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Service #4:

STAINING and Pre-Color Treatments

Applying stain or a pre-treatment to your hardwood floor allows you to transform them into something really special and unique. Many homes here in Los Angeles have oak floors in them. If you’re not a fan of natural oak floors, then staining is the answer to completely changing up their appearance.

stain samples on wood floor
applying stain on wood floor

You can have a completely new look that will transform your home without having to spend huge amounts of money replace the flooring.

What Exactly Is Staining?

In simple terms, it’s changing the color of your floors. After the floors are sanded down to bare wood, it’s an extra step that can be included before coating them with finish.

Choosing a stain color
Samples are put on the floor for you to choose between.
Changing color of a hardwood floor
Color going down after sanding is completed.
Buffing Rubio Monocoat on fumed herringbone floors
This hardwood floor has two colors, a dark pre-treatment then a lighter colored top coat.
Floor finished with Rubio Monocoat
This is the end result after the finish coat has been buffed on.

Recently many types of pre-treatments have become available from different finishing manufacturers, such as Rubio Monocoat. These are applied before the stain goes down, or even without stain. With the mix of these two products you have unlimited creative color options.

Why Consider Staining?

There are some great benefits to be had from staining. The main one being you can completely change the look of your hardwood floors. Don’t like the classic oak look? You can stain them to transform the room from traditional to modern to country or to any other look or decorating style you prefer.

It’s also a great option if you find pet urine or water damage and you don’t want to go to the expense of replacing the flooring. As long as the wood is stable, by staining them a dark ebony shade you’ll be able to hide most of the damage. .

Why is it So Much Extra Work?

To obtain consistent superior staining results, your floor needs very precise preparation. This involves a lot of extra time, care, effort, additional steps and specialized equipment compared to normal sanding and refinishing where the floor is kept its natural color.

When sanding and refinishing a natural (unstained) floor, the sanding sequence is much less technical. The belt sander and edger leaves very different sanding patterns. The belt sander is a straight cut, while the edger is circular. Both these patterns, which meet around the perimeter of the room, are blended together with a buffing machine. When the finish is applied, only in well-lit rooms when you are down on your knees can you see any slight sanding marks. It’s a great system for natural floors.

But… if you put a stain down on the exact same floor, the stain pigments would show very noticeable marks around the edges.

In order to eliminate those sanding marks, these are the 6 extra steps that need to be done:

EXTRA STEP 1Planetary sander
with fine

A special planetary sander is used to fine sand the entire floor, up to the perimeter. There may be multiple passes depending on the floor. This ensures a consistent, very fine sanding pattern across the entire floor.

planetary sander for wood floors

EXTRA STEP 2Handheld random
orbital sanders
on perimeter

Then palm sanders are used around the edge of the perimeter where the planetary sander can’t reach. After the extra sanding passes we hand sand all corners and areas that can’t be reached by the machines.

random orbitol sanding hardwood floor edges

EXTRA STEP 3Tape off areas
that won’t
be stained

With the sanding completed, areas that won’t be stained, like transitions and carpet edges, are taped off to protect them. Last thing you want is stain all over the edges of your carpet, tile or vinyl.

taping off areas before staining

EXTRA STEP 4Water pop the
floor to raise
the grain

Water-popping raises the wood grain removes any last trace of sanding marks and ensures the stain goes down even. It also gives the floor a richer, deeper stain color. Water-popped floors are extremely delicate. Any compression of the fibres from walking on it wrong will leave invisible compression marks on the floor and the whole floor will need to be re-sanded again.

water popping hardwood flooring

EXTRA STEP 5Finally the
floor can be

Now the stain goes on. It’s critical that it gets applied fast and evenly. We can’t have any lap marks. The whole teams need to be very efficient at working together and not causing any compression marks on the water-popped floor. This part of the staining process is the most stressful.

buffing on stain in Los Angeles

With those steps completed we wait for the stain to dry. It will take somewhere from 6 to 24 hours. This depends on the humidity in the room, what airflow you have and if it is an oil based stain or a water based one. Once it’s fully dry the finish can be applied.

It’s pretty obvious why a professionally stained floor costs more. It’s close to twice the amount of work. But I’m sure you’ll agree the final outcome is definitely worth it.

Considering having your floors stained?

Whether your preference is dark floors, light floors, reds, greys or browns, I’m certain you’ll have no issue finding a color that perfectly matches the style of your home.

There are a LOT of colors and shades to choose from.

Rubio Monocoat stain samples
These are a small sample of the limitless colors you can choose between if you decide to use Rubio Monocoat hardwax oil on your floors.

When we come out to provide an estimate, let us know you’re considering this option and we’ll fill you in on some more details. We have a large collection of stain samples for you to look through. You can choose your favorite colors and see how they look next to your furniture and fixtures.

choice of stain colors
Above are some of the more traditional stain colors.

If you would like some help to choose a stain color, we’re more than happy to lend our professional expertise.

Just ask us when we come out to provide you with your quote.

PHOTOS from past projects


Marcos did an awesome job on our floors. He is honest. He does quality work. He really exceeded my expectations in every way. After our white oak floors were done they were perfect. White back ground with grey LOBA stain was perfect. He is exceptional! I would definitely hire him again for my next house. Rich T. - Santa Monica, CA | 5 Star Review on Yelp
5 star rating
Yelp Review
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