Staining or Fuming - What's the best way to darken oak flooring?
Oak flooring is naturally light in colour with golden, honey tones. Although oak will mellow and darken a little over time, it takes hundreds of years to develop the rich dark patina of aged oak. If you have existing dark oak furniture or more traditional décor, you may prefer a dark oak floor to match. There are two ways of achieving a darker oak floor:
- Staining – The application of a tinted stain prior to sealing. This is the perfect solution for a floor which is already laid. Take care when choosing a stain, use a reputed product such as Osmo Wood Wax Finish. Their stains and hardwax oils are semi-transparent, allowing the natural grain of the timber to show through. Some poorer quality stains can give a disappointing effect and can give the appearance of having painted the floor brown. Whichever stain you choose, always apply a small amount of the stain to an area of the floor which won’t be seen to make sure you are happy with your colour choice.
- Fuming – An alternative to staining which can only be applied to newly machined floorboards (i.e an unlaid floor). The oak floorboards are placed, spaced apart in a sealed chamber, then ammonia is applied as a gas. Each board will react differently to the fuming process, depending on the tannins present in the timber. As a result, the fumed floor will have a range of natural colour tones, much like an unfumed oak floor but darker. All our European Oak Floors, both engineered and solid, can be fumed as an optional extra. The floorboards are fumed here at our factory and the process produces boards which are a lovely rich dark brown colour. Some of our floors, such as our Tradition Aged Oak Floor, are fumed as a standard feature of the floor.