanted overlap marks can cause many a headache on your quest for the perfect stain for your hardwood flooring. Attempts to solve the issue can cause you to overstain your floors trying to rid your hardwood floor of these marks and lose the natural finish of the wood showing through. Luckily, this water-based stain does not have this issue. It is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to maintain. SamaN water-based stains are available in a variety of colors, including your classic wood tones as well as some really fun colors like turquoise, lime, and raspberry.


  • Easy to use
  • Clean finish
  • Easy to maintain
  • Odorless


  • Packaged in small quantities

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How To Choose the Right Stain for Reclaimed Wood Flooring

In this day and age, we must all make an effort to be environmentally conscious. Using reclaimed wood flooring helps us achieve a unique look in our spaces while being mindful of how we use the natural products around us. Reclaimed wood adds a rustic vibe to your interior or exterior spaces. Some argue that staining reclaimed wood, waters down the natural effect of these hardwood floors. However, there are still many who believe the opposite is true. Staining reclaimed wood can give it new life and enhance its unique texture.

How to Choose the Right Stain for Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Consider the Type of Wood

The type of stain color as well as the hardwood finish you use is highly dependent on the type of wood your hardwood floor is made from. If you are not sure what kind of stain is best for the type of wood you have, opt for a water-based stain. Nearly all hardwood floors work better with water-based stains as opposed to oil-based ones.

What Overall Style Are You Aiming to Create?

The overall look you are hoping to achieve should inform your choice in stain color for your hardwood floors. A darker color stain tends to add a more cooling effect in a room as opposed to lighter stains. To be sure you have the right stain colors for the various hardwood floors within your home, try out different stain samples on your reclaimed wood before settling on stain colors to use.

Try varying the number of coats in your stain samples to determine the ideal level of stain for your floors. This will also give you a benchmark to prevent accidentally overstaining. Reclaimed wood is generally more textured than new wood. Most varieties of reclaimed wood will absorb much more color than new wood, so this is an important step for you to visualize the final result.

What Type of Stain Is Best for Hardwood Floors?

If you didn’t know before, staining floors is different from applying a protective finish. Staining requires that the natural color of the wood be changed. Hardwood floors with a poor finish can distort the decorative style of the entire room or house. The good news is, it is relatively easy to reclaim wood floors, and hardwood floors are no exception to the rule.

What Type of Stain Is Best for Hardwood Floors

A key consideration when looking to choose stain colors for your hardwood floors is the decorating style that you are going for. More natural colors such as dark brown, antique brown, or grey floors are ideal for those aiming to tie in the flooring styles with the rest of their existing furniture. You can even match the stain of your wood floors to that of your kitchen cabinets.

Tadas Wood Flooring Inc. is renowned for its expertise in the installation of hardwood floors. They have glowing reviews for their customer service and their high-quality products that are extremely durable. They match different wood species with the appropriate stain colors and hardwood finishes. Their stains are water-based polyurethane, allowing for quicker drying times. This is especially useful for staining the floors in high traffic areas, like the kitchen or the hall to the bathroom.

Keep in mind that if you already have a natural product such as red or white oak, maple, Brazilian cherry, dark walnut, or mahogany, it might be best to forego staining altogether. These woods do not stain very well, making it difficult for you to achieve that perfect stain finish. Also, they each have their own beautiful natural color that shines through once the protective finish is applied.

What Hardwood Floor Finish Is Most Durable?

The simple answer to this question is to always go for a polyurethane finish for longevity. The tougher question is whether you should prefer a water-based or oil-based polyurethane finish.

If you are looking for a more natural product in your hardwood finishes, then a water-based finish is your best bet. This dries as a clear coat and only takes a few hours to dry. If you will need to apply multiple coats in order to achieve that high gloss or semi-gloss finish, it takes you a much shorter time than oil-based alternatives. Lastly, water-based finishes have minimal odor compared to an oil-based polyurethane finish.

Oil-based polyurethane hardwood finishes give an amber tinted finish to hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors in high traffic areas will require a more protective finish. Oil-based polyurethane finishes work best in these scenarios. Another plus side to using oil-based finishes is that they are more pocket-friendly than their water-based counterparts.

Another option for high traffic and industrial areas is a moisture cure urethane finish. If you are looking for that high-gloss finish or a satin finish, then this is the ideal choice for you. Like oil-based finishes, moisture cure urethane finishes give wood an amber tinge. The downside to using this finish, however, is its strong odor and application difficulty.

What Is the Most Popular Wood Stain?

Given the mess that is bound to happen in some indoor spaces, it is no wonder that dark colors seem to be popular for spaces such as the dining room. The classic black stain color by Varathane seems to be the most popular. Other favorites include dark brown, dark walnut, as well as dark oak. Dark colors hide any dirt or stains easily, making them very practical. Neutral colors like the intensely popular Varathane black stain are easy to work with from a decorative point of view.

For outdoor areas, a light stain seems to be the trend this year. Opting for a lighter color on the hardwood flooring of your deck adds a beautiful contrast to your home.


Hardwood floors can be difficult to stain and maintain, especially reclaimed wood flooring. However, there are floor stains specially formulated for both brand new hardwood floors and reclaimed wood. Different wood floors will react differently to different types of stains. Take your time exploring different stain samples so you can settle on the perfect stain for your wood floors.